I’m always preaching about the importance of routines and how they can really make an improvement in our life. Routines are essential to make sure you are organised in your life, efficient with your time, but that you also take care of yourself and make sure that you incorporate rest in your busy work life. In today’s blog post, I really want to spend some time talking about the importance of having an evening routine, why I believe everyone should have it in their life, and how to create a productive evening routine.
What is an evening routine and how is it beneficial?
An evening routine is a set of activities and things that you do to wrap up your day. It goes hand in hand with a morning routine and it’s an essential part of your daily routine. I really believe that having an organised and structured day is necessary for our productivity but also our wellbeing.
The main benefits of having an evening routine are:
- You wind down from a busy day – No matter what job you have, if you have a family or not, or where you live, if you’re living in this day and age, you probably have busy days, that’s just it. An evening routine helps you to wrap up the busy day, log off work and other responsibilities, and enjoy your evening
- You’re able to have a good quality of your sleep – This is ESSENTIAL if you want to have a healthy and balanced life where you can be as productive as possible. Experts suggest that we should aim to get between 7-9 hours of sleep at night, but you’ll be surprised to know how many people don’t get that because they don’t have a good structure in place! By having an evening routine, you’ll make sure that all your tasks are done before you go to bed, that you’ll have time to wind down before you’re it’s time to sleep, and that you’ll actually improve your sleep quality
- You’ll be prepared for the following day – This is another incredible benefit of having an evening routine. Typically, part of it should be that you set things up for the next day so that you don’t have to worry about them in the morning as soon as you wake up or worse, before you go to sleep at night.
What is something everyone should add to their evening routine?
This is something very personal and I believe everyone will have their non-negotiable, but for me, something that everyone should add to their evening routine is to have some quiet time before bed. We’re always going at 100mph in our life, always glued to our screens, and before we know we hit the pillow and then it’s morning again and then the cycle starts again.
But I found that when I started being intentional about how I spent my time right before bed, I was much more relaxed and I actually felt in control of my time, not feeling like I was running a rat race anymore. So I really encourage you to try this if you can, and now I’m going to share with you 3 things that I believe create a powerful and productive evening routine.
What are powerful evening routines?
If you’ve been asking yourself what are some powerful routines, you’re in the right place! I’m now going to share with you my very personal evening routine, which I’ve tried and tested over the years and I’ve realised that it’s the best thing that works for me.
But before then, let me share what goals I had when I tried to create my evening routine:
- I wanted to be more mindful of how I spent my time – There were several times when I ate dinner on the train on the way back home, or whilst doing some reading for University or checking social media and tried to squeeze in some work. But the problem was that my brain was constantly spinning and I never really enjoyed my meal.
So my first goal was to create a routine that would allow me to be present in the moment and relax for a few minutes. I don’t believe that multitasking is bad, but I do believe there is a right and a wrong way of doing it, and I share all about it in this post.
2. I wanted to stop stressing about the following day – One thing that I always did, was lay in bed and think about all the things that were waiting for me the following day. That brought so much stress in my life that I even started dreaming about my to-do lists and things to do, so my sleep wasn’t of the best quality.
I wanted to create an evening routine that would help me to sort everything out the night before, so that I could simply enjoy my sleep without worrying about what was going to happen the next day.
3. I wanted to incorporate more self-care – One of the things I was quite bad at in the past, was practicing self-care. I always thought it wasn’t such an important part of my life and I could do it when I had more time. SPOILER ALERT: if you don’t make time for it, you’re never actually going to have time.
So I made sure that my evening routine would allow me to spend some time taking care of myself, because I learned too well that if we don’t take care of ourselves, we’re well on our way to burnout.
Now that I’ve highlighted my goals before I created my routine, let’s have a look at some key elements that are part of my evening routine, and feel free to use them for yourself if you like them.
5 Powerful things to do to create a productive evening routine
Have a shutdown ritual
This basically consists in doing all those activities that you have to tick off before you end your work day. Do you need to answer some emails? Finish off a project? Upload some important documents online? Do those things then LOG OFF. I used to be really bad at this because instead of having strong boundaries in place, whenever I’d get a notification on my phone I’d reply and get things done, no matter what time of the evening it was.
But when I created this shutdown ritual, I knew that at a certain time I just wasn’t available for work things anymore, so I’d do my best to answer to everyone I needed to answer and finish as many things as possible, but everything that didn’t get done by then, was going to get done the following day.
Once you put boundaries in place and you make sure that you enforce them, and even make them known to the people you work with or your clients, they’re going to be understanding and will respect them, because they’ll see that you’re the first one to do so.
2. Plan for the next day
This is another very essential part of a good evening routine. No one likes the headache of waking up in the morning and rushing to get ready and head out the door or log on to the system, whilst not even knowing what’s happening with their day.
So a good and important part of your evening routine should be to plan for your next day. This can be literally anything that will help you to have a smooth day ahead. Some examples could be: getting your meals ready and possibly already packed together so that you can just grab them and go or warm them up when you need to eat; laying out your outfits and knowing what hair and makeup you’ll do for a specific day, so that you don’t have to worry about it in the morning.
But I also recommend that you have a to-do list already prepared with all the things that will need to happen on a specific day, so that you can just look at your calendar and not wonder what on earth you need to do. And it would be good to time block your rest times so you know when you’re not available for anyone and you can enjoy a break.
3. Have a non-negotiable
One of the best things of my evening routine is having a non-negotiable. This is basically something that you should choose that is very important to you in order to relax and feel good. For me personally, that looks like having a good meal (I am a foodie after all!), whilst watching a show on tv, maybe with some of my housemates. I was really bad at being present during meal times, so this is something that is an absolute non-negotiable for me.
For some people, this might look like going to the gym, or calling a loved one to check in with them, or going for a walk. Whatever it is that you choose to do, make sure you stick to that, book off an hour or so for it, and always respect that time (unless you decide to change things up, of course!)
4. Practice some self-care
This step is important because as I was mentioning before, if we don’t make time to take care of ourselves, we may hit burnout after a while, and it’s not a nice place to be in. So in order to avoid that, make sure that you schedule something every day as part of your evening routine, to practice some self-care. It doesn’t have to take too long or be too fancy or complicated. I personally love to give myself a facial a couple of evenings per week, and I generally spend a good amount of time every evening doing my night skincare routine (ladies, if you know, you know!).
But something that you can do could be journaling for 10 minutes, or reading 10 pages of a book, or dancing on your favorite song, or doing some crafts. Whatever it is that makes you feel good, make sure you go ahead and do it!
5. Have some quiet time
Finally, this is the step that you should do right before you go to sleep. Sadly, many of us are used to being glued to our screen until our eyes close, and many of us also fall asleep while scrolling on our phones. But let me tell you a secret: THAT IS NOT HEALTHY!
Instead, I recommend that you spend at least 30 minutes before your actual bed time, without staring at a screen. I personally like to sit in silence and spend some time in prayer to end the day, and it’s done wonders for my sleep and my overall wellbeing.
Some people like reading a fiction book (I wouldn’t recommend more intense books because they’ll still require some energy from you), whilst others play some chilled music. As long as you do what works for you, you’ll know you’re on the right track.
Conclusion on the ultimate evening routine for productivity
I really hope that this post explained everything you needed to know about evening routines. I’m a firm believer that, combined with a good morning routine and a daily schedule, they can completely change your life for the better! I would love it if you could share this post if you found it helpful, and also let me know in the comments: What is your evening routine like at the moment?!