10 things to do before 10 PM to improve your productivity and time management systems to help you pare down your decisions and save your sanity for a better evening routine.
Did you know that you can improve your productivity by doing these 10 simple tasks the night before?
When should I start an evening routine? It sounds too easy to be true, but it’s not. These 10 things to do before 10 pm combined with these 8 things to do before 8 am will set you up for success before your second cup of coffee in the morning. These systems will both help improve your productivity, and also will help you stay sane in the midst of crazy seasons in life.
The key to successful productivity isn’t working harder, but working smarter. Click To Tweet
Is it easy? No. It’s hard to discipline and train yourself to adopt new life systems. Is it worth it? Totally.
Need someone to walk you through making over your evenings? It’s okay to ask for help! Crystal from Money Saving Mom has you covered! She created a 14-day video course to help you makeover your evenings because a successful day starts the night before. It’s a great resource for your productive evening routine.
Here’s my evening routine to increase your productivity by working smarter and not harder, with these 10 evening routine ideas. It even works as a great evening routine after work.
How do I make a perfect evening routine?
10 Things to Do Before 10 PM For A Better Evening Routine
I know this one is especially hard for entrepreneurs. There is nothing that can’t wait until tomorrow. Two hours before you go to bed, there should be no screens.
Have you noticed that the more time you spend on your laptop or phone at night, the more awake you feel? All of a sudden it is midnight and you don’t feel tired at all. That’s because the blue light emitted by your screens is blocking the production of melatonin, the chemical that tells your body it’s time for bed. Leave the ringer on for emergency phone calls, but everything else needs to wait until the morning.
Write down one to three things that you are thankful for from the day. Gratitude journals help remind us of the little things we have to be thankful for. Had we not taken the time to write them down, they might have been missed. Journaling is a great addition to your evening routine.
You can also write down short stories, poems, or randomness. It’s more about creating an evening rhythm that helps your mind and body know that the day is winding down.
3. Read a real book before bed
Since the blue light prohibits sleep, reading a real book is best. Ask friends or co-workers for their suggestions of great books to add to your reading list. Look at book lists from your favorite blogger. Do a search for books on certain topics and make your list from there. You’ll have a list of books to read before you know it.
You might consider reading:
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“The Little Prince” is a timeless tale of an extraordinary journey of a little boy who travels the Universe, embarking on several adventures along the way. My kids love the movie and the book is even better.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
For all the dog lovers out there. “The Art of Racing in the Rain” follows a beloved dog who has educated himself on the ways of human life, recalling all the life events he’s witnessed on the eve of his death. Have a box of tissues nearby.
Persuasion by Jane Austen
“Persuasion” follows a woman convinced that her boyfriend was unworthy of her, who spends the next 8 years of her life swallowed by the regret of losing him.
4. Brain Dump
I mention this in my morning routine 8 things to do before 8 am, and it’s crucial. Don’t think about what to write or try to organize it. Yet.
Write down everything that you need to get done, everything that you want to get done, all the phone calls you need to make, all the emails you need to write, EVERYTHING needs to be written on that paper. From there, you can prioritize your to-do list.
If you struggle to get to sleep, adding brain dumping to your evening routine will help clear your mind so you can sleep better.
Your nighttime list might look different than your morning list, and that’s okay.
5. Clean up after dinner
I am less productive in the mornings when I have to spend valuable time cleaning (affiliate link) up from the night before. We clear the dishes off the table after dinner and load them in the dishwasher. We spray the table and wipe it down, sweep under the table, and make sure all the dishes are out of the sink.
I have to have a clean sink before I go to bed.
Sorting through the paper clutter on the counters also takes place during this time when needed. By staying on top of the paper clutter and having a clean kitchen before I go to bed, I can get up and hit the ground running.
6. Make sure all the laundry is folded and put away
Again, I know it sounds trivial. But it’s not. Mountains of laundry weigh on us. You might not even realize it. When you do one load of laundry from start to finish, laundry becomes manageable again.
There isn’t a mountain of laundry staring at you everywhere you go. Even with our family of six, this works. I promise.
7. Already have your clothes picked out for the next day
While this seems trivial, it requires brainpower to think about what you’re going to wear. How many times have you stood in front of your closet, staring at your clothes? That time is precious.
If the laundry is an issue, consider decluttering your closets. Creating a capsule wardrobe can help.
Pare down your wardrobe, choose clothes that make you happy, and the choice will be easy. By paring down decisions, you already have a jump on things for the next day!
When we take inventory of what we have, sometimes we realize we don’t need everything.
8. Spend time with Your Family
For some, this is a no-brainer. For others, you have to make an effort. Make a list of the things your children always ask you to do that you don’t want to do.
Maybe they always ask you to sit on the floor and play a board game with them, to cook in the kitchen with you, for you to read their favorite book to them, to lay next to them while they drift off to sleep. Sometimes it’s hard to say yes to those things.
Here’s something to remember: they wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t important to them. Consider having a “yes” day once a month where they make reasonable requests and you say yes to those requests.
9. Evaluate your day
Dream for the future. Ask yourself what worked and what didn’t. What went surprisingly well? What could you do better tomorrow? What are your goals? Where do you want to be in five years? Are you on the right track or do you need to make a detour?
If you continue living life one day at a time without direction, you’ll never make it to your dream goals. Live your life with intention.
10. Get 7+ hours of sleep
By nature, I’m a night owl. But when I stay up until 2 am working on projects, I’m useless at 6 am when I get up to knock out my morning list.
When I go to bed by 10 pm to get up at 6 am, life is brighter. I can think clearly. I can enjoy my coffee in silence. I don’t wake up feeling behind in life.
It’s glorious when it happens.
[clickToTweet tweet=”A productive day starts the night before. #makeoveryourevenings #simplifyingfamily” quote=”A productive day starts the night before.”]
If you remember nothing else about these 10 things to do before 10 pm for a better evening routine, remember this: pare down your decisions.
Decision-making fatigue is real. Pare down your wardrobe. Meal planning at the first of the month. Create a routine that you don’t have to think about.
Creating these systems will help you be more productive and reach your goals.
What is your evening routine?
Makeover Your Evenings 14-Day Course!
Saturday 17th of March 2018
Thank you for your post! I have stumbled upon a few of the same conclusions, like always clean up the dinner mess the same day and empty the dishwasher before work in the morning in order to reduce dirty dishes accumulating in or near the sink. It’s become a habit because it feels like the only way to keep up with the kitchen!
I truly believe you’re right about the one-load-of-laundry-start-to-finish per day method, but I haven’t mastered it yet!
My before 10:00 list includes getting all our coats/hats/gloves and school bags together the night before and my daughter’s lunch packed. I also prep the coffee maker so that I can get it started in the morning with the push of a button. I lay out clothes for myself and the kids (even if that means them picking their own outfit). I hate searching for a missing clothing item when I’m groggy in the morning.
Routines just make life more manageable, it is a fact I’ve had to come to terms with! ?
I will make it my goal to fit bible time in before 8:00. I needed to hear you say that it’s doable. Thanks for that and God bless!
Thursday 25th of January 2018
Thank you so much for these simple reminders even for those of us with grown families. When my children were living at home I did most of the things you suggest. I loved and felt it necessary to be organized and set daily goals. What I never suspected was that when I reached this empty nest part of life those habits would become more difficult.
Thursday 10th of August 2017
Hello Whitney, Pleased to inform you that this post is included in the recent part of TimeCamp's weekly Productivity Articles roundup! Thank you for sharing these wonderful warehouse productivity tips. Please find this recent episode here: https://www.timecamp.com/blog/index.php/2017/08/productivity-articles-6817/ Aleksandra Rybacka, SM Manager at TimeCamp