Wednesday, October 5, 2016

{31 Days} Three Tips for an Evening Routine that Works

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I have heard it said before that a great evening routine ensures a productive morning.  And I will admit that I am not very good about an evening routine.  My main goal is to get my kids in bed before 9pm, and we usually do get them in bed by 9pm.  But, three kids that really go to bed at different times, that makes doing anything else in the evening complicated.

However, this month is not about excuses, it is about overcoming overwhelm, and one way that I think I can do that is to revamp our evening routine.



I would love to be able to tell you that I have it all figured out with my kids and evening routines, but that is not accurate.  So I am going to focus on some other little things that I can do in the evening to make my mornings go as smooth as possible.

First step – Make the coffee.  

I know this seems like such a silly thing.  It doesn’t take any time at all, but I often won’t set the coffee the night before, and inevitably I am irritated the next morning that the coffee fairies didn’t pick up my slack.  I don’t even necessarily need to have the coffee brewed in the morning, (sometimes my lofty expectations of waking at 4:30am are not met and the coffee shuts off before I get up), as long as it is in the coffee pot ready for me to press start.

For all of you non-coffee drinkers, you can obviously ignore this part.  But, perhaps you could share with me your secrets of not drinking coffee in the morning?

Let’s stop here, shall we.  If I do nothing else in the evening but this one little thing, my mood is improved in the morning.  Remember yesterday when I said that I wasn’t always a morning person?  Even now while I can easily wake up super early, I prefer not to be spoken to…or engaged…at all.  I still need to wake up!  If the coffee is made, I don’t grumble to myself and start off on the wrong foot.  It really is the little things.


Now for a few other items that make life a little bit easier.

Look at the calendar before I go to bed. 

I am pretty good at remembering appointments and commitments that we have, and I use my *planner constantly.  But, it is good to look at our family calendar to make sure I am prepared for the next day, if I have a meeting that I need to be at in the evening and need to make sure Matt is around so I don’t need to bring the kids out with me, or if Matt is going to be late from work for some reason.  As the season goes on we will add more sports to our calendar, and that gets busy as well.

I also like to take this time to jot down a couple of items that I know I need to complete the next day.

I will talk more about how I plan later this month, but I will give you a hint, it involves a lot of lists.

Lists are a funny thing, in the morning, they are a completely blank slate, and I, being extremely optimistic in my abilities during the day, tend to make them very very long first thing in the morning.  “How can I not accomplish all of these tasks?!” I exclaim to myself.  How indeed?

I have found that making my to-do list the night before adds a bit more clarity to the situation.  Especially if the day has been challenging, and I would say most are challenging.  Instead of putting down “clean all floors,” I am more likely to write “sweep and mop kitchen.”  Much more manageable.  And, if I am able to do more than that one floor, I will add it to my list the next day.

It is much easier to add tasks and appointments than it is to take them away.

Three Tips for an Evening Routine that Works

If I can accomplish these three items before I go to bed, I will be in a much better place first thing in the morning.  I am less likely to be thinking about what needs to be done the next day (causing me to be up half the night), and instead have already written it down so there is no need to dwell on it. 

Now, of course there are many other items that can be done in the evening to make your mornings easier, but seeing as how I am trying to overcome overwhelm this month, I realize that the fewer things on my to-do list, the better. 

Some other options are to set out your Bible, or other reading material and a journal if you prioritize quiet time in the morning.  If you want to exercise, make sure you set out your work-out clothes, socks and shoes so you are ready to get a jump on it as soon as you wake up.  Set your planner out, if you use a paper planner, and any other materials you may be using first thing in the morning.  If you are a homeschool mom, set the books out the night before, so you aren’t searching for them in the morning.  If you are a mom with kids who school outside of the home, make sure their backpacks are ready to go and pack lunches the night before so you have one less step in the morning.

These are some additional ideas to help your evening routine create a better morning for you!

Do you have a stellar evening routine to set you up for your mornings?  What is one thing that you try to do every evening before bed?

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19 comments:

  1. Great tips! Things that help us see havibg "quiet time" before bed, ideally an hour before - either reading or quietly coloring and chatting about the day. Oh and laying out clothes the night before makes it MUCH easier when we need to leave the house at 6:45 AM! Smooth evenings make for smoother mornings!

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  2. I totally have to have quite time before bed. If I don't have a few minutes to myself then it's hard to fall asleep!

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  3. Great tips. I need to have son try a few of theses.

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  4. These are very helpful tips. I also like to make my to-do list the night before. It gives me an idea how busy my day is going to be.

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  5. I don't drink coffee, but I do have a list that I go through each night :)

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  6. I always write down things todo the next day before going to bed, it makes me wake up feeling much more productive and ready todo things!

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  7. I have a pretty straight forward routine at night and have sometimes a hard time sticking to it. These were super helpful tips to read this morning as I am being a slacker at home.

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  8. Our evening routine is about to change with a new baby and I'm not thrilled. It takes my toddler forever to get used to change. Thankfully my husband can help.

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  9. I hate having to face tons of things to do in the morning so I make sure that I do some prep at night as well. I set up a schedule of things to do and a list of which ones I need to finish first. It's overwhelming when you don't have a good schedule.

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  10. Great tips! I agree routines are the best! Tough to get started but once you do = lifechanging! I love to make my to-do list for the next day as part of my evening routine

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  11. I really like your idea of thinking about your schedule before you go to bed. I frequently go over my schedule in my head so I can stay on top of what I need to do.

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  12. Wow, this is a nice idea! I love it, will follow this!

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  13. I love these tips! Thanks for sharing! I put my kids down early and LOVE my quiet time. It's so hard to find it during the day so enjoying it at night is great!

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  14. This isn't perfect!!! I struggle to get up in the morning and take time for myself. I'm usually rushed, and this routine would help refocus my mind right before bed. Plus you said the magic word: coffee! 😂

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  15. Love that you include coffee in the must-have list - you're my kind of gal! It makes the morning run so much smoother when you prep in advance!

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  16. I don't have any evening or morning routines, since I work from home, but if I have something to do or somewhere to be the following day, I try to get as much done as I can beforehand (ex. find my clothes that I'm going to wear, etc)

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  17. I am going to try this. Even with me working from home it would help to be better prepared for the next day.

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