Everyone talks about the importance of having a great morning routine and I don’t disagree. However, I think it’s impossible to talk about morning routines without discussing evening routines.
So much of what my morning routine is (and isn’t) is made possible because of my evening routine. These is so much less to do in the morning and less frantic rushing to get out the door if you have a helpful evening routine.
“Something that takes 10 minutes to do at night takes 20 in the morning.” This is the basic sentiment of something I read the other day and while it’s probably a bit of an exaggeration, it certainly doesn’t feel like it when you’re running late in the morning!
If I do as much as possible in the evening, my mornings are 10x easier.
♦ You can get a free evening routine printable at the end of this post ♦
4 Essential Parts of a Helpful Evening Routine
We’re all different and require different evening routines, but these are the essential parts of a helpful evening routine.
Each part has suggestions of tasks that could be a helpful to you. I’m certainly not saying that you should do all of these every single night (I don’t!). Pick and choose which tasks would make the biggest difference for you and give it a try!
Tip: If you’re always dead-tired and dragging yourself to bed, try starting your evening routine earlier. A bunch of these task could get done earlier in the day instead of right at bedtime.
Every little thing that you can prepare for tomorrow takes it off of your plate for the morning.
Lay Clothes Out: I check the weather for the next day before bed and lay out my outfit for tomorrow (even though I work for home!). I can pick out an outfit in 2 minutes at night but it takes me for.ev.er. in the morning. I can’t handle early morning decision making. 🙂
Place Bags by the Door: Placing everything you need for tomorrow by the door means that you won’t forget anything and you won’t be frantically trying to find your keys or your kid’s homework.
Make Lunches for Tomorrow: It’s a big rule of mine: always assume that you won’t have time to make lunches in the morning. If you wake up late or something unexpected happens, this is the first task you’ll drop which means you’ll be getting fast food for lunch. Expensive and not very healthy. Take a look a whole bunch of lunch ideas here.
Do the Dishes: I don’t always have time to do this, but it’s pretty amazing to wake up to an empty sink. We’ve been getting better at staying on top of the dishes situation throughout the day, so I can often load in our dishes from dinner and turn the dishwasher on right before bed.
Tidy Up: This doesn’t have to be a full-on cleaning session. Just tidy up your house as best as you can in a few minutes. Waking up to a tidy house is quite pleasant and sets a less frazzled tone for the day.
Check Your Schedule: Make sure you’re aware of any appointments or activities for you and your family for the next day.
Decide What’s for Breakfast and Dinner Tomorrow: I try to mentally think about what we have to eat for tomorrow. Breakfast is pretty easy since Austin and I each eat the same thing every day. For dinner, I make sure to take anything out of the freezer that needs to thaw.
Make Your To Do List: I always make my to do list at night for the next day. I’m much more productive when I know what I need to do for the day. I always seem to forget things and take a long time if I make my list in the morning so this is best done at night.
I sleep much better when I set aside some time to wind down.
Stretch: A few minutes of stretching is good for you and relaxing.
Take a Bath: If you’re feeling fancy, add a bath bomb. My sister-in-law got me one as a gift and it made for a pretty awesome bath (and a good gift idea by the way).
Write in a Gratitude Journal: Positive psychology studies have been done that show that thinking of things to be grateful for each day can actually train your brain to be happier. Just sayin… Love this pretty gratitude journal.
Read: I sleep much better if I read before bed. It’s best to read a physical book or use a reading tablet that isn’t back-lit, like a Kindle Paperwhite. The back-lighting of phones and normal tablets shines in your eyes and will keep you awake.
Lights Out: Go to Bed On Time! Sleep is crazy important, so don’t lay in bed looking at things on your phone when you could be sleeping 🙂
Interested in a Free ‘Evening Routine’ Printable?
Just enter your info below and I’ll send it right over to you 🙂 ⇓
My morning routine is extremely simple and quick because I have a helpful evening routine.
So many decisions have already been made: what to wear, what to eat… Everything Austin needs to leave for work is taken care of: bags are by the door and his lunch is made.
I can usually get right to my work because the house tidied up from the night before (I have a hard time working if things are a mess).
There is a lot of focus these days on morning routines but when I think about it, my evening routine is probably more important. By prepping, cleaning, planning, and relaxing, I end the day well and set up the next day to be successful.
If you want a step-by-step guide for creating the perfect evening routine for your life, check out the Make Over Your Evenings course. The course is 14 days long and it only takes about 15 minutes each day to read the workbook, watch a short video, and complete the daily project.
There is so much practical information in the course, like:
- How to establish a realistic morning routine (personalized for you – not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing)
- Making a prioritized to do list for the next day that you’re excited about
- Assembling a collection of outfits that make you feel good
- How to wake up energized so that you can accomplish important things, not just the bare minimum for survival
If you’re interested, click here to get more info on the Make Over Your Evenings course. I’m going through it right now and think everyone can benefit from it!
⇒ What are the most important parts of your evening routine? What time do you go to bed?