by Josh Millar
The quest to be more productive at work doesn’t start and end with the workday. To make significant changes in productivity, we often need to make lifestyle adjustments as well. One of the most powerful ways to give your productivity a boost is to look at your mornings and evenings. I talked about some great morning routines in a past post, and this week, I wanted to share some evening routines that can also support productivity. Here are some of my favorites:
The key to reaping the benefits of a routine is to make it consistent. It’s one thing to design a great routine, but it’s another to follow through with it every day. When crafting your evening routine, start small. Look at what you already do every night and just add a few things from there. Once those have become a natural part of your night, add a few more. Over time, being consistent will reduce the amount of effort needed to do these nightly tasks, and it will allow their positive effects to accumulate.
Make Your Plan for Tomorrow
Setting aside a window to plan for tomorrow is a great way to prepare your mind for unwinding. Once you have everything down on paper or in your phone, you don’t have to worry about holding it in your mind. It can give you a sense of tidying up the day and bringing your efforts to a close. It’s also a great strategy to have a plan in place when you begin your day, so this will help in the mornings as well. In addition to looking at the specifics like meetings and tasks, this is a great opportunity to check in on your goals.
Give Your Morning Self Some Support
That evening plan is a useful tool for your mornings, but there’s often even more you can do to foster productivity. Simple things like laying out clothes, packing a gym bag, or preparing your lunch can all make your morning run more smoothly. Reflect on your own morning challenges, and see which of those could be addressed in the evening. Checking things off the list the night before can make it much easier to relax.
Ditch the Screens
We’ve all probably heard this tip by now, but how often do we actually practice it? For many of us, our phones and computers have become extensions of our person. All that stimulation in the evening can make it difficult to get good rest, and that can limit productivity. Whether it’s checking work emails or just watching a show, see if you can limit that screen time in the evenings. Maybe try setting a time limit, with no screens after a certain hour, or making your bedroom a screen-free zone. It can always be challenging at first if you’re used to having your phone, but with some practice, this can be a powerful tool to set you up for better productivity.
These are a few of the strategies that I find effective, but everyone’s ideal routine will look different. The idea is to take the time to identify which actions will help you most and to make the effort to do them every day. When you make that commitment to a healthy evening routine, you’re setting yourself up for a productive tomorrow.