In the hustle & bustle of today’s world, it's easy to get caught up in the chaos and neglect the importance of self-care and personal growth. While the urge to just plop onto the couch or into bed at the end of a crazy day is REAL … you may want to consider implementing some sort of routine into your evenings. By establishing some sort of a structure within your evening routine and utilizing a planner to do so, you can reclaim your evenings and set yourself up for success.
I want to share with you, from my own experience, the benefits of having an evening routine, how I’ve used my planner to organize my evenings & make the most of them, and give you some helpful tips on creating an effective evening routine to set you up for success for the following day.
The Power of an Evening Routine
An evening routine is basically made up of rituals you set for yourself to perform consistently before bedtime in order to wind down, relax, and prepare yourself mentally and physically for a restful night's sleep. It acts as a bridge between your busy day and a peaceful night, helping you transition smoothly from work mode to a state of relaxation. By establishing an evening routine, you create a sense of structure and stability in your life, leading to improved overall well-being.
The most important benefit of my own evening routine is that it sets me up for the best possible night's sleep. If I don’t get a good night’s sleep it really can throw off my entire next day. Most of us perform best when our energy is at its peak and for me that happens when I sleep soundly the night before!! Engaging in relaxing activities before bed helps signal the brain that it's time to start the shut-down process, unwind, and prepare for rest. For me, this usually includes activities such as taking a quick dip in the hot tub with my husband to connect about the day, reading a book, taking a soak in the bath, utilizing my Daily Grind Planner to reflect on the past day & look at what could fall onto my plate for the day to come, practicing yoga or meditation, and/or having a mocktail or cocktail & watching a little television … it all depends on the day but there is usually some combination of these activities on a given night! By incorporating these activities into my evening routine, I’ve been able to establish a consistent sleep schedule and set myself up for the most restful night, especially when I want to get my day started bright and early!!
The Role of a Planner in Organizing Your Evenings
You may be wondering, “Why would I use a planner for my bedtime routine??” … but honestly I find that when I consciously schedule out ALL of the things I want to achieve for a given day, even down to when I want to START my evening routine & be in bed by a certain time, there is a much larger chance I will actually do them once they’re written out! A planner, especially a daily layout, is such a powerful tool for organizing and managing your time effectively. It provides a structured framework for your days, weeks, and months, allowing you to allocate specific time slots for different activities, INCLUDING your evening routine. By utilizing a planner, you gain a visual representation of your commitments and priorities, enabling you to make informed decisions about how to spend your time. And if making better use of your evenings is important to you so you can have a more productive morning the next day … then I’d say perhaps it's worth giving it a shot, right?!
When it comes to creating an effective evening routine, a planner can be SO useful. It allows you to physically block out dedicated time for each activity, ensuring that you allocate sufficient time for relaxation, self-care, and personal development. With a planner, you can set reminders for your evening routine tasks, helping you stay on track and ensuring that you don't overlook any important activities. I love that in my Daily Grind Planner I can schedule out my days hour-by-hour … this way I know exactly when I’m supposed to start and stop each activity. #balance
Tips for Creating an Effective Evening Routine with Your Planner
Define your priorities: Before incorporating your planner into your evening routine, take some time to identify your priorities. What I mention works for me, may not work for you … and as with ANY sort of routine, it may take a little trial & error & pivoting to figure out what fits you & your lifestyle best! Consider the activities that contribute to YOUR well-being and align with your personal goals. This may include exercise, journaling, spending quality time with loved ones, or engaging in a hobby. Knowing your priorities will help you allocate time and plan accordingly.
Set a consistent schedule: Establishing a consistent schedule for your evening routine can significantly enhance its effectiveness. Consistency honestly seems to be the key with anything you’re trying to build into a habit, big or small. Try your best to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day to regulate your sleep-wake cycle. I know this can be difficult because the urge to want to sleep in on ANY day off is REAL … but if you’re the type of person who does not adjust well to getting back onto a ‘weekday’ sleep schedule after a couple days off of it, you may want to try sticking with a similar sleep schedule all week long. This doesn’t mean your routine has to be AS productive on the weekends as it is on the weekdays, but if you can find a way to make it so there isn’t a massive jump in your bedtime & wake time, it may really help you stay on track in the long run!! Then, allocate a specific time block in your planner for your routine activities, ensuring that you have enough time for each task without feeling rushed.
Break down tasks: Instead of overwhelming yourself with a long list of activities, break down your evening routine tasks into smaller, manageable steps. This will help you stay motivated and prevent procrastination. Use your planner to allocate time slots for each task, ensuring that you have a clear plan to follow. Especially if you like to tidy up before you begin the ‘relaxing’ portion of your evening routine, maybe you set a timer for 20 minutes so you can wipe down counters, do dishes & put away any stray items or clutter & help yourself feel less overwhelmed so you don’t wake up and see a mess first thing the next morning. I know for me this is HUGE for my mindset when I get to wake up to a tidy home.
Flexibility and adaptability: While a planner provides structure, it's essential to remain flexible, adaptable & be willing to pivot as needed, without allowing it to derail your entire evening. Life can be unpredictable, and unexpected events may arise or there is always the possibility that time gets away from you now and again. Stuff happens, we are only human! Be open to adjusting your evening routine if needed, but make sure to jot down anything essential that should have gotten done & reschedule any missed activities, if necessary. Your planner can help you rearrange your schedule and accommodate changes effectively!
While it may not have seemed ‘necessary’ to create a plan for yourself for your evening routine, I hope I’ve helped you see why it can actually be very helpful! Creating an evening routine with the assistance of a planner is a powerful strategy to enhance your overall chances of having a less stressful & chaotic end of your day … and going into the evening feeling a bit lighter & ending the day on a high note. Having just that little bit of structure can really help to make sure you get a restful night’s sleep & go into the next day as your best self.