DIY: Organize Your Evening Routine

Between catching up on housework, cooking dinner, and preparing for tomorrow, evenings can be chaotic. But with a clear plan in place, you'll find time to do all of the above, and even have a few minutes left over to renew yourself! Keep reading for some tips on how to organize your before-bed routine to maximize your productivity and prepare for the coming day.

  • Tidy up - waking up to a messy house can really start you off on the wrong foot, so instead of leaving messes for tomorrow, take a few minutes to clean them up today. Clean the dishes up from dinner, and make sure the sink and countertops are clear of any food waste. Imagine how relaxing it would feel tomorrow morning to walk into a clean kitchen, and you can simply make your coffee without having to look at a mess.  In addition, clean off the kitchen table and the coffee table, and pick up any shoes, clothes or other clutter that's lying around the house. All of these tasks only take a minute and can save you time and energy later.

  • Plan for tomorrow - it's never too early to start tomorrow's to-do list for yourself and your assistant. Write down any important tasks or notes that you don't want to forget, and set out any items you know you'll need to take with you. If possible, set out items for breakfast, or even prepare something ahead of time. Check the weather forecast for the next day and pick out some appropriate clothes, so you won't spend 15 minutes in the morning staring indecisively into your closet! If there is anything you can do now to make tomorrow easier, do it - you'll thank yourself when the time comes.

  • Put your feet up - every good schedule needs to have some built-in time for relaxing and renewing yourself. Take a bath, read a few chapters of a novel, spend some time with your children or spouse, or listen to some calming music. There are immense benefits to just letting your mind relax and forget about all the stresses of the day for a few minutes, and you'll find that you will fall asleep faster and get a more restful night's sleep. As you wind down, remember that this is your time to reward yourself for being productive and working hard all day!

  • Reflect on the day - before you turn in for the night, take a few minutes to reflect on your day. If you feel comfortable writing things down, journaling is a great tool to help you see your progress over time. Write down any interesting thoughts you had, goals you accomplished, or anything that made today particularly special. Practice gratitude, and make a list of the things you were thankful for during the day. In the future, you'll be able to look back on journal entries and see how far you've come, and on days when you're feeling down, you can see everything you have to be thankful for.

Starting a routine can seem overwhelming, but the best thing to do it to take it a step at a time. Small changes here and there can lead to big things in your life. Starting a routine is great because you can always add to it or modify it to fit your needs. As you find it easier to start new habits, you can take on more. But the most important thing to do is to start! You can eliminate the stress from your life by organizing your time, spending every minute productively, and using your evenings to get a jump-start on tomorrow!