There’s a lot of information out there on the benefits of a great morning routine. It can set you up for the day, you have time on your side in case the alarm clock doesn’t go off and you can get yourself and your children up and ready without panic, stress and too much shouting.
But a great evening routine can lighten the load from your morning by getting the important stuff prepared and out of the way the night before. Check out this post on why a great evening routine can save you time and stress for the next day.
I love the idea of a morning routine so much that you can read my blog post about it over here and I follow my own morning routine every day, including at weekends. In fact, it allowed me to carve out so much extra time in my day that I was able to start this website and blog.
But what about the other end of the day?
A great evening routine can:
- allow you to get prepared for the following day (so you don’t have to do it all in the morning)
- your kids will benefit from their own evening and pre-bedtime routine which is incorporated into yours (not just squeezed in between everything else) and,
- you can get your mind and body calm and relaxed for a peaceful night’s sleep ahead (as long as the baby lets you).
Check out this post for some helpful pointers to a great evening routine…
Why does an evening routine make a difference?
- How many times have you slept through your alarm clock, or repeatedly hit the snooze button because of a bad night’s sleep?
- Have you ever woken up feeling ill and just not ready to ‘get up and go’?
- What if one of the children was ill during the night and you’ve been up with them for most of it?
- What happens if you only realise in the morning that there’s no clean or ironed uniform, or the PE kit is half missing, or the homework’s not done, or the dog’s been ill in the kitchen and you need to clean it up?
Emergencies happen and even with the greatest morning routine in place and all best intentions, things come up which we weren’t expecting and our plans go out of the window.
Although I love my morning routine and have got it down to quite an art, I do know that if I didn’t get some of the stuff done in the evening that I have to do or have ready for the morning then my mornings would still be mayhem, even though I was up and out of bed at 5.30am.
Take the stress out of the mornings and use the precious quiet hours before the rest of the house wakes up to do the things you want to do or can’t do when everyone else is up, awake and needing you.
Come up with an evening routine that suits you and your family. It doesn’t have to take long – it could be ten minutes or even an hour or two, but as it’s a routine, you need to do it every day (or week day at least) for it to become second nature.
Once it’s a regular thing, you won’t have to make yourself or remind yourself to do it, you’ll do it automatically and it will save you a lot of time and stress in the morning.
Top 25 suggestions for your evening routine
Here are my top 25 suggestions for what to include in your evening routine. I’m sure there are plenty of others that you can think of!
Pick and choose what’s appropriate to you:
- Make sure the car has fuel in it for the school run or to get to work!
- Do you know where your keys are so you’re not frantically searching for them in the morning?
- Make/prep all tomorrow’s lunches and keep them in the fridge or freezer to take out first thing in the morning
- Wipe down all the surfaces and do a quick whip round the house putting things back into their correct places
- Wash the dishes from dinner or load and switch on the dishwasher to run overnight
- Give the house a quick hoover for when you come down in the morning. If the floor looks clean it makes everything else look cleaner!
- Fold and put away any laundry that you’ve washed that day
- Get the coffee machine on standby so it’s ready for the morning when you most need it!
- Put out the breakfast cereals and bowls on the table to save time in the morning
- Check through school bags for any letters/permission slips. Fill them out and put them safely back in the bags
- Make sure the school bags are completely ready for the morning including swimming and PE kits etc as necessary
- Write a to do list for the things you need to do tomorrow
- Lay out clothes for you and your children to put on tomorrow
- For those who don’t mind not having a shower in the morning, have a shower and wash your hair to save time in the morning
- Get the kids to tidy up their bedroom and put their toys away
- Bath the kids, make sure their teeth are brushed, read them a story and anything else that is an important part of the evening routine for you and your kids
- Lay out your gym stuff if you plan to do a workout when you wake up
- Charge your toothbrush overnight
- Make sure your alarm is set
- Plan to factor in a bit of ‘you time’ – even if it’s not very long – so that you can do something for yourself like read a chapter of a book, listen to a podcast, go for a walk
- Don’t be tempted to keep your phone by your bed (apart from if you use it as an alarm clock) and check your emails last thing at night. They can wait until morning
- Make sure your bedside table only has the things on it that you need for the night
- Write down in your diary five things that you are grateful for that day
- Keep a notebook by your bed so that if you remember something during the night then you can write it down instead of forgetting it by morning
- Relax before bed with a bath, read a book, light a candle
These are just some ideas for what to include in your evening routine. It will look different for everyone and you probably won’t get all these things done in one evening anyway, or even want to.
But, you can begin to see what and why these ideas will save you time and stress in the morning and enable you to keep on top of things by being efficient, breaking everything down into small, manageable chunks and pre-empting any problems before they come up.
YOUR NEXT STEP…
If you’d like to learn more about how to be intentional with your time, be more productive and carve out more time in your day for the things which are important to YOU, then check out my FREE 1-week email course, Simplify Your Time. It’s a time management course that encourages you to think intentionally and practically about your precious time and what you do with it. Find out more here.