I have always been a big fan of schedules/routines/planning. Part of the reason is that I am not a (naturally) organized person. One of the biggest misconception around is that schedule and planning is for naturally organized people. Truth is such tools and practice are most beneficial to people naturally… less organized (I am part of this category).
The past weeks of quarantine allowed me plenty of time of further experimenting, introducing some few steps and removing/optimizing others.
First and foremost; I have personally found that the biggest challenge for me was to actually remember what to do, especially at first – before it becomes a habit. So at first I used to write down lists on a piece of paper (which I would regularly lose) or in an agenda (not really practical to reach out for the agenda and look for the page).
My best advice to stick to it is to have it always before your eyes: to get a small blackboard (or any board) and put in your bedroom or anywhere in your home you are likely to be close by in the evening. It can be decorative as well! Alternatively, for the tech/social folks out there: put it as a screenshot or note on your phone - if you always have the phone in your hand, your night routine list is never going to be too far either!
Let’s now get into your perfect night routine:
Get ready for tomorrow
Before ending your day and relax, make sure you take few extra steps to put you in the best position for a great start tomorrow:
• Lunch prep - this will save you time; money and you will have a better control on your diet
• Clothes set out
• Tidy-up papers and notes - this is especially important if you are working from home
• Go over your agenda for the next few days
• Turn-off electronics (if possible) - this applies both to your Instagram scrolling as well as your work laptop
• Set the alarm early (preferably at the other side of the room; snoozing will become less likely)
A quick work-out
This is optional depending on your usual schedule (as I prefer doing this in the morning) however if you do want to get a quick work-out in the evening, allow enough time before going to bed as some people might find difficult to fall asleep.
• 30 squats
• 20 crunches
• 30 secs plank
• 10 push-ups
• 25 leg lifts
• 5 jumping jacks
• You can repeat the above 2-3x
Get nice & clean
• Take off residual make up (bonus tip: coconut oil is a good option)
• Moisturizing cream (both body and face)
• Teeth brushing, floss, mouth-wash (bonus tip: try out oil pulling)
Time for bed
• Read over some notes for next day if needed
• Read a book
• Journal (even if for just 10 mins) – writing things down helps seeing things more clearly; if you are not into journaling just write down 3 good things you are grateful for in the day just passed
• Pray & meditate (bonus tip: ever hear of yoga nidra or sleeping yoga?)
• Put a few drops on lavender oil on your wrists/neck/pillow – it helps me unwind/sleep better
This is my night routine, take it, tailor that to yourself and make it your own perfect night routine! It is not just about the single action points – just the single fact of having a routine will help! Being able to put the auto-pilot without having to think the next step is already a big thing allowing you to be productive and have time relax after a long day!