When you structure your day, you will get your best work done. With morning and evening routines, your brain is better able to handle the various challenges each day brings. Many people have good morning rituals, but adding evening ones will really lead to a productive, happy, and successful life. Many of us get home, eat dinner, and veg out on the couch, often ending up falling asleep there. You then head to bed, staring at your email on your phone till you fall asleep and usually get inadequate sleep and wake tired.
Plan in the evening for the next day. Many of us set out our clothes for the morning, along with workout gear and tomorrow’s paperwork. But go further. Write down what you want to accomplish the next day. Thinking about it is good but writing it down really cements a plan for the next day.
Reflect on your day. Write down two or three things you were grateful for today. Celebrate your successes even if they are few. For the things not accomplished, think about how you can do better tomorrow. Be more efficient, spending less time on unimportant issues.
Create your ritual of work to home transition. We are so super-connected now that we are working 24/7. Walking through the door should start the transformation. What you do next is not important, only that you do it every day to move into relaxing, home mode. You can exercise or watch your favorite show. Spend time with the family or work on a project. Do it every day to tell your brain work is over.
Our busy lives can also leave little time for your passions. Taking even 30 minutes a day out for a hobby, self- improvement, or anything else you have a genuine interest in can boost your sanity. It will even make you more productive.
Get ready for sleep. Do it the same way every day. Wash up and brush your teeth. Make your bedroom a calm sanctuary. Keep it cool; better sleep happens around 65-68 degrees. Turn off the TV or other devices one hour before bedtime. The blue light keeps your brain in wake mode. If you must check your devices before bed, reduce the brightness by 50% and use night mode if you have it. Reading before bed for half an hour is excellent for winding down for sleep. But stay away from the Kindle and its blue light and read a paper book instead. It can be any subject, does not have to be self-improvement- anything that entertains you.
Keep the same sleep schedule. Waking and sleeping at the same time keeps you regulated. You cannot catch up on sleep on the weekend. It just makes you groggy all day. Feel yourself getting sleepy and wake up to your best day ever.
KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH AND DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO