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A really productive day actually begins the night before. By taking time to be proactive each night, you can improve your productivity. You’ll be able to hit the ground running!
I know energy is sometimes running low in the evenings. After a busy day of taking care of kids, cooking, cleaning, writing, and doing everything else I have to do is hard. But, I’ve discovered it’s worth it to find the energy to end each day well.
A little bit of effort at night pays off hugely in the morning. Here’s what I’m currently doing each night to help prepare for the next day.
Put the Dishwasher on Delay
Starting the day with clean dishes helps! I’m not scrambling trying to wash enough forks for breakfast, or searching through the house for cups.
So every evening, I make sure the dishwasher has soap and is set on delay. This one is actually one of my kids’ jobs, so I just double-check that it’s set right.
By running the dishwasher in the middle of the night, I know there will be plenty of hot water. I can’t always guarantee this during the day.
Throw a Load of Laundry In, On Delay
I really love the delay feature on appliances! Each evening, I toss a load of laundry in the washer. Then I add soap and push the delay button.
I set it to finish up at 5 a.m. Then, when I get up, I can put it straight into the dryer. One of my loads of laundry for the day is washed when I get up! It’s a huge help in keeping the laundry monster tamed.
Do a Quick Clean
Normally we do this as a family before the kids head to bed. But, it doesn’t always happen. So I make sure to do it before I stop for the night.
Spending seven or ten minutes cleaning makes our house look so much better. It doesn’t take a ton of time to pick up the clutter and sweep the floor. Those two things greatly impact the look of our home.
And when I wake up to a fairly clean house, I always feel so much better!
Review the Meal Plan
I take a moment to peek at the annual meal plan and make sure I know what I’m cooking the next day. If I need meat, I can run down to the basement and grab it from the deep freeze.
Pulling it out the night before helps it defrost before I need it.
Reviewing also helps me better time breakfast. I know what I’m cooking, and how long it’ll take. We don’t always eat at the same time in the morning, so I appreciate knowing how long I need.
Review the Calendar
I’ve had appointments sneak up on me. Earlier this year, I completely forgot about a dentist appointment for some of my kiddos until my “time to leave” reminder went off on my phone.
Thankfully we made it in. But, I learned to check the calendar every night. I see if we have any appointments or if I have a meeting. I also note any due dates I have.
Knowing what’s on the agenda helps me prioritize tasks the next morning when we hold our morning meeting. Our Plan of the Day becomes more accurate.
Sometimes I need to print worksheets for our homeschool. Or I need to refill our stock of coloring pages for Family Writing Time.
I don’t always need to print something out, but when I do, I take the time to do it.
By printing out the night before, my kids aren’t waiting for me during the day. It helps everyone improve their productivity!
Pick a Topic to Sleep On
Right before I get off my computer for the evening, I spend a few moments looking at my upcoming topics. I review any outlines I have prepped, or read over my list of ideas.
Then, I pick one to focus on. I reread it and think about it for three or four minutes, doing some think time. Then I let my brain do its thing. I call it sleeping on it, because I almost always wake up with a new idea or two.
Of course, I risk forgetting about those ideas if I don’t write them down right away. So, I’ve learned to keep a pad of paper and a pen nearby to capture my early morning thoughts.
Some nights I work later than I’d like. But, whenever possible I unplug and spend time relaxing before I go to sleep.
This time helps me unwind, and give my brain (and body) a rest. I love snuggling on the couch with my husband and watching an episode of something.
Or playing a board game with him and our teen.
There’s nothing like some unplugged time with family to help you feel refreshed!
Get to Bed at a Decent Hour
When I don’t get enough sleep, I spend most of the next day dragging. It’s hard to improve your productivity when you’re exhausted!
So resist the temptation to stay up finishing “just one more thing” forever. Get to bed and make getting enough sleep a priority.
How Do You End Your Days?
What tasks do you do at night to get the next day off to a better start? I’d love for you to share your evening routine in the comments.
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