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Want to improve your productivity? Try adding these nine things into your evening routines. They’ll help you free up time for what really matters, like your family!
For even more tips for ending your day well, check out Crystal Paine’s Make Over Your Evening. This course really helps you get your evening routine ready!
A really productive day actually begins the night before. By taking time to be proactive each night, you can improve your productivity. When morning rolls around, 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 you have to do is hard. But, it really is worth it to find the strength to end each day well.
A little bit of effort at night pays off greatly in the morning.
Here are nine specific and simple ways you can end the day well. These are all tasks I’ve added to my own evenings, to help everything run smoothly.
1. Put the Dishwasher on Delay
Does your dishwasher have a delay feature? Using it can help you start every morning with clean dishes.
Then you won’t be scrambling around trying to wash enough forks for breakfast, or searching through the house for cups.
So each evening, make sure the dishwasher has soap and is set on delay.
In my house, this one is actually one of my kids’ table chores, so I just double-check that it’s set right.
By running the dishwasher in the middle of the night, there will be plenty of hot water. I can’t always guarantee this during the day with our large family…
Want even more help in the productivity department? Check out the Ultimate Productivity Bundle!
2. Throw a Load of Laundry In, On Delay
The delay feature on appliances is amazing! My washer has one, does yours?
If it does, each evening, you can toss a load of laundry in the washer. Then add soap like normal and push the delay button. Just set it to start in several hours.
I typically set mine so it’s finished about 5 am. That way my laundry doesn’t start to stink from sitting wet for several hours before I get up.
When I do start my day, one of my morning routine tasks is moving laundry. I just toss it straight into the dryer or go hang it on the line. Then one of load of laundry is crossed off my to-do list right when my day begins!
The delay button is a huge help in keeping the laundry monster tamed.
3. Do a Quick Clean
Spend seven or ten minutes cleaning and decluttering. This short amount of time is manageable even when you’re tired, and it will make a huge difference in the state of your home.
I typically focus on the bathroom and living room. After an evening of playing together and brushing teeth and things, those two areas are the most in need of a pick up.
Waking up to a decently cleaned home feels great! It’s not bombarding you with cries for cleaning when you first peel your eyes open.
And if you want to have your kids help with this, I highly recommend using the format from this post:
4. Review Your Meal Plan
What are you eating tomorrow? Do you need to do anything tonight to help?
Take a moment to peek at your meal plan. Make sure you know what you’re cooking the next day.
If you need meat, grab it from the freezer and put it in the fridge to defrost Then it’ll be ready for you to cook tomorrow. (Unless it’s a turkey…then make sure you take it out several days in advance…not that I’m speaking from experience or anything… :D)
Reviewing your meal plan also helps you get breakfast on the table. When you know what you’re cooking, you know about how long it takes to prepare.
Then you can make sure to start it at the right time.
5. Check Your Calendar
What’s on your agenda tomorrow? Do you know if you need to be anywhere at a certain time?
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 on time.
But, this experience taught me to check the calendar every night. I look for appointments or meetings. I take note of my freelance writing due dates.
Knowing what’s on the agenda helps you prioritize tasks the next morning when you hold a morning meeting.
Your Plan of the Day becomes more accurate. And knowing what to expect improves your productivity! There are no surprises!
6. Print What You Need Tomorrow
Is there anything you need to print for the next day? Any planning sheets or homeschool materials?
Do your kids need new 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 that evening. Otherwise I forget. Until my kids are staring at me asking me where such and such is.
Then I have to print it on their schedule and not mine…
By printing out the night before, my kids aren’t waiting for me during the day. It helps everyone improve their productivity!
7. Pick a Topic to Sleep On
Right before you shut down your computer for the evening, spend a few moments reviewing your upcoming blog post topics.
Look over your outlines or any blog post ideas you have in the works.
Then, pick one to focus on. Reread it and think about it for three or four minutes, doing some think time.
Then you can let your brain do its thing.
I call this sleeping on the topic, 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.
8. Spend Some Time Relaxing & Unplugged
You need time to relax.
Some nights I work later than I’d like. Life happens.
But, whenever possible unplug and spend time relaxing before you go to sleep.
This time is not frivolous. It helps you unwind, and give your brain (and body) a rest.
I enjoy 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!
9. Get to Bed at a Decent Hour
This is the number one thing you can do at night to improve your productivity tomorrow.
Get some sleep!
Your brain processes and rests when you sleep. It’s like rebooting your computer. It needs done.
When you don’t get enough sleep, you risk spending 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.
Start to Improve Your Productivity By Slowly Adding to Your Evening Routine
I encourage you to make a list of what works best for you and your family. See which of these nine tasks will be good additions to your evening routine. Slowly start implementing them – one at a time.
That way you don’t get burned out trying to overhaul everything all at once!
And, if you want some additional help with your evenings, I highly recommend Crystal Paine’s class: Make Over Your Evenings.
Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.