Usually, productivity hacks are all about getting the most out of your mornings. And yes, a great morning routine does help with productivity. However, there are a variety of evening routines to increase productivity as well. Creating a few new evening habits can help you sleep better, lead you to wake up feeling energized, and set the stage for a much more productive day.
1. Get Excited for the Day Ahead
Getting rid of stress and anticipation for the day ahead helps you relax and sleep better. That’s often why gratitude journaling is recommended before bed. This helps you create a more positive view. But what if you created excitement for what’s coming when you wake up?
One of the easiest evening routines that will increase productivity is simply writing down what you’re excited for. At first, it may be hard to think of something to write down, but it doesn’t have to be a big thought. Think about anything that brings you joy, which has been found to positively affect your brain, circulatory system, and nervous system.
By writing down several things you’re excited for, you feel less dread for the next day. This relaxes your mind and helps you wake up feeling more energized since you have something to look forward to.
2. Practice Bedtime Yoga
Yoga can be a great way to greet the day, but it’s also perfect for bedtime. Every pose serves a specific purpose. Choosing the right bedtime yoga routine helps release stress, calm your mind, and get the rest you need. Better sleep equals more energy, focus, and productivity.
You don’t need to be extremely flexible to practice yoga before bed. You can even do the poses in bed if you want. The following are ideal routines to try to sleep better and feel more productive when you wake up:
- Shape.com’s Yoga for Sleep
- CNN’s 5-Minute Yoga for Sleep Routine
- SilverSneakers.com’s 4-Minute Bedtime Yoga
- DoYouYoga’s Perfect Bedtime Yoga Sequence
3. Read Something Interesting
Daily reading has been proven to help boost productivity, so why not make it part of your evening routine? However, skip over the self development, productivity, and business books. These can actually hurt your sleep quality. Save more technical books for your morning or daytime routines.
Instead, read something fun or interesting. It should be a topic you really enjoy, not just something educational. If you love fiction, indulge in a great sci-fi novel. Love non-fiction? Dive into a great biography and forget your problems as you read about someone else’s life.
Whatever truly makes you happy, read it. Just skip over the news, blog posts, social media, and other things that may frustrate you more than help you relax.
4. Create a Tech-Free Period
For many, this may be one of the hardest evening routines, yet it will increase productivity. It involves putting away your phone. Dr. Harneet Walia, a sleep disorders specialist, recommends turning off your phone or at least putting it away one hour before bed.
If you’re afraid of missing an emergency call from a family member or friend, set a do not disturb period on your phone to only allow calls and texts from certain contacts. This silences all other notifications and apps, though you can allow individual apps.
Staring at your phone keeps your mind active and stressed, especially with endless scrolling through news and social media. The blue light also hurts melatonin production, further hurting your sleep. Finally, Dr. Walia says your phone can delay REM sleep, which is the deep restorative sleep your body and mind need.
Ideally, stay away from your phone, tablet, and computer at least an hour before bed. This also means not working, as this is a time for you to relax.
5. Plan Your Day
A common reason you can’t sleep is trying to remember everything you need to do the next day. Clear your brain by planning your day before you go to bed. This is one of the most popular evening routines to increase productivity.
You can even plan out your outfit, breakfast, and more the night before. This leaves you more time in the mornings without feeling stressed and rushed.
6. Have Fun
Do something you truly enjoy. But, try to skip your phone if possible. Instead, pick up a fun hobby. You don’t have to do the same thing every evening, either. Watch a favorite TV show or movie one evening. Make your favorite dessert another night. Play an instrument. Dance around the living room.
Whatever you really enjoy, do it. Even if you only spend 30 minutes, set aside this time for you. This helps your brain relax and stop focusing on work, worries, and other obligations. It’s just about you having fun and winding down.
Try several or all of these evening routines to increase productivity. You may just find you sleep better and don’t spend every day feeling groggy and grumpy.
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