Life is busy. It sometimes feels impossible to get everything done in just 24 hours. With a full-time job, business and a blog on the side as well as a distance learning course, I’ve definitely had periods of feeling overwhelmed. I’m not perfect in the slightest but I have managed to create a morning and evening routine to make those hectic days a little more manageable.
Having a routine gives you an opportunity to make time for yourself and those little tasks that you keep putting off. They help you to make small rituals that you can look forward to and encourage you to momentarily break away from chaos.
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Before you create a routine, you need to visualize what your ideal day would look like. Think about what you currently do and what tasks you wish you had more time to complete and write them down. You can use this free printable I’ve made to help you:
It might not be realistic to stick to your routine every day depending on your plans but the important thing is that you have an outline of what your day is like so that you can plan ahead of time.
If you’re struggling for inspiration then this book is a brilliant eye-opener: Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind. It’s full of many interesting ideas and the summaries at the end of each chapter provide a useful action plan for increasing your creative productivity.
I’m going to start with evening routine first. If you can master your evening routine then you can set your mornings up for success. My evening routines are inspired by Crystal Paine’s Makeover Your Evenings course. It’s a 14-day course where each day’s lesson is designed to be completed in 15 minutes. I don’t know how I coped with my daily routine before I took this course. It literally changed my life!
FOLLOW THE CLEAN BOWL RULE
There is nothing that makes me feel more behind in the morning than walking into the kitchen to see last night’s dirty plates. It just sets the day up for disorganization. Even if you don’t have time to complete all of your household chores, try to make sure the kitchen is clean before you to go bed. Just washing the dishes and wiping down the sides can make a huge difference to your attitude and productivity.
PREPARE LUNCH AND LAY OUT CLOTHES
Pre-packing your lunch the night before can help to save early morning chaos. Preparing in advance can also encourage you to be more creative with your lunch options. Make homemade soup or a stir-fry and warm up at work. No more boring sandwiches! Take your productivity a step further and Plan Your Weekly Meals in advance.
Laying out your clothes the night before is also a huge time saver. Have you ever ran around in the morning to find that shirt you wanted to wear to find that it is still in the wash? Yup. Me too! Just spending 15 minutes to iron your clothes will save you a huge amount of stress in the morning.
EMPTY YOUR THOUGHTS
Your brain is overloaded with thoughts everyday and so it’s important to write them down at the end of the day. Spend some quality time with your planner/journal and think about what tasks you need to complete tomorrow. If already know what tomorrow will bring then you can go to bed feeling a lot more prepared. Organizing your thoughts before you to go bed will help to clear your brain for a good nights sleep!
Morning routines can be boring. No one wants to get out of bed early! But embracing a morning ritual is perfect for having a productive day. Like my evenings, my morning routine is also inspired by Crystal Paine’s Makeover Your Mornings Course. It made me realize that by changing small things in my routine, I was able to start each day fully energized and surprisingly more productive.
DON’T HIT SNOOZE!
Choose a time to wake up and tell yourself that the snooze button isn’t an option. Once you’ve been woken by your alarm, falling asleep again has the potential to cause lethargy and grogginess. Forget your phone alarm and buy a proper alarm clock. Put it in the next room so that when it goes off you have no choice but to get out of bed.
Exercising in the morning is a great way to get the blood flowing. You don’t have to go all out on a 5k run, just spending 10-15 minutes doing some stretches or walking the dog is enough to wake your body up. The benefits of exercising in the morning can linger throughout the day. It gets your endorphins going so that you’re more awake and ready to tackle the day.
SET ONE GOAL
Establish just one clear goal daily and write it down. Writing down your goals makes you significantly more likely to achieve them. Your goal can be something as simple as ‘eat a healthy lunch’ or ‘write a blog post’. Add reminders to your phone to remind yourself to focus on your goal.
If you don’t manage to focus on other tasks, as long as you have completed your one daily goal then you can go to bed feeling like you have accomplished something.
Download and use FREE printable planner to help create a productive morning and evening routine.