Did you know that you can improve your productivity by doing these 10 simple tasks the night before?
It sounds too easy to be true, but it’s not. These 10 simple tasks to do before 10 pm combined with these 8 things to do before 8 am will set you up for success before your second cup of coffee in the morning. These systems will both help improve your productivity, but also will help you stay sane in the midst of crazy seasons in life.
Is it easy? No. It’s hard to discipline and train yourself to adopt new life systems. Is it worth it? Totally.
Need someone to walk you through making over your evenings? It’s okay to ask for help! Crystal from Money Saving Mom has you covered! She created a 14-day video course to help you make over your evenings because a successful day starts the night before.
Here’s how to increase your productivity by working smarter and not harder, in no particular order.
Improve Your Productivity with 10 Simple Tasks to Complete Before 10 PM
1. Unplug. I know this one is especially hard for entrepreneurs. There is nothing that can’t wait until tomorrow. Two hours before you go to bed, there should be no screens. Have you noticed that the more time you spend on your laptop or phone at night, the more awake you feel? All of a sudden it is midnight and you don’t feel tired at all. That’s because the blue light emitted by your screens is blocking the production of melatonin, the chemical that tells your body it’s time for bed. You can leave the ringer on for emergency phone calls, but everything else needs to wait until the morning.
2. Journal. Write down one to three things that you are thankful for from the day. Gratitude journals help remind us of the little things we have to be thankful for. Had we not taken the time to write them down, they might have been missed.
3. Read a real book before bed. Since the blue light prohibits sleep, reading a real book is best. Ask your friends for their suggestions of great books to add to your reading list. Look at book lists from your favorite blogger. Do a search for books on certain topics and make your list from there. You’ll have a list of books to read before you know it.
4. Brain Dump. I mention this in 8 things to do before 8 am, and it’s crucial. Don’t think about what to write or try to organize it. Yet. Write down everything that you need to get done, everything that you want to get done, all the phone calls you need to make, all the emails you need to write, EVERYTHING needs to be written on that paper. From there, you can prioritize your to-do list.
5. Clean up after dinner. I am less productive in the mornings when I have to spend valuable time cleaning up from the night before. We clear the dishes off the table after dinner and load them in the dishwasher. We spray the table and wipe it down, sweep under the table, and make sure all the dishes are out of the sink. Sorting through the paper clutter on the counters also takes place during this time when it needs to. By staying on top of the paper clutter and having a clean kitchen before I go to bed, I can get up and hit the ground running.
6. Make sure all the laundry is folded and put away. Again, I know it sounds trivial. But it’s not. Mountains of laundry weigh on us. You might not even realize it. When you do one load of laundry from start to finish, laundry becomes manageable again. There isn’t a mountain of laundry staring at you everywhere you go. Even with our family of six, this works. I promise.
7. Already have your clothes picked out for the next day. While this seems trivial, it requires brain power to think about what you’re going what you’re going to wear. How many times have you stood in front of your closet, staring at your clothes? That time is precious. Pare down your wardrobe, choose clothes that make you happy, and the choice will be easy. By paring down decisions, you already have a jump on things for the next day!
8. Spend time with Your Family. For some, this is a no-brainer. For others, you have to make an effort. Make a list of the things your children always ask you to do that you don’t want to do. Maybe they always ask you to sit on the floor and play a board game with them, to cook in the kitchen with you, for you to read their favorite book to them, to lay next to them while they drift off to sleep. Sometimes it’s hard to say yes to those things. Here’s something to remember: they wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t important to them. Consider having a “yes” day once a month where they make reasonable requests and you say yes to those requests.
9. Evaluate your day. Dream for the future. Ask yourself what worked and what didn’t. What went surprisingly well? What could you do better tomorrow? What are your goals? Where do you want to be in five years? Are you on the right track or do you need to make a detour? If you continue living life one day at a time without direction, you’ll never make it to your dream goals. Live your life with intention.
10. Get 7+ hours of sleep. By nature, I’m a night owl. But when I stay up until 2 am working on projects, I’m useless at 6 am when I get up to knock out my morning list. When I go to bed by 10 pm to get up at 6 am, life is brighter. I can think clearly. I can enjoy my coffee in silence. I don’t wake up feeling behind on life. It’s glorious when it happens.
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Pare Down Your Decisions
If you remember nothing else, remember this: pare down your decisions. Decision-making fatigue is real. Pare down your wardrobe. Meal planning at the first of the month. Create a routine that you don’t have to think about.
Creating these systems will help you be more productive and reach your goals.
What tasks do you make sure to get done every night before you go to bed to get a jump start on your day?