Let me paint a picture for you: I stop scrolling TikTok or completing crossword puzzles long enough to notice how late it is. I immediately hop up and walk Timber (usually when it’s way too dark). When we get back inside, I play with him for 5-10 mins, brush my teeth and wash my face, then go to bed. What’s missing? I didn’t pack my lunch, pull out my clothes, or do any other activities to help me get good rest or have a peaceful morning. In other words, this is not my best PM routine. Honestly, truly: My PM routine needs some WORK.
Not everything that needed to be pruned this month was external. A lot of it was internal as well. For me, that meant ending my excuses and getting my nighttime routine together. Here are 3 things to consider to build your best PM routine:
Now is not the time to abandon your planner! Pull out an insert, sticky note, or empty page and jot down a few goals and intentions for your pm routine. Here are some questions to help you identify your goals:
- What do you want to do?
- How do you want to feel?
- What activities can help you achieve these feelings?
- What do you need to block out for self-care?
It’s time to build your best PM routine! Some people are stringent and work on a particular schedule. Personally, I know that it takes me about 45 minutes for my evening routine from start to finish. That’s enough time for me to dance, listen to music, FaceTime a friend, read, and do other activities that bring me peace.
The key is to start from the time you want to be in bed counting sheep. Then work backward by estimating or calculating the time it takes you to complete the activities you identified in the first step. This exercise will help you identify when you need to start your routine.
Test and Try Again.
Like any experiment or new habit, you have to test and test. When you’re done testing, test again.
Don’t be afraid to make adjustments! If you find yourself rushing to complete your tasks, start earlier. Identify what’s not working and change it.
One key realization for me is that I need different routines for different workdays. I need to start earlier on Sunday nights because I have an 8:30 am meeting every Monday at work. Other days, like Thursday nights, I pretty much abandon my evening routine altogether because it’s Friday so who cares if I’m tired!
Regardless, I’m a firm believer that a good evening routine is key for a successful morning. (But if you’re looking to revamp your morning routine, check out The Morning Mentality series from 2020!)
What are some essential steps in your evening routine? If you want some ideas for nighttime activities in your routine, check out this article from Heathline!