Most people wake up to a blaring alarm, hit the snooze button a few too many times, scramble to get ready, and fight rush hour traffic all the way to work. And while you may think this is normal, the fact is that you can have a much more peaceful morning if you give your nightly routine a bit more thought.
Do These 5 Things Every Weeknight
As humans, we naturally compartmentalize our lives. It’s how we make sense of the reality that time is constantly ticking. It’s why we’ve created things like minutes, hours, days, weeks, quarters, years, workweeks, weekends, etc. By fitting time into these neat little categories, we’re able to gain a feeling of control over the uncontrollable.
Unfortunately, the arbitrary division of time gives us the illusion of separation. This is most obvious in the way we approach individual days. It’s why people say things like, “I’m going to get a fresh start tomorrow,” when there isn’t any such thing as a fresh start. What you did yesterday impacts today, just as what you do today impacts tomorrow.
Having said that, you need to be cognizant of how your nightly routine will impact your morning. Here are some positive things you can do to make your “tomorrow” easier.
1. Get Quality Sleep
Did you know that a restorative night’s sleep should involve five cycles – or 7.5 hours of quality slumber? If you aren’t getting this much sleep, then chances are pretty high that you’re physically and mentally under-prepared for the day. According to a post on InsideBedroom an average person takes 7 minutes to fall asleep. If you are having too much difference in this time, you may have sleep a disorder. As a rule of thumb, look at your ideal wake-up time and then count back 8 hours. Since it’ll take you a little while to settle in and fall asleep, this is your recommended bedtime.
2. Watch Your Diet
One of the worst things you can do is go to bed on a full stomach. While you might think it helps you sleep, it actually has an inverse effect. When your stomach is full, your body has to focus on digestion, which takes away its ability to repair and rejuvenate the body’s cells (which is supposed to happen during sleep). For best results, eat dinner three to four hours before bedtime and plan to have a healthy, substantial breakfast in the morning.
3. Limit Alcohol Consumption
It’s okay to have an occasional beer or glass of wine at night, but don’t make it a habit. Alcohol helps you unwind and relax, but it’s a myth that it helps you sleep better. While it may help you fall asleep, it limits your ability to reach the deeper stages of sleep that your body needs in order to be restored.
4. Get Organized
The more organized you can get the night before, the easier it’ll be to fall asleep and wake up feeling ready to tackle the day. Some things you might consider doing at night include selecting your outfit, preparing your breakfast, packing your briefcase, and planning your morning workout.
5. Set Goals
Entrepreneur Kat moon suggests setting three MIT’s – or most important tasks – before hitting the hay. This provides clarity for the following day and ensures you always have a purpose. It may even be helpful to write down these tasks and stick them on your bedside table so that you can glance at them when you turn off the alarm.
Prioritize Productivity Around the Clock
Productivity needs to be a focus, regardless of what you’re doing or where you are. Just because you’re at home enjoying a Monday night, doesn’t mean you can ignore how the decisions you make will impact your performance at work the following day. Be smart with your time and put yourself in a position to be successful.