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Try One of These Nighttime Routines for a Better Morning

Try One of These Nighttime Routines for a Better Morning

Whether it is a new year or you just want to make a fresh start, improving your habits can start with your nighttime routine. Most people have a morning routine even if they don’t realize it. You may get up every morning and brush your teeth, drink a cup of coffee and grab a smoothie on your way out the door.

If this routine starts your morning on the right foot and brings you peace of mind, then slipping into a nighttime routine may be as easy. If you are living life sans any routines and feel overwhelmed, then the following nighttime routines may be just the change you should consider.

Tips for Improving Your Morning at Night

The following are 10 tips you can start this evening for a better night’s sleep and a smoother tomorrow. You don’t have to do them all — just pick one to start:

1. Spend a Few Minutes Preparing for Your Morning

The best time to prepare for a busy morning is the night before. Spend a few minutes gathering items you need for work, laying out an outfit with shoes and packing your lunch.

Having everything you need in the morning sitting near the door can relieve the early morning panic of not finding your keys.

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2. Make Your Bed Look Inviting

One of the reasons you may find it difficult to go to bed at a decent hour is because your bed does not appear inviting. Take the time to change the sheets on a regular basis and maybe add a few extra pillows to make it seem a little more luxurious.

Also, in the mornings before you get dressed, make your bed. You’ll be more excited to get into it and relax and night.

3. Review Your Top Priorities

Before winding down for the night, check your planner or calendar for your top three priorities for the next day and write them down. Reviewing them the night before reduces the risk of you forgetting something important.

It also helps keep your brain from operating in overdrive and becoming overwhelmed with a never-ending to-do list. You definitely don’t need that before bed.

4. Draw a Line between Work and Home

Making a smooth transition between your work life and your home life is easier than you may think. It could mean spending an hour at the gym working up a sweat after work before you head home in the evening. You could change from your work clothes as soon as you come home into more casual attire — or even your favorite pajamas. You can also try listening to an audiobook on your commute home or engaging in a favorite hobby before dinner.

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No matter what helps you disconnect from work, doing so will give you a break from the grind — and make your time, as well as that of those around you, more pleasant.

5. Relax With Your Family

As much as you may love your career and other responsibilities, making time to relax with your children and/or significant other before bedtime will create strong family bonds.

For example, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, leaves her office at the same time every day to ensure she makes her children a priority in her day.

6. Make Your Bedroom Device-Free

In 2014, an estimated 75% of children and 89% of adults had at least one electronic device in their bedrooms. Yikes.

Electronic devices interfere with your production of melanin, your body’s natural chemical that regulates your circadian rhythm and tells you it’s time for sleep. If you’re up until the wee hours of the morning checking your social media on your smartphone, it’s going to be hard to face the morning.

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If possible, keep your phone on the charger in another room and remove devices like the television. This keeps your room solely for sleep and intimate activities.

7. Take a Bubble Bath

One way to relax after a long and stressful day is with a bath. You can add bubble bath mix or essential oils to the water for a scented soak.

Gwyneth Paltrow swears by her nightly bathing ritual of soaking in Epsom salts and rubbing essential oils on her pressure points to help her wind down after a hectic day.

8. Reflect on Your Day by Journaling

Benjamin Franklin used to ask himself, “What good did I do today?” This question was the Founding Father’s way of reflecting on his day and on what went well and what he could do better the next day.

Assessing your day can help you keep track of where you are with your goals, and it can help you develop a deeper understanding of your thoughts and emotions. You can also take it one step further and write down what you’re grateful for. Gratitude can improve your physical and mental health as well as self-esteem — and yes, it can even help you sleep better. Win.

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9. Slip Into Another World Through Books

If you are not quite ready to slip under the sheets, consider slipping into another world through books. Many successful people, like Bill Gates and Arianna Huffington, make it a point to unwind with a good read before they hit the hay.

Whether it’s a fiction novel, a steamy romance, the newspaper or even a non-fiction book about a particular topic, reading can help your mind disconnect from the day — meaning you’ll fall asleep easier and wake up more refreshed.

10. Keep a Consistent Bedtime

Pick a bedtime and stick to it. Once your body adjusts to the new time, you will find yourself ready for bed earlier and possibly falling asleep faster.

Ready to make your mornings better? Put these tips to use and get started — tonight.

Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via stocksnap.io

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Kayla Matthews

Productivity and self-improvement blogger

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Last Updated on October 15, 2019

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

Why we procrastinate after all

We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

So, is procrastination bad?

Yes it is.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

How bad procrastination can be

Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

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8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

Procrastination, a technical failure

Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

Reference

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