In this article, you will learn what are the top 3 common evening routines elements of the most productive people.
I am Lisa Lam and my goals are to help you discover new ways to develop your skills, challenge perceptions and share experiences that you can learn from to enhance your everyday. To find out more, check out lisalamcoach.com.
We are currently in the Productivity Series which as the theme suggests, we are going to be covering all things related to productivity ranging from routines, methods, tools, techniques, habits and of course my personal experiences.
Why bother with being more productive or just to be productive? The simple answer is that we want to be able to accomplish more. We want to leave behind some sort of impact or footprint. No one wants to just live to exist, but we all want to live a life that mattered. It is like the age-old question “What do you want your tombstone to say about you?” No one wants it to just say… Was Here.
As part of the journey to make a difference and be of significance, we must be able to manage the most precious resource that each of us has and that is time. Time is finite and therefore the only thing that we are able to do is to control the things that we are able to get done within the finite resource of time. To be more effective and productive matters.
To be clear, to be productive does not mean that you have to fill up every second of the day with “work” or that every piece of work that you do has to be of great impact or significance. It does mean that we know how and what we are doing with the time that we do have. Whatever we are doing, we are making the most out of it.
One could argue that the start of the day or the morning routine is the most important. However, just like the chicken and egg question, some would argue that the evening routine is where it all begins. Why? Well, you can start the day right if you end the day right.
Let’s take a look at the top 3 common evening routine elements of highly successful people. Just do a simple search on Google and you will find tons of articles and research on this topic.
Let me summarise the top 3 common elements that each of these routines have and they are:
1. Down time.
2. Renew or recharge.
3. Journal and Plan.
Let’s break each one down to see how you could apply it into your evening routine.
Down time is meant to help you to take a break from your day. It also literally means time to put down the day and what your role or job requires of you. You might have heard terms such as unplug, unwind, chill, relax and so on. They all describe and aim to achieve the same thing which is time that is separate from your work.
One of the best ways to do that is to physically remove the tangible items that you have been using throughout the day. The most common are devices, whether these devices are your mobile phones, tablets, computers, tools that you use for your work and so on. The end of the day is meant for you to separate yourself from the day for you to get the rest that you need.
Renew or recharge.
I have no doubt that during the day it was full on, nonstop activities, meetings, troubleshooting, problem solving, and the list goes on. Work that is both draining on your mind and physical body. You need to rest, to renew and to recharge before the next day. Just like any device, at the end of the day you need to plug it into a power source to recharge it. You need to do the same for all your 4 energy buckets namely the body, mind, emotion and spirit.
Some common renew or recharge activities that people do are:
- Physical activities that get the heart rate up. You might hit the gym, HIIT, cross fit, tennis, running and the list is endless.
- More relaxing activity such as reading a book or painting or playing a musical instrument of your choice and even playing computer games.
- mindfulness or meditation or prayer time.
The activity itself is not the important element but that you do spend some time to renew and recharge your body, mind, emotions and spirit. Remember, you cannot be running or be on the go all the time. There will come a point where you will need to stop and this comes as a choice that you make or your mind, body, emotions and spirit will make the choice for you. None of us want to get to the point of a burned out, but that is exactly where you would be headed for if you do not take the time to renew and recharge and care for your 4 energy buckets. The best way to not be productive is to run your down.
Journal and Plan.
Journaling is a great way to help your review, reflect and assess your day. This is the habit where you will list down all your wins, what went well, what could have gone better, what you would do differently, what you are proud of, what you are grateful and thankful for. End the day with a journaling habit. I am sure that you have heard of a grateful journal and how powerful it can be. I personally have one and I find that it is extremely powerful as it reminds me that no matter what sort of a day I have had, it is never as bad as I imagined it to be. There is always something to be thankful for. I just need to look for it. This is a mindset game changer.
Along with journaling, you are able to plan the next day as well. When you are writing out the day, you should write down all the ideas, the to-do list, the questions that you need to find answer to and so on for what you want to do the next day. This is a great time to just capture all the list from your brains to paper.
When your eyes are able to see and read the items, it is a physical representation of handing over the task to the next day. Remember, your brain is not a good list keeper. The more you capture your thoughts, the greater clarity you will have on what you need to do. More importantly it will help you sleep better and your mind is not racing in a million directions trying to remember and solve problems when you are in bed.
Let me summarise.
The common elements of the top 3 evening routines are:
1. Down Time. Time to set aside the day. Take a break or lay down what have you been doing throughout the day.
2. Renew and Recharge. Activities that are able to renew any or all 4 energy buckets. Activities that you enjoy and that you are able to sustain or do consistently.
3. Journal and Plan. Time to reflect, assess and literally write down your concerns, worries, to-do list, and identify what you are grateful and thankful for.
How could this all look in your evening routine?
- If you currently do not have any one of those elements, try incorporating it in. If you have never considered your 4 energy buckets of physical or body, mind or mental, emotions or creativity and spiritual, this could be a great starting place to think about which energy bucket needs to be renewed or recharged as you might been neglecting them.
- Take simple steps for example, do not be ambitious and sign up to the gym just because you now think that is what you need, but maybe try out walking around your neighbourhood. Take small simple steps. Don’t overwhelm or complicate the evening routine unnecessarily.
- Do what you enjoy and activities that you are able to sustain over a long period of time.
- Try out different things until you can settle on one or two that works for you.
Remember, I have given you elements that are part of the productive evening routines and not the routines itself to follow. The elements should guide you to what you might incorporate into your routines because it will need to work for you. How long or how much time you spend on each element is up to you. Adjust and vary to what suits you. The goal is to have an evening routine that will help you to be at your most productive for the majority of the time.
Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I hope that you have learned at least one thing that you are able to apply into your everyday life. As always, please subscribe, follow and share this with your friends. Take care and step into the everyday with purpose.