5 Tips to Elevate Your Evening Routine
With so much to do as moms, our days can be long and sometimes a little crazy! Finding ways to make our hours more productive, smoother and calmer, is something I think most moms strive for… some moms actually like the crazy! No judgement here…
One thing I have found is that a smooth, calm morning begins with a productive evening routine. Those end of the day hours, (for me, that’s the hours of 5 pm-9 pm) are great to focus and set yourself up for the next day, however, .the key to a productive evening routine is to be intentional with your time. Use those crucial end of the day hours to get specific with your time For instance, I know what time I will start dinner and eat with my children. I am specific about when the kiddos need to start getting settled for the night and everything else I feel is important, so I can go to bed feeling good and have a smooth, calm morning.
1. Plan and Prep for the next day.
I use my evenings to plan. Nothing elaborate, just simply checking my calendar, writing out what tasks I need to complete, what I would like to do the next day and think about what would be nice to do. I plan my days more reasonably in the evenings because I’m an early riser and morning person- without coffee- I know… Crazy right?! but seriously, I plan the next day in the evening because I will be more realistic when setting my goals and creating my to-do list, since I’m lower on energy at that time. Some other things you can do in your evening routine are:
Schedule your day. Write it out in your planner, on your family calendar or even on your digital calendar.
Make sure clothing planned match the weather and activities for the next day.
Pack your lunches or Prep them if you will have a day in.
Plan and prep meals for next day (breakfast and dinner)
Pack bookbags, diaper bags and anything else you need to bring out with you
Make or review your top tasks to focus on that directly connect to your bigger goals.
Load the car or place important bags/documents, etc. by the front door so you don’t forget them.
Race the clock and clean.
2. Race the clock and clean.
I’m a mom of five, and while I like to have a clean house, I don’t necessarily enjoy cleaning for long periods of time. In comes speed cleaning! This is the one thing that helps me clean up and give my home some love, even when I’m tired from a long day.
The trick is to set a timer for 15-20 minutes, and quickly clean a “hot spot” in your home. A “Hot Spot” is space that if you left it untouched, it would interfere with your morning. For me, my hot spots are the kitchen and living room. I like to wake up with these areas refreshed and free of dishes, toys, clutter and the mess of the day before. It also makes it easier to get breakfast done quickly.
Another key factor in this steps is to get help with this step. I’m not saying to hire a maid or cleaning service (even though that would be lovely), but an easy and affordable way to do this would be to include your children. My children all have age appropriate chores and “jobs” that contribute to the upkeep and function of our home. It’s not perfectly cleaned, but having 10 additional hands, definitely helps.
3. Take another step toward your big goal.
This tip is one of my favorites and one that I feel is very important. Many times as a mom, we tend to overlook our personal goals or we set them and forget them at the beginning of the year. However, including some time to work toward a big goal is one way to prioritize yourself and make sure you nurture yourself.
This step doesn’t have to take a long. Making time to do one thing that moves you closer to achieving one of your #MomLife goals, definitely boosts your mood and gives you a sense of fulfillment, even on the days when you don’t feel that great.
Depending on the day, I like to set aside 20 -30 minutes after the kiddos have gone to bed, and complete a big goal oriented task. I keep in mind that each task I complete and check off the list, is progress, no matter how small. I celebrate that fact and know that I will eventually reach that goal one step at a time.
4. Give yourself time to do something you enjoy.
This is another way to fit in some personal self-care time. As a proclaimed, “Self-Care Enthusiast for Moms” I must stress that doing something FOR yourself that you love and enjoy is a must! Think of it as your reward for completing your tasks or simply getting through the day if it was challenging.
This can be anything. A nice shower with essential oils and body scrubs, reading a book for entertainment, watching one of your favorite shows, chatting with a friend, Writing in a journal, mediation, having a bit of an indulgent dessert (cupcakes anyone?) .... Anything that would be a treat for you. <<Click here for more ideas>>
5. Have a firm bed time- for yourself!
That’s right mamas! There will always be more that you can do, or just one more episode, or just one more space to clean, but I implore you- set a bed time and go to bed at a time to guarantee yourself 7-8 hours of sleep.
Sleep is so important to help increase your health and energy. As busy moms, I know it can seem like a fantasy to get regular sleep, especially with young children, but being deliberate about a bedtime for yourself will help you with that, and is a great way to practice self-care without much thought. I find that when I make my daily schedule with sleep blocked out, that helps me to stay in the flow and get the rest my body needs.
Routines and systems are great ways to manage your time and home as a busy mom. They give structure and flow to your days, while still allowing flexibility. Your evenings can help you increase your productivity throughout the day, decrease stress, get the most important things done and have more time for things and people you love.
Do you have an evening routine? Leave a comment below and and share what you do for a productive evening and which of these tips you will incorporate.