Five Things to do Before You Go to Bed
One thing I have learned as an entrepreneur is that the more time I spend preparing for the day, the less time I spend in the mornings aimlessly doing nothing and then looking up at lunch, wondering where half my day has gone!
Working from home can be a very challenging thing for the easily distracted!
Working from can be a really challenging thing - especially at first when you are making a transition from a fixed workspace to the freedom of working from your couch, your coffee table, your dining room table, your.... [insert current environment here]. It takes a LOT of focus and a LOT of determination to be able to stick to a workspace when you have the ability to move around as you please!
One thing that continually distracted me while I was working from home was... well, my home! It was a constant struggle to not feel like I needed to make sure the house was clean since I was basically spending my whole day in it. It seemed like I was being irresponsible if I didn't put away the laundry or clean the dishes! So I decided to implement this simple little routine and dedicate 10 minutes of my evening each night to setting myself up for a fresh, immediate start to the day the following morning.
Here are the five things I do every night before I go to bed!
1. Start a load of laundry - You can almost walk into our house through our laundry room at any given time and see completely empty laundry baskets. I am sort of an obnoxious laundry nazi - I cannot stand to have dirty clothes piled up! So every night (or, every other night depending on how many clothes we have gone through) I pick up all the dirty clothes start a load with them. It helps that I do not separate any of my laundry. (GASP. I KNOW. Tip: your laundry is stupid folks. It does not know what it's being washed with!*) The load finishes while we sleep, and I throw it in the dryer when I leave to take Jett to school in the morning. I put it away as soon as I get home. Voila - all the laundry is done and I don't have to think about it for the rest of my work day!
2. Empty the sink of dishes - My husband helps a lot with this but I really enjoy the look of a clean kitchen at the end of the day! It is like having an exclamation point on the end of the day instead of an ellipses. It is closure for me when the kitchen is clean and it means that I don't wake up to dishes in the sink (or the possibility of ants in the sink - which we know can happen!) It takes less than 2 minutes to put dishes in the dishwasher and it is SO worth that tiny investment of time!
3. Tidy up the living space - Before we go in to our bedtime routine, one of Jett's responsibilities is that he cleans up all his toys before he gets his bath. Of course, this mostly means that he puts three toys away while Chris or I do the rest, but it also means that I don't have to worry about stepping on a lego in the dark hallway in the morning. Bonus: I'm teaching him a bit of responsibility and accountability for his toys. For some strange reason, he seems to think if he leaves his toys out, Rebel will pee on them... whatever works, right?
4. Make a to do list for the next day - I never go to bed without a general idea of what I need to finish up the following day either written in my calendar or on a mental list. Generally - the calendar works better for me. I am very much a pencil and paper type gal, and the satisfaction of getting to cross something off my list is unmatched! Rarely is it a detailed list. It is usually a very broad list of maybe the top two or three things I need to ensure get done the next day. That saves me lots of time in the morning - I already have an idea of what my day is bringing!
5. Know what you're having for dinner - I meal plan each Friday (you can read more about my method here) so I always "know" what we are having for dinner. But before I go to bed I check the notepad on the fridge to see what is on the menu and pull anything out of the freezer that I need to. I usually cook dinner, or at least the bulk of it, early on in the day so having everything I need to hand is helpful!
As soon as I implemented those five things to my nightly routine, it really did help me be more productive the next day, as I had eliminated several things from my mental to-do list already! What are five things you could do to mentally prepare the following day? Share your ideas in the comments below!
* I do make sure that for the first few times, dark colored clothing gets washed on its own to minimize the risk of bleeding. I also wash everything on cold, which helps immensely! Please don't call the laundry police on me!