If you aren't a morning person, you know the struggle of getting yourself out of the house before a certain time. Whether you're commuting to work or trying to make your 8 a.m. class, simply showing up on time can be the hardest part of the day.
And if you're so focused on being punctual, forget trying to accomplish small tasks like eating breakfast or packing lunch for the day. Who else can relate to the feeling of driving 20 minutes before realizing you've left your lunch or gym bag at home? It certainly isn't a positive realization.
Rushing out of your house forces you to start your day on the wrong foot, and it creates a great deal of unnecessary anxiety on a daily basis. Not only does it increase the likelihood that you'll forget important things, but if it causes enough stress, it can also be hazardous to your health.
The easiest way to fix this problem? Adopt a nightly routine.
By preparing for the following day ahead of time, you'll alleviate so much of the pressure that comes with starting your day. Most of us shower and complete a basic hygiene routine in the evening, as it's one less thing to worry about in the morning.
But adding other important tasks to your nightly to do list can be majorly beneficial to your productivity and wellbeing.
If you choose your outfit the night before, you have no reason to spend a half hour just trying things on the next day. Preparing meals in advance can also be a huge help. No one wants to start cooking breakfast and lunch at 6 a.m., but most of us can make time to do so the night before (or even several nights before).
For some extra morning ease, you can even brew your coffee before you go to sleep. All you'll have to do is heat it up or add ice the following day and dump it in a to-go cup. You'll wake up faster, and you'll have less on your plate. What's better than that?
If you need to pack for classes or the gym, the prime time to do this would be during your new evening routine. Otherwise, it's too easy to forget the essentials that keep you meeting your daily goals.
And your routine doesn't solely need to be about preparation. You can also add activities geared toward winding down. Reading a book or learning meditation techniques will help you relax, and relaxation is key if you want to have energy in the morning.
These are just some examples of how you can revamp and revitalize your bedtime routine, but the possibilities are vast. And every little bit will help increase your daily productivity and decrease your stress levels.
Hell, your routine may even allow you to get more sleep. We all need that.
So make a list of things you have trouble with in the morning, and plan your new routine around those. Once you've identified the tasks that need to be transferred to your nighttime schedule, you can start building your regimen.
Of course, you might have to implement each task slowly at first. Dumping all of this on yourself every night could become overwhelming and cause you to drop the idea altogether. Habits take time, and we should adopt them gradually.
But once you do master your evenings, you'll be one step closer to conquering your daily schedule. And that's a great feeling.