8 Productive Habits To Try In Your Evening Routine

A bed covered in fairy lights, with a bedside table that has candles and a faux plant

After a long day at work, I am sure that you would like to go home, sit on the sofa and watch the TV shows you love. It can be really easy to waste hours watching TV or movie before bed, but it isn’t very productive and you could put some of the time to better use. Night routines are not popular as sticking to a routine isn’t always easy especially at night after a whole day at work.

Here is a night time checklist that you can refer to when creating your routine to ensure that you are productive as well as relaxing in the evenings.

1. Spend Time With Your Family

At the end of the day when you get home, you should first relax and unwind. Spending time with your family can be a nice way to unwind and reconnect after a long day.

Ending your day by spending time with love ones can be a great way to cheer you up after a stressful day and end your day on a positive note. This could take the form of: eating dinner, playing a game, watching a film or an evening out together; all these ways will have a positive impact on how you are feeling.

2. Clean Up

After snoozing your alarm clock and getting out of bed, the last thing you want to see is a sink full of dishes or clothes all over your bedroom floor – it is frustrating! Just spending 15 minutes each evening doing a quick tidy up will mean that you wake up to clear spaces and will not be starting the day off on a negative step. Cluttered space can mean a cluttered mind, so going to sleep with a cluttered space increases your chances of a bad night’s sleep. Therefore, make sure that you feel refreshed in the morning by clearing up around you!

3. Prepare Your Outfit And Pack For The Next Day

A simple way to feel more productive at night is to get your clothes ready for the next day. This will save you some valuable time in the morning and also eliminate stress when trying to figure out what to wear. Once you have planned your outfit, you should also pack for tomorrow as this is like doing your future self a favour. You can prepare yourself as much as possible, so making sure that you have all the papers you need such as your diary and to-do list, packing your lunch, or even getting your gym bag ready is essential. Many people often skip breakfast when rushing in the morning, which is really bad for your focus throughout the day. Make sure to prepare some healthy food ready for the morning and perhaps start taking morning supplements (check out the Morning Complete reviews to get started) to really set you up for the day!

Taking these small steps will decrease your chances of forgetting something the next day and will prevent you from being stressed before you leave the house. Waking up you will feel less stressed if you know that you don’t have lots of tasks to do before you leave the house.

A pair of blue denim jeans, a white shirt, a red and white striped top and a pair of red shoes laid out on the bed

Photo by Junko Nakase on Unsplash

4. Write Your To-Do List For The Next Day

Remember what Benjamin Franklin said ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail.’

Looking at your to-do list from your day can help you to create your to-do list for the next day, transferring your incomplete tasks to the following day. Taking a few minutes to write the tasks that you want to complete the following day will save you time. Instead of working out what you need to do on the day, you can just start cracking on with the tasks. To-do lists are a great method of organisation that can enable you to achieve your goals.

Read: 7 easy ways to write a better to-do list

5. Write In Your Journal

Writing in a journal in the evening helps you put the day to bed. When you write, it is a chance to evaluate the day, for you to accept what has happened (even if it was a bad day) and then for you to let it go. Writing down your thoughts helps you to clear your head, give yourself some perspective and a chance for reflection.

The practise of journaling helps us to slow down, be calm and give you clarity on challenges you may be facing. Journaling before bed can decrease distractions, overthinking and worry which allows you to fall asleep faster. In your journal, you can practise gratitude with the use of prompts and sharing what you are grateful for. People who regularly practise gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect on the things they are thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more kindness and even have stronger immune systems!

Read: How to set up a gratitude journal in 4 easy steps

6. ‘Get Unready’

In your productive night routine, you need to have an ‘unready’ routine. This will include taking off your make up, running a bath or have a shower, practise a good skincare regime, putting on your nightwear and so on. This vital step in your evening routine is not only essential for hygiene, but it will start to signal to your brain that you’re getting ready for bed. You will then start to relax and it will help you to fall asleep more easily.

7. Wind Down

When you have a productive night routine, it doesn’t mean you need to be productive right up until you get into bed. You must give yourself enough time to wind down and relax. You could try lighting a candle or burning essential oils to create a calming atmosphere. Doing a 5 minute meditation or body scan will help to focus your breathing. Chances are you have had a busy and maybe a stressful day too, with lots to think about. Therefore, you can take this time to disconnect from your thoughts and be mindful.

Read: 6 mindful activities you should practise

Woman laying on her back with her legs resting on a pillow on a bed. She is reading a book.

Photo by Amanda Vick on Unsplash

8. Get Into Bed And Sleep At The Same Time Consistently

Keeping a regular sleep schedule, even on the weekends, is important because it maintains the timing of the body’s internal clock and will mean that you fall asleep and wake up more easily. Research has shown that going to bed at the same time is vital to your overall wellbeing.

These are some simple yet productive habits that you should try and introduce into your night routine that will prepare you for the next day as well as ending your day on a positive and productive note. You just need to find the right habits for you.

What regular habits do you practise in the evenings? I’d love to hear in the comments.

66 thoughts on “8 Productive Habits To Try In Your Evening Routine

  1. These are great tips you have mentioned here! I work long hours as an HR manager during the day while caring for my 4-month old daughter so my evening routine is sacred to me. I typically write in the evenings, clean up, review my planner, and spend time with my husband before knocking out on the couch with him as we watch tv together. He stays up later than I do so once he is ready to go to bed, he helps me to the room while I’m half asleep.

  2. Oh gosh! I do neither of these. I use to when I was working from the office but ever since working from home I’ve found myself in a slump! But I’m going to try to regularly incorporate in this in my evening routine. The problem is I just end up on my phone!

  3. Great list Lauren! I think an evening routine is just as important as a morning one. I agree that tidying up is important, so I always like to make sure the dishes are done and everything is packed away. Also I always get all my stuff ready the night before too, it just makes things easier in the morning the next day! Thank you for sharing xx

  4. Thank you for sharing! I always write my to do list the night before now, and it’s so helpful 🙂 thank you so much for these tips, I have been trying to improve my night and morning routine lately x

  5. Getting unready is the highlight for me, never thought of the concept before! Thanks for sharing these amazing routine add-ons, Lauren. Would definitely consider implementing them.

  6. I’m still working on getting the right night routine for me needs so this is really helpful. I love the idea of getting unready, as it completely makes sense and are all things that we need to be doing anyway. I find that if I don’t spent a good 20 minutes before bed unwinding then I have a difficult time falling asleep.

  7. These are great ideas! I like reading and writing during my afternoon. Before bed I will have a hot shower and listen to instrumental music.

  8. love all these suggestions for a night routine. i love laying out my outfit / work attire on my chair for the next morning. it helps me get out the door quicker the next day. i also love the first one of spending time with family. after a long day at work, it’s nice to spend quality time with people.

  9. Ooh fab tips here! I definitely find that coming home and spending time with loved ones after a long day is exactly what I need, and preparing for the following day through prepacking and to do lists is super useful too! Thank you so much for sharing x

  10. Well, I work from home, so that helps. After reading this, I’m feeling a tad guilty about my television time in the evenings, but just a tad! 😅 I do try to tidy up the kitchen before bed because staring at a kitchen that’s still a mess from the previous night’s dinner is not a pleasant thing to see first thing in the morning. I light candles frequently and try to stay off my computer and phone for a bit before bed, though I don’t always succeed. And going to bed at roughly the same time really helps me. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Never feel guilty, that switching off time is productive for your mental health. To be able to relax and switch off work work. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  11. Great tips! My wind-down routine is so important to me. It makes all the difference in how fast I can get to sleep at night. And I love that you refer to getting “unready”. That’s a cute way of thinking about it! Thanks for sharing this post.

  12. Great tips. I always write my to-do list for the following day the night before so then as soon as I’m done, I don’t need to think about it and can focus on winding down and enjoying my evening.

  13. So true! Such a good list of healthy evening habits. It really is so important we give ourselves that time to unwind and prepare for rest, then actually REST. Great post!

  14. Great list. The one night routine I have to do is tidy up before heading to bed, I hate coming into the kitchen in the morning to dishes in the sink or crumbs on the counter and a bag full of garbage still from the night before. I also like writing my to do list for the next day at night. Great post Lauren xo

    1. I love this list, its so important to get organised the night before it makes you feel ahead of the game! To add to the clean up I normally do a speed tidy. I set a time for 20 mins and see how much tidying I can get done 😊

  15. Wonderful tips! I do most of these. I also lay out my breakfast, put the coffee pod and travel coffee mug next to the coffee maker, and fill the coffee maker with water. It makes my morning so much easier and less stressful! 🙂

  16. Great tips, I do few of these things. I work 8-5pm, get home 6-7pm and I start preparing the clothes I would wear the next day.

  17. now that i have started to go to office in person, i really need to have better evenings. one thing i want to make a habit is getting my outfit and bag ready as you said. it would lessen the work for the next morning and reduce my “getting ready” time.

  18. Great tips! Preparing and packing for the next day makes a huge difference! Especially if you’re not a morning person, it makes it so much easier and saves time. To-do lists are so helpful! I tend to forget certain things, so having them written down takes the pressure off of trying to remember what I was supposed to do. Thanks for sharing!

  19. I need to get into a better night time routine to help me sleep bc I always feel better when I do but night time procrastination is real! Ugh. Anyway love the post and I really should be doing better! 😂😂 Xoxo

  20. I an definitely see the benefit of a routine for everyone in the family. I have one (sort of) for my child, but not one for myself. When I used to work outside the home, I would often write my ‘to-do’ list for the following day before heading home. It allowed me to relieve myself of the constant hamster wheel of thought and connection to my job. It was also nice to know right away what I needed to tackle when I got to the office. Very good tips here.

    ~ Cassie | letsgrowmom.com

  21. You’ve shared some great tips here lovely! I love spending time with my family in the evening, I really do think it’s important to spend time together & treasure those moments. There’s defiantly a benefit to winding down in the evening also, I love relaxing and feeling calm after a hectic day. Thank you so much for sharing Xo

    Elle – ellegracedeveson.com

  22. These are all amazing tips! I already do some of them like unwinding before bed and taking time to do my skincare and read instead of scrolling on my phone. I still find it hard to sleep at the same time though!

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