Wednesday, January 29, 2020

5 Things to do Every Evening to Streamline Your Week

5 Things to do Every Evening to Streamline Your Week

Is it just me or does it seem like the week always starts off strong on Monday and then gradually declines into a hot mess by Friday? I'm not someone who hates Monday's because I love a fresh start or a new beginning, but I sometimes do struggle with the middle to end of the week as things start to fall apart and I often spend a lot of time over the weekend making up for it. Recently I've started keeping a little list that helps stay me organised and on top of things every single week. I'm not perfect and don't manage it every single day, but I'm getting better because every time I don't do these things after work I can feel the difference in the next day. We're all getting busier all the time with more commitments, but I find that doing just these five things every evening gets me ready for the following day. These tasks don't have to take a long time so it shouldn't be too overwhelming, but I find the more I do, the more ready to face the day I am when I wake up in the morning.

Food Prep

1. Food Prep
Nothing ruins a good day like not having food when you need it. My nightly food prep might involve no more than looking through my schedule and making a decision about what restaurants I'll go to for meals. It might involve actually prepping something for dinner the next day and making sure I have all the breakfast, lunch and snacks I need ready to go for my work day. On other days it's no more than simply knowing I prepped my lunch and snacks on the Sunday before, but taking something out of the freezer to thaw for dinner. It varies all the time, but I find the more organised and planned out I am for food every day, the more likely I am to eat well and enjoy meal times. When I'm prepared I don't skip meals as often or binge on as much junk food because I've got a well-planned approach.

LUSH Bath Bomb

2. Self Care
In the past I've been the worst about skipping things as basic as washing my face before bed and I know I'm not the only one. I try to prioritise a little self-care every evening whether it's just 5 minutes for a face wash & slapping on some moisturiser or a bit more time to take a hot bath, have a face and/or hair mask, stretch out, use a foam roller on my sore muscles, have a facial or massage or whatever. I would say that lately I probably average 2 or 3 hot baths a week, which has made such a difference in how I sleep, how I feel and gives me a bit of time away from screens which is invaluable.

3. Tidy
My mother used to say "Every night put 5 things away before you go to bed" and it really is the best way to keep a room from getting out of hand in between proper clean-up sessions. Every evening I look around and put away a few things that are out of place and do anything necessary that takes less than 5 minutes. I find that it makes my space much more useful when I'm busy. I get so much benefit day to day from spending just 5 or 10 minutes paying attention to my space every evening.

Scheduling in a diary

4. Schedule
My routine varies a lot from day to day, which I realise may not be the norm for everyone, but even when I had a 9 to 5 job I found it beneficial to go over my schedule for the next day every evening before bed. This is when I pay attention to what time I need to wake up and leave the flat, whether or not I have a shoot, how I need to dress for the day, what appointments I have and anything I need to prepare for in the morning. I'll also pay attention to when I'll be able to eat throughout the day and whether or not I have any back-to-back meetings or appointments that will require me to pack a bag (or a snack). Knowing what I have in the diary gives me an idea of what I need for the following day and how to best approach it.

I stopped using the calendar app on my phone & laptop a long time ago and went back to old school. Personally, I just like it better. I like to write things down and be able to see it in front of me, but it also helps to reduce my screen time. I keep two diaries, which I realise might sound odd, but it's the best way for me to stay organised. One is smaller and simply for personal use. I just block out my work hours and I can carry this one around with me in my bag any time to jot down any social activities, classes, dance appointments or anything else I might schedule while I'm away from my desk. I also keep a much larger diary for plotting out my work day. I use one that has a page a day with a line for every 15 minute slot and I find it's perfect for mapping out what I need to do for work every day. Whatever your scheduling method, going over what you have to do the next day will help you be prepared. It's also a great way to make sure you don't have any problems like too little time for a commute or a double booking when you still have some time to do something about it.

Packed bag for next day

5. Pick & Pack
After looking at my schedule, I'll do what I call pick & pack. I do this almost every evening because if I don't, I'm asking for a world of trouble, especially if I have a lot going on the following day. I'll pick out my outfit. If I know I'll need multiple outfits, I'll pick out all of them or at least options for all of them. For example, I might need an outfit to shoot and wear for the morning, a workout outfit for Pilates, an outfit for dance class and something cute and casual to wear out with my husband that evening. I'll pick out everything and that way the guess work is sorted for the next day, I know that I have everything I need so there's no major wardrobe disasters and I don't find myself at dance class having forgotten my shoes or socks. On top of that, I'll also pack or make a list of anything else I need for the next day such as food, lipstick, deodorant, my laptop or anything else I need to throw in my bag the next day. When I skip this, I almost always find that I forget something and it can really cause delays in my schedule or just make for an unnecessarily stressful day. At the very least if I'm too tired, I make a list of what I need to pack for the next day so I can just throw it all into a bag in the morning. Finally, it's worth saying that sometimes things change, so I might have to adjust throughout the day. I might not like the outfit I picked out, but usually having something to start with helps me to avoid the whole I have nothing to wear situation, making it so much easier and faster to get dressed and get out the door.

What does your after-work routine look like?
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