In my post last week, “Three Reasons Why Assistants Need to Be On Time and One Reason Why It's Okay Not To Be,” I discussed how you may be unknowingly sabotaging your career if you are constantly late. This week, I’m going to share with you what my after-dinner routine looks like, and how it plays a key role in my success the next day. If being on time to work in the morning is an issue for you, pay particular attention. Developing an evening routine, like the one I’m about to share with you, will assist you in arriving to work on time.
Regardless of whether or not you struggle with tardiness, a routine with the below elements will not only prepare you for the next morning, it will also help you finish out your day feeling accomplished, calm, and at peace.
After dinner is cleaned up, I go ahead and prepare my lunch for the next day. I also pull together all snacks I think I may want. I find if I wait to prepare lunch until the morning as I’m trying to get out the door, there’s a good chance I may not prepare it at all. I tell myself it’s easier to buy lunch than it is to make it and justify this decision because I don’t want to be late. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy eating out occasionally on weekdays, but I enjoy this as a choice I intentionally make, not as a halfhearted default.
Having the coffee pot ready to go is another time-saver in the morning. If your coffee maker has a timer, even better. Set it and forget it! For my fellow green smoothie drinkers, go ahead a put all protein powders and other non-perishables in the blender and group together all other ingredients so they are easy to grab in the morning.
Are you planning on going to the gym the next morning? Does your 9-year-old have a baseball game the next day? Gather all necessary items and put them somewhere you won’t forget. Doing this will not only guard against forgetfulness, but it will also alleviate the stress of finding above mentioned 9-year-old’s red baseball socks the morning of.
Opening and sorting through mail, paying bills, watering plants, organizing and tidying the bathroom…ugh. I have to admit, this one is tough for me. I think it’s because I spend my entire day managing someone else’s life and making sure things are in order for him; the last thing I want to do is more of the same at home. Some days I have to dig my heels in on this as I refuse to let the fatigue of my day job interfere with my personal life. 10 minutes a day of tidying is a symbol of my commitment to myself. I’m worth the same services I provide every day.
Your tomorrow self will thank you for this. I think we’ve all walked into our closets and been unable to decide what to wear. Alleviate the anxiety of doing this in the morning by doing it the evening before. This step alone can shave 5-15 minutes off of your morning routine.
We assistants are on our computers and phones so much of the day. The best thing you can do to unwind and get a good night’s sleep is a disconnect. It can be tempting to check email right before bed or have a look at your boss’s calendar for the next day, but this will only serve to lengthen your workday and may prompt anxiety over the next day’s tasks. Furthermore, studies have shown the light emitted from screens can confuse the body’s normal sleep cycles as they decrease the sleep hormone, melatonin. Do your next day self a favor and allow her a good night’s sleep.
This could be journaling, a bubble bath, a cup of your favorite tea or dancing around your home.
It’s incredible how many stressors attach themselves to me during any given day, largely without me knowing it. Getting quiet and still as I sit in meditation gives my brain the opportunity to observe and release these pesky thoughts. New to meditation? Check out this helpful article.
It’s so easy to look back on your day and only see the flaws and mistakes. To combat this, I use a gratitude journal to acknowledge all of the good things that happened in my day. I aim for ten things a day because I find that number is just enough to challenge me to dig a little deeper. As an added bonus, the longer I do this the more I find myself looking for things to be grateful for throughout my day.
This one is obvious. None of us can function at optimal capacity unless we are fully rested. You know how much sleep you need in order to feel your best. Be mindful of the time in the evenings, and make sure you go to bed early enough to allow for a good night’s sleep.
Now I want to hear from you. What is an element of your evening routine that you can’t live without? Leave a comment below, or head over to our Facebook community to join in the conversation.
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