I’m a big fan of routine, especially when it comes to creating new habits. I recently decided to take a look at optimizing my morning and evening routines, which quickly turned into a more thorough evaluation of how I’m spending my time. I’m not sure if anyone will really find anything valuable in these mundane details of my life, but for some reason I kinda love reading about other people’s routines, so here goes…!
This isn’t this first time I’ve looked at establishing a consistent morning and after work routine, but like anything else, I find these need to be revisited and revised as goals change! So first, a look at the things I would like to fit into my weekdays.
Morning Get Ready: This includes everything involved in making myself presentable in the morning – shower, get dressed, hair and makeup etc. In order to make this quick, I don’t tend to wash my hair every single day and lately I’ve been attempting to take a few minutes on Sunday to organize my clothes for the week, so I’m not wasting time standing in front of the closet in the morning with ‘nothing to wear’. Hopefully someday I’ll get around to figuring out a capsule wardrobe to make this even easier! I’ve got my makeup routine down to a pretty minimal 5 minutes. Total time: 20 minutes
Spanish Duolingo: I’ve been using the Duolingo app to work on learning Spanish! I try to do two lessons every day. I’m hoping to fit this in to my morning, since my brain just works better in the am. If you are interested in learning a language it is a great free app for beginners. Total time: 10 minutes
Meditation: My goal is at least 20 minutes a day. I’ve been trying to do this before bed, but I’m finding it often gets cut short, since I don’t want to sacrifice my sleep time. I’m going to try scheduling this in the morning instead and see if it’s easier to stick to. Total time: 20 minutes
Workout: In the past I’ve experimented with morning and evening at-home and gym workouts. Morning workouts are hit or miss for me, especially on dark winter mornings (much easier when it is light out!). Although I do love the feeling of completing this first thing, I find my performance is generally much better later in the day. I have also been trying to do a couple yoga classes every week either before or after work, which means juggling around my schedule a bit. For now I’m just going to focus on my routine for a typical weekday including an at-home workout. Total time: 45-60 minutes
Sleep: This needs to be my (and everyone’s!) top priority. People do not take their sleep even close to seriously enough – it makes a huge difference to every single aspect of your life! I could rant about this long enough to bore even the most dedicated reader and I’ll probably write a whole post about it at some point. I love using my Fitbit (currently the Charge 2) to track sleep. I’ve found that I feel best with at least 7.5 hours of sleep. From my sleep tracking data, I’ve learned that I’m usually awake for at least an hour during the night. This means I’m aiming for 8.5 hours of dedicated sleeping time. My plan is a 9:30pm bedtime and 6am wake up. Yup, I’m lame and go to bed super early! In the summer when the days are longer here I do tend to shift this a bit later (going to bed when it’s still light out is where I draw the line…). Total time: 8.5 hours
Evening Chores: This includes cleaning up the dinner dishes (husband usually cooks) maybe a load of laundry, and prepping lunches for the next day. Total time: 20-45 minutes.
Relax Before Bed: As mentioned above, sleep makes a huge difference to how I feel. I like to have at least half an hour, and preferably longer, to relax, do my minimal get-ready-for-bed routine (about 10 minutes to remove makeup, apply moisturizer, brush teeth, etc) and maybe read a bit. Total time: 30 minutes
So this is how I’m planning to fit all these puzzle pieces together:
6am – Wake up! I use the silent alarm on my fitbit, but usually wake up before it goes off.
20 minutes – Shower & get ready
20 minutes – Meditate
10 minutes – Spanish
10 minutes – Pack up for work, random tidying
7am – Leave for work!
What about breakfast? Well, with my time restricted eating experiment I’m eating breakfast a little later, so I pack it the night before to take to work.
4pm – Get home from work and immediately put on workout clothes before I get distracted by other things…
60 minutes – Workout
3.5 hours – Relax, eat dinner, blog, free time!
30 minutes – Dinner cleanup & chores
9pm – Bedtime routine
9:30pm – Sleep!
Obviously there’s no way I’ll be able to stick to this every day, because…life! But, it’s definitely a helpful exercise to figure out my top wellbeing priorities and how they can fit into my typical day.
What are your morning and evening routines? Do you prioritize sleep?