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Designing an Evening Routine

Jonathan Riley

A Productive Morning Begins the Night Before – Diane Gottsman

Evening routines are essential because, unlike morning routines, they set us up for two things: wrapping up our day and getting a good night’s sleep. By implementing evening routines, you will be able to tackle the morning in a smoother and more productive way.

Here are 10 Ideas to help you create an after-work/evening routine

1. End your workday with a “shutdown ritual”

A shutdown ritual is a set routine of actions that you perform at the end of your workday to signify that your workday is done (McBryde, 2014). You can achieve this by ending each work day the same way by setting a time to stop working, straightening up your workspace, forgiving yourself for not finishing everything, and making a list of what you need to do tomorrow.

2. Take a break from technology

Taking a break from technology can help relieve stress. It is important for your brain and body to recover from a day at work. Take time to reconnect with yourself and others by unplugging from technology after work hours.

3. Make space for mental solitude

Solitude is one of the most powerful tools for disconnecting and recharging. Solitude is helpful as it offers us time to relax, focus on our priorities, and to reflect on our day.

4. Spend time on a hobby

Spending time on an activity that you enjoy can make you feel happier and more relaxed. Research suggests that it is less likely for people with hobbies to suffer from stress, low mood, and depression.

5. Spend some time in nature

Spending 20 – 30 minutes spent in natural surroundings can give you a sense of wellbeing and reduce your body’s levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

6. Take time for yourself

“Too much work and not enough play” can cause issues with mental health, such as anxiety and depression. Taking some time to relax is vital to help your mind and body switch off from the day.

7. Take time to tidy up

Being in an organised environment can help you feel relaxed and in control. Spending a few minutes tidying up and decluttering means you can spend some time relaxing before bed and go to sleep calmly. Waking up to an orderly space can creates a sense of accomplishment and happiness.

8. Plan out the next day

Sometimes the best way to have a productive morning is to get a head start on it the night before. Making a list of everything that you want to do tomorrow can give you peace of mind so that you can sleep better. You can get ready for the next morning by setting out your clothing, arranging your fitness gear, and/or packing your lunch.

9. Write in a journal

Journaling can relieve stress by clearing the mind and clarifying thoughts. Many psychologists and scientists believe that journaling evokes mindfulness and helps the brain regulate emotions.

10. Stick to a regular bedtime

Going to sleep at a consistent time is an important part of our “sleep hygiene”—the practices that insure we get regular, deep sleep (MacKay, 2018). Commit to a daily bedtime and waking time that you can stick to and that allows enough time for the sleep that you need.

Lastly, routines take time to develop and implement, so do not worry about perfection. If you are doing 4 days out of 7, that’s fine. Like most good daily routines, it is about being able to do it consistently. At the end of the day its up to you to create a routine that helps you achieve our goals and makes you feel good about yourself.


McBryde, R. (2014). Improve Your Remote Work Productivity With the ‘Shutdown Ritual’. Retrieved from

MacKay, B. (2018, April 19). The Evening Routines of Tim Ferriss, Bill Gates, and Arianna Huffington. Retrieved from