6 Easy Ways to Make Tomorrow Better
“Let me help you.” Do you hear that soft, kind voice? It’s actually coming from YOU. Maybe it’s hard to hear, given competing voices like, “You’re tired, go to bed.” Or, “Let’s watch our show.” Most often, we know what to do to make things easier on ourselves, we just don’t always heed our own advice. This is particularly true when he comes to evening time, when we’re worn out and ready for rest. Today, we’re going to talk about why it pays off to prep for the day ahead, even when it feels like the last thing we want to do.
This One Last Task is Going to Pay Off, Trust Me
I’m not ignoring those other, often more audible, voices speaking. It’s true, you’re tired, and you’ve accomplished a lot. But before you relax (or collapse), I encourage you to get the scaffolding in place for tomorrow’s grand build. Mornings can be a struggle. When you wake up feeling rushed, you generate taxing emotions that you’ll carry around all day. It’s true, some days we will face inevitable, unplanned delays or roadblocks, but there are things we can do the night before, to ensure most things go smoothly. And with these things in place, we can better handle the unplanned when it comes.
Your Night Prep Playbook
It’s you who’ll know best the potential stumbling blocks of your morning landscape, but I’m going to cover the common ones here. Consider them building blocks for creating your own unique night prepping routine. Keep in mind that the goal is to set yourself up for a seamless morning.
Confirm What’s Ahead
Take a peek at your calendar to see what’s on your agenda for tomorrow. If you haven’t done so already, confirm any appointments, i.e. send a quick text: “Look forward to seeing you tomorrow at 10 am!” Don’t assume everyone’s on the same page. Even with calendar invites and automatic reminders, life happens. You don’t want to show up only to find your client forgot (or vice versa).
If Heading Out of the Home, Decide What You’ll Wear
Layout your wardrobe. This one’s especially relevant if you work from home most days, as getting “officially” dressed will not be part of your normal routine. Decide on the clothing items and confirm they’re clean, pressed and ready. Lay out, or hang in view, everything, down to the accessories. You don’t want to be searching in the morning for that perfect pair of earrings you wore a month ago. You don’t want to find you’re missing that small, but key, piece of the outfit you’ve chosen to wear. If you’re responsible for dressing little people in your home, do the same for them. Better yet, teach them to do it. Life lessons? Check.
Do The Small Things You Can Do Ahead of Time
Chances are there are small tasks you can knock out before you turn the lights out in the kitchen. Maybe you make the coffee and set an automatic timer so it’s brewed when you wake. Or perhaps you put out the nonperishable things you’ll be having for breakfast the next morning. Set out the harness and leash you’ll use for your morning walk with Fido. Set out your workout clothes (eliminate excuses). At the very least, tidy up the space you’ll walk be walking into first thing in the morning, i.e. dinner dishes and loose items.
Set the stage for action.
Even with great planning, most mornings involve some rushing around. If you (or your people) will be heading out on a tight timeline, prep for your departure. Put the items you’ll need to bring with you by the door. Ensure the briefcase or backpack contains what it needs and place it where you’re see it walking out. If something non routine is necessary, consider placing a sticky note on an item you’ll be grabbing before you head out the door or into your home office.
Set Your Alarm
Before we go further, I want to underscore that your night prepping must honor your need for sleep. Your routine should commence before you should already be in bed asleep. Adequate sleep is crucial for productive output. To be certain, we should all get into a pattern where we go to bed at roughly the same time each night. Finally, though some say they wake without an alarm, have a reliable trigger for waking up. Set an alarm. Oversleeping is beyond stressful.
Create Time for Yourself
In planning the time for the alarm to go off, give yourself fifteen minutes more than you need for your morning activities. Spend these fifteen minutes doing what you do to get in the right mindset for the day. This should NOT involve checking email or cramming for that meeting you’ll be in first thing. I’m talking about journaling or reading something inspirational, or simply sipping coffee while you watch the sun rise. Easing into your day isn’t a nice-to-have, it’s a need-to-have. And with prudent night prepping, you can give yourself this time.
Invest in You
Night prepping is self care, smart planning, and it is insurance against the unplanned. Ergo, night prepping is worth the investment. Set yourself up for success by getting things in order before calling it a day, even when you are really ready to call it a day. Let “you” help “you”.
Sara Genrich & Nancy Kruschke, founders of Productivity Training Academy, came together with the vision of creating practical, results-driven online on-demand courses for time management, productivity and technology training. With over 50 years of combined productivity experience, Sara and Nancy’s knowledge, skills and talents illuminate valuable paths to business gain, serving as an effective catalyst for positive change.