5 Seconds Summary:
- The evening routine on weekdays is essential in determine the outcome on the next day
- Create a system of evening routine that is tailored to your life & need
- The system work by identify 3 things:
- 1) How many hours you have after work and before bedtime
- 2) what is your non-negotiable routine
- 3) filled in the rest of the hours with the routine that is nice-to-do
For the longest time, I am struggling with the after-work, evening routine. Every morning, I wake up and create a mental list of what I should do when I reach home.
Then when I reached home and I think about the things I promise myself to do in the morning, I feel overwhelmed with the task I personally create for myself.
Honestly, just the thought of doing the perfect evening routine on weekdays bummed me out.
The effect? I settle for the simple & immediate satisfaction, social media
And I scroll and scroll the Instagram/ Twitter/ youtube until nightime.
I feel bad, and I promise myself, tomorrow is going to be different.
Then, tomorrow comes, the same thing happens.
Is it just me, or does everyone else have the same problem?
I always thought it’s because I’m lazy and lack motivation compared to other people.
But what I don’t realize is that we can’t try and copy exactly the routine of someone else who has a completely different life and priority.
Imagine this, you are working 9-5 and you try to create a routine based on someone who is a freelancer, or maybe have the flexibility of their time
It just doesn’t click does it?
The failure of keeping the evening routine on the weekdays is because the routine doesn’t fit our life and our priority in the first place.
Building the system to create the best weekdays evening routine
The idea of creating this system is basically to find the routine that is tailored for you. On that day.
As much as we want to be consistent with our routine and habits, having a space of flexibility in the evening is like giving us some space to breathe.
The gap of the day that we wanted.
In this system, what I called the flexible potato system, allowing me to rest after a long day at work and at the same time function as a mom while being *semi-productive.
*(I’m not going to pretend that it’s productive because it’s not. And I think it’s completely okay considering I have spent the long 8 hours working #sorrynotsorry #YOLO)
There are 3 important elements in this system
- It should be flexible. We don’t want to get bored when repeating the same thing.
- It should help to ease our morning routine
- It shouldn’t make us feel overwhelmed with the routine
So how to do it?
How to create the best weekday evening routine?
It’s quite simple.
First, identify how many hours you have from the time you reach home to bedtime.
Next, identify your non-negotiable routine or habit
Third, slot in the rest of the evening routine with the rest of the activities.
Think of it like the Tetris game. You slot in the most important first, and you tweak the rest of the routine with whatever activities you think most fitting on that day.
You don’t have to overdo it. Just give yourself options of activities that you can do that day. By giving yourself options, it’ll give us the feeling of being more in control of our day.
Just imagine in the Tetris game, if you start putting down all the bricks that coming, it’ll just stack on top of the others and you’ll lose the game
So just pick a few and leave the rest
what is ‘the rest of the activities I mentioned in element number 3?
It is the rest of the activities are the evening routine you would like to do. Things that are nice to do but not necessarily must do.
For example, working out might be a non-negotiable routine or must-do for someone, but for me, it’s just something nice to do
Do you get the point?
That’s why I highlight it in the beginning. The system is created solely for us based on our priority at that time.
As much as I wanted to get everything done, I know that it is not possible.
So I’m allowing myself to decide what variation I want to have for my evening routine on weekdays. By having certain flexibility, I noticed that I’m able to keep the routine better and enjoy it.
- Journaling For Beginners: How To Get Started In 5 Simple Steps
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My random weekday evening routine
1) Pray or Meditation
Prayer is a spiritual communication with a higher power while acknowledging there is something more powerful and more significant to oneself.
While meditation is a technique allowing the mind to rest by obtaining a state of consciousness, like real consciousness.
“When you meditate or pray the activity of your brain moves from the right frontal cortex (where the stress lives) to a more calm left frontal cortex. The result is a feeling of relaxation and slows down the breathing”
American Psychological Organization highlighted many benefits of praying and meditation for mental health which include reducing anxiety and depression, increased resiliency and ability to focus, and generally being happier as a person.
2) Family time
Be it a reading session with my son. Or a gossip session while preparing dinner with my husband. Family time is non-negotiable. Always
The non-negotiable evening routine for you might be different. It might be gardening or cooking. Whatever it is, it should your priority.
Then comes the next part, ‘the filler’
The filler is a nice-to-do routine. This is the routine I will choose based on my liking and preferences on that day
I usually randomly choose 4-5 routines from my evening routine selection
Why only 4-5 routines?
Considering I only have roughly 3-4 hours from the point I reached home and before my bedtime, I have to be choosy.
Here is some idea of ‘ the filler’ for my weekday evening routine.
Previously I journaled every night, but recently I change it to early morning. The main reason is I prefer to journal in silence and in the evening my son is screaming for attention.
But journaling before sleeping has its own perks. While my mind is still fresh with whatever happening during the day, it’s nice to journal how well is the day spent, my top win or blunders, and of a course gratitude list.
In the evening if I can sit down in peace, journaling is the routine I look forward to.
2. Netflix/ Youtube
Okay, I know this sounds counterproductive. But hear me out.
By depriving my wants of being entertained, I noticed I binged watching 2x higher on weekends.
So spending 20-30 minutes on Netflix or Youtube 1-2 of the weekdays is better than binge-watching the whole weekend.
The rule I set is that it should always 1 episode and no auto-play.
And, I love watching YouTube, I learn new things from it. From learning how to draw, how to track my expenses, and watching how people clean their house, youtube got everything
So, I think it’s a waste if I deprived myself of those just for the sake of being productive on weekdays.
I think the essence of a good evening routine on weekdays is having a balance between consuming and creating. Not all content consumptions are bad.
Balance is the key, my friend
3. Tidy-up routine in the evening
Waking up to a room full of dirty laundry and a pile of unwashed plates in the sink will create a mental headache the next morning.
The cleaning and tidy-up routine should be done daily, I know. But sometimes, it just doesn’t happen, and I always push it to do on weekend.
And let’s be real when the weekend comes there are 1001 things to do, chores to settle, we tend not to do it.
As I write this, I have a mountain of clothes that I haven’t folded as I don’t do it last weekend. That’s the price I have to pay for keep on pushing every house chore to the weekend. And now I need all the willpower to complete folding all the clothes
The solution is simple, I should follow a simple and quick tidy-up routine that takes me 10-15minute to do on weekday evenings.
Doing the chores and breaking it into smaller activity, it helps lessen the burden to do everything on weekend.
4. Cooking/ Prepare meal
After tracking my finances, I have noticed that a large sum of money has been spent on food delivery.
Particularly this month, when my laziness is at all-time high, we bought food almost every day.
The issue is, we don’t really enjoy reheating food. So even if we have the meal prep done on weekend, we tend to not eat the food. The solution is I need to cook, its very much simple
Just follow a quick and healthy recipe, toss everything in the oven and voila, a simple free dinner for the family.
5. Reading books
6. Creative hobby
Use evening time to explore your creative hobby. There is a lot of fun hobbies you can try even while staying indoor.
Read this post for more info:8 Reasons Why We Need To Explore Creative Hobbies As We Grow Older
7. Skin care evening routine
I envy those who religiously do their skincare. Most of the time I just wash my face and just called it a day (Hence the dry face).
But this time around since I spaced out the routine, I have ample time to do it properly.
8. Stretching and foam rolling
I have read so many benefits of stretching. I haven’t started this routine yet. But excited to do so.
My eternal nemesis.
10. To-do list for the next day
This is initially one of my non-negotiable evening routines. But same with journaling, im quite okay to push it to do it the next morning.
The reason being is that I have noticed when I plan for the next day, it creates some anxious feeling as I keep on thinking of the task I am supposed to be doing. And it does affect winding down the evening routine.
So it’s nice to do, but not a must.
The system I have created for my weekdays evening routine has given me some satisfaction of my life. It’s not perfect, I agree. But its the one that I need
Once I realised that it is okay that my routine is not perfect compare to others, I have accepted everything else.
How about you? Have you try any good evening routine? share with us your thoughts