Helpful routines are essential for developing a good work-life balance. And we need balance as we navigate our professional and personal obligations. When our responsibilities at work pick up, we may need to shift our time to match the uptick accordingly. Likewise, when our personal responsibilities require more attention, we may need to allocate more time to specific segments of our personal life.
The shifts are seasonal, and change is inevitable. That’s certain. We may be able to influence some of the changes, and maybe not. The locust of control for us most notably lies in how we view the changes and how we choose to respond to those changes. Having helpful routines (a systematic way of doing something) promotes stability, discipline, and centering related to the circumstances we can control. When we have opportunities to think, this [change] is outside of my locust of control, but here’s where I can feel empowered and aligned, we are enjoying the work-life balance we are creating.
That said, sound morning routines can give us a successful start to our day. For example, a viable morning routine can help reduce decision-making so that we can have greater capacity to make decisions later in the day. But what about an evening routine? It’s tempting to think that an evening routine doesn’t matter because the day is nearly complete, but that is far from the truth. Having an availing evening routine can make our morning routine smoother and feel more empowering.
Wondering how? Here are three benefits that will help you view your evening in a different light:
- It promotes better sleep. I’ve had to learn this the hard way. I’ve spent many nights without enjoying restful sleep, partly because I did not have a routine that supported it. And also because I had habits that prevented it. Deciding what time you would like to be in bed for the night may be the first step. But as I think more about it, perhaps the very first step is thinking about the impact of a good night’s sleep. Next, decide what constitutes a good night’s sleep for you. Work backward to determine what time you should start to wind down to be in bed at your desired time. What does the wind-down process entail for you? Write down what will be necessary and in what order is best for you.
- It enables reflection and reconnection. Another excellent benefit of creating a helpful evening routine is it gives us time to reflect on our day (please schedule reflection time). Even if it’s five minutes of your practice, take the time to think about what went well today and what could have been better. These questions prompt us to think about what we may need to do the next day differently. Making this part of your evening routine also allows for reconnection to your purpose and your big WHY. Since a well-balanced life has its foundation in purposeful living according to the right priorities, reflecting and reconnecting are vital to the journey.
- It develops consistency and discipline. Helpful routines and habits enable us to get not only more done, but the right things done. Creating an evening routine may seem inconsequential but doing so helps us develop consistency and discipline in other areas of our lives. For example, I have wanted to create a routine house cleaning schedule for some time now. Designating nearly a whole Saturday to clean the house was less appealing every time I had to do it. Once I developed and successfully implemented a morning and evening routine, I became more disciplined in creating a cleaning routine that didn’t feel as laborious as spending several hours on Saturday cleaning. In other words, I was building consistent muscle in one area of my life that ultimately helped in other areas. I was building agency.
We haven’t discussed all the many benefits to creating an evening routine. Just the thought of scheduling some wind-down time and a few moments to reflect on the day is beneficial enough to get started. We are busy during the day, why not create a refreshing routine to look forward to in the evening? What could that look like for you?
Want to learn more about the benefits of creating helpful routines for better work-life balance and how to do it? Get my FREE training available at tabithaperson.com/routines.