evening rituals

The 4-Step Journey To A Productive Evening Routine

A successful day starts from the evening before. What you do in the evenings is directly responsible for how the next day is going to turn out. Don’t leave your productivity and success to chance… here’s how to create a remarkably productive evening routine in just 4 easy steps:

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Hey everyone, Kosio Angelov here, founder of High Performance Lifestyle. Welcome to another productivity-boosting training. Today, I’m going to give you one of the biggest secrets to productivity. You ready? Here it is.

The Secret To Productivity

A productive day starts from the evening before. It doesn’t start in the morning; it starts in the evening. Whatever you do in the evening has a direct relation to how your next day is going to turn out, and there is a very simple reason for it: if you have a good, relaxing, productive, happy evening, you’re going to have a good night’s sleep.

And a good night’s sleep is absolutely vital to your productivity, because if you have 4 hours of sleep or 5 hours of sleep for whatever reason, your next day is not going to be productive. It’s not going to be successful, because if you slept 4 hours, you don’t have enough fuel. You don’t have enough energy to attack all your goals. If you had so little sleep, no amount of productivity techniques, no amount of apps and tools and mindsets and strategies, no amount of coffee is going to make you productive. You might have a productive morning, but when your energy drops, your creativity drops, your focus disappears, you’re not going to be that successful.

It is absolutely important for you to have an evening routine – one that sets you up for a good night’s sleep and also sets you up for a successful, productive day afterwards. Here’s how you do it. I want to show you the 4 steps to a productive evening routine.

#1. Stop Consumption

At least 2 hours before you go to bed, before your time to fall asleep, stop all consumption. And by consumption, I mean stop eating, stop drinking. Because if you have a snack – let’s say you go to bed at 11, and at 10:00 you’re hungry. You’re like, “Okay, I’m going to have a little snack; not a big deal.” You have a little bit of snack, you put it in your body, and then come 11:00, your mind is saying “Okay, it’s time to fall asleep,” but your body is saying, “Wait. You just gave me stuff to do. I have all this food I need to process. You wait.”

Your mind is pushing you to fall asleep; your body is saying, “Uh-uh, not gonna happen.” You create a conflict. You cannot fall asleep. It cuts into your sleeping time. The next day is almost ruined. Stop all consumption.

If you’re somebody who needs to drink a little bit of water before you go to bed, that’s okay, but don’t overdo it. Because if it’s 4 a.m. and you need to get up to go to the bathroom, that also can destroy your sleep. Ideally, stop all consumption at least 2 hours before you go to bed. I know it sounds trivial, but it’s absolutely vital. If you give your body too much to do before you go to bed, it’s going to cut into your sleep time.

#2. Review Your Day

After you’ve done all your work, take 10 to 15 minutes and review your day. Take out your agenda, take out your calendar, take out your to-do list, and sit down for 10, 15 minutes and just review what you did. Learn from the experience. Even if you had the most productive day on the planet, there is always a little bit of room for improvement.

If you’ve seen one of my other videos, I talked about how if you improve a skill by simply 1% over the course of 69 days, you’re going to double it. You started with 1; over 69 days, you improved by little percentages, and in 69 days, in less than 3 months, you doubled it. You ended up with 2. That can only happen if you review your day and you continuously improve.

Also, reviewing your day allows you to correct any mistakes. Sometimes your time doesn’t go exactly where it needs to go, your focus is somewhere else – reviewing what you did, how you did it, allows you to learn from it. To learn from your mistakes, to learn from your wins. There is always going to be room for improvement. Even if you had the most productive day, you can always make it a little better. If you had an unproductive day, there’s going to be a lot of room for improvement.

Review your day, learn from your mistakes, learn from your wins. Figure out how to do an even better job tomorrow.

#3. Define 1 – 2 Outcomes For The Next Day

I want you to take another 10 minutes and define one or two key outcomes for the day afterwards. And by outcomes, I don’t mean who you need to call, which email you need to reply to; I mean what are the big goals for tomorrow?

Sit down and think, “Okay, by this time tomorrow, I would’ve went to that meeting, I would’ve absolutely killed it. I would’ve delivered the biggest, awesomest presentation the world has ever seen. I’ll feel successful. I’ll feel accomplished.” Or “By this time tomorrow, I’ll have created that video that’s going to blow people away” or “I’ll have written that blog post” or “I would’ve…” whatever. Fill in the blank. Think of one or two key outcomes for the day afterwards.

The goal here is twofold. First of all, it sets your mind on the right path. Although in a couple of hours you’re going to go to bed, you’re going to fall asleep, you’re going to be unconscious, your outcomes are going to be in the back of your mind. Even though you’re not realizing it, your mind is going to be set on that. It’s like having a target. You’re creating a target, you’re giving your mind something to aim for, and then you go to bed and you let it do its work.

Also, it allows you to hit the ground running when the morning comes. When the morning comes and something hectic happens, you don’t need to think about, “Okay, what do I need to achieve today?” You already know from the night before.

Action point: Take 10 minutes, define one or two key outcomes for the next day. Put them in the back of your mind, and then blissfully go to bed. The next morning, you’re going to be that much more productive because you defined your outcomes from the evening before.

#4. The Habit Of Relaxation

It is time to relax. You did all your work, you stopped your consumption, you reviewed your day, you defined your outcomes. Now it’s time to finally relax. Evenings are for relaxation. But here’s the key: if you treat relaxation as a habit – which, by the way, it is – it’s going to make it that much easier for you to relax on demand, and also it’s going to increase the quality of your relaxation.

Because if you leave relaxation to be a random activity, you’re going to get random results. If you make it a habit, if you make it something that you almost automatically, unconsciously do, it’s going to improve your relaxation and it’s going to take all the surprises away.

All habits that you have are triggered by some sort of cue. If you think how your mornings go, you wake up, you go to the bathroom, you don’t need to consciously think, “Okay, I’m going to brush my teeth.” It’s a habit. It’s triggered by circumstances, by location, by the fact that it’s the morning. You walk into your bathroom, you grab your toothbrush, you put your toothpaste – sometimes without even being fully awake. Habits have a trigger. If habit is what you do, the trigger is when do you do it.

You need to create a trigger that’s going to tell your mind, “Okay, it’s time to relax.” The easiest way to do it is figure out some sort of activity that relaxes you. Maybe it’s reading a book or a magazine or listening to some relaxing music or tidying up the house. Whatever it is, figure out one activity that relaxes you that you can do in the evenings, and do it for a couple of days. Repeat it a couple times.

Once you repeat it, once it becomes part of your routine, you’re going to have your trigger. You’re going to have created your habit of relaxation. If you have a day which is so random and there’s so many things happening in your head, simply by triggering that habit, you’re going to automatically get into relaxation mode.

As soon as you open that book or as soon as you put the headphones or as soon as you fluff the pillows on the couch, your mind is going to be like, “Okay, here’s the trigger. It’s that time of the day. It’s that place. I am going to get into relaxation mode.” And that’s going to allow you to completely detach, get into relaxation mode almost on demand, and not ruin your sleep.

If you’re all stressed out, if you’re thinking about stuff, you’re thinking about the day after, the day before, sometimes you cannot switch your mind off. If you don’t relax in the evening, you’re not going to have a good night’s sleep. Your next day is not going to be as productive.

Once you’ve created the habit of relaxation, once you know what the trigger is, you can almost do it on demand. You open the book, your mind goes into relaxation mode. You relax. You fall asleep. The next day, you have all the energy to conquer the world.

Over To You Now

That’s how you do a productive evening routine. You stop the consumption; you take the time to review what you did; you define one or two key outcomes for the next day; and you create the habit of relaxation.

This is how you’re intentional about your routine. You’re intentional about your mornings, you’re probably intentional about your entire day. It is time to be intentional about how you spend your time, how you spend your energy, and how you spend your focus during the evenings.

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What are some other elements that you have included in your evening routine to either help you relax more, or help jump-start the following day. Share in the comment section below: