productive way to end your day

Evening Pages: A Productive Way to End Your Day

Rituals play an essential role in our daily lives.

They create consistency and order, which is crucial for keeping us on track with our routines and expectations.

Making small changes to your evening routine can create a more positive experience each night by helping you feel more relaxed and ready to face the day ahead.

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to your evening routine. You may putter around the house for an hour, take a shower and curl up on the couch with a drink.

While these are all good things, there are better ways to spend your time. Creating an effective evening routine can help you get the most out of your time and get ready for bed faster.

A good evening routine can be a great way to start your next day off right.

It gives you the chance to wind down and relax before bed, which can make a big difference when trying to fall asleep.

With good habits in place, your evenings will go much more smoothly. Whether you want to reduce stress or just get things done, creating a better evening routine can bring amazing results over time.

Before you start any evening ritual, take a few minutes to relax. You can try breathing exercises, listen to relaxing music or even do a steam bath to help calm your mind. Make some time to wind down before bed.

Evening pages set you up for success tomorrow

It’s a simple and easy practice to calm your mind and prepare you for the next day. All you need is a personal notebook and a pen to write down separate lists of things that prepare you for tomorrow.

“Evenings and mornings represent “the gates” to your inner universe. Taking care of how you enter and exit these “gates” is your primary responsibility; do not give away this power. Once you master it, life will never be the same again,” writes Stan Jacobs in The Dusk And Dawn Master.

Here are some questions to think about before you start your evening reflection. What went well today? What can you improve?

What tasks need attention tomorrow? What are your high-priority tasks for tomorrow? And what time can you do them to leverage your good energy in the morning? These are questions you can use evening pages to answer.

You can group everything you write in the evening into four parts:

  • Daily review pages
  • Things to do tomorrow pages
  • How I’m feeling pages
  • Things I learned today pages

These 4 major lists can help you prepare adequately for the next and reduce stress simultaneously. They can help you clear your mind, express your feeling, write down things to tackle tomorrow and note down everything you learned today.

Clues to a better tomorrow are hidden in how you spent today. Reflect on your day for a better tomorrow.

You don’t have to spend a lot of time writing in the evening. 10 minutes is a good start. You can push it to 15 minutes if you have a lot to write or want to plan your entire day in the evening.

How you end today determines how you start tomorrow

Writing things down is a practice that dates back to ancient times. It can help you manage stress, process negative emotions, and improve your general well-being. As a bonus, keeping an evening journal could even aid you in falling asleep faster and improve the quality of your sleep.

By carving out time for evening pages every night, you can start to reshape your life positively. By taking only 10–15 minutes before bed, you can end your day with peace instead of stress.

Evening pages may not be the first thing you think of when trying to unplug from the world in the evening, but this practice has numerous benefits for your well-being.

Your day might have been jam-packed with meetings, emails, and nonstop tasks, but when your evenings come around, you’re left with not much to do.

Instead of zoning out in front of the television or catching up on social media, try journaling instead. You don’t have to be a writer or poet to make journaling worth your time. Even if you hate putting your thoughts on paper, the art of writing can calm your brain and help you sleep better.

You could start your own 15-minute evening pages habit tonight.

The key is to start small. Creating a small ritual out of journaling every night before bed can offer you the rare opportunity to reflect on your life, goals and think about what you want in life.

This article originally appeared in Medium.