It might sound strange, but there are lots of things you can do as part of your bedtime routine to help ensure your morning runs smoothly.
Whether you’re going to work or studying tomorrow, a productive day starts the night before. Here are 6 tips to help you get started.
1. Go to bed earlier
Nobody likes to hear it, but going to bed earlier will probably be the largest factor in determining how well your morning goes.
The fact is that most of us are sleep deprived, and going to bed even half an hour earlier can make a big difference. Make your bedtime routine a ritual that you perform every day, so your body can get used to going to sleep at a set time each night.
2. Write it down
How often do you lay down to go to sleep, only to find your mind wandering, thinking over things you’ve forgotten or still need to do?
Keep a pen and paper next to your bed so you can write down your thoughts. This can really improve the quality of your sleep, as the process of writing it down allows your brain to stop thinking about it.
3. Plan your outfit
This doesn’t mean spending an hour in front of a mirror matching different items from your wardrobe. Just make sure the clothes you’re wearing tomorrow are already out of the wardrobe and laid out ready for you to wear.
Finding a clean pair of trousers before going to bed is a simple addition to your bedtime routine that will save you valuable time and stress in the morning. Also consider checking the weather forecast so you can ensure you have an extra jumper or sunglasses at the ready.
4. Consider a screen curfew
How often is your mobile phone the last thing you look at before going to sleep? Did you know that the blue light emitted from your TV, laptop and mobile phone actually stimulates the brain?
Try switching off all screens an hour before you begin your bedtime routine properly and see what a difference it can make. Use the hour you’re not watching TV or on Facebook to read a book instead as this will help your body and mind wind down ready to sleep.
5. Get your bag ready
If you take a handbag or briefcase to work with you, spend a few minutes de-cluttering it. Remove receipts and other unwanted junk, but also make sure you have the things you usually need.
Perhaps a pen, a notepad, your phone charger - whatever you usually carry with you. If you take a packed lunch, make it the night before. Put it by the front door, so it’s ready and waiting in the morning.
6. Plan your day in advance
Spend a few minutes thinking about what you need to do tomorrow. Are you attending an important meeting? Is there an important task you need to complete?
If you can spend a little time preparing yourself mentally for these things, the thought of them won’t keep you awake at night.
A good bedtime routine is essential for anyone wanting their morning to run smoothly. The more you can prepare the night before, the less you have to worry about when you wake up. It’s never too late to add one or all of these tips into your routine, and in the process, ensure you start your morning feeling calm and confident.
Want more advice to make you more productive? Check out Open College's ultimate list of productivity tips, apps and tools here.