7 Things to Do Before Bed
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” —Robert Collier
In my pursuit of intentional and fulfilling days, I have learned that how I end my nights is just as crucial as how I start my mornings.
My mornings tend to be my most productive hours of the day so it’s important for me that I make the most of them. Most of my writing is accomplished in the morning, as well as video filming.
Being at my best makes me more efficient—and hopefully more helpful to you. 🙂
That’s why I’ve developed an intentional practice over the years that I call “Before Bed Prep.”
I don’t recall anyone ever teaching it to me. It occurred naturally in my life around the time I started this blog and began rising early in the morning to write. In order to not waste any time, I’d prepare some items ahead of time to make my morning run smoother.
“Before Bed Prep” is essentially a series of intentional steps taken each night to ensure the next day begins on the best possible note.
As I’ve heard different mentors (and people that I look up to) mention doing the same thing, I’ve begun to recognize that the routine isn’t just about saving time in the morning; it’s about embracing purposeful living, every day, from beginning to end.
Here are the seven steps I take every evening for my Before Bed Prep routine:
1. Set Out My Gym Gear
The first place I go every morning is to the gym. So, part of my Prep involves laying out my gym clothes and shoes. They’re set out right near my bed. Putting them on and getting ready for the gym is the first thing I do.
2. Pick My Outfit for the Day
I wear pretty much the same thing every day, so this isn’t a difficult step for me. But choosing my clothes for the next day and setting them out still makes it easy for me to grab them.
3. Create My Morning To-Do List
Almost every morning, before waking up, I know exactly what I intend to accomplish that day. I typically do this every afternoon before leaving work and apply my 3-Item To Do List criteria for the following day.
My afternoons can vary based on how efficient I was each morning, but rarely do I sit down for work at the beginning of the day without knowing my three goals.
4. Pack My Work Bag
Before I go to bed, I compile or even pack my workbag for the next day. If I did any work during the evening, I collect it and pack it away. In addition to keeping my mornings efficient, it helps me not forget anything.
5. Plan Breakfast
As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I eat the same breakfast every day. So planning my breakfast doesn’t require a ton of effort—although I still do it. Even before eating the same thing every day, this was a helpful step in my Before Bed Prep.
6. 10-Minute Evening Tidy
One of the greatest benefits minimalism brought into our lives was the ability to quickly reset rooms and tidy up in the evening. Tidying the kitchen, living room, bedroom, and bathroom every evening before going to bed is something we’ve practiced in the Becker Home for years.
A calm and tidied home, without yesterday’s messes all around, is one of the best ways to keep your mind focused on the opportunities of today rather than cleaning up yesterday.
7. Set Out Meditation Supplies
I’ve written about my Three Essential Habits for Living Well. They are exercise, eat healthy, and solitude. You’ll see that exercise and eating well already appear on this list. My final step every evening before bed is to set out my supplies for solitude and meditation (my Bible). Seeing it out each morning is a helpful visual reminder.
While these seven steps form my Before Bed Prep, there’s no doubt yours will be different.
Here are some other ideas that might be helpful to consider for your unique lifestyle:
- Checking your calendar
- Packing your lunch
- Prepping your kid’s supplies for the school-day
- Gathering necessary pet items
- Preparing your coffeemaker
- Setting out your actual breakfast food
- Laying out items you need for your morning self-care ritual
Regardless of what you choose or don’t choose, it is true that a calming, focused, and productive morning begins the night before. It can even help motivate you to get the day started if mornings aren’t your thing.
Consider incorporating Before Bed Prep into your nightly routine, even as an experiment, and observe how it eases your transition into each day, fostering a more intentional life.