Start Your Day The Night Before For Better Productivity

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One of the most overlooked but super helpful ways to help increase your productivity and motivation is to set yourself up the night before. In this article, I will give you several easy methods and tips to do the night before a workday to have a more productive day!

It All Starts With A Good Night Sleep

It is general knowledge that sleep is an incredibly important part of human life. Sleeping is a key component to increasing productivity, achieving mental clarity, and getting laser-sharp focus. When we sleep, our bodies go into reset mode. All of the information that your brain received throughout the day is sorted, organized into memories, and stored. When we are younger we don't think we need sleep, but the older I get, the more I appreciate a solid night of sleep for more than just productivity, it's a staple for overall general health.

DISCLAIMER

To start the next couple of sections I want to say I am not a doctor as you know, haha. I am just a person that has done extensive research over the years in mental health, hypnosis and meditation, and more due to my own personal health and having immediate family with rare neurological issues which has required me to do the extensive research I have done.

I also have friends and family in the herbal and traditional medical worlds that help fuel allot of my research... That and we only have one body so I want to know how it all works...

That all being said... Let's crack on shall we!

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This Is Your Brain On Sleep

To get all medical about it, your brain prunes off neural pathways that you no longer use, and strengthens new neural pathways that are being built. It is also able to make connections between subjects, find solutions to problems you encountered during the day, and rest.

Brain activity falls into measurable patterns during deep sleep. At the beginning of sleep, the brain waves slow down and brain activity decreases, allowing your brain to rest from the busy day. Later in the second and third stages of sleep, the brain experiences quick bouts of brain activity, indicating you are in a deep sleep.

In REM sleep and low brain activity sleep is when memories are compounded and stored, cognitive abilities sharpened and pruned, and you can dream. Think of REM sleep as your brain's natural defrag clean up like in Windows, lol. It helps file things away and makes your brain run more efficiently.

This Is Your Body On Sleep

Besides your brain, your body also goes through a reset. Digestion, circulation, breathing, and more experience changes that help to keep your body in a healthy state. The cardiovascular system slows down your heart rate and helps to regulate your metabolism. Breathing slows down in non-REM sleep and breaths typically become deeper and fuller.

Your immune system goes to work clearing out bacteria and viruses, which is why you sleep so often when you are sick. Sleeping allows your body to get rid of harmful cells and things that could hurt your immune system. So in many cases, instead of reaching for the pills to cure your pain and sickness, just go to bed.

Your muscles experience an intense relaxation and your energy level in your body falls drastically, allowing for the body to repair the damage done to the muscles throughout the day. For example, if you worked out that day, you might wake up after a good night's sleep feeling a little sore, which indicates that your muscular system was regenerating cells, creating new cells, and repairing damaged muscle tissue all while you were sleeping! This is a good thing. When you don't get the proper amount of sleep, your body is not able to heal itself from the day before so you will feel more fatigue throughout the next day.

Let's Talk Hormones

When you get a solid amount of sleep, your hormone levels begin to regulate. The levels of the stress hormone cortisol drop, which is why you can fall asleep worried about something and wake up feeling better about it. Lower levels of cortisol can also help your metabolism and your immune system work to their best ability! Melatonin, a hormone related to sleep, increases. This is why when you don't get enough sleep, you wake up grouchy and tend to be snappy for no reason. Your cortisol and melatonin levels didn't get a chance to balance and the cortisol takes over.

People that deal with me know that if I am a bit snappy in the mornings, to just let me get going for about an hour and I tend to apologize, lol. But when I get enough sound sleep, this isn't an issue. Cortisol can cause allot of unnecessary stress which can make your body more tense from the start and just put your day in the wrong direction. Cortisol rushes are generally the ill mood that causes people to say that you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and they are not fun.

If you can at least figure out that is what is happening, you can learn how to control it. Not eating close to bed, especially those late night sugary snacks... That will just lead you right down the path of having a bad morning, haha, so try to avoid that and just drink some late night tea or something.

Treat Your Body Like A Machine

Your body is like a machine, without the chance to store data, replace and fix damaged parts, and add system protection, you will fall apart. Your focus and productivity will also decrease, and your stress hormones will increase, which can prevent you from working and sleeping well.

Essentially, the foundation of any strong and productive workday is a strong and productive night's sleep! When you are treating your body like a well oiled machine, it will act like one. You will have more energy, focus, and the drive to get things done.

But It's Not Just About Sleep, Prep Yourself...

Before you run to your bed and try to catch some Z’s, you can also physically set yourself up the night before so you can start your morning off right. You might prep the coffee maker so it's ready to go, get your clothes ready, and so on.

If you have a workspace, whether it is in an office or a desk at home, take some time the evening before to clean it up. Get rid of old papers you do not need, wash your coffee mugs and water glasses, put pens away, file papers, and tidy up anything messy. Making your space clean and ready to go is a perfect way to help yourself be more productive the next day. You won’t feel like you have to clean stuff up in the morning, you can just get right to work!

Another way to prep your workspace is to write out your list of things to do the evening before and leave it at your workspace. You can also check your calendar to see if you need to do anything else to prepare for the coming day the night before, so you do not feel pressured or rushed to accomplish it in the morning.

Check your planner and add notes, goals, or words of motivation! Charge your devices fully as well! That will take a load off in the morning too. If you want some more information about some tools to help you with productivity, you can check out my last article on productivity tools.

Getting In That Night Time Routine and Sleep It Off!

After you have prepped your workspace and before you tuck yourself into bed, create a nighttime routine. This may seem silly or childish, but routines help us more than we know! Night routines are powerful tools in making sure we get done everything we want to get done before bed. Night routines also help our bodies and minds to realize that the time for sleep and rejuvenation is coming!

Some things that might be a part of your night routine could be cleaning and prepping your workspace, eating dinner, having tea, stretching or doing a yoga practice, taking a shower or bath, picking out your clothes for the next day, getting in bed to read, and then going to sleep.

Whatever your routine is, make sure you can do it every night! It typically takes about 30 days to create a habit, which is when your brain begins to realize that the pattern means sleep. But, you will probably see and experience benefits before 30 days!

Simply having a night routine helps improve sleep and decrease stress. Plus, it is a great way to begin to unwind after your workday! Incorporate things that work for you, start small, and stick to it! You will feel more relaxed at night, sleep better, wake up more refreshed, and have more productivity and focus during the day!

It's allot easier said than done in most cases, so it may be something you have to try over and over to get going. Not everyone is going to have the same routines, methods, or even schedules. Some people thrive better at night, so if that's the case, you would flip your routine around a bit to deal with that kind of schedule.

At any rate, the most important thing for anyone is to get a good night's sleep. Having yourself ready to go for the next day is a great way to lighten your mental load which can help you accomplish that dreamy goal.

These are really some things I am working on in my personal journey, so when I am writing articles like this, I am speaking to myself. So just know that I am working on practicing what I am preaching everyday and that nobody is perfect, so keep on and find the right path that works for you!

Until next time...

Keep calm and Hustle on!

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