How to Fuel Tomorrow’s Energy Tonight
The Torah unexpectedly says, “And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” The day begins in the evening.
Jewish scholars debate when the day actually begins. But the most important part of my morning begins in the evening.
My journey into morning and evening rituals intensified in 2020. Before this, I rushed to work. Everything else was an inconvenience.
I still write every morning, but now I work to notice things. For example, I notice the sound my coffee cup makes when I set it on the coaster.
Noticing improved my day.
Noticing demonstrates I value what I do.
I restarted my gratitude journal last November. It helps me notice.
I’m surprised to notice that my morning ritual depends on what happens in the evening. The rhythm of evening and morning works for me.
The most energizing thing I do is end my day well.
Good endings protect you from stumbling forward with baggage from the previous day.
A successful day begins the night before.
- Endings impact beginnings.
- Preparation for the day begins at night.
A clear ending provides opportunity to refresh and begin again.
- Finish stuff.
- Prepare your work space.
- Plan tomorrow’s beginning.
- I like the symbolism of turning off my computer.
- A brief evening journal.
- Turn down the lights.
- Listen to an audio book instead of TV.
Whatever evening ritual you adopt, make it simple. Complexity creates stress.
“Finish each day before you begin the next, and interpose a solid wall of sleep between the two.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
How might leaders sabotage their own energy?
What evening rituals might help leaders begin well in the morning?
A Formula for the Best Day Ever PT. II | Leadership Freak
Good Endings Promote Better Beginnings | Psychology Today
A Two Question Ritual to Change Your Day | Leadership Freak
The 7 Step Evening Ritual That Will Make You Happy | Observer
Very sound advice here! I have adopted similar rituals with my evenings and it has been the momentum I need to get my days off to a great start. Remember to keep it simple. Thanks again!
Thanks Tom. I have the uncanny ability to make simple things complex and easy things difficult. I should develop the alternative skills.
Interesting and timely, Dan. One effect of Covid here in the UK is that the start/end of day rituals are being eroded. Things people might do at the end of their day to draw a line under the day, like playing sport, going out somewhere, even meeting friends, are forbidden. It must be awful for those who have been working from home for a year, and have lost the opportunity to even remove themselves physically from the workplace.
Great observation, Mitch. It’s so true. We have to work harder to get away from work. Hence the need for rituals.
So true, Rituals, routines can become a way of life, how we chose to use them surely is the key.
I find a checklist at work on my desk that helps me through the options. As you mentioned I notice this needs addressed sometime soon as compared to later, thus the checklist. The same speaks at home a simple list to occupy ourselves with task when time permits compared to running around in a sense of turmoil. Absolutely “keep it simple”….we tend to make things far more difficult than they need to be.
Thanks Tim. Anything that enables consistency and creates a sense of stability and progress is so helpful.
I set a reminder on my laptop to go off 15 minutes before the end of my day, so I can wrap up what I am doing, tie up any loose ends, and shut down (more or less) on time. I then walk to whatever room my husband is in and say, “Honey, I’m home.” I may also add a joke about the traffic being heavier or lighter than usual. Especially if I have to hunt through rooms to find him. I find all of that helps me transition from work to home, even though both are in the same place.
The biggest thing is the reminder going off. That is my signal to write down what I was doing / about to do so that I don’t have to remember it the next morning.
The best way to stick to a ritual is to have a house of dogs(6 to be exact) – they know when it is 8:10pm every night – they are ready to go outside and then come in to get ready in their nightly sleeping spots. My wife and I then get our clothes organized for the next day, read for about 1 hour and then lights off. Our end-of-day rituals haven’t needed to change due to COVID-19 since the dogs have always dictated the schedule.
Thinking about your post has allowed me to understand that we enjoy our ritual because it really does call the end to one day and encourage a great start to the next one(especially having our clothes set out for the next day)!!
Thanks for sharing; for Muslims (like myself) it is the same debate. The new day begins after sunset (evening). And this is a perfect reminder.
I decide what I’m going to pack for lunch the next day and set out the clothes I’m going to wear the next day in the evening so the morning can go as smoothly as possible – sometimes I change my mind in the morning but it usually works 🙂
This blog is a great opportunity to take time and reflect especially with everything that occurred in 2020. As you stated prior to 2020 everything/everyone was always in a rush and then suddenly that changed. While things in my life are starting to get hurried up as time goes, the events in 2020 changed many aspects. There are many things that are more “noticed” now then prior to 2020. The idea of “surprised” being tied to “noticed” on how things from the evening carry over the morning is another great thought. We have all heard the saying about spouses never going to bed angry. Some relationships live up to that idea while others are not true. There are times when it is important to work out those issues and other times it is best to wait in the morning. The “simple endings” the night before starts that routine for the next day. Staying up very late at night is going to have a major impact on the next day if an early start is needed.