My night routine for a more productive morning

I talk about this importance of self care & creating a solid morning routine, but having a solid night routine is just as important. Your night routine is important because it allows you to prepare for the next day!

After some trial & error with my night routine, I have figured out a routine that works for me and makes sure that I am getting the sleep I need & preparation that I need.

Turn electronics off by 7pm

Like a lot of people, I have always enjoyed laying in bed, watching TV until my eyes get sleepy and about to fall asleep. I also got into a habit of doing some social media scrolling at the same time as well. But, when I started having a hard time falling asleep, I was experiencing some extreme anxiety and those things started to not help me out at all. I know a lot of people mention turning off electronics, but watching TV & scrolling really did help me out in terms of helping me fall asleep (so I thought).

So, I started turning off my TV and stop scrolling an hour before I go to bed. I’m not perfect and don’t always follow this, but when I do, it definitely helps being able to refocus and start calming my mind down. However, I know that some people actually enjoy watching TV right before bed and find it to be incredibly relaxing. Whatever works for you! But, if you start noticing constant struggle to fall asleep, I would recommend at least giving this a try!

Take Melatonin

About an hour before I go to bed, I usually take 3-6g of melatonin. This is just a natural remedy to help you naturally fall asleep. I personally love melatonin because it helps me fall asleep, but it doesn’t make me feel all groggy the next morning. When I take a sleep aid, I can sometimes feel all groggy and half asleep if I didn’t get enough sleep for the sleep aid to wear off. Right now, I am enjoying the Nature Made Melatonin.

Turn on the essential oil diffuser 

I absolutely love my essential oil diffuser! An hour before bed, I also like to turn on my essential oil diffuser. There’s something so relaxing about diffusing lavender/eucalyptus/ tea tree oil to calm your mind. I have mine sitting right next to my bed on my night stand. I love climbing into bed with relaxing aroma already there, mmmm allll the calming feels right there!

The oil that I like to use is Pure Aroma because it comes in a package that contains allll of the oils that I like to use on a daily basis. I usually always have one package in my amazon cart because I know that I’m going to need a refill!

If you don’t have an essential oil diffuser yet, I would recommend getting one that comes with some oils to get you started, like this one. That way you can test out which oils you really like so you know which ones you would like to get a refill on.

Prep the coffee maker & breakfast

Something that doesn’t take a lot of time, but helps with the flow of the morning, is making sure that everything is prepped for breakfast. The more I am able to prep, the more fluid my morning is!

  • Putting coffee & water in the coffee maker
  • Cracking eggs into Tupperware
  • Measuring oats

Wash my face, put on a face mask 

Something that I find that I tend to talk myself out of is making sure I wash my face & brush my teeth before bed. But, I have started making sure I make this a priority & a part of my self care routine.

I try to do a face scrub & face mask a couple times a week. I love the options that I get in my FabFitFun boxes! They always send such high quality products and it’s so fun to try them all!

Set out clothes & gym bag for the morning

The first thing that I do in the morning is go to the gym. (Note: I wrote this post before the COVID-19 outbreak, you can read about my updated morning routine during quarantine).

To make sure that the morning starts of smoothly, I set out everything that I need to get ready for the gym. Since I get up before my boyfriend, I lay out everything that I need in the bathroom!

A lot of people wonder how I workout so early in the morning. One of my main tips is actually getting ready for the gym. It sounded like a crazy idea to me at first, but I actually recommend getting ready for the gym. Doing this actually wakes up my body, rather than getting to the gym feeling like a zombie.

Here’s what I set out the night before to get ready for the gym:

  • Water- I start drinking right when I get up!
  • Workout clothes
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Hair ties

Reflection journaling 

After I get everything prepared for the next day, I climb into bed for the remainder of my night routine.

A part of my morning routine is journaling & expressing gratitude. Before I go to sleep, I take the time to reflect on my day. This has become a really important part of my routine because it really helps put things in perspective. Sometimes, we can focus on all the bad things that happen throughout the day.

As a Mindset Coach, I truly believe in the power of perception. When we start looking for the silver lining in situations, it really helps with putting things in perspective.

That’s why I love the reflections in The Five Minute Journal.

In the morning, you talk about what you are grateful for, write down intentions for the day & write a positive affirmation.

Then, at the end of the day, you write what went well + what you could have done to make the day better. You don’t realize the power of this kind of reflection & intention setting, but this helps in shifting your mindset. I love this journal because it is very short and straight to the point. These daily exercises help you with being able to set actionable goals for yourself.

Read

Reading is one of those activities that I really love, but I sometimes have a hard time getting myself to settle down with a good book. Instead of turning on TV to help me fall asleep, I started picking up a book and reading while in bed. Reading has been the perfect way for me to really calm my mind down and lets me naturally get sleepy. Reading is much better at preparing you for sleep than scrolling on your phone! It’s definitely a habit that I have seen a huge difference with.

Some books that I’m loving right now:

Guided Meditation

I personally have a love/hate relationship with meditation because I’m still really bad at it. I’ve been trying to make this a daily habit for a couple years now and it’s one of those things that takes some (lots) time to master. But, when I do practice meditation, I notice how much more relaxed and calm my mind is. Even if it’s just listening to calming music, rather than a guided meditation. Just a couple of minutes can work wonders!

I do recommend getting some guided meditation apps on your phone to try out nightly. Most of them have free options so you don’t have to commit to monthly payments if you don’t think that you’ll need that kind of investment. Some guided meditation apps that I like are Sanvello, Calm & Simple Habit.


That’s my night routine! I usually like to give myself an hour to an hour and a half before I want to go to sleep. The more that I allow myself to unwind, the better quality sleep I am able to get. This routine has helped me in so many ways & I hope you found this to be helpful!

What are your favorite ways to unwind at the end of the day?!

xx,
-jess

Preparing for the best week ever

I don’t know about you, but my weekends are really important to me. How I spend them is even more important. 

For me, I need a couple days completely away from work, to rest my mind & my body. Doing this allows me to make sure that I’m not working myself to burnout & lose motivation. Since I’ve learned that I get stressed out easily, the best way to handle this is to try to prevent it before it starts.

The best way to prevent stress for me is to make sure that I’m planning ahead and being prepared. Have you ever heard the saying, “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail?”. Meaning, there is great importance in making sure you that you plan ahead.

I used to do all of my prepping & planning on Sunday, but I’ve noticed that this makes me feel like I have to dedicate a whole day to more work. Thus feeling like I haven’t been able to rest & go into the next week feeling tired & a bit frazzled. 

I’ve been able to figure out what things need to be done before entering the next week, as well as a system that works for me. This helps to ensure that I don’t have to cram everything in on Sunday. 

Since implementing the system I’m discussing in this post, I’ve been able to see a difference in my stress levels. I’ve also been able to stay on track with my fitness goals & have ultimately been more productive as a result. (You can read more about how I remain on track in my post on Why I Check In With Myself Every Week)

This system has been several months testing out to get to figuring out what works for me, and I hope this helps you in developing a plan that work for YOU and YOUR schedule/life.

PLANNING OUT MEALS

I think one of the main things that people struggle with, is having the time to make healthy meals. The best thing to be able to do in order to make sure that you are able to stick to your goals & save time, is planning out your meals ahead of time! 

I usually start thinking about the meals for the next week on Wednesday’s. Thinking about this allows me to be able to brainstorm healthy meals & to see what meals I can make with the items that I already have in my apartment at the moment. Planning out my meals ahead of time also lets me keep a running list of groceries that I need to get for the next week.

My boyfriend and I usually take turns making dinner. He does Mondays & Wednesdays and I do Tuesdays and Thursdays. Taking turns definitely helps take a little bit off of my plate, but planning ahead definitely takes some of the stress off of my plate!

GROCERY SHOPPING

I usually think of meals for the next week on Wednesdays because I like to do my errands on Thursday afternoons- including grocery shopping. If I don’t have time to get to run my errands on Thursdays, we go either Friday evening or Saturday mornings. 

I used to go grocery shopping on Sundays, but I avoid doing this anymore because the grocery store is always so busy & it takes up so much time. So, getting the grocery shopping done and out of the way has really made a big difference in being able to free up some time!

CHOPPING VEGGIES / MEAL PREPPING

I ALWAYS make sure that I have veggies chopped before going into the next week. This is something I usually do Sundays because it’s easy and doesn’t too much time. But, doing this over the weekend helps save a TON of time during the week when I’m cooking!

I chop lettuce, spinach, bell peppers, onions, celery, and any other vegetables that we are going to be using throughout the week. Spending an hour or so chopping all of the veggies over the weekend helps with being able to just grab what I need easily, without the hassle of having to wash the cutting board several times throughout the week!

PLANNING SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT

Ohhhh this is a HUGE one! For those of you who don’t know, I started my business in Social Media Management last year and learned about all of the ins and outs of using social media strategically for business. I learned a lot about strategy and I even put everything that I learned into Ultimate Social Media Guides.

One of the main tips that is pretty much essential in success in using social media for business, is planning and scheduling content ahead of time! Planning ahead saves you so much time and hassle and makes sure that you are always staying on top of your game. It’s one of my main 7 Fool-Proof Social Media Strategies!

I’ve heard a lot of people plan out their posts for the upcoming week on Sundays, but that is honestly too much work for me to do on Sundays. Plus, it usually takes a couple times of running through the posts before I feel like they are ready to go. 

I actually start planning out content 4-6 weeks ahead of time. Then, the Monday before, I start finalizing the next week’s posts, so that I am always a week ahead. By planning this ahead of time, I am able to make any changes throughout the week if needed, so I’m not rushing to get everything planned out.

For example, here’s is what my week looks like when planning my posts:

Mondays- Map out posts for the next week

Tuesdays- Edit any graphics + write captions

Wednesdays- Work on blogs & blog strategy

Thursdays- Finish scheduling all posts for next week

PLANNING OUT TO-DOS FOR THE WEEK

In working from home & being my own boss, I have to make sure that I am being very clear on my to-do’s for the week. It has taken a long time to figure out the system that works for me.

I usually start brain dumping and planning out the next week on Thursdays and finalize the plan on Fridays when I know for sure what each task is. 

LAUNDRY

Ah laundry… one of those highly dreaded chores, but very important chore. I actually do my laundry on Friday mornings before I go to my meeting. When I get home from the gym, I throw my clothes in the laundry, by the time I have to leave for the meeting, they are already in the dryer. I then do my towels when I get home from the meeting and put everything away in the afternoon.

Doing my laundry throughout the day on Fridays also saves a lot of time that I can use to my self on Sundays!

Reflection & Setting Intentions

Something that I have recently added into my routine is reflecting on the past week & setting intentions for the upcoming week. It’s hard to plan ahead & keep up with your goals if you don’t keep track of how it’s going!

Here are some things to think about:

  • What went well this week?
  • What didn’t go well?
  • What could I do better?
  • What are 3 things that I want to focus on this week?
  • How am I going to make sure I prioritize self care?

Want some strategies to setting goals & actually reaching them?! Check out my 5 tips for crushing your goals!


Doing a little bit of planning and preparation throughout the week has really helped in making sure that I can enjoy my weekends. It feels so much better going into the weekend feeling like I can enjoy the time to myself & relax! 

Everyone talks about Sunday being the day to do everything- grocery shopping, meal prepping, planning the week, laundry, ALL OF IT. If that works for you, and it used to for me, that’s absolutely fine! However, I started noticing that trying to do everything on Sunday takes up the whole day & I was going into the next week feeling frazzled. 

Everyone’s schedule is different & different things will work for different people. It’s all about finding what works for you! ❤

What do you need to do to prepare for the week ahead?!

xx,
-jess

Tips for working from home

I’ve been working from home for almost 2 years now & it’s been one of my favorite things. I love being completely in charge of my schedule throughout the day. While it has become one of my favorite things that I’ve been able to create, it hasn’t been an easy journey to getting to where I am today.

With more and more people working from home, I completely understand how hard it can be to get into this new (maybe temporary) normal. Lucky for you, I’ve been able to test out a couple of things that I think will help you out for adjusting to this new normal.

Get prepared the night before

When you are working from home, it’s hard not to get into the mindset that you don’t need to prep as much as you would normally. However, I have found that preparing & prepping the night before is just as helpful to keep me on track all day.

Things to prep & prepare:

  • Meetings. It’s important to pull out your planner & write in when you have any meetings that you have to be present for.
  • Family/kids obligations. Write down in your planner any obligations that your kids have related to school, nap times, etc.

It makes it easier plan your day when you are able to see the times throughout the day that you are busy & need to work around.

  • Meals. Make sure that you have all of your meals planned out for the next day so you aren’t scrambling to figure out what you are eating. This can even go as far as planning out breakfast, lunch, snacks in addition to dinner and prepping them to save you time during the day. 

Stick to a schedule/routine

Writing down everything that you have to do, especially those that have to be done at a certain time is important for making sure that your day runs smoothly. 

It’s important to pencil in those times in your schedule so you can see when you can tackle your work and how long you have at each time. Depending on what your household is like, this will look different for each individual. 

If you are like me and don’t have any kids & not many meetings to work around, then your schedule will obviously have much more flexibility. 

Even if you are like me, it is very important to get yourself into a good routine to make sure that you stay on task and remain productive.

Get ready for the day 

I believe this varies from person to person. I know there are several people who are more productive if they get dressed and ready for the day. Personally, I prefer to work in my comfy clothes.

You know yourself best & maybe you need to test out what works best for you. But, I would definitely continue with your usual morning routine if possible. 

My morning routine has shifted since my boyfriend is working from home with me, but I have generated a new morning routine that contains my non negotiable self care items and gives me the time I need to myself.  You can read more about this routine in my post, My Morning Routine As A Young Entrepreneur Working From Home!

Give yourself breaks throughout the day

One of the first things that I noticed when I started working from home is that I thought I had to be working all the time, constantly throughout the day. It can be hard to manage your time when outside of your usual office environment. However, that is the best way to work yourself straight to burnout and frustration. 

Listen to your mind & body and give yourself the necessary breaks throughout the day! These can be shorter 10-15 minute breaks or longer, 1-2 hour breaks throughout the day. Definitely listen to your mind & your body & listen to what you need. Having trouble finding motivation? I check out my Tips For When You’re Not Feeling Motivated.

For me, I like to give myself multiple 10-15 minute breaks between work items and then I will take a longer 2 hour break from about 11am-1pm. I started doing this because I noticed that I work best early in the morning, then get a second wave later in the afternoon. Which is why it’s incredibly important to listen to yourself & base your schedule around what works best for YOU!

Ideas for what to do when taking longer breaks:

  • Get outside! Especially right now when we are all stuck at home all day, it can be very easy to get cabin fever. Even if it’s just sitting on my patio for a little bit to breath in some fresh air. It’s important that you are getting out of the inside of your home, giving yourself a break from everything & just get refreshed. Especially now that spring is here and the weather is getting nicer! We all need to get outside & enjoy the fresh air.
  • Exercise. For me, I personally prefer to get my workout in first thing in the morning because the whole process of working out can take a couple hours. However, getting in a workout can be a really great way to take a break from your work & release some stress.
  • Go on a walk. I’ve been trying to make it a habit to go on a 20-30 minute walk at lunchtime to get out of my apartment, get some fresh air & even get in some light cardio. Especially if it’s a nice day, try to get out of the house and walk around!
  • Chores around the house. I will sometimes schedule in times throughout the day to tackle some of those chores around the house to give me a break & also continue staying productive. I will use this time to do laundry, run the dishwasher, put dishes away, clean my cat’s litterbox, etc.

As you can see, most of my ideas have to do with getting out and moving your body, which I think is incredibly important, especially right now. I think that getting outside and walking around is great practice, even if you work at an office usually and you have the opportunity. It’s just a really good habit to start getting into!

Batch your time throughout the day

What does that even mean? It means dedicate chunks of time to work throughout the day, rather than trying to get everything done at once. 

This is where penciling in meetings & other other obligations into your schedule is helpful so you can see what time frames you have to work with.

I like to chunk 1 hour at a time and give myself at least a 10 minute break before moving into my next task to complete. It is sometimes longer & shorter, depending on if I get into flow when working. You can read more in my post about Time Management While Working From Home.

What works best for you?

I do believe that this is different for everybody, which is why it’s important to be able to figure out what works best for you specifically.

For me, I notice that I am much more productive earlier in the morning, so I try to get to my desk as early as possible to make sure that I am able to tap into the max productivity. I realized that if I wait until later in the morning/day to try to start getting to work, I will get distracted and have a hard time focusing. But, like I’ve mentioned, that doesn’t work for everybody.


WHAT I DON’T RECOMMEND

What I absolutely do not recommend is trying to work from bed. I know how tempting it is to wake up and just grab your laptop and try working from bed, but I do not think that is the best way to approach working from home. However, I have done this before when I don’t feel good, but it’s not something that I do all the time.

There are just so many factors that go into being productive working from home and I do truly believe that you should treat it like you would if you were going into the office. Try to keep your routine as “normal” as possible. What might seem like a good, tempting idea, might not be the best, healthiest and most productive decision.

Now, it’s time to start planning out your at-home workday! What does this look like for you?!

I hope you found this helpful! ❤

-Jessie

My Morning Routine As A Young Entrepreneur Working From Home

We’ve all heard all about how setting a solid morning routine is incredibly important for starting the day. I don’t believe there’s one “perfect” morning routine universal for everyone. What works really well for me might not work for you and vice versa and that’s OK! But, I do think it’s important for everyone to set one for themselves & test out different strategies to figure out what that ideal morning routine looks like. 

The thing about routines is that they change often. They change with us, when certain life shifts happen. For me, it’s changed many times over the years & especially with starting my own business working from home.

Personally, I’m a BIG morning person. I’m definitely one of those “annoying morning people” that people like to complain about. I just think mornings are so peaceful, especially early mornings. I love getting up early before the sun and taking my time to get ready for the day because how I spend my mornings definitely sets the tone for how the rest of the day is going to be. 

Figuring out what works for you

Since everyone is different, it’s important to learn about yourself & test out different things to be able to come up with a solid morning routine. One thing that I’ve learned about myself over the years is that I get stressed out really easily. It’s frustrating, but it’s just one of those traits that I have. Once I get stressed out, it’s hard to get myself back together & I have figured out the best way to deal with it is to prevent myself from getting to that point. 

The most prominent thing that I’ve learned for preventing stress is being planned, organized & prepared. The feeling of being behind or that I am under time pressure is one of the easiest ways for me to get overwhelmed. I need to have things planned out and prepared ahead of time, I do not handle procrastination well AT ALL! 

My morning routine might seem a bit excessive for some, but this is what works for me. After experimenting with my morning routine for several years now, I’ve been able to pinpoint certain things that are important for my morning routine. 

Here’s what my routine looks like:

My morning routine starts the night before

I think this is true for a lot of people, but making sure everything is prepped & ready is helpful in making sure the morning flows smoothly. Plus, you can save yourself a lot of time & stress in the AM!

I prep the coffee maker, prep breakfast (crack eggs into a tupperware, measure oats), prep snacks/smoothie so I just have to reach in the fridge throughout the day.

I also lay out my gym clothes & make sure everything is packed in my gym bag. Having everything ready helps me feel like I can make sure I’m not rushed and make sure that I don’t get stressed out!

(I’ll write another post on my night time routine!) 



EArly morning gym time

I have been going to the gym first thing in the morning for about a year and a half now. A lot of people call me crazy, but it’s been the most amazing lifestyle shift. I’ve found that getting my workout done first thing in the morning helps with my anxiety & not talking myself out of getting to the gym throughout the day.

You can read more about this in How/ Why I Go To The Gym At 5AM & also 3 Tips for Early Morning Workouts if you are thinking about transitioning to working out early!

Starting my day with a sweaty workout has been the key thing to making sure that I don’t get overwhelmed. I notice that if I go more than 2 days without a workout, I get on edge and start feeling overwhelmed & stressed out. It’s such a great feeling to start the day getting to the gym early & clear my mind! 

Breakfast

I always have breakfast with my boyfriend when we get back from the gym! He jumps in the shower & gets ready for work while I prepare a healthy breakfast for both of us. Having everything prepped the night before helps makes things so much easier for me!

Meditation

I’ve been experimenting with meditation for the last couple years. I have been inconsistent with it, but I have recently added it back into my morning routine. I’ve been trying to make it a habit to meditate for 5-10 minutes after I shower & get dressed and it honestly helps significantly. 

Once I start, I notice how much my mind is focused on all the tasks I have to do for the day. Letting my mind calm down helps me to be able to focus & think more clearly.

Even though I’ve been practicing meditation for a couple years, I’m not very good at it! It really takes a lot of practice. It can be difficult to shut everything off & focus just on your breath, so I’m a big fan of guided meditations. My favorite guided Meditations are in the Sanvello app that I talked about in My 8 Step Process to Overcoming Depression.

Sitting in mediation for 5-10 minutes helps me calm my mind so I feel nice & grounded. Since I get stressed out easily, making sure my mind is calm & clear is extremely important in making sure that I don’t start my workday feeling like my mind is all over the place.

Journaling

After calming my mind with 5-10 minutes of meditation, I sit at my desk and get ready for the work day. You’ve heard me mention this many times, especially in The Power of Journaling! Over the summer I would sit out on my patio for about 30 minutes to journal & get some fresh air.

I journal about what’s on my mind, what’s bothering me, what I feel like I need to get done for the day & how I’m feeling. I just let my mind do the writing and get everything out that I need to. I find that getting everything out of my head & onto paper helps me organize my thoughts and make sure that my mind is calm and ready to take on the day.

Sometimes I find myself thinking that I can skip journaling & sometimes I do. When I do skip journaling for a couple of days, I start getting overwhelmed so I try not to make it habit.

I actually just recently talked myself out of journaling for about a week because I had a lot on my to-do list. I started feeling myself get consumed by my thoughts around everything I had to get done. After I noticed this, I decided I needed to stop talking myself out of it & I ended up journaling for about 2 pages. Taking the time to journal has really helped in getting everything out of my head and out on paper, ultimately helping me feel better & better able to focus.

Review my to-do list & make a plan for the day

I try my best to write out my to-do list the night before, but that doesn’t always happen & sometimes I have some new ideas that I want to add into my schedule. So, I make sure that I take some time to review everything that needs to be done and make sure I have a plan for the day.

By this time, it’s around 8am and I am ready to get started on my work for the day! It’s always so nice to be able to start the workday with a clear mind & fresh perspective. We are all so busy and often get caught up in the motions of everyday life that we don’t take the time for ourselves.

I have enjoyed the transition to being my own boss & working from home, but it has been a hard & stressful journey! Being completely in control of my time & schedule is difficult, but I’ve been able to figure out what works best for me. Having a solid morning routine in place, especially focusing on self-care and prioritizing my mental health has been so refreshing!

I hope you take the time to try out different things for your morning routine. Even making it a goal to get up a little bit earlier so you can ease into your day can be very helpful!

xx