My Evening Routine

I have a morning routine that I’ve worked on these past 18 months.

It can look a bit extreme, but it’s just an hour and a half that I use to prepare myself for the day ahead.

I now rely on that time and feel disorganised if it doesn’t happen (though I can’t recall the last time this was).

By contrast my evening routine is more flexible. I’m tired, I’ve been on the go all day and I’m not a robot.

That said, going by some of my 30DWC cohort’s routines, I wonder if there’s room for improvement.

Just before I leave work: 4:45pm

I spend 10 minutes on my journal/day page in OneNote. I’ll write a few things on:

  • what I could have done better
  • amazing things that happened today

I also drag anything missed or stuff to remember into tomorrow’s page for me to deal with then.

Arrive home: 5:30pm

We have a nanny to look after the kids in the afternoon. She collects our youngest from school, feeds them all and chivvys them to do their homework. She leaves at 6pm, so either myself or my wife will get home for the handover; I try to make this me as much as possible.

As a result I leave the office at 5pm. It feels quite early, but I’ve actually been awake for around 12 hours so I’m ready to stop.

Dinner / Lunch / Clearing up: to 8pm

I try to cook most evenings from scratch though Cathie will pick up any slack evenings.

My cooking repertoire needs expanding. The challenge is providing something tasty, filling and wholesome that can be prepared and cooked in an hour. Trying new things during the week is risky as if it fails, you’re left hungry and you’ve ran out of time.

So, definite room to improve here, for now it’ll usually be one of my staple dishes:

  • roast veg and Seabass
  • stir fry (super-quick for Monday chior night)
  • bolagnaise with spiralised courgette ‘spaghetti’
  • some sort of marinated meat, dry-fried and served with steamed veg
  • at least one ‘carby’ meal a week, a veggie chilli with brown rice

As this is going on I’ll also make lunch. I’ll fill a Tupperware for each of us with various chopped salad and an optional source of protein. There will be another Tupperware each with an avocado, mixed nuts and a chunk of feta cheese in. Once or twice a week I’ll make a salsa as a sort of dressing, this will last a few days.

During this time Cathie is getting our youngest to bed and the twins are either doing their own thing or chatting with me.

I usually have time in-between tasks to read an article or two and catch up on Twitter.

By the time we’ve eaten and I’ve cleared the kitchen up it’s 7:30 to 8pm.

Margin: 8pm to 9pm

I’m not quite sure what I used to do here. Work probably, but I no longer allow myself to do that or email. I don’t watch TV, I don’t read either. I probably sat with a beer and browsed the web.

Recently, it has been this slot where I’ll start or finish a blog post.

Once April is out of the way I intend to use it to do some coding on a side project.

Ready for bed: 9pm to 9:30pm

It was intriguing to hear that people have a wind-down routine. Maybe I need one too. I just do bathroom admin and spend 10-15 mins stretching. If I’m feeling like it, I might read for 15 mins or so, but I’m aiming to be lights off for 9:30pm.

I do have my phone charging in the bedroom, but I don’t use it. I don’t need it as an alarm to wake up because I wake naturally between 5:00am and 5:30am. I can’t really see a reason removing it completely like some do, except to remove temptation.

The evening sounds hectic, but I enjoy the cooking and I don’t want to eat rubbish. After that I can either veg out or choose to do something, usually on a computer.

I used to feel like I was missing out on something if I went to bed before 11pm, but I’m a convert now. My early weekday rising means I also get a much longer weekend, so overall I think I’m gaining time going to bed earlier.

Word count: 717.

Time taken: about 1.5 hours in a few sittings

This post is one of 30 I wrote daily during April 2016 as part of the 30 Day Writing Challenge.