The night-time is for rest and rejuvenation.
Sleep is increasingly becoming a “luxury”, thanks to busier lifestyles and work schedules, and the recommended 8 hours a night have been reduced to 4 or 5 at best. Commuter trains are packed with jaded employees catching up on precious snooze time, programmed to wake just as they pull into their stop.
The biggest killer of restful sleep is money, lack thereof, or bad money management and the stress of being out of control.
Here’s a simple night routine with 7 steps to help you improve your wellbeing, and ultimately help you save money in the process:
1. Go Screen Free
Perhaps not the most important on the list, but it’s definitely up there. It’s proven that using electronic devices stimulates the brain and this is precisely what we want to avoid when we’re about to turn in.
Leave at least an hour to be entirely device-free before bed. Any emails you haven’t answered by 9:30 pm can wait until tomorrow. Avoid having a television in the bedroom, as you’re likely to a) stay up later and/or b) drop off with bright lights affecting your deep sleep.
You might find you save on electricity bills by going to bed earlier and switching off all your devices!
2. Brain Dump
Write down what’s on your mind. Split the list into two columns:
- 1 for things you are able to solve now (i.e. tomorrow)
- The other for things you’re not able to solve just yet.
By writing it down, you are training yourself to offload concerns until tomorrow.
They aren’t magically less important as a result, but knowing that you won’t forget about them, and that you have a systematic list of things to do the next day will help you switch off. Trying to remember to do something while you sleep is the last thing you need.
3. Important Tasks
Rank the above tasks: 1, 2 and 3 in order of importance. These are the things you vow you will get done tomorrow, come what may. There is a huge sense of satisfaction that comes from tackling tasks; doing this on a daily basis will not only make you feel more accomplished, but will help you drop off knowing you’ve done what you set out to do.
Know when you’re at your best and do the harder tasks then. If you’re not a morning person, there’s no sense in trying to knock the toughest jobs on the head at 8 am. Be realistic and know what you’re capable of and when.
Organization really is all it’s cracked up to be!
5. Prep for your day
By preparing a packed lunch or your coffee at home, you can make bigger savings than you might have thought. $10 on breakfast and the same again at lunch, plus coffees and snacks? That’s a big saving if you spend 20 minutes or less preparing a snack and brew your coffee while you shower.
Easier said than done right? Yes and no. If you know what it is that helps you unwind, be it a warm bath or blankets and a book (non electronic), or even meditation, then do it.
Once you realize just how fundamental the going-to-bed process is, calming your mind and focusing on rest, you’ll do it every day of the week.
7. And sleep (with a little help)
Obvious, but do all you can to set aside sufficient hours for sleep.
A lack of sleep is the root of our demise, and affects our motivation and ability to think straight. This is not the best recipe for someone trying to stay in control of money, making it a bit of a vicious circle… by internalizing the above routine, you’ll be able to face issues head on and you’re more likely to spot solutions when they present themselves.
Use sleep apps to track your sleep patterns and improve them. And while you’re at it, why not download a money management app to do the same for your bank balance?