20 Productive Things You Can do Before Going to Bed

man reading before bed - things to do before bed

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Do you ever struggle with productivity? Better yet, do you ever look forward to getting off work only to feel like time flies once you’re finally home? You’re not alone.
I mean, we all know how 5 minutes on Facebook can easily turn into 50. And then when you’re tired of reading everyone’s life details on Facebook, it’s easy to turn to Instagram. Or Tik Tok. Or Twitter.  And next thing you know… It’s bedtime again.
 
But before we let our precious minutes waste away into a million little things, we can make the decision today to adopt a better nighttime routine. So here are 20 productive things you can do before going to sleep.

1. Plan your outfit for tomorrow

outfit laid out on table - things to do before bed Wouldn’t it be nice to have one less thing to worry about in the morning? Sometimes the smallest tweaks can make a huge difference in how you feel. Think about it. Have you ever done something productive and had that feeling of: Man, I’ve got my life together. I’m kicking butt today.  This is one of those feelings.  So tonight, I encourage you to spend 5 minutes laying out what you plan on wearing.  Just make sure you check tomorrows weather first. You might need an umbrella.
 
 

2. Do a digital declutter

woman typing on a laptop - things to do before bed We all know how this goes. We open our phone or computer, and the too-familiar feeling of overwhelm hit us as we look at all the messages, emails, and notifications. Don’t even get me started on the number of pictures we have in our phones. Have you ever tried to show someone a photo and had to scroll…and scroll… and scroll… to find it? It’s time to declutter your digital life, Marie Kondo style.  So here’s the deal: A few weeks ago I heard about this concept called Inbox Zero. Inbox zero is where you create labels in your inbox and organize every email in its place so you don’t have to see dozens of emails everytime you open your main inbox. For example, you might have a label for “Work” and one for “Personal.” Work emails go in the work folder, personal emails go in the personal folder, and so and so forth.
 
  Here are a few email folders I’m currently using:
  • Work
  • Personal
  • Read later
  • Important documents
  • Tax info
You can do this for your photos, too. I use Google photos to back up my pictures so that I can delete them off my phone. Try this before going to sleep and you might be surprised at what it does for your peace of mind.  

3. Level up financially

man budgeting - things to do before bed When was the last time you checked bank statements? I’m not saying any names. But at my last bank, there was a fee for Every. Single. Thing. An account maintenance fee here and a card swipe fee there. There was even a fee for not keeping a certain amount of money in the account itself. What kind of weird punishment is that? Bottom line: Some banks will stick it to you without you knowing. So check out your bank’s terms and conditions. Keep an eye out for these expense traps:
  • Maintenance fees
  • Account balance fees
  • Card swipe fees
I recommend switching to an online bank like Axos Bank because there are no fees. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Axos Bank was voted “Best Online Bank” by GoBankingRates and BankTracker. NerdWallet rated them as having the “Best Checking Accounts” What’s all this hype about? It’s because they offer some pretty sweet features – all for free. For example, they have:
  • Direct Deposit Express which allows you to get your paycheck up to 2 days early. 
  • Online Bill Pay which lets you to set up automatic or scheduled payments.
  • Mobile Deposit where you can snap a photo of a check and deposit it via the app
  • Zero Fees for using an ATM
  • Cashback Checking which lets you earn up to 1% cashback on signature-based purchases with your debit card.
  • Check writing privileges
  • No monthly maintenance fees to worry about
  • No minimum balance requirements 
  • 2 Step Authentication to protect your account  
  And best of all? Axos Bank offers all of this stuff for free. You can’t beat free.  

4. Pack your lunch before going to sleep

Did you know the average American spends $20 a week on lunch? That’s $1,043 per year just on lunch. We’re not talking about breakfast, coffee, or dinner. Word to the wise: If you invested that same $20/week into your retirement, then after 45 years (average working life span) you’d have $581,838.03.
 
  Let’s say you doubled that.   Let’s say you spent $40/week on lunch. If you invested that same $40/week into your retirement, then you’d end up with $1,163,676.07. And just like that, the cost of lunch turned you into a millionaire. Or not, it’s up to you. So listen: $40 a week is only $2,080 per year. That’s a tax refund check. That’s selling stuff you don’t need. That’s working a extra shift.  And another thing: Investing is not hard. It’s as simple as contributing to your workplace retirement plan and having the money automatically deducted from your paycheck. You can also set up your own Roth IRA through Vanguard or Fidelity. If you need help as a beginner, then I recommend reading Retire Before Mom & Dad. This book makes investing so much easier than you ever thought it would be. Trust me. Your future self will thank you a million times over. Literally.
 
 

5.  Listen to Audible

woman listening to audible - things to do before bed The smartest, most successful people all have one thing in common: They never stop learning. As Jim Rohn once said, “Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.” So here’s the deal: Bill Gates reads 50 books a year. Warren Buffett spends 80% of free time reading. Oprah has a monthly book club. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about success, it’s this: You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. If you want to be successful, you just have to do what successful people do. So commit to listening to an audiobook for at least 20 minutes before going to sleep. Note: Audible gives you 2 free audiobooks with a 30-day free trial.   

6. Call your parents

I can’t leave out those wonderful people who raised you from a babbling baby to the awesome person you are now. Although no one has a perfect relationship with their parents, if they affected your life for the better, then it’s nice to give them a call. While you’re at it, you might consider catching up with your grandparents or your friends, too. Ask them how their day went and what they’ve been up too. A listening ear goes a long way.
 
 

7. Do your laundry

I’ll be honest. I don’t like folding laundry. But for the sake of adopting a more productive nighttime routine, I’ve started folding laundry while I’m listening to Audible or watching my favorite show. And I’m proud to announce that over the past 7 months, I haven’t let my laundry sit in the dryer for more than a few hours. I’ve joined the winning team. Are you in?
 
 

8. Lower your bills 

man using cellphone - things to do before bed You know what kind of tips I like? Small ones that make a big impact. And one of the best things you can do for your finances is to download the free Truebill app. Truebill is an app that lets you manage subscriptions, track upcoming bills, and see your bank/card balances all in one place. The first time I used it, I was able to cancel 3 subscription services that I no longer needed. In the 30 minutes before going to sleep, I saved myself $50. Truebill also has a “lower my bills” option that lets you upload a bill for the Truebill team to negotiate lower on your behalf. The best part? It’s free. And if Truebill successfully lowers your bill, then they’ll send you an email with your new monthly payment amount. They split the savings with you 40/60. So if you save $100, they take $40. If they can’t negotiate any savings, then they take nothing.  

9. Write down your goals

Of all the items on this list, goal setting will do more to guarantee your success than any other single factor. Several years ago, Harvard University did a study about goal setting. The results were surprising. Here’s what happened: Researchers asked Harvard students if they had written goals and plans to achieve them.
  • Only 3% of the class had written goals with plans in place.
  • 13% said they had goals in their head but hadn’t written them down.
  • 84% had no goals at all.
10 years went by, and the same group of students were interviewed again. Can you guess what happened?
 
  The 13% who had goals in their head, but didn’t write them down, were earning twice the amount of the 84% with no goals. But wait, it gets better: The 3% that had written goals AND plans to achieve them were earning, on average, 10 times MORE than the other 97% combined. This is a prime example of how proper goal setting will change your life. So get busy goal setting.
 
 

10. Deep clean your teeth

toothbrush - things to do before bed I was having a conversation with my dentist a few months ago and he told me, “95% of people don’t floss.” I pretended to be shocked and told him, “Oh wow…that’s crazy,” as I thought to myself: I’m a part of that 95% Then he told me I needed a root canal. $2,000 and 3 trips to the dentist later, I promised myself that I’d do my best to never go through that again. So I committed to a healthy brushing routine before going to sleep.
 
  Through the recommendation of a few friends of mine, I decided to get a Waterpik water flosser. And I was absolutely hooked the first time I used it. If you don’t know, Waterpiks are like little pressure washers for your teeth. They have a brush head that blasts out water to remove plaque and knock out the excess food that gets trapped in your teeth. I was shocked at how much food was stuck between my teeth after brushing. And after using it, I had that “clean teeth” feeling that I’ve only ever experienced from a dental cleaning. If you want to try it for yourself, here’s the one I use.  

11. Work on a side hustle

Did you know that 44 million Americans boost their income through a side hustle? One report found that the average side-hustler spends 11 hours per week on their second job, and earns $12,609 extra per year. That’s no chump change. The same study reported that while only 50% of the respondents “loved” their primary job, 76% loved their side hustle.
 
  If you want to join the millions of other Americans who are side hustlin’ their way to financial freedom, we recommend the Steady app. It’s a free app that connects you with job and income boosting opportunities. Here’s the Steady commercial: Click here to download the Steady app.  

12. Learn a new language

woman using laptop Did you know one of the best ways to feed your brain is by learning another language? And the truth is, in today’s increasingly interconnected world, learning another language is becoming a vital skill. Not just in your personal life, but also in your career. This is more than just learning how to be productive at home.  Have you heard of the Duolingo app? It’s a completely free app that teaches you a new language.  Plus, it’s fun activity to do before going to sleep. This isn’t like your high school language class. These lessons are centered around games so you don’t actually feel like you’re studying. It also has sections where you use your phone’s mic to record yourself saying words. This is crucial because when it comes to learning another language, it’s important to know how to pronounce what you’re learning. One study found that people learned faster with Duolingo than Rosetta Stone. The study also suggested that 34 hours of Duolingo lessons is the equivalent of one college semester.
 
 

13. Stay up to date with the news

Staying current on the news will help you feel more empowered throughout your daily life. It’ll also make you feel smarter and more engaged. The Newsvoice app is a good place to start for unbiased news. They share news stories with sources from left, right, and center-winged platforms. This allows you to see all sides so you can make your own judgment. You can also choose what you’re interested in: US News, World News, politics, Business, Tech, etc.
 
 

14. Soak it away

bath candles - things to do before bed A hot bath can help you relax and boost your mood, all in a matter of minutes. And according to Pentucket Medical, bathing has many benefits: “Hydrotherapy can help people who suffer from multiple sclerosis as the temperature and pressure of the water gently relieve the spine of pain and discomfort. Submergence in water can reduce pain and inflammation and also calm the nervous system, reducing the levels of stress and anxiety in the body and improving your mood.” Plus there are several things you can do while you soak:
  • Read a book
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Play music
  • Listen to an audiobook
I recommend putting a couple of scoops of Epsom salt in your bath so you can open up your nasal passages and get relaxed before going to sleep.  

15. Boost your memory

woman using tablet before bed - things to do before bed Do you want to put your best foot forward? It’s no secret that between the demands at work and in our personal lives, we sometimes let life get in the way of our mental well-being. So if you want a fun way to train your brain, then try the Lumosity app.
 
  This app was created with the help of over 100 researchers from around the world who wanted to teach people how to boost their brain function. It works. One study of more than 4,000 adults found that Lumosity helped them improve their comprehension. It includes over 50 games designed to help you improve 5 key areas:
  • Speed
  • Memory
  • Attention
  • Mental flexibility
  • Problem-solving
Give it a shot.
 
 

16. Do a workout

Late workouts mess up sleep, right? Actually, no. A team of Swiss researchers found that working out 1.5 hours before bedtime encourages a more deep, restorative night sleep. In another study, 30% of people said they slept better after a good workout. Thankfully, there are plenty of free bodyweight exercises you can find on YouTube.   

17. Update your resume

It’s time to start thinking about the skills you need for the next job. What do I mean by that? I mean you should keep your resume updated as you progress through your career so you can look for better opportunities. Better pay, better benefits, and a better schedule. Because here’s the thing:  Career opportunities can happen at the most unexpected times. So do yourself a favor and stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.
 
 

18. Plan for tomorrow, today

woman writing - things to do before bed
 
Someone once told me:
 
“If you wait until you wake up to start thinking about everything you need to do – you’re already late.”
 
How powerful is that?
 
So listen:
 
Life’s too busy to get distracted by all the little things. And truthfully, people start demanding your time from the moment you wake up. They text you, the emails start coming in, and you ask yourself: Wait…what I am supposed to be doing again?
 
So before going to sleep, try writing down your top 3 most important tasks that you’ll want to focus on tomorrow.
 
Why a top 3? Why not 5 or 10?
 
Because when it comes to getting stuff done, one thing is true:
 
Being productive isn’t about fitting in as much as you possibly can. Learning how to focus on work requires a less-is-more approach. So focus on the things that matter the most.
 
Many successful people use a technique called ‘eating the frog‘. This theory was first made popular from this book.
 
In the book, Brian Tracy talks about why focusing on the most difficult task first (aka the “frog”) is crucial to staying focused and productive
 
By crossing off the “frog” first thing in the morning, the rest of your day will flow easily in comparison. Plus, that positive momentum you start your day with will follow you.
 
 

19. Do a face mask

Face masks are one of the little pleasures in life – like popping bubble wrap or putting on your lounge pants after a day of work. They’re a great way to pamper yourself and give your skin the nutrients it needs. Like vitamin C or vitamin E. Plus, you can do them while you’re doing other productive things like cleaning or reading a book. Self-care for the win.  

20. Meal Plan

man cooking One of the most dreaded sentences in the English language is: What’s for dinner? Okay, okay…kidding. But if you’re anything like me, then you don’t always make time to meal plan or write a shopping list. I like to keep things simple. So I started using the $5 meal plan system on Sunday nights before going to sleep.
 
  Here’s how it works: Erin Chase (the creator) cooks for her family of 6 for only $5 per meal. She developed the $5 meal plan system after realizing she could help others learn how to save money and time when it comes to meal planning and cooking.  Her meal plans come with hundreds of recipe ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are also separate plans for gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian. My favorite part? Each weekly plan comes with its own printable shopping list. This alone saves you so much time and effort in deciding what to cook.  A few of my favorites recipes have been: Almond Vanilla French Toast (Breakfast)
  • Takes 15 minutes
BBQ Chicken Nachos (Dinner)
  • Takes 10 minutes
Salted Caramel Brownie Parfaits (Dessert)
  • Takes 10 minutes
You can try the 14-day free trial here. After that, the membership is only $5 per month. If you’re anything like me, it will easily pay for itself in the first week – both in time and money. Click here to try your free trial.

 

20 Productive Things to do Before You Go to Bed

  1. Plan your outfit for tomorrow
  2. Do a digital declutter
  3. Switch to a better bank like Axos
  4. Pack your lunch before going to bed
  5. Listen to Audible and get 2 free audiobooks
  6. Call your parents
  7. Do your laundry
  8. Lower your bills through the free Truebill app
  9. Write down your goals
  10. Deep clean your teeth with a Waterpik water flosser
  11. Find a side hustle using the Steady app
  12. Learn a new language
  13. Stay up to date with the news
  14. Soak it away in the tub
  15. Play memory boosting games
  16. Do a workout
  17. Update your resume
  18. Write your to-do list the night before
  19. Do a face mask
  20. Meal Plan with $5 Meal Plans