What You Should Have Done Last Night

Ever get up the morning not ready for your day?

You didn’t finish things before bed.

Or you didn’t prepare something in advance of your day.

You are trying to get out the door and everything seems “out of order.”

Clothes aren’t clean. Things aren’t packed. Tasks aren’t done.

You tell yourself, “If only I had done this last night!

Not Ready For Tomorrow

It has happened to all of us.

You wait until the “morning of” to finish packing. Then what happens?

You can’t find something. (Or you forget an important item.)

Things quickly become stressful and rushed.

“Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”

– Benjamin Franklin

Many years ago, I got a tough lesson on “putting things off” until morning.

I was moving out an apartment and my friend Mike was helping me with the final tasks. The last of my stuff had been crammed into my car. The only thing left was to clean the apartment, so that I would get my security deposit back.

I told Mike not to worry about it. I had 2 hours in the morning before I had to head to the airport.

Mike was insistent. We weren’t leaving until it was done. I finally relented and ordered a pizza to keep us going.ย We furiously went to work cleaning up the place.

Six hours later… we finally finished.

We were exhausted, but proud of the fact that everything was done. We dropped the keys in the overnight drop and were done.

I thanked Mike and he headed home to his wife who was no doubt already asleep.

As I headed to bed, it hit me square in the face, “What would have happened if I had left it until the morning?”

It had taken the two of us almost six hours to finish the work!

I had planned on leaving it until morning and had allotted two hours for me to do the job by myself before my flight.

Wow. I had averted a mess. Or rather Mike had.

To this day, I still think of that event when I think about putting something big off until morning.

What You Should Have Done

What happens when you don’t finish things before you call it a day?

You end up causing yourself more life friction, unneeded stress, and trouble. Many of us are guilty of self-inflicted time management problems.

Before you call it a night, make sure you have finished your day, and gotten ready for the next.

Here are just a few things you should have done last night…

  1. Laundry – It has happened to all of us. You are getting ready for your day, and the laundry is not clean. Always switch over the laundry the night before. Better yet, lay out your clothes for the morning. It’s not just for kids.
  2. Prepared for your Day – Some people plan what they need to do the next day, but preparing is even more powerful. Do your homework and actually do whatever is needed to be ready for your day. There is a difference between knowing you have an important appointment the next day and actually putting the needed materials in your bag.
  3. Packed for Your Trip – Ever try to pack for a trip the “morning of?” It’s not fun. Always pack the night before. To make it easier, keep a “pack list” so that you can quickly assemble your items each time. You will also minimize the chance that you will forget something.
  4. Finished Your Day – In my apartment story, I had not finished something important that I needed to do that day. When you are at the end of your day and tired, it can be tempting to “put things off till tomorrow.” Sometimes you must find your second (or third) wind and finish what is still in front of you.
  5. Gotten More Sleep – You’ve got an important day tomorrow, make sure you get the sleep that your mind and body need. Getting enough sleep can make the difference between a productive day and a failed one. Don’t allow yourself to be tempted into staying out all night before an important day.

Do It Last Night

Don’t go to bed when there are things yet to do.

Finish before you turn in.

Complete your day. And get ready for tomorrow.

You’ll thank yourself in the morning.

What should you have done last night?

18 thoughts on “What You Should Have Done Last Night

  1. Great tips, Craig! A pack list…so smart! You can even keep a copy in each piece of luggage that way you’ll never have to go digging for it.

    1. @chaos_tamer I have used a pack list for many, many years.

      That is a great idea for another post… ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Craig, I would even go a step further,Arrange everything you need to do for the next day on a list the night before. This way, when you wake up the next morning, you can jump into action straight away.Another benefit is that you’ll probably remember everything you need to do when you’ll sit and plan (rather than doing it “on the run” during the day).On another note – I work on IQTELL, we have an application that helps you to arrange and manage all your daily routines and tasks. I have several Invites to our Beta. if you want one, email me at: haim@iqtell.com

  3. Great tips, Craig! A pack list…so smart! You can even keep a copy in each piece of luggage that way you’ll never have to go digging for it.

  4. Craig, I would even go a step further, Arrange everything you need to do for the next day on a list the night before. This way, when you wake up the next morning, you can jump into action straight away. Another benefit is that you’ll probably remember everything you need to do when you’ll sit and plan (rather than doing it “on the run” during the day). I work at IQTELL, we have an application that helps you to arrange and manage all your daily routines and tasks. I have several Invites to our Beta. if you want one, email me at: haim@iqtell.com ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Craig, I would even go a step further,Arrange everything you need to do for the next day on a list the night before. This way, when you wake up the next morning, you can jump into action straight away.Another benefit is that you’ll probably remember everything you need to do when you’ll sit and plan (rather than doing it “on the run” during the day).On another note – I work on IQTELL, we have an application that helps you to arrange and manage all your daily routines and tasks. I have several Invites to our Beta. if you want one, email me at: haim@iqtell.com

  6. Craig, I would even go a step further, Arrange everything you need to do for the next day on a list the night before. This way, when you wake up the next morning, you can jump into action straight away. Another benefit is that you’ll probably remember everything you need to do when you’ll sit and plan (rather than doing it “on the run” during the day). I work at IQTELL, we have an application that helps you to arrange and manage all your daily routines and tasks. I have several Invites to our Beta. if you want one, email me at: haim@iqtell.com ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. @chaos_tamer I have used a pack list for many, many years.

    That is a great idea for another post… ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Once again, Craig, you’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s amazing how taking a few minutes the day/night before an event can really prepare you in less time and with less stress. I almost always plan out my outfits the night before, and I pack my bag so I won’t forget anything. Writing lists is always helpful, too. Between moving a lot for my dad’s job and going out of state for college, I’ve gotten pretty adept at packing — but I can always learn more. Thanks!

  9. Once again, Craig, you’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s amazing how taking a few minutes the day/night before an event can really prepare you in less time and with less stress. I almost always plan out my outfits the night before, and I pack my bag so I won’t forget anything. Writing lists is always helpful, too. Between moving a lot for my dad’s job and going out of state for college, I’ve gotten pretty adept at packing — but I can always learn more. Thanks!

  10. Once again, Craig, you’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s amazing how taking a few minutes the day/night before an event can really prepare you in less time and with less stress. I almost always plan out my outfits the night before, and I pack my bag so I won’t forget anything. Writing lists is always helpful, too. Between moving a lot for my dad’s job and going out of state for college, I’ve gotten pretty adept at packing — but I can always learn more. Thanks!

  11. Once again, Craig, you’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s amazing how taking a few minutes the day/night before an event can really prepare you in less time and with less stress. I almost always plan out my outfits the night before, and I pack my bag so I won’t forget anything. Writing lists is always helpful, too. Between moving a lot for my dad’s job and going out of state for college, I’ve gotten pretty adept at packing — but I can always learn more. Thanks!

  12. Craig,

    Great that you addressed this topic!

    I find especially the tip #2 to be very important. I know that if I’m not prepared for the day, I have trouble of getting the important tasks done the next morning – before I go to work.

    Preparing on the night before helps you to start your day the most productive way possible. In fact, like HaimPekel said, I arrange everything ready for the morning. By that way my morning routine is the most optimized.

    Timo

  13. Craig,

    Great that you addressed this topic!

    I find especially the tip #2 to be very important. I know that if I’m not prepared for the day, I have trouble of getting the important tasks done the next morning – before I go to work.

    Preparing on the night before helps you to start your day the most productive way possible. In fact, like HaimPekel said, I arrange everything ready for the morning. By that way my morning routine is the most optimized.

    Timo

  14. “Don’t go to bed if there are things left to do” is why I have been sleep deprived. I think at some point a line needs to be drawn. People that obsess on doing things perfect end up like me. We live in a now now now society and we don’t pace ourselves. Especially now that people can reach you several ways to demand more, or speed up deadlines. I am best if I pace myself, while being logical (not emotional) on what needs to get done and if I’m too tired, do it the next morning so I can perform my best. I preferto be a little rushed than to live every single day of my life exhausted. I perform better under a little pressure. If I do everything and not give myself the crest I need, it starts a dark downward spiral. I do know how to say ‘no’ when I can’t commitvti things. But if I think “I can’t sleep til everything is done”— I’d never sleep. My to-do list to pay my bills and run my salon (self employeed) is like a never ending factory production line. Knowing when to turn it off, and how to arrange and re arrange your schedule are imperative. Procrastinating and balance are two entirely different things. And this is coming from someone who has eliminated anything unnecessary from their schedule even late hours. I need my downtime and not lay in bed at night beating myself up that I am not wearing a super woman cape. And then we wonder why the US is crammed full of diseases and illness that is the ugly reminder that we ‘shoukdve’ slowed down. Forour well-being, our families and peace of mind. Don’t live life like everything’s a deadline- think of them as “finish lines”. Slow and steady is how the tortoise beat the hare. Do too much at once, you will lose from burning out.

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