How to Properly Shut Down at Night

Episode 2-71
Posted on September 11, 2017

I took the last month off from the podcast and strategically chose episodes to air during the break that speak to the concept of rest and self care. In this episode from earlier in the season, I talk about shutting down at night and how it can be one of the most difficult things to do as we handle all the roles in our lives, especially if you work from home. How do we fully turn off our brain so we can close our eyes and get some rest at night? Sometimes it happens out of exhaustion or because we want to check out and not face our “to do” list. In this podcast I talk about what I do to fully (and properly) shut down at night.

To stay organized, here is what I do on a daily and weekly basis: 

I do a “brain dump” and write down everything I need and/or want to get done for the week or for the day.

Pick the top 3 things that need to get done and do these first!

Look at your “leftover” tasks and decide what needs to carry over to tomorrow and maybe what can be pushed back a few days or even a week.

To shut down at night, I go through this checklist:

I check my daily folder one last time.

I use the touch it once paper system so I have a folder for each day of the month that helps keep me organized (for more on that listen to this podcast). Before I go to bed, my daily folder is emptied and items are either filed away or moved to other daily folders if they still need to be done.

I check email one last time and decide if I need to respond to any important messages.

I check all my phones for texts and voicemails and return any that can’t wait until the next day.

I clean off my desk.

I look at my studio space and get things cleaned up/organized for the next day.

I say out loud “system complete” so my brain knows it can stop thinking about work.

I can tell I’m properly shutting down at night when I don’t have my recurring stress dream (which is that I am in college with a baby on my hip and am trying to get to class but I can’t get there—SO goofy!).

Your system doesn’t have to look like mine, but you should have a checklist that you go through at night so you let your brain shut down. I recommend it be at least three points. Write it down and check it off every night so you sleep better at night, so you rise, shine and meet your awesome, colorful circus the next day!

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