Why You Need to Create an Afternoon Routine

Why You Need to Create an Afternoon Routine

“How much time do you have in the afternoon and evenings to complete work,” I asked Chris. He was struggling in most of his classes and I was trying to figure out why.

“Oh, lots of time. I don’t really do anything after I get home from school.”

“All that time and you’re not getting homework done? What are you doing then?”

“I don’t know – playing video games, watching TV, sometimes I hang out with my friends. It changes every day.”

Aha! We’d found the problem. Chris had no structure in place after school, so he just wandered from thing to thing. He never thought about when he would complete schoolwork, which was why he often didn’t get it done. 

For many teens and college students, the afternoon and evening are prime work times. But without any structure in place, they can also become black holes – you don’t know where the time went, but you don’t have any work to show for it. 

Creating a routine for yourself can help you structure that time and allow you to get work done – and take some breaks along the way! However, having an afternoon routine isn’t just about getting homework completed or focusing better. Routines can improve your mental and physical health and lower your overall stress levels

Now that you’re on the afternoon routine bus, let’s talk about what to include in your afternoon routine and how to get started!

Why You Need to Create an Afternoon Routine

Take a Break

Rarely can our brains go all day at school and then immediately start working at home. Take a 30-minute break when you get home. While it’s tempting to just sit on the couch and scroll on your phone during this period, your body has been sitting all day long. You need to MOVE! 

Talk a walk outside, jog up and down the stairs, make a healthy snack in the kitchen. And then maybe open your phone. If this time tends to gets away from you, set a timer on your phone.

Make a Plan

This is prime time for your planner. Hopefully, you used it during the day to write down assignments and any important due dates you received. Open it now and make a list of the things you need to do today – homework, long-term projects, chores, extracurriculars, etc.

Now it’s time to figure out when in the afternoon and evening you will actually complete all of those. Carve out time for dinner (if possible) and keep it realistic. If you must be in bed at 10, don’t schedule your math homework for 10:30.

Get Organized

Whether you’re learning remotely or in-person, there are always papers (real or virtual) to go through. The goal is to be able to quickly find any paper or file that you need quickly!

Take out your notebook and start organizing the papers you received today – hole punch them and place them in the correct section of your notebook. If your school is virtual, start moving today’s files into the correct class folders. 

Homework Time

You knew it was going to be there, right? As always, you need to have things prepped for homework time. You should work in a study space that works for you! Have all your materials and school supplies ready to go; that way you won’t waste time trying to find the scissors or your calculator. Put your phone in another room or in DND mode. Use the plan that you created above to complete your work.

As with all work times, this doesn’t have to be a 4-hour block sitting at your desk. In fact, it shouldn’t be. Take breaks about every 30 minutes. On those breaks, move around your house, grab a snack, or play fetch with your dog.

With a new afternoon routine in place, Chris was able to enjoy some free time AND get a start on his homework each day. You can do this, too! Start planning your afternoon routine right now.

What does your afternoon routine look like? Let me know in the comments below!

Related Posts: How to Prioritize Your Tasks and Time, Top 5 Study Distractions and How to Avoid Them, Organize Your Desk for Productivity

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