I love lists and I love good quality sleep. And I'm uber happy when the small things in my life unite to make my life easier.
Here's a five minutes habit to work into your lifestyle. You'll sleep better and accomplish more.
Every night before you go to sleep, or before you read a good book, relax and then go to sleep, take five minutes to write down what you need to accomplish the following day. I usually have a master list (everything I need to do in my lifetime...ok, not quite, but in the next month), and from that master list I'll pick one or two things to tack onto my tasks for the following day. I'll round out my daily list with what absolutely must get done or is super important to me.
For example, my master list might have big things that are weeks away-like renew drivers license, write a bunch of blogs, or send flowers to my mom for her birthday, pay parking ticket (yup, just got one), and take the little ones to Tipat Chalav. Plus at least a dozen other small things that need to get done. You get the idea.
So I'll pick two of these things and then add on what must get finished by sunset the next day. My list doesn't just include errands, it includes goals. So, usually my list will start off with davening, or go to Yoga, things I want to do but don't have a deadline for that day. Then I'll add the deadline contingent errands, like a shuk shopping, post office stop, or call for my kids' dentist appointment. I keep the list short and sweet and most importantly, I put things on the list that I can actually do the next day. I might pencil in some time frame to help make it realistic according to my schedule.
The list gives me a blueprint for the next day. It sets my goals and errands in front of me with a plan. It clears my head before I sleep. Yay, deeper, more restorative sleep! Then, I wake up ready to tackle my list with more enthusiasm than a linebacker at the Superbowl.
Benjamin Franklin, that smart guy, famously said, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Go to the store and buy yourself a pretty notebook and a new pen. Try giving yourself a head start and a clear head with nightly list making. Let me know how it works for you:)