Over the past year I have noticed two things I particularly dislike about my evenings: 1) I feel pretty tired, and 2) I tend to laze and lurk around the world wide web looking for entertainment because I feel drained. Lots of times I don’t feel I end my days in a worthwhile manner, often thinking I could have instead gobbled a chapter or two of a book I wanted to read, or do an hour or so of drawing, or used all that time to catch up with the family or a friend. I don’t have problems with my mornings and afternoons (which often are my productive hours) and I’ve always wanted to spend my nights the same way – doing interesting things, learning new stuff, talking to people, and feeling accomplished.
I’ve thought of ways to change this evening behavior and tested a few of them. I set up alarms to do at a particular time to notify myself that I should stop logging on to the internet and start working on something fruitful. This was useful for some time. When the alarms stopped working, I decided I should just use the time I waste for sleeping since I feel tired anyway. This certainly helped me sleep more but it did not help me get anything extra done. I’ve thought about other probable solutions (changing my waking and sleeping patterns overall, staying up late at the office instead of going home early, etcetera) to force myself to do more of the things I need to do but I have not been able to make good progress until recently, when I started to regularly take warm baths hours before bedtime. It was a surprise that it was a lot easier to will myself to do productive stuff after a heavenly evening bath, and, now that I think about it, it looks like it works because the bath seduces me to log off from the computer and rewards me with extra hours of energy.
Sometimes, solutions have unusual ways of presenting themselves. Also, to change habits you either have to change the triggers or create new ones.