30 Productive Things To Do Before Bed Instead Of Watching Netflix

30 Productive Things To Do Before Bed
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You’ve just had a long day at work and you’re ready to come home and sit on the couch and turn on the TV.

It can be really easy to let time pass quickly during those few hours before bed but it isn’t all that productive and that time can be put to better use.

We all only have 24 hours in a day to get closer to our end goals so use it wisely.

get stuff done before bed

30 Productive Things To Do Before Bed Instead Of Watching Netflix

Instead of watching TV and sitting on the couch doing nothing, here are 30 productive things to do at night before bed so you can check some things off of your to-do list.

1. Do your laundry

Do you ever feel like there just never seems to be enough time to get the laundry done and your hamper of dirty clothes won’t stop piling up?

If you’re a single person, it’s relatively easy to do your laundry but when you have to juggle a family of multiple people soiling their clothes constantly (especially if you have kids), this can be a total nightmare if you aren’t smart with your time.

Instead of procrastinating and getting more anxious, get your laundry done whenever you have a free moment here and there.

If you have en-suite laundry in your home, this is great because you can multi-task and do other things and get your laundry done in between.

If you need to go out to do laundry, force yourself to get off that couch and just set a date to get it done. I promise you’ll feel much better after it’s done!

2. Write In A Journal & Self-reflect

Writing down your thoughts, feelings, and even some positive affirmations you’d like to practice in a wellness or gratitude journal is a great way to self-reflect and seek enlightenment.

You’ll feel more positive and uplifted if you do this regularly.

Check out my 30 Day Self-Care Habits Journal as well as 101 Days Of Gratitude Journal. Both of these will help guide you in this area and will inspire positivity, balance, and joy in your life.

Journals To Check Out
30 day self-care habits journal and workbook

30 Day Self-Care Habits Journal

101 days of gratitude journal for a happier life and more positivity

101 Days Of Gratitude Journal

3. Meditate

Meditating is so helpful for the mind, body, and soul that it needs to be on everyone’s list of things to do.

If you feel like you’re all over the place and need to find some calmness and peace in your life, meditate to re-focus your thoughts and reset your mind. 

Close your eyes and take some time to focus on breathing deeply. You can also use techniques such as mindfulness to relax and clear your head.

A great app to help you start getting into the habit of meditating and/or de-stressing before bed is Headspace. Try Headspace for free for 14 days and see if it helps you relieve some stress and anxiety.

4. Clean the house

Just like laundry, we can often procrastinate and feel like not cleaning the house. After all, you’re tired from a long day of work so it’s understandable that you just want to rest on the couch.

If you’re the type of person who gets anxious from seeing clutter and things out of order in your house, getting rid of garbage lying around and making sure all of the dishes are clean can make you feel a whole lot better after you’re done.

Cleaning the house is also actually quite therapeutic and can help put you in a calm state of mind once you get into it. It can also be a great time to multitask if you listen to audiobooks while you clean.

5. Do a light workout

If you’re a person who doesn’t get much exercise during the day because you’re mostly sitting, getting in a light work out a few hours before bed is a great way to add that healthy habit to your day. 

I don’t recommend a heavy workout before bed because your mind might become more active and you’ll have a hard time sleeping.

Instead, do a light workout such as taking a stroll outside or doing some light bodyweight workouts.

book and a candle on a bed

6. Read a book or listen to an audiobook

Instead of watching TV, a great way to spend some time before bed is to work on your self-development by reading self-help and personal growth books.

Check out my post on 25 awesome self-improvement books you should read this year so you can start crafting a life you love.

If you’re more into fiction books, immerse yourself in a great fiction book and start sparking your imagination by immersing yourself in a whole other world.

Whether it’s non-fiction, fiction, or autobiographies that you enjoy, reading is a great way to expand your mind and improve your reading and writing skills.

Don’t like reading books? I recommend getting an Audible membership to listen to audiobooks.

Click here to try Audible for free and you’ll get 1 free audiobook as a nice bonus.

7. Get up to date with the news

Keeping up to date with what’s happening in the world is so important.

It’ll allow you to get a greater understanding of why things work the way they do, be able to converse about a wide range of topics with other people, and also not sound ignorant.

You can keep up with the news by reading the newspaper and following news outlets on social media without having to turn on the TV.

planner with a pencil case

8. Plan your Goals

Another productive thing you can do before bedtime is planning out your goals.

I’m a huge avid fan of writing down my goals and things that I need to get done so that I feel more on top of my day, organized, stop procrastinating, and more productive with my time.

Writing things down in a structured goal setting planner can really help you visualize your end goals and help you list out the smaller baby steps that you need to get there, without the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Like using digital spreadsheets more? You can check out my easy to use, all-in-one Goal Planner & Tracker Spreadsheet.

Goal setting planner 2024

What You’ll Get In The Goal Setting Planner

  • Brainstorming pages
  • Pages to organize, prioritize, and set S.M.A.R.T. goals
  • A two-part S.M.A.R.T. Goal Game Plan
  • 3 goal trackers to track your progress (includes a milestones and celebrations section)
  • 3 planner types (daily scheduling, weekly, and quarterly)
  • 3 review pages (weekly, quarter, and yearly)
  • Monthly dated calendars (Jan to Dec 2024)
  • A 2024 Calendar
  • 3 habit trackers (weekly, monthly, and yearly)
  • 3 checklists (general, daily, and weekly)
  • Lined notes

If you often feel anxious, lost, and overwhelmed by all of the things you have to get done, you absolutely should plan your week because it will help you immensely.

If you’re looking for more planner recommendations, I highly suggest you check out my list of 25 kick-ass planners to help you get organized.

Don’t forget to also check out 100 awesome goal ideas you can add to your list.

Related Post: Best Books To Read To Stop Procrastinating

9. Create a vision board

Along with planning your week, another great productive idea is to create a vision board or dream board of your short-term and long-term goals. This is also great if you’re in a creative field and often get creative blocks.

This is an awesome creative exercise that will help you figure out what your goals are for the foreseeable future and start brainstorming different visual ideas that motivate you to get closer to your goals.

A fun way to do this is to get a board, start clipping out inspiring pictures and paste them collage-style on the board. 

Then put up the board somewhere close to always remind you of what you’re striving towards. The process is fun and it helps.

laptop course

10. Take an online course

Taking an online course is another productive way to use your time wisely.

You can enroll in a program to get a designation or certificate related to your work area or even get a whole other degree on the side if you already have one.

It’s a great way to upgrade your current skills so that you’re more competitive in the workplace, to show your boss you’re ready for a promotion, or to change your work field entirely if you’re not currently happy where you are.

11. Spend time with your family and pets

Do you feel like you never have enough quality time spent with your family members and pets?

Take time out of your day before bed to spend time with your loved ones. Instead of watching TV, use this time to bond and really focus all of your attention on them.

That means being totally present, putting away the phone, and not thinking about work.

12. Meal prep

Meal prepping is a great way to be productive when you have a few hours to spare at night before bed.

By meal prepping, you can save on utility costs and time because you’re preparing a whole batch of food at once which will allow you to have more free time during the week to not have to cook.

This is also a double win if you hate cooking. Just cook everything once, freeze your food into small glass containers, and you don’t have to touch the stove again for another week or at least a few days.

I tend to meal prep on Sundays as it’s my day to get this kind of stuff done and out of the way for the week but you can do this any day of the week.

stamps with a keyboard and scissors

13. Work on a side hustle

Are you looking to start a side hustle?

Instead of Netflixing, just spend a few hours every day working on your side business. All of it adds up in the end.

If you’re looking for some great side hustle ideas, check out my post on 30 side hustles to earn extra cash.

14. Declutter your home

We tend to accumulate things in our homes without thinking about it until we find out we have no more space and we’ve become hoarders.

Instead of waiting until that day, start decluttering your home now so you can free up space and live with less.

You can start with your closet by picking out any clothes that you no longer wear and putting them into a pile to donate or sell them.

Then move on to other areas of your house such as the attic, garage, and storage room.

Take your time with this – it doesn’t have to all be done in one night.

15. Re-organize Your Home

Another great addition to decluttering your home is to re-organize your space.

If your belongings are out of place and messy in your drawers, or you feel like you can better organize your space so you have a more functional room.

With the Organized Home Course, you’ll learn how to implement strategies to make your home life more manageable and clean so that things stay organized and not messy, once and for all.

You’ll never need to feel embarrassed about guests coming over last minute (because no one ever has time to clean up the house before these times) or stress again about the state of your house when you should be using that time to relax with your loved ones at home.

With the Organized Home Course, you’ll create a practical system where you’ll arrange your home in a way that is organized so you don’t have to be a slave to the state of your home.

calendar with clips

16. Plan a future trip

Are you thinking of going on an upcoming trip sometime this year? 

Taking an hour or so out of your night to plan your future trip, whether it’s the hotels, an Airbnb, excursions, or car rental plans is a great way to be productive and put your time to good use.

17. Do Yoga

If you’re constantly hunched over at your desk working at your computer at your 9 to 5 job, you’re more prone to forward head posture, rounded shoulders, and feeling pain in your back, neck, and other areas in the body.

Doing yoga and stretching your body will be so beneficial for you to help counteract that and loosen tight muscles.

Check out my post on how to stay healthy when you work at a desk job for more tips.

18. Clean out your fridge

If you don’t often clean your fridge, you’re not alone.

We all use our fridges to store our fruits, veggies, and other delicious foods but constantly taking out and putting food back in can dirty up the inside quite easily.

We even sometimes forget about something that has been in there for a few months.

Take some time before bed to clean your fridge of any spills or leftover spoiled food so you can have a more hygienic and organized area to store your food.

19. Fill out a coloring book

Did you know that coloring books aren’t just for kids?

There are a ton of adult coloring books out there that can help promote calm, release stress, and add tranquility to your day.

These are a great addition to your self-care kit if you want to enjoy some quiet time and recharge.

healthy coping adult coloring book and journal

20. Paint

If you’re not into coloring books and you’re more into watercoloring, using pastels, sketching, or digital art, use your artistic skills to create art that you’ll enjoy looking back on.

You’ll find that creating art can be quite therapeutic and can spark creativity if you’re stuck in a rut.

21. Learn another language

Another great productive thing to do during the hours before bed to improve your skills is to learn another language.

Being bilingual or multilingual can be very beneficial to your career and can open up many doors for you, including being able to work in multiple countries. So if you’ve been waiting to learn another language, don’t delay.

plant with a laptop

22. Update your resume

Once you’ve gained new skills and experiences at work or outside of work, spend some downtime updating your resume. It’s a good way to keep track of what you’ve accomplished so far so you don’t forget.

It can also help improve your self-esteem and self-confidence and you’ll be ready to go when you are looking for a new position as you advance in your career.

23. Apply to jobs

If you’re at the stage right now where you’re looking to advance in your career, take some time out of your night to apply for jobs.

Even if you apply to just one or two jobs at night, it all adds up.

And if you’re not right now in the market to look for a new job, it’s good to be proactive and see what is currently out there as you never know when a job that you might be interested in pops up.

24. Practice an instrument

If you’re musically inclined and have a favorite instrument that you like to play such as piano, violin, or flute, practice your skills so that you don’t lose them.

25. Have a pamper session

We all need to relax and pamper ourselves from time to time so take time out of your busy day to have some quality me time.

You can pamper your skin by applying a detoxifying face mask and then a moisturizing mask afterward.

You can also draw yourself a nice bath and exfoliate your body. It’s totally up to you on what you want to do.

Check out more ways you can relax and pamper yourself here.

outfit on a bed

26. Plan your outfit for tomorrow

If there’s one thing that I hate, it’s figuring out what I need to wear in the early mornings when I’m already rushed to go somewhere.

If you’re like this too, spend some time to figure out which outfits you’ll wear for the next few days or so.

It’ll help you save time instead of having to include it in your morning routine and you won’t feel as stressed and pressured to decide on the spot.

27. Solve a puzzle

It’s important to keep your brain active and solving puzzles is a great way to keep your mind thinking.

You can spend time doing word puzzles, number puzzles (such as Sudoku), and more.

bullet jounaling

28. Bullet journal

If you’re a combination of artistic and love being productive and getting stuff done, you’ll want to add bullet journaling to your night routine.

It’s a great way to plan your days, stay motivated, keep track of your mood and habits, and add bits of art and calligraphy – all in one.

Check out the essential tools and supplies you’ll need to start your very own bullet journal here.

29. Create a bucket list

Instead of watching TV, there’s no better time to create a bucket list of things you want to get accomplished in the future.

Do you want to go skydiving? Climb a mountain? See the Northern Lights?

Write all of these things down that you want to do so you have fun things to look forward to in the future.

Want some ideas? Check these out:

30. Create Spotify playlists for different moods

Lastly, if you’re really into music and love having different playlists for different moods, you can create different Spotify playlists for each of these times.

For example, you can create a pre-drink playlist, a workout mix, a winding-down mix, and a cleaning mix.

More Ways To Be Productive

Liked this post? Don’t forget to check out my other posts on goal setting and being more productive with your day:

productive things to do when you're bored

What are some productive things you like to do before bed that doesn’t involve watching TV? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Hannah McCall says:

    I love to plan for the next day & write reflections of the current day in a journal. It allows me to just release before going to bed.

  2. Laura Töyrylä says:

    I actually read a book last thing before bed because it helps me calm down and feel the tiredness.

    1. Reading a book is a great way to relax and calm down!

  3. Ashley Varela says:

    I love the idea of journaling as a way to reflect on the day’s events, but my go-tos are probably planning for the day/week ahead and setting out an outfit the night before. I find that even having a simple plan in place alleviates whatever work-related anxiety I may have for the future. Great tips!

    1. Those are definitely great ways to reduce anxiety and to feel more prepared for the next day!

  4. Natalie - Honestly Nat says:

    Thanks for such great ideas. I always end up in the Netflix dilemma when I’m tired. It seems so much easier to just turn on the television. I will have to keep these in my back pocket. Thanks for the ideas!

  5. I was looking for ways to be more productive and I’m glad I found these tips! The perfect time for me to be productive is the quiet time when the kids are finally in bed, but it can be so easy for me to watch Netflix instead. I never thought of taking an online course before bed. I also love the journaling and reflection idea!

  6. I definitely need to start doing more of these! I did go for a walk tonight after my kids were in bed, but I probably could have cleaned up a little bit more before bed.

  7. Great ideas! I really should do some of these (and try to) before getting sucked into a Netflix show!

  8. Lala Kerry says:

    Usually I will scroll through social media just to make myself busy, while it’s actually a bad habit. There’s so much things I can do beside that. Writing down a journal really help to ease my mind and express my thought when I’m having a major stress from things.

  9. Woman Restated says:

    Wow great tips… I definitely waste way too much time on youtube (as opposed to netflix) but it’s the same thing. I will try to incorporate some of these ideas into my life.

  10. Emily Edgren says:

    I love your list! I feel terrible when I spend the whole night watching TV. I like working on DIY projects with my husband or taking a long walk with the dog to unwind before bed.

  11. I too do some of these things before bed such as meditation, planning my next day and journaling. I love to sleep in a calm state rather than keeping lot of clutter in mind. These activities help me release and relax and be productive for the next day. ?

  12. Thank you so much for all of these tips!

    I am constantly looking for ways to increase my productivity, and will definitely be implementing some of these things.

  13. Updating my resume and painting are two things I really want to spend more time on and every time I tell myself let’s do this – I find myself searching for another show. I need to put it into action. Somehow, one thing or another finds its way into my life and I find myself busy.

  14. I’ve wanted to be productive at night because I’m a morning person who doesn’t have free time in the morning and only at night. This blog really helped me. Thanks!

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