I presently have a single ritual which I perform daily when it's time for bed. The time for this varies daily, but I am working on getting to the point where I do this nightly immediately after everyone else goes to bed. I go downstairs with my dayplanner, my paper journal, my mug, and a bag of Sleepytime Extra tea. I make sure all the lights are turned off except for one table lamp on the kitchen table which emits a soft light that is plenty to read or write by, but not bright or harsh or glaring. While the tea brews, I begin working on transferring my to-do list to the following day. This often does not entail marking off any completed tasks, but just a wholesale forwarding of the entire list, plus any additions for the next day. (This is why I resisted using a dayplanner. It doesn't motivate me, it just turns into a list of things I didn't get done.) When my tea is ready, I bring the mug to the table and let it cool while I finish with the dayplanner, then I begin writing in the journal and sipping the tea. (I feel bad, sometimes, spending so much time daily writing in my journal while I neglect my LJ and my friends. I continue to use the journal because I used to write things there that I wouldn't be comfortable sharing here [though this seems not to be the case anymore], and I find writing with a pen and paper more relaxing than typing at a keyboard for some reason. I have considered transferring entries from the journal to LJ, but it seems like an unnecessary duplication of effort.) Sleepytime Extra helps to calm me so that I can relax enough to sleep, and writing in the journal helps me get things off my mind and onto the paper so that I'm not too distracted with all the thoughts of the day to relax. I still have to be tired to sleep, but sometimes even when I'm tired, I won't be able to sleep without doing these things to calm my mind.
With my nightly tea ritual, I'm hoping to shift my sleep schedule so that I can sleep at night and be awake in the daytime. For some reason I just can't seem to motivate myself to work or do anything productive at night, even though I prefer nighttime over daytime. It just feels like a time of day to play around and have fun rather than focus and concentrate on doing what needs to be done. Much easier to work or be productive while it's light out.
Another advantage to the tea ritual is that it gets me writing more. Okay, it's not great literature, but a page a day is a page a day, regardless. I think it's helping me keep my mind going, as I've felt a little sharper since I've been doing this (just a few days, really). I've noticed that many of my entries contain questions about myself and my life, and I've considered creating a Book of Questions, in which each page has one of these questions at the top, and the rest is blank space for me to write an answer. If I ever run out of stuff to write in the journal, maybe I'll do this and just answer a question a night. Maybe I'll do it anyway, even if I don't run out of stuff to journal about.
The flip side of my bed-time ritual is that I need a wake-up ritual. I'm thinking it should involve caffiene and breakfast, and maybe a shower and maybe some exercise, some stuff to get me awake and get me going to start the day. Today I got up, took a shower, and had some peach tea (caffienated) and a microwave egg biscuit sandwich thingy while reading one of the books that's on my to-do list. I was going to go for a walk, but I kinda got sucked into LJ after breakfast and I've been here ever since. So much for that. ;) But if I can get this wake-up ritual nailed down, and possibly happening at a consistent time, maybe I'll see in improvement in my sleep schedule, and consequently my productivity.