By Emma Hackett, Staff Writer
Our culture is obsessed with action.
We are distracted with high-speed data, high-speed information, high-speed cars, phones, and computers. We have become a culture that’s forgotten how to sit still - and even get to sleep. However, people who are achieving success in entrepreneurial fields know that forming solid habits around a nighttime routine is key to staying on top of things in their busy lives. Here are some tips that we can glean from their wisdom:
1. Acknowledge three solid accomplishments from the day.
Taking the time to appreciate yourself for the hard work you’ve done and the success you’ve achieved (in areas big or small) will help you to relax and decompress at the end of a hectic day. We can all take to heart the timeless advice of Benjamin Franklin, who advised making an examination of the day’s deeds with one question in mind: “What good have I done today?” Singling out three things that you’re proud of is a good place to start - if you have more than three, you’ll stay humble and be forced to look squarely at which you’re most proud of, and why. And if you don’t even have three (or they’re very lame)… that’s a clue that you need to do better tomorrow.
2. Acknowledge three things you wish you’d done differently.
As a recent Forbes article says - admitting you were wrong doesn’t make you weak, it makes you awesome! This is true even when it comes to honestly looking at yourself and assessing the ways in which you may have fallen short throughout the day. This could be something as simple as scrolling through Pinterest when you should have been working on a project - whatever it is, realizing what you should have done differently, while tough, is essential to moving forward and not repeating the same mistakes. No one is able to grow without first acknowledging the areas that they need to grow in - do that, and you'll be able to face tomorrow with hope and confidence.
3. Set three reachable goals for tomorrow.
Okay, so you’ve acknowledged the things you’ve done well, and the things you wish you’d done differently. Now it’s time to do something with that knowledge - namely, put it into practice by setting solid and attainable goals for the next day. Done something great? See if you can do it again tomorrow. Wish you could do something over? Make a goal to fix it, as well as you can. The perennially wise Ben Franklin has another question which he used to guide his life (he called it The Morning Question): “What good shall I do today?” I would suggest adapting it slightly for your nightly routine- “What good shall I do tomorrow?” Setting out reasonable things which you can accomplish is a sure way to be productive and successful in the day ahead.
4. Give yourself time to unwind.
The National Sleep Foundation recently confirmed that there is indeed a link between stress and insomnia. Simply put, a stressed-out person won’t be able to get to sleep. And since entreperneurs are some of the most hard-working, creative, world-changing people out there, they naturally have more stress and therefore need more time to unwind. Here are 20 ways to relax, and lots of them can be really helpful before bed. Developing a set routine will help you feel calm and de-stressed too; the predictability of doing the same thing at the same time every day satisfies our deep desire for security, and helps us to worry less.
5. Clean your room.
A 2011 study by the National Sleep Foundation indicates that people sleep much better when their rooms are clean and in order. This makes sense, even from experience - not only do I find myself instantly more relaxed when my environment is tidy, but it also seems to be like a little check next to a long list of things to do. No matter what you have to accomplish the next day, you should know that your room is a safe, clutter-free haven to relax, recharge, and regroup.
6. Take concrete steps to prep for tomorrow.
Okay, who honestly likes mornings? Waking up and feeling like you have a million things to do and nowhere near enough time to do them is never, ever a good way to start the day. But taking the time to prepare the night before will ensure that your day starts off right. Here are some steps to take:
- Lay out your outfit the night before.
- Do your dishes, move your wash, etc. No one likes to wake up to a mess.
- Make sure that any work you have due the next day is done and ready to go.
- Check out this checklist.
Whether or not you’ve achieved your goals of entrepreneurial success, looking at the habits which successful entrepreneurs have formed will help you get there. And anyone, in any walk of life, can benefit from taking steps tonight to achieve a better tomorrow.