A Nighttime Routine for Entrepreneurs
We are all creatures of habit, and that’s great because habits are awesome!
However, your life and business can be drastically different depending on the habits you choose to put in place. Eating a big bowl of kale and drinking lots of water each day will be vastly different than eating a big bowl of ice cream and drinking lots of beer each day. (Trust me on this one.)
You probably have a morning routine already, and it’s probably filled with habits that but your morning on autopilot. In fact, those habits may be the reason you get out the door each morning (or down the hall if you’re a laptop entrepreneur like me).
But what about at night? Your habits at night just might have a more significant impact on your success as an entrepreneur than that shiny morning routine that you’ve been working on. Since you’re not rushed it can be even easier to develop a set of nighttime habits (beyond brushing teeth and Netflix) that will set your days and business up for success.
So take a look at your evenings and how you spend each night. Where can you add or swap out a few new habits to develop a killer nighttime routine?
Here are some ways to create a successful nighttime routine for entrepreneurs:
PLAN THE DAY
One of the best things you can do in the p.m.is set up your a.m. We are not talking ultra-specific plans here but just knowing what the most important things are for the next day.
List out the three most important things for the next day. This will set you up in the morning with a clear plan of what needs to get done so you won’t have to spend time thinking about what needs to get done.
This also keeps you from going straight into reaction mode, you know, when your entire day is ruled by outside influences (emails, phone calls, and kid requests) that keep you from actually getting anything done. If you want to be successful, you have to stop this. A simple, clear plan, put together the night before will make a huge difference in the success of your days.
LET IT ALL GO
It feels great to unwind after a long day, especially a productive one, but that shouldn’t be in wallowing over the negative aspects of the day. And I’ve learned that “mommy needs a glass of wine” in no way helps to let the day go.
By releasing the experiences of the day, and forgiving everyone and everything, you start the next day fresh. There is no reason to carry over grudges or negative feelings into tomorrow and forgiveness is the ticket to refusing to make yourself miserable and choosing instead to move on. If customers were rude or clients were difficult just let it go and be ready to start the day fresh. It sounds simple, but it really works.
There is a reason that successful entrepreneurs read before bed. By reading at least 20 minutes you’ll not only prime your mind with knowledge and ideas of how to win the day, but you’ll also feel less stressed and sleep better.
Go with an autobiography, something related to your business growth or field or a self-improvement book over Harry Potter. Yes, I love me some Gryffindor too, but Quidditch is not going to make you more successful tomorrow. Use this time wisely to feed your mind and nourish your soul.
Getting your body moving after dinner helps to prepare your body for a better nights rest. For most people a gentle walk may be better than a full-on boot camp workout, so experiment for yourself. I suggest a 20-minute walk. When I lived in Germany, it seemed my entire village walked after dinner, rain or shine. I love this European routine and wish more people around the world joined in.
Not only does a walk in the evening help with digestion and stress it also gives you time to think or enjoy conversation with your partner or kids. It sets the tone for the evening and can be the beginning of winding it up for the day.
Many people are either most creative early in the am or later at night. I can tell you I am admittedly in the latter. My daughter and I commonly spend time together after showers drawing and doing it every day (or most days) creates a practice where you build upon the night before. After a short time, I can see my progress, and I think that’s pretty cool.
You can use this naturally creative time to write as well, and you could develop a writing practice that not only makes you a better writer in general but could birth you a book in no time. This creative time also is an excellent time to problem solve and brainstorm new ideas. Be sure to take advantage of this spark of creativeness and put it to good use.
If you meditate before bed, you will sleep better. You will unwind from the day, de-stress and feel more relaxed. Some of the most successful people in the world have a meditation on their list of daily habits, and that’s because it works.
You don’t have to have any specialized equipment or training, or even take a long time, starting with just a few minutes a day can do wonders.
There is a reason people like Oprah sing the praises of gratitude. Focusing on great things, experiences and people in your life each day can change your entire life. You retrain and reframe your mind for good, and make more good come into your life with gratitude.
I had an issue a while back with a string of clients that were making me crazy. It seemed they all were doing the same negative things (last minute urgent requests, not sticking with their deadlines or responsibilities and indecisiveness). I started writing down each night before I went to bed as many things as I could think of on why my clients were amazing.
It turned out it was me making me crazy (haha) and not my clients. I had trained my brain on focusing on these few things, that are common in coaching and business, and I let them eat at me. I refocused my mind on all the good of my clients – and there is a lot – they are an awesome bunch, and I stopped even noticing the things that bothered me before. This shift to gratitude changed my outlook completely. And this can work for you too.
Gratitude doesn’t have to be in response to things that bother you, it is beautiful all on its own, but I highly suggest using it as a super-power in your daily arsenal. Whatever is pestering you for the day (and we can be honest here, something just piss you off, and that is okay) gratitude the heck out of it at night. It works.
Kids annoying and whiny today, pull out your gratitude journal and write down everything awesome about them. Partner is pushing your buttons today, gratitude it. In-laws being pushy, gratitude it. Customer under your skin, you know what to do. I find this works even better if you can be grateful (in writing) until you either just about shed a tear or laugh out loud. It is magic that melts away all negativity and replaces it with butterflies of joy. Try it.
So what does your night look like currently? Can you carve out an hour or so before bed for some easy to do new habits that will transform your business and life?
Yes, you may have to put down the phone and hit pause on Netflix, but it is worth it. Your life could be dramatically different in a short time by changing your nighttime routine.
Imagine what could happen in the next year if you used this time wisely.
Here’s to creating the business + life you LOVE!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: TORIE MATHIS
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs get from where they are to where they want to be by working smarter. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your mentor to creating the business+ life you love. She has cracked the code for creating a lucrative, independent business + an amazing lifestyle. She can help you with your marketing and business growth, your clarity and purpose and help you reach your vision of success. 🙂
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