When it comes to personal habits, a great night time and morning routine is an easy way to keep you working at your best. Many world-class entrepreneurs talk of their own routines setting them up for success and I have built my own entrepeneurs “night time power routine” in a very intentional way.

Good sleep

The trick to a good night’s sleep is stop work and move away from phone, tablet, computer screens and TV – anything with “blue light”. The general consensus by sleep experts is that screens are a no go zone for 1-2 hours before bed and should not even be in your bedroom.

Arianna Huffington, of the Huffington Post, is a huge advocate of “sleeping your way to the top” – placing a stronger emphasis on getting more sleep than work to enhance the skills you need to succeed.

Sadly I’m not one of the rare people in the world that can perform on 4 hours sleep and need nearer to 8 1/2 – 9 hours to perform at my best.

Journal

How many times have you laid in bed wide awake playing back a difficult business situation in your head? Or you had a super creative idea that you couldn’t let go?

It happens to the best of us, and last year I discovered the power of journalling at night. I actually combine this into 2 parts with 2 separate books, a journal and a planner.

I write in my journal first to:

a) Reflect on my day. What could I have done better? What worked? What didn’t? Did I achieve everything I planned to do?
b) Force me away from those blue light devices that hinder healthy sleep
c) Clear my mind of any negativity and also creativity that prevent me from sleeping.
d) Express gratitude for one thing in my day

Planning

I consider the morning hours of each day my “golden hours” – the time I most often able to work uninterrupted and with a higher level of energy. With that in mind, I cannot spend that time planning what I’m going to do with the rest of my less productive hours – makes sense right?

Once I have journaled and reflected on my day, I’m able to then make a better decision about how best to spend my most productive hours of the next day. Jumping straight into tasks that are important sets me up for success each day, and leaves my afternoons free to work on the more reactive parts of my business.

Gratitude

I built in this important practice last year as my business grew and I was doing less of things I love and more business management. As the pace of growth quickened, so did the number of tasks I was working on and with this came a feeling of overwhelm and dissatisfaction. I realised that I had lots of wins each day, but was becoming so busy that I hadn’t made time to be grateful for that.

I use to think gratitude was a bit woo-woo but happiness experts say showing gratitude leads to a much happier life. When we are chasing success, happiness is often forgotten but lets face it – its not the right way to do it.

Happiness is what we all really want, success is just the wrong word to describe what we’re all working town in rds. This simple reflection exercise helps me to take happiness from each day, no matter how bad a day it felt!

Meditation

I’m new to the world of meditation. Since I became a business owner I absorbed as much wisdom as I could from successful entrepreneurs, and I noticed a pattern amongst them – meditation was a daily exercise.

I first tried it during a period of high stress to help me get to sleep, and since then noticed a considerable improvement in the quality of my sleep and the speed in which I fall asleep too. I feel meditation is the barrier between my busy day and quiet night and is also powerful throughout the day, and in the mornings.

New to meditation? I’m a huge fan of the calm app and highly recommend it for both guided and unguided meditations throughout the day.

Conclusion

I have shared the themes in my own night time routine although I must say that they didn’t all happen at once and were introduced through trial and error over a period of time. I would encourage all business owners to develop their own routine, and through reflection you’ll soon begin to see the evidence which themes have the most impact on your own success. Working at our best is all about building our own systems, and that’s as individual as a fingerprint!

In the next blog I’m going to talk about my morning routine. If you’d like to get notified of new posts on my blog – you can subscribe to my updates here:

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