For most successful people, planning the day ahead begins the night before, as they’re preparing for bed. That’s a critical time for anyone, but successful people use it to not just plan the next day but also calm themselves so that they can get a restful night’s sleep.
In order to do that, and ensure your success (rather than just dream about it), you should make the next few small tasks part of your nightly routine before hitting the sack. Enjoy.
The first is to spend some quality time with your loved ones, no matter who they happen to be. The fact is, a happy home life (whether it’s living together with someone, being married or what have you) is quite a bit more important than your job as far as your well-being is concerned. If you have children this is especially important as they won’t stay children forever and, if you’re always too busy to give them a part of yourself, you’ll find that they won’t be willing to give you a part of themselves when they’re adults.
Interestingly enough, the most successful people are the most prodigious readers and make a habit of reading before bedtime. It doesn’t have to be anything related to work and, indeed, reading something that has no relation to your work whatsoever is a great way to unwind. In some cases it can even give you insight that you can use at work. Even better however is that reading is a great way to relax and calm the mind before bed.
We mentioned planning at the beginning of this blog and, to be sure, planning for the day ahead is a great way to get a good nights rest because you’ll know what the day ahead brings and be prepared to face it, and get tasks accomplished. The CEO of American Express, Kenneth Chenault, says that he likes to write down the top 3 things he wants to accomplish next day, which calms his mind and actually helps them to prioritize when he wakes in the morning.
This next small task won’t take long but is extremely important if you want to get a good night’s sleep, and it simply to turn off your cell phone and any other electronic devices that might cause distractions as you’re drifting off into dreamland. In fact, many successful people turn off these devices about an hour before they go to bed so that they can relax, unwind, read a book and otherwise be completely relaxed with no distractions whatsoever.
Lastly, there’s the simple act of getting enough sleep, which for most people means 7 hours. (Yes, it used to be 8 hours, but new research suggests that that 7 might be better.) Simply put, getting sufficient sleep is the best way to maximize your brain power and memory, and thus is extremely critical to anyone’s success.
All set? Great! Now get some shut eye, tomorrow’s another day to go out and become successful!