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It’s fun riffing about the perfect morning routine for entrepreneurs. But did you know a productive day starts the night before? If you get your evening routine right, you can switch off from work or business and recharge. The perfect evening routine doesn’t involve cramming in an extra two or three hours of work on the train home or after dinner with Netflix playing in the background. So how can you master your evenings?
Create Your End of Day Ritual
When 5 p.m. or the end of your workday rolls around, wrap up work with discipline. You might want to review your calendar for the following day and see what meetings need preparation.
If you’re keeping a to do list, review outstanding items and decide on the two or three most important tasks you want to focus on the following morning and block book time in your calendar for working on those tasks. If your workspace is a mess, by all means, tidy up.
Reflect Like Benjamin Franklin
The original productivity guru, Benjamin Franklin was obsessed with self-improvement. At the end of the workday, he always asked himself one question, “What good have I done today?” Franklin was high-minded, but this type of introspection is useful if you want to figure out what to do more or less of. Ask yourself questions like:
- What worked?
- What didn’t work?
- Where am I blocked?
- Where do I need help?
Ask and answer them in a professional journal or even mentally while setting your priorities for the following day. The key is to step back and look at the entire chessboard. Rather than concerning yourself with tactics, hone your strategy or plan of work for the following day or week.
Track What Worked
The Italian economist Alfred Pareto said that 20% of the work typically leads to 80% of the results. So if you want to accomplish more at work, capture a useful metric at the end of the day.
A copywriter could track sales generated from their sales pages. A salesperson could track converted leads. A writer could track how many words they wrote or articles they published. A product manager could track the status of a particular feature.
Ideally, keep important metrics in one place and update them regularly. You’re looking for information that will indicate what to do more or less of tomorrow.
Canadian neuroscientists found out exercise stimulates growth in the brain.After work, walk to the train station, cycle home, hit the gym or swim. You might feel tired, but this change of pace will help you sleep more easily. Exercise also unlocks more energy the following morning. At the very least, a short walk after dinner will help you digest a heavy meal and enjoy a restorative sleep.
The human brain doesn’t crave a break; it just wants a change of pace. There’s nothing wrong with watching Netflix or YouTube videos in the evening, but it’s probably not the best way to spend your time every night.
Consider taking an online class or reading a book related to your career. Introduce a short evening meditation session that enables you to focus more effectively the following day. Or you could simply pursue a hobby unrelated to your work, for example, gardening or pottery.
Get ready to sleep
You set an alarm clock for getting up, so why not set one for going to bed? When 8 or 9 p.m. rolls around or when you’re an hour or two away from bedtime, put away blue screens so your brain isn’t overstimulated.
An easy fiction book could help you switch off from problems at the office. Getting this routine right means you’re less likely to toss and turn in bed. By then, you should feel comfortable about what you’re going to do the following day and tired because you’ve already exercised.
If you still can’t sleep, consider an herbal remedy. I drank a cup of Four Sigma Foods Reishi and fell asleep 15 minutes later. Diluted apple cider vinegar or chamomile tea both can help too. Now, when your alarm clock sounds, you can jump out of bed and start work faster.
May 30, 2019 at 12:47PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs