We’ve heard all the stories before. Successful people wake up at first light every day, conquering the world many times over, while everyone else is still fumbling around in the kitchen for a coffee filter.
Adopt a routine of nighttime walks to decompress. Turn off your thoughts about work, and slowly but surely get yourself into a “state of tiredness.”
If you’re a busy person who’s always on the go, you can benefit from a similar nighttime stroll. So leave the devices at home and focus on relaxing thoughts for a more productive tomorrow.
You can avoid the stress of the email inbox by doing the same. Unplug everything besides your alarm clock, and watch the tension recede.
Unplugging is also a key to a good night’s sleep. Harvard researchers have found that the bright light of a smartphone tricks our bodies into thinking its daytime. Eliminating electronics, on the other hand, did exactly the opposite.
Sleep hygiene is about more than just making your bed.
The National Sleep Foundation has laid out an extensive sleep hygiene routine to ensure extreme slumber. Essentials include a comfy bed, a relatively cool room, and most importantly giving yourself at least an hour to unwind before you actually doze off.
No matter how busy your schedule is, prioritise yourself, and avoid burnout by making sure you have enough time to unwind at night.
It doesn’t hurt to invest in some nice pillows, too.
Gain great success by reading for one hour every night, no matter what.
Besides the obvious benefit of gaining new knowledge, it’s also a great way to wind down. One study found that reading for just six minutes reduced stress by 68 percent.
Spend the evening reviewing schedules and briefs for the coming day, and you can avoid the morning scramble by laying out clear goals and priorities for tomorrow.
You’ll reduce your anxiety, and you’ll rest easy knowing you already have your ducks in a row.
The greatest writers don’t search for the perfect ending to a chapter before saying “goodnight.” They boost their productivity by ending smack dab in the middle of a thought or sentence.
“The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next,” Ernst Hemmingway once said. “If you do that every day… you will never be stuck.”
If you’re doing something creative, this is a perfect way to set up a pattern of success. End in the middle of a high note, and you’ll never scramble for new ideas. I’m always amazed by the new solutions that pop up as soon as my alarm goes off.
Learn something new
It might not seem like it, but one of the best times to learn is after a long and exhausting day.
Josh Waitzkin, author of “The Art Of Learning,” recommends the end of a tiring day to learn new and complicated concepts. This is because your subconscious processes that fresh information while you’re sleeping.
Every genius, from Salvador Dali to Albert Einstein, used nap time to foster new insights and learning. But even if you aren’t redefining physics, learn something new while winding down.
Write your stress away
Come bedtime, our minds often get sucked into the unresolved-problem wormhole. If there was anything that could do a better job of turning me into a sleep-deprived mess, I don’t know what it is.
If giving this bit of advice the side-eye, think again. Writing down our problems reduces open “loops” of bad thoughts, and washes away anxiety.