Pressed for time? Feeling frazzled as the day comes to an end? We caught up with time management experts and authors to share their tips on what successful people do before they hit the sack. Learn from their secrets so you can get on the fast track to personal and professional success.
They have a regular bedtime
Scheduling a set bedtime allows you to get enough sleep so that you’re able to perform optimally the next day, according to Laura Vanderkam, a time management expert and the author of I Know How She Does It, 168 Hours, and What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. “Having a bedtime means you don’t need to debate with yourself every night about when you intend to go to bed,” Vanderkam says. Making the conscious choice to go to sleep at a certain time frees you from wrestling with the consequences of going to bed too late, which can include decreased productivity and an intense longing for a good nap. Also follow these morning habits of successful people.
They set a bedtime alarm
Once you’ve established the bedtime that’s best for you, Vanderkam suggests setting an alarm to ensure that you stick to the schedule. While it may sound unusual (after all, you probably set an alarm to wake up, not to go to bed), she’s confident that this technique can make all the difference. “Lots of couples watch TV together before bed, which then requires one person to be the ‘bad guy,’ telling everyone it’s time to turn it off and go to sleep,” Vanderkam says. Setting an alarm makes the alarm the bad guy, so it lets you off the hook—and you’re more likely to do the right thing. Having a regular bedtime is just one of the handful of healthy habits that will ensure your best sleep ever.
They set a realistic wake up time
Setting a morning alarm is a no-brainer for most people, but the key is to set it for the time you truly plan to get up. “Be honest about it,” Vanderkam says. “Hitting snooze is really the worst of all possible worlds. The sleep is lousy so you’re not getting the benefit of more sleep, but you’re also not getting up and doing anything either!” Successful people tend to value quality sleep, knowing that chronic fatigue can seriously derail your daily goals. Here are tricks that can make you more of a morning person.
They turn off electronics
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Silence or shut off your cell phone, switch off the television (better still, move it out of your bedroom), close your laptop, and don’t use any other devices a good hour before going to bed, to “allow your brain to rest,” according to Ronni Eisenberg, author of Organize Yourself! and a time management and lifestyle consultant based in Connecticut who focuses on home and office organization. One thing successful people don’t do before going to bed? Obsess over emails or work, Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author, told Business Insider. Take the time to unplug and recharge your own batteries. (Check out the research-backed reasons to give technology a break.)
Wind down with an old-fashioned book, with pages. Kerr explains in Business Insider that reading—whether it’s for business, pleasure, or anything in between—can help boost creativity. Some business leaders believe that reading before bed is so important that they mark it on their calendar as a non-negotiable activity, according to Kerr. (Check out these short books you can read in one day.)
They plan for the day ahead
Go over your calendar before going to bed so you can make sure to prep for the events of the following day, gathering any relevant items you may need, Eisenberg suggests. Vanderkam recommends spend a little time envisioning how the next day will go, which does wonders to help you mentally prepare for just about anything. Successful people use these time management tips. You should try them too!
They develop a morning strategy
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Discuss the next day’s morning routine with your partner and family so their plans don’t throw your day off. Eisenberg recommends coordinating everything from shower schedules to putting your outfit out the night before. These habits will help you avoid last-minute snafus—like your spouse having to move their car so you can leave—that could make you late or otherwise impede your path to success. These 22 tricks will help you have an instantly happier morning.