Evening routines are yet another key ingredient in your personal and spiritual development process. But what are they all about exactly? Here’s what you need to know in order to make the most out of them.
If you’re interested in self-improvement and are trying to develop healthy, successful habits, you most probably have a morning routine, or are working on building one.
That’s great! Starting the day right is a big step and an important part of everyone’s productivity system. But ending the day right is just as important.
The recipe for personal growth and success in life isn’t too complicated—it’s all about developing habits. This is something that successful founders and executives have proven in their quest to achieve entrepreneurial productivity.
While morning routines help set the tone and pace for the day, evening routines have also proven equally useful.
Whether it’s improving productivity, boosting focus, or developing new ideas, evening rituals help create a pattern that helps CEOs and entrepreneurs stay ahead of their game.
What’s an evening routine?
It’s just like a morning ritual, but you do it an hour or two before you go to bed.
Its purpose is to get your mind and body ready for a good sleep, to leave the workday and all thoughts behind and get ready for the next day, to give you some quiet time for reading and writing, and to let you assess the past day and plan out the next one.
Why are evening routines important?
It’s a wind-down period. You do certain things before you go to bed (and stop doing others) in order to relax, to stop being worried, anxious and stressed because of what happened today and to empty your mind so that it can rest properly.
Having a night routine like that affects how you’ll sleep, how fresh you’ll wake up tomorrow morning and whether or not you’ll be in the mood for and have the energy to work on your tasks for the day and be as productive and motivated as you can.
All successful people have developed one and end the day in the best way possible.
What can you include in your night routine?
All healthy, successful, relaxing activities you can think of. Many are the same as those in the morning routine.
Here they are:
evaluation of the day;
a to-do list for tomorrow;
3 most important things to complete tomorrow;
turn off all devices;
make the room as dark as possible;
let go of the problems of the past day;
a pleasant conversation;
a long bath;
thank for everything that happened today;
get positive for tomorrow;
What else to keep in mind?
Stay consistent and give it time to become a habit. But once it does, you’ll experience wonderful changes in your life.
Make it your goal to go to bed at the same time each day, preferably earlier than you do now, because this way you’ll get up early too.
And start your bedtime routine an hour or two before that time.
Don’t put too much effort in it. Know you’re doing it for yourself. It must be a quiet time of joyful activities, not an obligation. It will help you end the day right, sleep better and be fresh and contented tomorrow morning, so keep these reasons in mind.
Start small. It is a new habit after all, so don’t try to change too many things at once. Begin with just trying to go to bed at a certain time every evening with a book in your hands, for example. After a few days add a few minutes of meditation and make a to-do list for the next day.
This way you’ll get used to each mini habit before you add a new one and won’t feel overwhelmed.
Now, let’s cover some of the effective evening routines shared by some top CEOs and entrepreneurs.
The Evening Routines of Top CEOs
Some entrepreneurs don’t wait until morning to plan for the day and instead set the tone the evening before.
By morning, their mind is already in the game, allowing them to focus on taking action. This helps with proper time management and seamless tracking of progress.
“Get out of your comfort zone and set your daily goals early—it will be easier to execute them every day,” Erno Tauriainen, founder and CEO of Spent.
Nowadays, it’s easy to create a to-do list, thanks to mobile apps and emails. Plus, these tools feature reminders and alerts to remind CEOs about the next tasks on their list.
Whatever daily goals one has, planning for them a day before helps structure everything clearly for success.
Writing a Journal
Many entrepreneurs swear by daily journaling—it’s a vital part of goal setting and tracking success. It also allows them to write their biggest aspirations, motivations, and failures.
“Night routines set the stage for the morning. Writing is important for noting down goals and targets that get you excited,” Grant Cardone, CEO, Cardone Capital.
Being a CEO or executive is a demanding job—it’s easy to be forgetful. Use journaling to write down memories, thoughts, and aspirations as an essential point of reference for goals.
Whether it’s running, lifting weights, or squatting, exercises help clear the mind and energize the body. Consequently, this improves focus on whatever one does.
“I strive to run at least 45 minutes each day to declutter my mind and stay energized,” Jeff VonDeylen, CEO of Ensono.
Successful CEOs tend to have a weekly exercise plan that allows them to give their efforts a significant boost. A good plan provides guidance, making it simple to incorporate workouts in their busy schedules.
Reading a Book or Biography
Most successful people credit their success to reading and it’s yet another practice they add to their evening routines.
According to them, learning is a continuous process, and the more one learns, the better. As such, reading makes a great way to learn something new without attending a class.
“If I’ve got time to spare, I read a bit or watch a documentary to relax my mind and put myself in a great frame for a good night’s sleep.” Richard Branson, Virgin Group CEO and founder.
When it becomes a habit, reading is a powerful tool for entrepreneurs. Warren Buffet reads 500 pages a day, while Mark Cuban strives to read for three hours a day. Bill Gates noted that he aims to read 50 books a year.
Switching Off Devices
Getting adequate sleep is critical to productivity and performance. Top CEOs understand this, and they avoid anything that can ruin or disrupt their sleep, such as using devices at night. Some of them even opt to turn them off to avoid distractions.
“I turn off my laptop at 6 p.m., even if I didn’t attain all the day’s goals. I don’t touch it for the rest of the night. I don’t reply to messages to focus on friends and family. This allows me to show up for my business as my best self the next day,” Sarah Chrisp, founder of Wholesale Ted.
Still, it’s vital to avoid using devices at night—one doesn’t need to be a CEO to do that. Blue light from devices disrupts the sleep cycle, making an individual sleepy and exhausted the next day. It’s vital to get at least 6–8 hours of sleep, as noted by WebMD.
Entrepreneurs celebrate their achieved goals—whether they’re daily, weekly, and monthly goals.
This gives them a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, boosting their confidence to take on other pursuits.
“My evenings allow me to process what I have learned and achieve throughout the day. It’s a time to feel happy about wins and the progress I’ve made, even if the day was the worst ever,”
Stefan James, founder of Project Life.
It’s normal for people to engage in negative wallowing after a bad day. This makes it easy for them to devalue the small wins they had during the day. Whatever the experience, it’s vital to celebrate successes and learn from unpleasant experiences of the day.
They make that part of their morning or evening routines and practice gratitude on a daily basis.
Read also: What The Sleeping Habits of 50 Successful People Can Tell Us
Visualizing and Meditating
When CEOs visualize and meditate, they focus on something specific, such as a goal, problem, or event. This allows them to hold it in their mind and imagine different scenarios and possible outcomes. This is a powerful technique for viewing different angles of any task or goal.
“Before I go to bed, I visualize my greatest goals, and I ask myself questions. This allows my subconscious to work while I sleep.” Ed Mylett, best-selling author Arete Syndicate co-founder.
After a busy day, it’s normal to experience a brain fog. Meditation helps to clear it, setting the stage for good sleep. Bear in mind that the power of good sleep is often underrated. CEOs understand that they need adequate rest to recharge for the next day.
Read also: The Mirror Technique: How to Use It to Build Self-Confidence
Taking a Walk
Walking is not just a form of exercising; it helps to clear the mind, too.
CEOs and entrepreneurs create time to walk for different reasons, including connecting with nature or appreciating the everyday events in their neighborhoods.
“I take a 20-minute walk each evening, regardless of the day’s events. Walking allows me to reach a state of tiredness, which helps to bring my mind to a state of rest.” Buffer CEO Joel Gascoigne.
Walking is a great tool to incorporate into a daily schedule. As a physical activity, it helps burn extra calories, allowing CEOs to keep their bodies in shape. It also boosts endurance and power, providing the much-needed energy for tomorrow’s work.
Evening Routines: Infographic
And here’s an infographic with some bedtime rituals of celebrities:
Even if one has mastered a successful morning routine, it’s vital to complement it with evening routines to enjoy a full day. Such routines and habits allow entrepreneurs to improve their productivity.
Bear in mind that it doesn’t take a day to develop them—consistency is essential, regardless of the day’s events.
While one can learn from successful entrepreneurs, it’s not necessarily important to replicate all their activities. One can choose activities based on their preferences and interests, allowing them to create a routine that works for them. It’s a matter of personal development and growth, so individual needs should take precedence.
Whatever goals an individual has, focus and productivity are essential elements for success. So, it is crucial to eliminate anything that might hinder the attainment of personal goals. Creating daily rituals from habits is a perfect way of getting into focus and developing the right mindset for success.
What’s your current bedtime ritual? And do you want to turn it into a successful evening routine?