It’s no secret that Americans are obsessed with productivity. I’m sure you’ve read countless articles on how you can develop morning routines that will help you stay productive throughout the day. But what about when your day comes to a close? What do the successful entrepreneurs do every night before bed time?
How you end your day is arguably just as important as how you start it. That said, here are three nighttime rituals of successful entrepreneurs.
Set Your MITs for Tomorrow
MIT stands for Most Important Task. The MIT approach is a very basic framework that allows you to identify and prioritize your tasks. As you wrap up the workday you should always set your MITs for the next day. This way you’ll wake up the next day with a crystal clear agenda for what you need to accomplish.
I recommend picking two to three MITs each day. If you identify too many you’ll likely find yourself running out of time to accomplish each goal. In addition you can always create sub-tasks within each MIT. You want to manage your time so that you finish each of your MITs daily. That said it’s best to underestimate and underdeliver than the latter.
Set a Hard Stop for The End of The Workday
Many people think entrepreneurs never stop working. They truly think that the “grind never stops”. For the most part this is true. The life of an entrepreneur requires an insane amount of hard work and determination. That said, you can’t truly be productive if you’re working 20 hours a day. You need to prioritize working smart not hard. Not only that you also need to prioritize a balance between your work and life.
The best way to ensure a balance is to set a hard stop for the end of your workday. Successful entrepreneurs got to where they are because they can dictate their own schedules. You choose the time work is finished and schedule meetings around that. Sure you can be flexible if its an emergency, but you should try your best to truly disconnect during this time.
Read for at Least 30 Minutes
Aside from gaining knowledge and or just basic pleasure, reading has many benefits. In fact a 2009 study found that reading for as little as six minutes a day can reduce stress by up to 68%. How do you measure stress reduction by a percentage I’m not sure, but I can attest to the fact that it can be very beneficial for stress.
Whether it’s the news or one of your favorite books you should read for at least 30 minutes before bed. Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates spends at least an hour every night reading. As far as the most successful entrepreneurs go, he’s definitely up there.
Sticking to an evening schedule is just as important as the rest of the day. In the late evenings you should reserve most of the time for personal growth, pleasure, and friends and family. If you follow these three basic nighttime rituals you’ll start the next day with high energy and business priorities clear.
Renzo Costarella is an entrepreneur, avid learner, and startup enthusiast currently living in Silicon Valley. He consults for several startups in the Bay Area and is pursuing a few ideas of his own.