What you should do before bed so you get ahead in life
Make a prioritised to-do list
Writing out a to-do list each night is a great way to streamline your morning and get you off to a good start, but you can supercharge your to-do list by making one little tweak, according to Jeff Petro, CEO of Cool Beauty Consulting. “Each night, I draft a to-do list for the next morning, and then I prioritise the top three items that must get done,” he says. “This keeps me focused on what’s really important without getting side-tracked by smaller tasks.” And resist the urge to mark everything as a top priority. Sticking to just three will help keep you from getting overwhelmed, and you’ll still feel like you’ve accomplished a lot at the end of the day.
Take some deep breaths
Bedtime meditation has a slew of powerful health benefits, including better sleep – so it’s no surprise that it’s a habit practised not just by CEOs but also professional athletes, celebrities, scientists and other people at the top of their fields. But it’s all too easy to forget or to brush off at the end of a long day, which is why Keith Cushner, CEO of Tuck, keeps his meditation practical and simple. “I spend 10 to 20 minutes using one of a few different meditation techniques, including guided meditations and breathing exercises on my own,” he says. “Using apps like Headspace and Buddhify make it easy. I just have to follow the directions.”
Spend one-on-one time with their partner
Raise your hand if you’ve ever laid in bed with your partner, playing on your phones or watching movies, side-by-side but not interacting? (That’s everyone, right?) You’ll sleep better and have a better relationship if you follow the lead of Rachel Pedersen, CEO of the Viral Touch. “Every night before bed, I make sure to have a little flirty time with my husband,” she says. This could mean talking about your day, snuggling, or any other activity (ahem) that helps you bond. “This keeps us connected daily throughout the challenges of our work and personal lives,” she adds.
Use a smart plug to shut off all screens
“I shut down my phone, laptop, TV and tablet at least two hours before bed, which is tough when you have a lot to do or are in the habit of checking email and other notifications,” says Michael Alexis, CEO of Team Building Hero. “My pro tip for making the no-screens effort easier: I have my Wi-Fi router connected to a smart plug that shuts off at 10pm and turns itself back on at 8am when I wake up. When the Wi-Fi stops, so does my access to the Internet.”
Block out all noise and light
You never realise how loud your refrigerator is or how bright your neighbour’s porch light is until you’re trying to fall asleep. Eliminate these distractions simply by using ear plugs and a sleep mask, like Alexis does. “This combination is, of course, helpful for blocking out light and noise, but I find it helpful even in quiet dark rooms,” he explains. “Putting the sleep mask on feels like a trigger to go to sleep, and I usually fall asleep within five minutes or so.”
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