Prepare for Success: 5 Nightly Rituals That Increase Productivity
Over the past two years, I’ve found several tricks and tools to help me be more productive throughout the day. Aside from Bulletproof Coffee, a large part of my productivity is actually fueled by my routine the night before.
5. Maintain a regular sleep schedule
Waking up to an alarm clock is a social norm. However, setting an alarm to alert you when it’s time to go to sleep almost seems ludicrous. Nearly 30% of adults reported an average of ≤6 hours of sleep per day(cdc.gov). A large part of this sleep deprivation is the result of not going to sleep at the same time every evening. Having a consistent sleep schedule will result in consistent energy levels from day-to-day. So yes, if you must label me ludicrous, sobeit – my alarm goes off every night at 10pm.
If you’re looking for an app to assist with your sleep schedule, try Sleep Cycle. It’s an app which tracks your movements while you sleep and wakes you up within a ½ hour range. The app wakes you up during the most optimal part of your sleep cycle, so you don’t feel groggy when you wake up. It’s been a real life saver for me, as I rely heavily on morning productivity.
4. Read before bed
Reading before bed is a great way to shut off your problem-solving mind. Serial learner Tim Ferriss has written and spoken about this at some length. I’ve found reading fiction has helped quiet my mind from tackling business issues and startup ideas that come to me while in bed. This ultimately has led to better sleep and a clearer mind the following day.
3. Set out your clothes for the next day
Picking out clothes for the day can be mentally taxing. In an effort to save all of my decision-making power for the work day, I pick out the clothes I intend to wear the next day and place them on a table in my bedroom. This makes it effortless when picking clothes for the day and stops me from wasting minutes in the morning deciding between a blue or red shirt. Mashable recently released an article on why successful people wear the same thing everyday, it speaks more to this notion of not wasting brain power on choosing your outfit.
*For any morning gym goers: A great way to get to the gym early is to put your gym clothes at the foot of your bed. You’ll wake up, put them on, and before you know it you’ll be halfway out the door on your way to exercising.
2. Clean your room
Cleaning my bedroom is something I do every night. I believe if you wake up in chaos it’s setting up the rest of your day to be chaotic. Keeping a clean room and making your bed are easy ways to end your day off with a win. If you can’t keep your room organized, how do you expect to keep your life organized?
1. Resolve any outstanding issues
I try and go to bed every night without any outstanding issues from the day. Every night, I review my daily to-do list and see what I accomplished, what I didn’t, and why. Not only does this let me carry over anything I missed, but it lets my coworkers and clients know I’m not ignoring them. If you take care of outstanding issues the night prior, you’ll wake up the next day with a clear head, ready to tackle a new day.