People who have achieved sustained success in life have developed many good habits over the years. They know that having an evening routine is just as important as having a morning routine to optimize productivity. In the following article, you’ll find 7 evening habits of the most successful people.
This isn’t a comprehensive list of all the evening habits of successful people, just ones that are shared by many successful people.
Your individual success will be determined by a myriad of factors, but developing good habits and routines is essential. Once you do, they become automatic and require less and less willpower. That saved up energy and effort can then be used for higher level activities that will propel your success forward.
Related – Ultimate guide to self improvement
Without further ado, here are the 7 evening habits of the most successful people.
Successful People Reflect On The Day
Successful people are like unsuccessful people in that they also make mistakes. The difference in the successful person is that he or she learns from those mistakes.
Taking time at the end of the day to reflect allows you to review the things that transpired. What went well? What didn’t go well? Are there things that I could do better tomorrow to be more effective?
A successful person asks these types of questions and then takes action on them. Most of the time we are too busy doing and don’t take the time to reflect on what we’ve done.
When you take the time to reflect on what you’ve done, it boosts your creativity. The simple act of focusing on how your day went will stimulate your mind and facilitate the generation of new ideas.
Your mind is going to ruminate and process the day’s events when you lay down anyway. Taking the time to reflect with intention will reduce the endless stream of thoughts that can actually delay sleep.
Before you go to bed, take just a few minutes to reflect. This is one of the best things you can do in the never-ending quest of trying to figure out how to be happy.
It is likely going to make you feel happier, less anxious, and more in control. With time, you will likely start to pay more attention to things as they progress during the day.
Personally, I use the Self Journal every night to reflect on the day. I love it because it’s a journal and planner all in one. For the evening, it specifically directs my attention to lessons learned, wins for the day, and an area to express gratitude. You can get more information and see my full breakdown of the Self Journal here.
Successful People Plan The Next Day
There’s a saying that goes:
Failures in productivity are often failures in planning the day before
When you don’t have clarity about what is most important and what you want to get done the next day, you end up being very busy but not productive.
Planning your day the night before drastically increases your productivity. Successful people make a habit of doing this. If not the night before then early in the morning before they begin the day.
Looking at the day ahead forces you to identify what is truly most important. Knowing what is most important is critical in being able to maintain focus.
Failing to plan the day in advance immediately puts you into a reactive mode. Since you haven’t identified what is most important, you become reactive and at the mercy of others’ demands.
How many days have you spent feeling exhausted at the end, but like you’ve accomplished nothing? I’ve seen many of those days over the years. Of course, there are days where emergencies rule and you must react. The vast majority of the time, however, reaction heavy days have been ones where I didn’t plan ahead.
I take planning the next day to the next level. On Sundays, I look at the week ahead and determine all of the things that I want to accomplish during the week. After that, I schedule those things on my calendar. In other words, I figure out my priorities and then schedule them.
The Self Journal is also perfect for both daily and weekly planning. I don’t go a day without it.
Naturally, things will come up sometimes and I have to adjust. That’s where planning each day the night before comes in handy. I review what I have remaining for the week and make adjustments as necessary.
Things never go exactly as planned, but I still get far more completed throughout the week. And the things I complete are truly important things and not just busy work.
Successful People Prepare Clothes For The Next Day
Choosing what to wear to work on a particular day can be a major decision. One that takes mental energy that could be used for more productive things.
I have even taken it a step further and prepare all of my clothes for the week on Sunday evening. I don’t think I could ever go back. It’s so nice being able to just wake up each day and grab the outfit that’s waiting for me. Sure, it takes some time on Sunday but the benefits far outweigh any inconvenience.
It’s all a part of planning ahead which successful people have down to a science.
There’s no need to drain your willpower muscles first thing in the morning on something insignificant. Not completely insignificant, but less important as other decisions throughout your day.
At the beginning of each day, you want to have as many mental resources available as possible. Eliminating the morning decision on what to wear can be an easy change that has remarkable benefits.
Successful People Connect With Loved Ones
Most people are aware that eating right, exercising and getting enough rest are essential to being healthy. What many of us don’t think about is the importance of social connection on our mental and physical health.
In fact, social connection is one of the best self help medicines that exists. If you desire to know how to be happy and successful, do not disregard this.
Dopamine (the feel good brain chemical) levels increase when we connect with a loved one. This could be a significant other, child, old friend, or a treasured relative.
Studies show that connecting with others can build your mental health and longevity. And since there are others involved, those who you are connecting with are improving their mental health and longevity as well. It’s a win / win for everyone involved.
The opposite is also true. People who feel less connected to others have higher rates of anxiety, depression, low self esteem, and a lack of self confidence. And none of these things is conducive to being successful.
No matter what path you end up taking in life, success will require connecting with others. Connecting with your loved ones not only has the benefits mentioned above, it will sharpen your communication skills overall.
Make it a daily habit to connect with those closest to you in the evening. It reminds you of what you are working for to begin with. You’ll go to bed with the motivation to continue tomorrow, even if the day was difficult.
Successful People Read
Reading in the evening will help you sleep better. It’s one of the reasons children love bedtime stories so much. It moves them into a fictional world and relieves tension and stress. Adults can receive this same benefit.
A University of Surrey study (UK) found that reading reduced stress levels as much as 68 percent. Many times, a hectic day can cause us to be stressed in the evening. Picking up a book can be a good way to relieve some of that stress and calm your mind. Speaking of good books, my post about must read books on habits can give you some great material for your evening sessions.
You’ll be hard pressed to find many successful people that don’t read every day. Make this a habit sooner than later. Start with just a paragraph each night. As it becomes part of your routine you can gradually increase how much you read.
Also, try picking up an actual book with pages that you have to physically turn. Reading of any kind is beneficial, but before bed an actual book is the best option. The next habit will explain why.
Successful People Don’t Use Electronics Right Before Sleeping
Photo credit to japanexterna
The blue light that is emitted from your television, phone, or computer won’t get your mind ready for sleep. If fact, it might do the exact opposite.
Scientists have found that our screen time could be disrupting our sleep. And because sleep is so important to brain health, stress management, and memory, we could be harming ourselves without knowing it.
In one study, half of participants read regular books before bed and the other half used e-readers. The participants who used e-readers showed their circadian rhythms delayed by a half an hour. They also took about 10 minutes longer to get to sleep and had 10 minutes less deep sleep.
It’s hard to imagine disengaging electronics before bed as one of the crucial success factors for self improvement. The results don’t lie though.
Smart phones especially have an unmatched capacity to keep us engaged due to the number of things we can do on them. All of the social media, messaging, and internet surfing is detrimental to our ability to concentrate. Removing the screens from our nightly pre-sleep routine can actually help our brains to disengage and improve concentration.
Clinical studies recommend disengaging from digital devices about an hour before sleep. If you refuse to disengage, dimming the brightness and holding the device at least 14 inches away from your face can help.
Also, getting more direct sunlight during the day can counteract the effects of too much blue light emitted from devices.
Successful People Go To Sleep Earlier
Waking up early allows you to start the day on the right foot by reducing the chances that you’ll be rushed. However, in order to maximize the benefits of waking up early you also need to get ample sleep.
How do you ensure you get ample sleep but still wake up earlier? Go to sleep earlier!
Generally speaking, core business hours are from around 8am – 5pm. Let’s say John wakes up at 7:30 am, scrambles to get ready and rushes to get to the office right on time.
Julia wakes up at 4am, exercises, mediates, has a healthy breakfast, reviews her schedule for the day, and still makes it to the office at 7:15 am. Who do you think is more prepared to be firing on all cylinders?
Julia is the obvious choice because her routine sets her up for success. And unless John is just infinitely more talented than Julia, I’d bet she’s a more successful person overall.
You want to wake up early but also want to feel rested when you wake up. If you wake up at 4 am but have only been in bed since 2 am, your productivity throughout the day is sure to suffer. You still see the benefits of not being rushed in the morning but those benefits get overshadowed when lethargy sets in.
I’m sure you’ve heard phrases such as:
- “I’ve got dreams worth more than my sleep”
- “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”
- “The grind never stops”
The truth is, everyone has to sleep and sleep is very important. If you’re constantly trying to pull all nighters to get something done, you’ll eventually crash…hard. There’s no way around it.
I’m not saying those periods of intense energy where you get lost in your work and stay up really late are a bad thing. Quite the contrary. Having a passion so fiery that it causes you to lose track of time every now and then is a good thing. It’s a rare thing.
What I’m saying is that there is no benefit from forcing yourself to stay up late, just for the sake of working hard.
You’ll know if your heart is really in something or if it isn’t. If it isn’t, you’re better off going to bed and getting the extra rest.
Are you willing to try a few of these? A couple of these? Even one of these? You landed on this page and read (or skimmed, I’m not judging) all the way down here.
It’s clear that you want some kind of change. In order to change, though, you have to change the things you do. Your circumstances don’t change until you change.
I used to read a TON of self help and personal development books and they always fired me up. I would feel great about the possibilities of change, but I wouldn’t execute anything. Or I would start to execute, but wouldn’t stay consistent and never formed a habit. Consequently, I always ended up where I began.
Scroll back up through this list and find one thing that you aren’t currently doing. Start doing it every single day for a couple of weeks. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Force yourself to be disciplined enough to do it and immense benefits will be achieved.
Also don’t forget to scroll down and sign up for your free personal mission & vision builder and check out my ultimate guide to self improvement