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Setting & Achieving Goals

5 Things to Do Before Bed That Will Jump Start Tomorrow

Here are five essential and easy things that will make help transform your waking hours into super productivity.

Matthew Toren

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Being effective as an entrepreneur is often about hard work, but even more importantly it’s about smart work. Great entrepreneurs know that time is limited and valuable, so they need to make the most of each waking hour.

There are many factors that contribute to working smart – but planning and proper sleep are among the top performance increasers.

To maximise your time and efficiency, here are five essential and easy things you should do before bed that will make help transform your waking hours into super productivity.

We-recommend-tickRecommended: The Power of Mornings: Why Successful Entrepreneurs Get Up Early

1. Take a look at your calendar

As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. By reviewing your calendar the night before, you’ll know what’s ahead for the day so you can be prepared and plan for the best method to tackle your objectives.

You’ll sleep better knowing that you’ve already planned for the day ahead and you’ll rise in the morning knowing that you’ve already taken care of the leg work to get a jump start on the day.

There’s another old saying, “If you don’t use your head, you’ll end up using your feet,” and that proverb goes a long way for productivity! Come up with a strategy the night before on how to tackle tomorrow.

2. Get the gym bag ready

man-jogging

Whether you go to the gym, run in the neighbourhood or walk your dog, have your exercise gear out and ready to throw on for when you wake up.

Getting your clean clothes together and ready is a life hack lots of entrepreneurs use to minimise the risk of skipping their workout.

It only takes a minute to lay out your gear, but it’s a great shortcut for making sure you get your fitness in every morning.

Taking care of your health is an important part of the entrepreneurial lifestyle.

3. Turn off your phone

Sleep is a crucial part of the successful entrepreneur’s healthy lifestyle. Once you’ve checked your calendar and you know what’s ahead for tomorrow, put the phone on silent or turn it off to ensure it doesn’t beep, chime or ring and disturb your REM cycle.

Disruptions to your sleep will leave you tired and slow your performance.

To keep your productivity at its highest level, make sure you eliminate any hindrances to your sleep cycle. That email or text message can wait until tomorrow. Turn off your phone or put it on silent to ensure a good night’s sleep.

We-recommend-tickRecommended: Yes, You Can Force Yourself to Become a Morning Person. Here’s How. (Infographic)

4. Write in your journal

writing-in-a-journal

No, not the “dear diary” kind of entries. Keeping a journal is a practice that can help you process the day and make sense of your thoughts. Keep your journal in the nightstand and every night take a few minutes to review the day’s triumphs and write down what you’re grateful for that day.

Don’t make this a boring, unthoughtful experience. Think of it as a nightly meditation – just two minutes of reflection thinking about the day’s highlights and writing them down will transform your waking and sleeping thought.

It’s part of a wealthy lifestyle to appreciate all the great things of the day: Doors held open, great conversations had.

Whatever the highlight, list it and prepare your mind for great sleep.

5. Read a real book

One last thing to contribute to your good sleep is to read a quality book. You can decide what a quality book is to you, but reading before bed is a great way to make that final transition into sleep.

It will also keep you away from bright lights and electronics (hint: Don’t read on your phone or tablet, the light might disrupt your eyes and affect your sleep cycle) and soothe your body into the sleeping process.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.

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The Alfa Romeo Stelvio – More Than An SUV

The All-New Alfa Romeo Stelvio draws inspiration from the legendary mountain pass linking Italy to Switzerland, with 48 hairpins in quick succession.

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The All-New Alfa Romeo Stelvio draws inspiration from the legendary mountain pass linking Italy to Switzerland, with 48 hairpins in quick succession. The Stelvio pass is widely seen as one of the most beautiful and engaging roads on the planet.

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Setting & Achieving Goals

What You Put In Is What You Get Out – Create Your Own Success

The secret to curating a successful life starts with what you put in.

Allon Raiz

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You are what you eat, the saying goes. Your physical and even mental health are highly dependent on what you eat (or consume) daily. There are four fundamental factors of a system:  Input, boundaries, purpose and output. All systems are mostly defined by the combination of these four factors.

A professional athlete will be very diligent about what they consume in order to achieve the best possible outcome, and sprinters will have different guides and regimes to marathon runners. Essentially, high performing athletes curate their input, or design their own lives, to produce a favourable output.

The same is true of the high-performance entrepreneur — they too should be curating their input, not just in terms of what they consume through their mouths but more importantly, what they consume with their ears and eyes.

Related: For Shatty Mashego Success Lies In Maintaining A Positive Mindset

Positive inputs

A few years ago, I began to recognise that even though I might wake up in a good space in the morning, by 10am I would be feeling negative regardless of my daily practices. I had already established the discipline of recording and recognising my successes daily, as well as repeating daily affirmations and visualisations, yet within a few hours of starting my day, I found myself in a negative space.

I couldn’t figure out what was causing this; but after some analysis I realised that my daily routine included listening to talk radio on the way to work, catching up with the news on Twitter before my first meeting, and reading the morning paper which was neatly laid out on my desk. It quickly became clear that my negativity could be attributed to my over-consumption of bad news.

Each communication platform — from Twitter to the radio — has the power to depress anyone who consumes its news, but the combination of all three was toxic to me. It affected my mood, concentration and, invariably, my output. In a single decision, I eliminated these three platforms from my daily ‘diet’ and instead curated a different morning experience to see whether it would change the output. Instead of the radio, I decided to listen to either music or an audiobook; instead of Twitter, I decided to call a friend; and I didn’t renew my newspaper subscription.

The results were instantaneous. This experiment set me on a mission to see what else I could deliberately curate and design, so I began to strategically design my life to inform the successful and positive output that I desired. I subscribed to online newsletters that were informative and thought-provoking, such as Brain Food by Shane Parish; I cajoled my management team to begin listening to audiobooks at the same time that I was doing so to ensure that we included positive discussions in our bi-monthly meetings; and I ensured that there were always three litres of water in my immediate surrounds to encourage a healthier lifestyle.

Create your own success

In case you haven’t experienced the lightbulb moment yet, the simple explanation is this: All systems have inputs and outputs, and the quality of the input results in the quality of the output.

If you see yourself as the curator of your input and as the architect of your environment, you can start to create the inputs, set the boundaries and define purposes to result in the output that commands entrepreneurial success.

Related: Daily Practices for Cultivating a Positive Work Culture to Support Your Business

If something really affects the quality of your life — whether it’s your attitude, your mood or the clarity of your thought processes — it’s time to relook the design and start to curate an environment that is conducive to your success.

And, if you’re concerned about missing out on what’s happening, always remember that, if a news report or update has a direct impact on your life, the chances are high that you will hear it through your friends and family.

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Setting & Achieving Goals

Follow These 8 Steps To Stay Focused And Reach Your Goals

Decrease the amount of noise in your head.

Nina Zipkin

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Accomplishing a goal can be hard work. But even if a project is something you are passionate about and want to complete, distractions such as social media, doubts and other tasks can make it nearly impossible to concentrate on it. Don’t fret. We’re here to help.

Check out these eight steps to help you prioritise and clear your mind.

1. Stop multitasking

Instead of trying to do a million things at once, take a step back and tackle one task at a time. And while your inclination might be to start your day with busy work – like checking emails – and then move onto to the harder things, you should try to get your brain moving by challenging yourself with with a bigger, more creative endeavor first thing.

Related: Goal Setting Guide

2. Block out your days

A good way to hold yourself accountable when it comes to quieting the noise all around you is to specifically block out time in your day – maybe it’s 30 minutes or an hour – to spend on a given project.

Colour code your calendar or set a timer to make sure you are accomplishing the goal at hand.

3. Get your blood pumping

going-for-a-walk

You can’t focus if your are stuck inside and staring at a screen all day long. Turn off your computer and phone, and go for a walk for 20 minutes. The fresh air and the movement will clear your head. Also make sure that you are drinking enough water and getting enough rest.

4. Help your technology help you

A platform like RescueTime, a software that runs while you work and shows you how you are spending your day, could help you understand why something is taking longer to complete than it should. Options like Cold TurkeyFreedom and Self Control block out the internet entirely to keep you off your Twitter feed when you should be meeting deadlines.

5. Meditate

Get a recommendation for a yoga or meditation class, or even make it an office outing so everyone get some time to quiet their minds. Or look online for a plethora of apps and platforms whose stock and trade is mindfulness, like Meditation Made SimpleCalm and Headspace.

For slightly more of a monetary investment, you could look into wearable tech like Thync, a device that produces electrical pulses to help your brain decrease stress.

Related: The Tim Ferriss Approach to Setting Goals: Rig the Game so You Win

6. Change up what’s in your headphones

headphones

While background noise might help block out a loud office or construction outside your window, you need to be careful that what you are listening to isn’t distracting you more.

Music with lyrics can sap your focus from the task in front of you, so consider trying classical or electronic music instead. Or use a playlist that is familiar to you, so you aren’t tempted to turn all your attention to the new sound.

7. Streamline your communication

If you find that all of your focus gets trained on getting your inbox down to zero, think about how you can get yourself out from under a relentless deluge of email. Ask yourself and your colleagues to think about whether this conversation would be most effective through email, on the phone or in person.

Taking five minutes to walk over to someone else’s workspace will save you the time and energy invested into a redundant email chain and clarify how you want to attack a problem more quickly.

Related: 7 Steps To Achieving Our Higher-Level Goals

8. Find an environment with the right kind of noise

To be the most effective, you need to strike a delicate balance between too much noise and total silence. According to David Burkus, an associate professor of leadership and innovation at Oral Roberts University, “some level of office banter in the background might actually benefit our ability to do creative tasks, provided we don’t get drawn into the conversation,” Burkus wrote in the Harvard Business Review.

“Instead of total silence, the ideal work environment for creative work has a little bit of background noise. That’s why you might focus really well in a noisy coffee shop, but barely be able to concentrate in a noisy office.”

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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