How to Create a Nightly Routine that Sets your Day up for Success

blog business strategy tips business tips for entrepreneurs daily habits morning routine side hustle business coach time optimization Jul 07, 2021
Holly Haynes

If you have been following along for a while, I think my very first podcast was about setting yourself up for a successful morning routine. And if I am being truthful, my entire business has been built on super early “office hours” so morning routine for me is key. I also kind of turn into a pumpkin at about 3 pm. I just don’t have as much drive. 

My point in saying this is that it is really important first to understand your habits and when you are the most productive. For me, it is 100% the morning. As in put the phone away and knock those tasks out. In the evening is when I will catch myself scrolling and have lost some of my willpower. It might be the opposite for you and that is totally OK. 

Those tasks are REALLY hard to follow when you are the most productive if you don’t have enough sleep. When I started my network marketing business almost 6 years ago, I had zero boundaries. On average, I was working about 4-5 hours a night. Compiled over time, it was a recipe for disaster.

So my first tip on setting up a nightly routine is are you sleeping? And how long? I don’t like to sleep with my watch on (so I don’t track it) but I do know about what time I go to bed. And I also know that my body needs about 7.5 hours. I would encourage you to try different times to figure out what works best and then try to stick to it. Even on the weekends. I almost always average 7.5 to 8 hours. The consistency works. 

The next thing you can do as it relates to sleep (and something that helped me quite a bit) is to think about activities that might be derailing your sleep. 

Some popular daily activities or habits that can interfere with sleep include:

  • Caffeine or alcohol consumption
  • Long naps
  • Nighttime workouts 
  • Late dinners

Keep in mind the things you do (or don’t do!) during the day will set you up for your sleep at night. For instance, exercise is a great habit for overall health, but a nighttime workout can interfere with your sleep. 

Ok, now onto the productivity tips you know and love. To ensure I have a successful morning (and a productive one) these are a few things I do every night:

  1. Time Block. When I am done with work (or at the end of the day before dinner) I take a look at my calendar for the next day and time block the entire day. I think about the 3 things (that cake method) that I want to focus on, when it will happen and what else I have going on. You can also use this time to map out your morning. As an example, every morning I have a strict morning routine but I also have “business hours.” I will write down exactly what I have to accomplish during those hours the night before. Basically, when I wake up I don’t have to think. It is just taking action.

  2. Do something you love. Maybe go for a walk outside, eat dinner with your family. Reward yourself for taking time to set things up for tomorrow. Your brain relaxes when you do something that is delightful. The brain is stimulated when you are happy which improves your cognitive alertness and productivity. Personally, I love a good family dinner and a real housewives episode. That is my guilty pleasure and has nothing to do with work!

  3.  Establish no phone and no work zones. As an example, I try to answer emails in the evening from the days activities and then turn it off. As in usually no work on any screen past 7 pm. If you end up checking your email right before bed, what if you get something that frustrates you? Or something that excites you? How are you going to be able to fall asleep without processing all that? 

    Do you love these tips? Take the Productivity Personality Quiz to get a Netflix-style binge-worthy resource list to help you find your focus and is customized to you! Take the quiz here. 

    Brendon Burchard encourages to avoid randomness when you are ready to wind down your day. This includes not getting stuck in front of screens, social media or even doing a marathon of our favorite show. He says that the brain is firing up dopamine when you have so many random things that run in your mind — in turn, causing you to struggle to sleep.

    Arianna Huffington, the founder of Thrive Global, likewise shares the same view when she made a decision to keep her bedroom screen-free zone. She opts to leave her electronics outside her bedroom and keep the atmosphere a conducive place for sleeping. She is likewise an advocate of getting proper sleep after her fainting experience from exhaustion.

  4. Create a regime. After I turn off my laptop I change my clothes. To me, this is a sign of winding down. A trigger to my body. You can add in a skincare regime, a bath, sleep time tea, or even reading. If I'm being honest I am bad at all of these except changing my clothes but we are a work in progress, right? The goal is you want to create calming activities before going to sleep. We also use the CALM app. I fall asleep to it and this usually helps me remove my focus from work. 

Your brain will rest positively at night. You have a clear direction for tomorrow. You are willing to embrace the new morning ahead.

You will see greater opportunities and productivity coming your way. You will feel more positive energy entering your system.

All because you prepared the night before.


Are you bursting with ideas and wondering how the heck you are going to find time to make it happen?

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Holly Marie Haynes is a business strategy coach, podcaster, mom of twins, and founder of the Crush the Rush brand. She helps women create simple scaleable offers and systems to grow to multiple 6-figures.

Holly Marie Haynes is a business strategy coach, podcaster, mom of twins, and founder of the Crush the Rush brand. She helps women create simple scaleable offers and systems to grow to multiple 6-figures.

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