8 Things Successful People Do at the End of the Day

BlogHR AdviceLeadership Development Posted: Thursday 23rd June 2016 by


Success, as we know, comes in many forms. However, quite often there are noticeable traits or habits that separate the titans of industry and other leaders of this world from the mere mortals.

This is where the evening routine comes in. After a long day at the coalface, it’s more than most of us can do to sprawl comatose in front of the TV. However, while we’re channel hopping, the success stories are busy building the foundations for their future accomplishments.

It can’t hurt to take a few pointers from these individuals and the ways many of them choose to wind down at the end of the day.

The downtime before bed can be a great time to review the day’s events. Steve Jobs spoke of using this time to make sense of things and jot down notes once all the excitement had dissipated.

2. Reflect
Reflection is an important path on the way to self improvement. Ask yourself the question (as Benjamin Franklin reportedly did each night): “What good have I done today?”

3. Re-prioritise
Examining what’s going right (or wrong) on a more general level provides excellent guidance for the days and weeks ahead. For the likes of Amex CEO Kenneth Chenault this means writing out a short action plan each evening.

4. Re-visit the life plan
Others take it one step further and use their downtime to check in with life plans and re-examine long-term goals (even taping their objectives to their bed in some cases). Meanwhile, Oprah Winfrey puts aside a few minutes each evening to visualise her ideal future.

5. Read
As many successful people will tell you, you can never afford to stop learning. Whether the subject matter is new or familiar, reading can be a great idea generator and can encourage new ways of thinking.

6. Recalibrate
Alternatively, taking a step back from thinking – or, indeed, technology – altogether can be a useful endeavour. Several leading figures practice meditation, while others prefer a short walk or other light exercise before bed.

7. Reconnect
Try swapping your phone or iPad for some real human contact. Barack Obama schedules dinner with his family every evening. It could just mean making time for a catch-up with loved ones.

8. Really sleep
Having a good sleep plan worked out means you’re more likely to wake up fresh and ready for a productive day. To quote Benjamin Franklin (again): “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man [or a woman] healthy, wealthy and wise.” So no screens or stress for at least an hour before bedtime!

There is no one-size-fits all approach when it comes to daily routines – what suits a silicon valley mogul might not necessarily work for you after a long commute home from the office. But perhaps the commute could be where you recap, reflect or re-prioritise, perhaps dinner could be a chance to reconnect, and perhaps you could squeeze in a sly recalibration as well as the trusted slump in front of the telly before reading yourself to sleep?

Human Results offer expert HR services on retainer, or on a one-off basis to help guide you through the daily challenges of managing your business from a people perspective, including employee engagement, dispute resolution and resolving workplace conflict. We also provide expert leadership development coaching programmes to secure long-term capability within your organisation, and a critical support structure for your leaders.

For more information, call Human Results on 01952 288361 for a no obligation, confidential discussion.

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