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7 Things Rich, Successful People Do Before Bed that You Can Do

7 Things Rich, Successful People Do Before Bed that You Can Do

Much has been said about the benefits of being an early riser. Benjamin Franklin—the original guru of productivity, said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

However, not much is said about the last thing you do before bed. Yet, the very last thing you do before bed is vital because it determines how well and how much you sleep, which in turn determines your energy level the following day when you wake up.

Rich people understand the importance of a good night’s sleep. They have well established sleep rituals that signal to their brains that it’s time to switch everything off and get some much needed night’s rest. Here’s what the most successful and rich people do before bed you should probably emulate.

1.   They stretch and exercise lightly.

Joel Gascoigne, the CEO of Buffer, squeezes in a 20-minute walk every evening before he retires to bed. He says the light walk helps him totally disengage from his work and slowly work himself into a “state of tiredness.” He explains in a blog post, “This is a wind down period, and it allows me to evaluate the day’s work, think about the greater challenges, gradually stop thinking about work…”

If you are a busy person who’s always on the go, tiredness, fatigue and even leg cramps can be painful enough to make it hard for you to sleep. Joel’s late night walk routine could be a good way to get rid of those cramps, blowing off some steam and unwind after a stressful day.

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Science has actually shown that fresh air and light exercise like brisk walking, stretching and gentle yoga postures for several minutes just before getting into bed helps induce sleep. However, avoid vigorous exercise at night as it can have the opposite effect and cause insomnia.

2.   They take a warm bath

Many of us take a warm shower before bed (probably a couple of hours leeway at least). But, some of the most successful people take a warm bath instead. Joyce Walsleben, PhD, associate professor at New York University School of Medicine is one such person. She says you should soak in a tub for 20 or 30 minutes two hours before bed.

“If you raise your temperature a degree or two with a bath, the steeper drop at bedtime is more likely to put you in a deep sleep,” Walsleben says. A shower is less effective and tends to wake you up, but it can work, as well.

This nighttime ritual of taking a warm bath before bed has also worked well for internationally acclaimed fashion designer and film director Tom Ford. Tom shared his day’s schedule with Harper Bazaar and said:

“I walk the dogs around Grosvenor Square and then head up to bed. Believe it or not, I usually take another hot bath and wash my face. Then we watch a bit of television (usually things we have recorded) or read and go to sleep.”

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3.   They read a book

Tom Ford is not the only one who reads before bed. Bill Gates is an avid reader. He says he reads for about an hour each night before bed and has seen the benefits of doing so.

“I really had a lot of dreams when I was a kid, and I think a great deal of that grew out of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot,” Gates is quoted saying. Interestingly, the Microsoft billionaire reads everything from current events to business and politics.

Apart from the obvious benefits of gaining new knowledge, reading each night helps to reduce stress and improve memory. In fact, a study from the University of Essex found that reading for as little as six minutes a day can reduce stress levels by up to 68%!

4.   They meditate

Ray Dalio, the billionaire founder of the investment firm Bridgewater Associates, famously said, “Meditation more than anything in my life was the biggest ingredient of whatever success I’ve had.”

Oprah Winfrey, an outspoken advocate of Transcendental Meditation, agrees that meditation helps and says she unwinds at the end of a stressful day with a focused meditation session.

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Padmasree Warrior, the chief technology and strategy officer of Cisco Systems, also meditates every night.” She told the New York Times in 2012 that taking time to meditate and unplug keeps her calm and helps her to manage the pressure of her work.

Those who take a few minutes every night to reflect on the good things that happened to them that day sleep better. That flow of positivity and grateful attitude induces feelings of calm that allow for a restful sleep.

5.   They plan the next day

Many highly successful and rich people have a penchant for picturing tomorrow’s success today—and planning for it. They write down the most important things they need to tackle first as a way to get those ideas out of their head. Often this planning for tomorrow happens right before bed.

Kenneth Chenault, CEO of American Express, for example, ends his day by writing down three things he wants to accomplish the next day right before retiring for the night. He says that in doing so he is able to wake up the next day and get straight to work on his most important tasks.

You might want to borrow a leaf from this high achiever and plan the next day before bed. This is especially true if you often find yourself running through the next day’s to-do list while you are trying to fall asleep.

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6.   They create a cozy sleep environment.

Stephen King, one of the richest and most successful authors alive, says his nightly routines include washing his hands and making sure all the pillows face a certain way. The horror writer says it’s not any different than a bedtime routine. He explains:

“I brush my teeth, I wash my hands. Why would anybody wash their hands before they go to bed? I don’t know. And the pillows are supposed to be pointed a certain way. The open side of the pillowcase is supposed to be pointed in toward the other side of the bed. I don’t know why.”

Making your bedroom as comfortable as possible for you is a great way to ensure you sleep soundly and wake up the next morning well rested and ready to face the day. The rich and famous go to great lengths to ensure the sleep area is as cozy as possible so as to induce and maintain sleep.

7.   They unplug

Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, is a staunch evangelist for sleep and “unplugging.” She says every night before bed she puts her phone in another room so she is not distracted by it. Like Tom Ford and Bill Gates, Arianna says she reads before bed the old-fashioned way, “real book.” Facebook’s chief operating officer (COO), Sheryl Sandberg, also says she turns her phone off at night so that she “won’t get woken up.”

Dr Charles Czeisler, professor of sleep medicine at Harvard University, agrees that “unplugging” is a very good habit before bed. He explains that the bright lights produced by cell phone screens “trick” the body into thinking it’s still daytime, prevent certain body chemicals from being released and disrupt the bodies’ natural sleep rhythms. This disruption causes people to have a much harder time going to sleep.

It’s a good idea to ban iPads, Tablets, laptops and any other electronics from the bedroom before bed so that you set yourself up to have a good night’s sleep, and an even more productive day tomorrow.

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Last Updated on August 7, 2018

14 Powerful Leadership Traits That All Great Leaders Have

14 Powerful Leadership Traits That All Great Leaders Have

Being a leader of a company or organization is certainly a difficult and often frustrating position – but it can also be tremendously rewarding.

Whether you’re just starting out as a leader, or have been leading for a while, you’ll be sure to benefit from knowing the essential traits that all great leaders possess.

Effective and successful leaders transcend the title of ‘manager’ or ‘boss’. They’ve found a way to achieve the perfect combination of charisma, enthusiasm and self-assurance (with a healthy dose of luck and timing probably added to the mix).

It may seem like some people are gifted with leadership skills, but the truth is most leadership traits can be learned, adopted, and strengthened with time and practice.

As we delve into the list of effective leadership traits, you will learn the behaviors and attitudes of a good leader.

The 14 most important leadership traits

Please read through the list of leadership qualities carefully. Take note of which of the traits you excel at – and which ones you need to work at.

Traits for better self-development

1. Vision and mission

Having a clear picture of what needs to be achieved is a crucial quality of good leadership.

This vision is often communicated in a mission statement, such as this one from Starbucks:

    How to develop vision? Spend time pinpointing what you need to achieve, and then plan the steps to get there. Here’s a complete guide on creating your own vision.

    2. Self-motivated

    It’s no coincidence that successful leaders have an abundance of self-motivation.

    Without a decent level of self-motivation, you’ll struggle to become a strong and respected leader. However, if you don’t have a lot of self-motivation right now, don’t despair.

    One of the secrets is to have definite goals to keep you motivated at all times. Some people also choose to reward themselves every time they achieve a goal, and this is certainly a good way to keep yourself enthused and motivated. Learn how to set an ambitious yet achievable goal here.

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    3. Optimism and positivity

    Positive energy is contagious. Great leaders are overflowing with this type of energy.

    Not only does a positive mindset make leaders easy to work with, but it also gives them a constant source of inspiration and ideas.

    Tap into this energy by aligning yourself with positive people and positive goals. Find out more about the habits of positive people here.

    4. Emotional stability

    In leadership positions, frustration and stress are daily occurrences. This is why leaders need to have strong and stable emotions. They can’t allow themselves to be easily knocked off track.

    If you’re prone to losing your emotional stability when stressed or frustrated, try some of these techniques: breath deeply and slowly for 30 seconds, go for a walk, drink some water (instead of tea or coffee), turn your focus onto something you can resolve. Here’re some effective ways to control your emotions.

    5. Self-confidence

    Watch a presentation by any CEO and you’ll see that even if they’re not natural presenters – they make up for this by having powerful self-confidence.

    It’s not just CEOs who have self-confidence, any successful leader will have this trait in abundance. One reason for this, is that only a confident person can persuade others and gain their respect.

    Worried that you have low self-confidence? Try faking it. Psychologists often recommend that if you ‘act’ at being confident, you’ll start to look, sound and feel like you ARE confident. And in time… you will be.

    If you look for more ways to boost your self-confidence, this confidence coach has got you some nice advice:

    How to Be Confident: 62 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence

    6. Decisiveness

    Leaders are frequently called upon to make decisions (some leaders may have to make dozens of decisions every day). In fact, you could say that making decisions is one of the key things a leader must do.

    Spend some time observing highly-successful leaders and you’ll see that they are quick to make decisions. They also enjoy making decisions, rather than stressing out like many non-leaders do when they’re asked to decide on something.

    Put yourself in the leadership bracket by developing your decision-making skills. Start with small decisions – and then work your way up to bigger and more difficult decisions. Once other people notice your decision-making prowess, they’ll automatically see you as leadership material.

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    I know it’s really quite difficult to make the right decisions sometimes, but don’t worry, here’s a guide for you:

    How To Make Good Decisions All The Time

    7. Passion and enthusiasm

    Expressive. Active. Energetic. These are words best describe a passionate leader.

    Great leaders are lively, driven and are possessed with zeal and purpose. It’s this passion that helps them achieve big results. If you want to emulate their success, then you need to develop passion and enthusiasm for the work at hand, and the end goals.

    Take a look at this Passion Pyramid to find out how importance a leader’s passion is to the team:

      One way to do this is to find what motivates you, and keep your focus firmly on that. For example, i f you’re motivated by helping others, then make sure your role and company are both suited to realizing this. If you’re motivated by money, then put your focus on achieving bonuses and pay rises.

      Take a look at Leo Babauta’s guide on how to find your passion.

      8. Accountability and responsibility

      Exceptional leaders know that at all times they’ll need to take responsibility for tasks and their results. This includes things likes individual and team performance, as well as being accountable for when things go wrong.

      When negative things occur (and you can guarantee they will from time-to-time), a great leader will immediately step in and take responsibility. Initially, they’ll try to resolve the problem in as quick and smooth a way as possible. But if this is not feasible, they’ll be sure to say that the buck stops with them – and they take full responsibility for what has happened.

      To develop your leadership skills, you must never shy away from responsibility or accountability. If you prefer to sweep mistakes under the carpet, then you’re demonstrating non-leadership traits. Try owning up to issues and finding solutions to them. By doing this, you’ll immediately gain people’s respect.

      Find out some tips on how to be a more responsible person here.

      9. Focus

      Distractions are everywhere. And it takes major focus to stay committed to tasks and goals. The best leaders understand this, and therefore, they’re always looking at ways to boost their team’s focus.

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      One way leaders do this, is to keep their team intensely focused on the bigger picture. This might entail allocating specific time for tasks and eliminating any non-essential work.

      If you’re easily knocked off track, you’ll need to spend some time boosting your focus. Try planning your day, week, month and year to help ensure that you don’t fall behind with achieving your goals. Check out the 7 strategies of staying super focus recommended by a productivity coach.

      10. Ever-learning

      Leaders know that to be successful they need to continually update their skills and knowledge. They deliberately learn all they can about their profession and industry, so they’ll able to make confident and assured decisions.

      Why is ever learning so important? I’ll leave it to you to find out the reason here:

      If I Am Living a Good Life, Why Should I Bother Learning New Stuff?

      Imagine a CEO of a solar power company. His company may have amazing solar panels, but when it comes to discussing business with potential buyers, if the CEO or his sales team show a lack of understanding about the solar industry and future trends, etc., they’ll be unlikely to win any business.

      It’s exactly the same for you. If you’re a team leader at an electronics store, you should make sure you fully understand all the products that you offer. But go beyond just that, and read about upcoming products and trends that might change what customers are interesting in buying in the future.

      Traits for effective communication

      11. Empathy

      The best leaders understand the feeling of their team members, customers and associates. They know when to praise, and when to discuss problems (usually in private).

      Without empathy, leaders will be seen as cold, harsh and lacking understanding. They’re also likely to be regarded as untrustworthy.

      One way to ‘put yourself in someone else’s shoes’ is to have regular informal discussions with your colleagues. When you do this, you’ll quickly learn their fears and desires. And when you understand why they have these – you’ll be in a position to express empathy. You can also learn to be more sensitive to others’ needs by taking up these communication skills.

      12. Persuasive and influential

      Communications are at the heart of all transactions. Whether it’s pitching for a sale or resolving a customer complaint, how you communicate will determine the outcome.

      Charismatic leaders such as Richard Branson (Virgin) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) are confident and persuasive communicators. They know how to win over audiences and leave a lasting impressing in people’s minds.

      There’re some common barriers that you’ll have to overcome in order to communicate effectively:

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      How to learn effective communication? You could join the world-renowned U.S. nonprofit Toastmasters International. They’ve been training people in the art of public speaking since 1924, and members have included Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, and Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy.

      If you don’t have time to join a club, then practice your communications skills at home. You can do this in front of a mirror, or even better, video yourself presenting, and then ask some friends and family members for feedback. You’ll be amazed at what they pick up on.

      Traits for ensuring an engaging team

      13. Team building

      If you put a bunch of random people together, you may have a loose definition of a team. In reality, a real team has purpose, drive – and a leader lighting the way.

      If you’ve worked in different teams and with different managers, you’ll no doubt have come to this conclusion:

      Managers who treat their team members like children are unpopular with the team. Conversely, managers who treat their team members like adults, are respected and well-liked by the team.

      The days of disciplinarian managers are passed. Nowadays, successful team leaders know how to inspire and motivate their team, while keeping a harmonious atmosphere between all team members.

      14. Fostering creativity

      Solutions to problems are rarely black and white. Often it takes a leader who can ‘think outside the box’ to come up with answers. In other words, a leader must be creative, and also help to foster creativity and innovation throughout their team.

      Creativity is not only associated with pursuits such as arts, literature and music, running a team can be just as creative. There will be times every day when you need to come up with ideas and give guidelines for your team to come up with theirs to solve problems.

      Leadership is a journey of continuous learning

      Leadership is an amazing experience that will take you on roads you’ve never traveled before.

      Begin now to build your skills and experience, pick out the traits that you currently lack – and then work on developing those.

      It will take tons of practice and time before becoming an effective leader but eventually you will join the ranks of great leaders.

      Featured photo credit: unsplash via unsplash.com

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