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For Business
February 25, 2015

Five things successful people do before they go to bed

Winston Churchill had a bath and smoked cigars. Benjamin Franklin interrogated the day just past. Stephen King ensures his pillows are facing the right way before he drops off.

Whatever your method, finding a pre-sleep technique that helps you relax and/or equip yourself for the day ahead is essential. For some, that may be checking email until the eleventh hour (guilty as charged). For others, it’s a spark of creativity to calm the mind.

Getting the right balance is key, so we’re taking inspiration from some of the world’s most successful people.

OneNote-mood-boardDownload your brain

How many decisions have you made today? How many keep you awake at night? According to Peter High, president of Metis Strategy, in a recent Forbes article: “People have difficulty drifting off to sleep at night because they still have the day’s events playing in their heads… reduce these concerns with some well-timed planning.”

So, use OneNote to capture, sync and park the day’s highs, lows and pressure points until it’s time to re-visit them–hopefully with a clearer outlook the next morning.

Create a to-do list

Prioritizing your time even before the morning coffee has kicked in will give you a better chance of hitting the ground running. As well as capturing all the thoughts swirling around your head, jot down follow-ups for the next day and make a fresh to-do list.

Peter High continues: “Having a well documented plan means that you can rest knowing that the plan will be there when you awaken.”

Type out your thoughts or, alternatively, dictate them to Cortana, who will capture and record your Quick Notes in text form.


Referring to the last thing he does at night to Fast Company, Glyn Washington, host and co-creator of NPR’s “Snap Judgment,” says: “Something to get me in a different mind space. I love [digital] painting while I’m listening to an audiobook.”

There are plenty of tools in the Windows Phone Store to sate your pre-sleep creativity, such as the clever TileArt app. But, like regressing back to childhood, your Lumia can also whisk you off to a non-work place by reading out loud to you.

Download the Audible app to access to more than 100,000 audiobooks ranging from fantasy and thriller to non-fiction and, um, business-management techniques.


Prefer to read to yourself before bedtime? So does Bill Gates. A voracious book gobbler, he told the Seattle Times that he reads for an hour before going to sleep every night.

Inspire yourself, learn new tricks or just chill out after a long day. The latest Bookviser Reader Premium app lets you access myriad e-books from open sources, search through OPDS catalogs, view in landscape and portrait formats and enter an easy-on-the-eye night mode when tucked up.

Lumia-specific features include transparent tile support and the ability to pin your book of choice to your Start screen.


Alternatively, give your mind a much-needed rest and disengage from the world. That means switching off your Lumia, Surface and anything else on your bedside table that beeps, vibrates or pushes a notification!

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, told USA Today that though it’s “painful,” she turns off her phone at night “so I won’t get woken up.”

If you just can’t stretch that far, flick on Airplane mode and set a customized snooze time for your morning alarm – one of the great new features you can find in the Lumia Denim update.


Do you have any pre-sleep tips for better next-day working? Please share with us!