"It took me a divorce, a physical breakdown, the death of my mother, and a few years of not really knowing my kids to learn a simple truth: the singular purpose of life is not to work."
Business coach Cameron Herold's words hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew all too well the toll of letting work become my life. I knew I hadn't resolved those tendencies, and I knew what the scary research had to say about workaholics like myself: Our marriages are 40% more likely to end in divorce, our children will have similar profiles to those with alcoholic parents, and our weakened immune systems make us susceptible to heart problems and Type II diabetes.
I suspect that like alcoholism, work addiction cannot be cured; only managed. However, on a day-to-day basis, we can help ourselves by setting a clear delineation between "work time" and "free time."
Setting aside non-work time at the end of the day for self-care allows us to give proper attention to our hobbies, spend valuable time with our loved ones, and wake up the next morning feeling refreshed and ready to go. It keeps life on track so that work stays enjoyable and we don't burn out.
A few years ago, Herold hit a breaking point and changed his lifestyle. He set a fixed time to stop working, and hasn't deviated from it. "Since then, I haven't had any trouble falling asleep, because my mind isn't processing the day anymore, and it's not worrying about everything that I didn't finish," Herold told me. "I know work is not an option after that time, so I don't even think about it."
Why Everyone Should Have Night Time Routines
Our society is collectively obsessed with morning routines.
While these routines set the foundation for good work, they do not set the foundation for a good life.
There is an argument to be made that night time habits are even more important than morning ones.
Without the right set of evening habits, we risk falling into destructive habits by default due to low will-power. These bad habits can more than reverse all of the good things we did during the day.
Success isn't just a result of making good decisions -- it's also a result of avoiding bad ones. Making the wrong decisions in the evening can mean poor nutrition, poor sleeping habits, and a poor relationship with your family.
The Three Evening Habits That Everyone Needs
After researching and writing several well-received articles on the habits of successful entrepreneurs three sets of evening habits have emerged as essential:
Fortunately, there are proven methods we can use to create this separation, allowing us to restore our hearts and minds so that we can have more energy for our families, our passions, and yes, even our careers.
Here are 12 tactics successful business people use to unwind and disconnect at the end of the day.