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Taming the Late-Night Mind Race


At a certain point in business, the amount of work can become overwhelming and seem never-ending. This can be a terrible experience because not only do you have to keep working hard, but you also know that you need to maintain your competitive edge, client relationships, and, worst of all, your personal time. The first thing that begins to suffer is your sleep, followed by your temper, and before long, you have less time being present with your loved ones. Your mind is racing to stay on top.

This is a common experience for growing micro-business owners. When these moments stand in your way, it is time to take a deep breath, accept the situation, and deploy your toolkit to regain balance. 

We have examined and supported over 100 micro-businesses with their diary, with each boosting their productivity by an average of 20%. Here is a list of strategies that have helped many micro-business owners get back on track when overwhelmed while being realistic about their situation. Try each strategy several times before giving up and believing “that didn’t work for me.” Specific strategies work better for different situations. The main thing is to give them a chance and use them where necessary.

Time for Living

To ensure that you work efficiently and don’t burn out, it’s important to take regular breaks. You can begin by adding time for activities that help you relax and recharge in your diary. Overworking yourself can make tasks take twice as long, so prioritising breaks is in your best interest. 

You can schedule 15-minute “Brain Breaks” after every meeting that lasts an hour or more, a “Stretch Body” break to encourage light exercise or going for a walk, a “Lunch” break to ensure that you eat throughout the day, and a “Go Home” break when it’s time to end your workday. Of course, you may have other activities that help you take a break. Be sure to schedule these activities before your meetings so that you don’t overlook them. Remember, if you don’t prioritise yourself, neither will your diary.

Brain Dump

Your brain is like a cluttered desk after a hectic day at the office. Grab a pen and notebook and do a brain dump before bedtime. Write down all those pesky thoughts bouncing around in your head – tasks, ideas, worries, the whole shebang. Getting them down on paper helps clear mental space and lets you hit the hay with a lighter load.

Plan Tomorrow Today

Worried about forgetting tomorrow’s to-dos? Here’s a tip: plan your day before hitting the hay. Jot down your top priorities for tomorrow and any tasks weighing on your mind. Putting them on paper lets you rest easy knowing you won’t forget a thing when morning comes.

Talk it Out

The simple act of verbal expression can have profound therapeutic effects. By sharing your thoughts and emotions with trusted confidants – be it your team, family, or friends – you initiate a relief process, unburdening yourself of the mental weight that hinders restful sleep.

Sharing your concerns offers other benefits, too. Your team members may offer fresh perspectives or practical solutions to the challenges keeping you awake at night. Family and friends, meanwhile, provide invaluable emotional support and encouragement, fostering a sense of solidarity in the face of adversity.

Tech Timeout

We know, we know – it’s tempting to scroll through social media or answer emails in bed. But guess what? Your brain thinks it’s party time when you’re staring at screens. So, put down the gadgets at least an hour before bedtime. Instead, cosy up with a good book or listen to some soothing tunes. Your mind will thank you later.

Create a Pre-Sleep Routine

Just like you have a morning routine to kickstart your day, why not have a pre-sleep routine to wind down? Whether it’s sipping on herbal tea, taking a warm bath, or doing some gentle stretches, find what works for you and make it a nightly ritual. Your body will learn to associate these activities with sleep, making it easier to drift off when bedtime rolls around. Through doing the diary detox, a member lesson learned was to refrain from drinking herbal tea within the last hour before bed – it turns out she would use the toilet three times after one cup of herbal tea. She is still trying to understand why she had more liquid than my cup of tea. She discovered her sleep was severely disturbed prior to this new knowledge. 

Mindful Moment

Ever tried mindfulness? It’s not just a trendy buzzword; it’s a game-changer for busy brains. Take a few minutes before bedtime to practice some simple mindfulness techniques. Close your eyes, focus on your breath, and let those racing thoughts float away like clouds. Trust us; it’s like hitting the reset button on your mind.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Ever heard of progressive muscle relaxation? It’s a fancy way of saying tense-and-release. Start by tensing and slowly releasing each muscle group in your body, starting from your toes and working your way up to your head. Not only does it help release physical tension, but it also calms the mind and prepares your body for sleep.

White Noise or Relaxing Sounds

Sometimes, all it takes is a little white noise or some soothing sounds to drown out those racing thoughts. Invest in a white noise machine or use a smartphone app to create your own calming ambience. Whether it’s the sound of raindrops, ocean waves, or gentle wind chimes, find what works for you and let it lull you into dreamland.

Guided Meditation

If your mind is still buzzing after trying other techniques, why not try guided meditation? Many resist this one before giving it a go. Try it. Plenty of meditation apps and podcasts offer guided sessions specifically designed to help you relax and drift off to sleep. Simply plug in your headphones, close your eyes, and let the soothing voice guide you to tranquillity.

Bedroom Sanctuary

Another suggestion that requires more effort and time (maybe when your diary isn’t so hectic) is that your bedroom should be a sanctuary for sleep, not a second office. Keep it clutter-free, cosy, and conducive to relaxation. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows, block out any pesky light or noise, and consider adding some calming elements like soft lighting or soothing scents. Transforming your bedroom into a sleep haven sets the stage for restful nights ahead.

Remember, getting a good night’s sleep isn’t just a luxury – it’s a non-negotiable for peak performance as a business owner. So, the next time your mind starts racing at night, arm yourself with these strategies and reclaim your right to some well-deserved shut-eye. Sweet dreams, my fellow entrepreneur!

Tammy Whalen Blake

Tammy Whalen Blake

Founder of The Yellow Mastermind.

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