What Do CEOs Do Before Going to Sleep?

Running a company is more than a full time job, but that doesn’t mean that it should be all-consuming. While CEOs do enjoy certain freedoms – it’s nice not to have a boss – the pressure they put on themselves is often far more stressful than anything their employees experience. So, to cope with their unusual job, most CEOs build routines into both their work and personal schedules.

What CEOs do before going to sleep is particularly important to being able to maintain their hectic work lives. Specifics of night time routines may vary, but they tend to all follow the same theme: completing the day so the mind can disengage from problem-solving.

Unwinding After A Long Day

Emails, phone calls, meetings, sales, marketing, forecasting, analysis… all needs to get shut off at the end of a long day. We took some time to find out what CEOs do before going to sleep, and identified some of their most common nightly routines.

Making a List of Goals: Ok, this one might be work-related – but it’s often the last work task before shutting the laptop for the day. In many cases, this list of goals is for the next day or remainder of the week. This final work task helps to provide peace of mind that key tasks are parked on a list and not in their brains so they don’t have to worry about forgetting an important action item.

Spending Time With Family: After a long day of work, it’s time to take off the CEO hat and spend some time with family. Having dinner with their spouse and children is a great way to leave the work day behind and catch up on the important things at home. Family games and activities before bed have a decidedly different energy level than driving business goals.

Going for a Walk: Many CEOs like to get out from behind their desk and take a walk.  Sometimes it’s an evening walk with the dog, but oftentimes it’s a walking business call in the middle of the workday. For many people (especially those who pace when they’re on a stressful call), walking helps them think better, and burns off the stress that would otherwise store up in their bodies and disturb their sleep.

Unplugging from Technology: The work laptop may have closed hours ago, but with cell phones it’s easy to stay connected right up until bedtime. Sleep researchers have concluded that screen time can cause insomnia, which is why it’s a good idea to stay away from your phone or computer at least a half hour before you retire for the day.

Reading a Book: With technology unplugged, the last thing many CEOs do before going to sleep is read a book. Some CEOs blur the lines between work and personal time here by reading business-oriented material, while others enjoy a good adventure novel completely unrelated to their job.

Ready for Tomorrow

CEOs and C-level professionals tend to appreciate the value of a full night of sleep, and keep a regular sleep schedule to ensure they get the rest they need for optimal performance.
The bottom line is that peace-of-mind is a key component to running an effective business. One of the other things CEOs can do to sustain peace-of-mind is to monitor their KPIs. Customized data visualization dashboards allow CEOs to see all of their KPIs in one location, ensuring that the business is trending well. Dashboards also show CEOs where they may need to dedicate time and energy to course-correct. Knowing how the business is doing at all times reduces worry and allows CEOs to focus their valuable time on strategy and leadership functions.

So, use the tips in this blog to get a good night’s rest, and use the right technology to understand where to direct your energy during the day.