[author: Martha Newman, J.D.]
Here's Why the Last 45-Minutes of the Day are so Important
Focus isn't the key to success. POSITIVE focus is. The most successful leaders don't dwell on their past failures, rather they stay focused on their past successes. Furthermore, successful people are constantly proactive in thinking about and pursing their goals.
So how do they do it?
One focusing method some people use is a 45-minute regimen that happens at the end of the day - just before sleep. This is the time of day to relax, lie down, and acknowledge your successes, focus on your goals, and to set a path towards accomplishing those goals.
Also read: 4 Top Self-Efficacy Boosters
Why is this time of day so important? Because research shows that the last 45-minutes of the day has a huge influence on sleep and how we function the following day. While we sleep, our subconscious mind replays and processes this before-bed ritual up to six times more often than anything else we experience during the day. This is why bedtime stories are so important for children. It's also why college students cram for exams late at night.
Jack Canfield, author of the The Success Principles, offers this nighttime exercise to help keep your mind clear and focused at the end of the day.
Sit with your eyes closed, breathe deeply, and ask yourself one of the following questions?
Where could I have been more effective today?
Where could I have been a better manager or leader?
Where could I have been more assertive today?
Visualize your activities that day and the answers to the question you've chosen to ask yourself. Don't judge. Don't be too hard on yourself. Take each incident and replay it in your mind the way you would have preferred to have done it. Doing this will create a subconscious image that will help form the desired behavior the next time a similar event rolls around.
Also read: Adopt a Resilient Mindset
Like any focusing regimen, this one takes practice. But it's worth the effort, especially after a particularly trying day. Don't go to bed with a nagging feeling about what you didn't do. Visualize what you will do next time.