Why The Most Successful Entrepreneurs Need a Wind Down Routine

Being a successful entrepreneur comes with a lot of pressure, in it of itself. It means having many plates spinning in the air at once, being pulled in a lot of directions and questions, demands and asks coming from all sorts of stakeholders. America’s fascination with entrepreneurial productivity is endless — and I for one, share this interest. Just look at the waves of books published each year on the ongoing obsession with finding ways to wake up earlier each day. However, the focus on  just optimizing your morning routine or the approach to structuring your work day is not the only thing that’s important. In fact, one of the most overlooked productivity and scheduling hacks is actually the most important part; the entrepreneur’s nighttime or wind down routine.

As difficult as it may seem, developing a “wind down” routine is essential to your mental and physical wellness and to the overall strength of your business venture. 

Related: 5 Nighttime Routines of Successful Entrepreneurs 

The American Dream or what is shown in traditional business coaching and social media often includes unrealistic expectations of non-stop productivity and hustle. However, lately, there has been a pushback on the hustle culture that permeated the early 2000s. Today’s entrepreneur knows that a wind-down period may be necessary to maintain a healthy work/life balance. 

Priorities and Organization 

One of the main hallmarks of being an entrepreneur is the feeling that you are carrying it all on your shoulders. You provide feedback, energy, pay raises and motivate your team and given them performance reviews. Often, it can be very quiet or lonely at the top and rarely do you hear that you’re doing a good job. The fate of the business lies with you. No wonder entrepreneurs have a hard time relaxing! Taking some time at the end of each day to go over the day’s wins, perhaps reflect on the day’s losses, and then make a simple “what’s important”  list for the next day can help stressed entrepreneurs organize their thoughts and get issues they may be ruminating about on paper. Prioritization and organization can help people feel more in control. 

Related: The Amazing Side Benefit of Writing a Daily To-Do List

Better Sleep 

Creating a successful wind-down routine can also help us get better sleep. Reducing mental and physical stimulation at the end of the day can help entrepreneurs shut off their brains and fall into more complete, deeper sleep patterns. So, while you may be tempted to lie awake at night catching up on social media scrolling or making mental lists of everything you want to accomplish for the business the next day, that business will benefit more from a well-rested owner. Get familiar with what your best sleep window is and when is the best time for you to wake up. 


There has been a lot of talk lately about the benefits of mindfulness. It’s a simple concept that means being conscious and aware. Practicing mindfulness means slowing down, physically and mentally, living in the moment, and focusing on breathing. This can be an excellent way to wind down at the end of the day and gather all the benefits of mindfulness. Letting the mind wander and allowing a focus on the uncomplicated act of breathing can be a stark departure from the frantic pace of the average entrepreneur’s day. That is precisely the point of mindfulness. 

Mindfulness can lead to reduced stress, a reduced heart rate, better productivity, and clearer decision-making, all of which could greatly benefit busy entrepreneurs. 

Related: What Every Entrepreneur Can Gain From Mindfulness

Bettering Your Business 

Even when focusing on relaxing, an entrepreneur’s brain is still on their business in some fashion. The practice of winding down at the end of the day, centering one’s thoughts, and getting better sleep, as a result, can positively impact your ventures. With relaxation can come clarity on issues that may be weighing on your mind. With better sleep comes more energy the next day to wake up and tackle whatever the day throws at you. 


An international study of leaders found that 42% get six hours or less of sleep every night. Problems can arise when you’re burning the candle at both ends. Burnout happens to entrepreneurs and can be devastating — not only to the business but to the entrepreneur’s mental health. Not to mention the myriad of health issues that ensue as a result of not getting enough quality sleep and rest. A solid wind-down routine that incorporates mindfulness, lessening physical and mental stimulation, and writing things down to get them out of your head can help better prepare the body for restful sleep and stave off burnout.

Do One Thing for Pleasure

It can be easy to lose sight of why you’re working so hard: to achieve financial freedom, build security for your family or to change the world. Every night, do one thing that brings you joy. Spend time with your family over a leisurely dinner with no tablets or phones in sight. Indulge in self-care with a long walk or a professional massage. Take time to watch a movie or read a book you’ve been dying to dig into.

Make the most of your non-work time to refill the well a bit each day, rather than relying only on weekends or vacations.

A wind-down routine can be a benefit for anyone experiencing stressful work days. They are especially helpful for busy entrepreneurs who may be unable to relax written into their DNA. By focusing on the need for the body to wind down at the end of the day, entrepreneurs can expect less stress, better clarity on business issues, better rest, and better wellness overall. 

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