40 Successful Entrepreneurs Share Their Recharging Secrets
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
When you’re launching a business you’re always on call, probably hearing your phone notifications in your sleep. But you work at your highest level when you give yourself a break and separate your home from your office, even if your office is technically your living room. Whether it’s cueing up an episode of guilty pleasure TV, going for a run or touching base with your family, everyone has a routine that helps them recharge and strengthen themselves for the day ahead.
Check out how these entrepreneurs unwind after a long day’s work:
Grab a snack and unwind.
Name: Daniella Yacobovsky
Evening routine: I usually end my day on the couch with my boyfriend. Whether it’s a television show or a movie, we snack and watch. I think it’s important to find those moments where you’re not just thinking about work all the time. We don’t have our phones with us, and I try to not actively check on work or anything that’s going on. We need to have those moments where you clear your head.
Read more about Yacobovsky: This Co-Founder of BaubleBar's Secret for Inspiration? Always 'Keep Your Eyes Peeled.'
Get ready for the next day
Name: Matt Ehrlichman
Evening routine: After leaving work I try to go home, put the work away fully and be a great husband and dad for a couple of hours. After I get the kids to bed, I have an opportunity to get my work stuff done. This is when I can crank through emails, get any projects done that I need to get done and make sure I am set to go for the next day.
Read more about Erlichman: How This Founder Uses His Competitiveness to Succeed in Business
Have an evening out.
Name: Jack Groetzinger
Evening routine: It is very unceremonious -- usually at work, out with friends or some social thing and then come home and go straight to bed. I try to avoid T.V., because it’s inherently addicting and ultimately unfulfilling. It’s a digital narcotic.
Read more about Groetzinger: The Simple Trick This CEO Uses to Prevent Burnout
Learn something new
Name: Jeff Chapin
Evening routine: Some nights I watch Game of Thrones, but when I’m better behaved, I read. I read a lot of non-fiction, so I can keep learning. Mostly I read about science, technology, design and sometimes history. Anything that tells me how the world works.Read more about Chapin: Behind a $100 Million Mattress Startup, Casper Co-Founder Shares Advice on Finding Success as an Entrepreneur
A little reality TV with a glass of wine
Name: Aaron Hirschhorn
Evening routine: I am cuddling on the couch with my wife watching Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Daily Show, anything fun. She makes me watch occasional reality T.V. shows, drink a glass of red wine and just try to sink into the coach and get ready to do it again.
I do have my phone, but I try to really connect with her because that's our only time and that also is just critical. You have to recharge with your family. So my kids, my wife at the bookend of the day puts everything into perspective as to what is important and what's not.
Read more about Hirschhorn: This CEO Says the Key to Being a Good Boss Is Getting Out of the Way
Go to bed early
Name: Melissa Ben-Ishay
Company: Baked by Melissa
Evening routine: I tell my husband to turn the TV off, so I can fall asleep. That’s honestly the last thing I do. I try to go to bed as early as possible, because I operate best with a good night's sleep.
Read more about Ben-Ishay: How Getting Fired Turned Into Sweet Success for This Entrepreneur
Name: Josh Reeves
Evening routine: I end the day spending time with my wife. No smartphones. Because of my schedule and her schedule it’s hard to say we’re just going to wing it and take three hours in the afternoon. So we try to be more proactive and deliberate. I’m not my best self if I don’t see my wife and spend time with her.Read more about Reeves: The CEO of Billion-Dollar Startup Gusto Believes Passion Should Come Before Revenue
Take a look in the mirror
Name: Jerrod Blandino
Company: Too Faced
Evening routine: At the very end of my day I always take a shower and wash the day off. I start my 25-minute beauty routine.I get to be just me. I feel like after I take a shower, it’s all off. My hair is back into a crazy fro -- just like a 12-year-old kid looking into the mirror.
When you create a global brand sometimes you identify yourself as that one thing and when you look and see yourself with all of that off, you see that goofy kid. It reminds you of who you are and how grateful you should be for where you are.
Read more about Blandino: This Entrepreneur Found His Way Into the Beauty Industry by Accident and Then Built a Worldwide Brand
Start up the Netflix cue
Name: Damien Patton
Evening routine: I end my day by watching something brainless on my iPad, like a YouTube video or some show on Netflix. I do it just to get my mind from work, so I don’t keep thinking about it. If I don’t, then I’ll be solving problems in my sleep, and I’m not dreaming or relaxing and getting my mind off things.
Clean out your inbox
Name: Richard Pleeth
Evening routine: I have a lot of events to attend in the evenings, so the timing of the end of my day varies. It's super important to attend as many as possible to really get out and network, meet investors and press.
I also call my 97-year-old grandma each evening to check how her day was as she likes to hear me from me. Lastly, I finish all my emails, I try and operate inbox zero, which I think is a really healthy way to work. I then usually get into bed with my phone to read some blogs and have a catch up with friends.
Spend time by the water.
Name: Alli Webb
Evening Routine: I try to end each day in some sort of water, like a bath or a hot tub. I’m a Pisces, which is a water sign, so I’m drawn to the water. And I grew up in South Florida near the beach, so I find water very calming. I’ll watch a show at the end of the night, because it's mindless and a good way for me to wind down.
Read more about Webb: This Beauty Founder Shares the Secret Leadership Skill to Making a Company Thrive
Tie up loose ends.
Name: Kara Goldin
Evening Routine: Every day is different, and I’m often in and out of meetings or at evening functions, so I use the evening to go through emails I still need to respond to or cross off pending items on my to-do list. I like to go to bed knowing I didn’t leave anything urgent hanging, so I take advantage of this slightly calmer time of day to tie up loose ends. Then I can go to bed with a clear head, so I can get a good night’s rest, which is essential for starting the next day refreshed and ready to go.
Name: Bea Fischel-Bock
Evening Routine: I end my day reading the world news outside of my startup world. It’s a good way for me to transition out of my day and get informed about other things.
Read more about Fischel-Bock: This Founder Shares Why In Order To Learn Fast, You Need to Fail Fast
Wind down with some TV.
Name: Angie Hicks
Company: Angie’s List
Evening Routine: I watch TV. Even when I was a kid, no matter how late I studied, I always needed a little television time before bed just to get the thoughts of the day out of my head. There is a no news rule, too; it has to be entertainment television. It needs to be relaxing.
Read more about Hicks: This Introvert Founder Swears by This Management Tip
Name: Whitney Wolfe
Evening Routine: What I have found is that the best way to unwind is cooking. You only have two hands. If you are chopping veggies, you are forcing yourself to put the phone down or step away from the computer. It’s extremely relaxing. As stressful as cooking might be, it’s a stress that is different from the stress of the day. It creates a really nice shift of thought process. It’s also a great time to spend with my fiancee, because we get to talk while we cook.
Read more about Wolfe: The Founder of Bumble Reveals How the 'Question of Nine' Can Help You Stay Focused
Highlight the productive things you did during the day.
Name: Shan-Lyn Ma
Evening Routine: I do The Five Minute Journal (inspirational journal), some reading before bed and take my dog out. I found that The Five Minute Journal in particular helps me, because even if there were 95 things that I didn't get done, there were some things I was able to push forward. It reminds me that it was a good, productive day.
Read more about Ma: This Founder Has a 5-Minute Secret Weapon That Helps Her Focus Every Day
Carpool with your co-founder.
Name: John Zimmer
Evening Routine: I often carpool home with Logan [Green, my co-founder], maybe three out of the five days a week. Typically our carpool home is less about business, more about catching up personally and listening to some good music. Then I try to get home to see my wife and daughter before my daughter goes to bed. Otherwise, I try to make bath time and then be there to put her to sleep.
Read more about Zimmer: Lyft Co-Founder John Zimmer: 'You Should Never Veer Off the Path of Your Own Values'
Quality time with family.
Name: Amber Venz
Evening Routine: I travel quite a bit, but the nights when I’m home with my family I end my day by eating dinner with them at home and then just playing with my daughter. We have a set time from when we get home until she goes to bed that we focus on her. Those are really quality hours and then it leaves me some time to catch up on the rest of the work stuff.
My husband and I also have a weekly date night and then we try and leave one night open for work events during the week.
Read more about Venz: This Founder Shares the Mindset That Helps Her Stay On Track
Talk on the phone with loved ones.
Name: Jen Rubio
Evening Routine: Before I go to bed I call someone I love, whether it's my family or friends. I then think about the things I'm grateful for, from the day. it's an important habit I developed. It keeps me grounded and reminds me what's important.
Read more about Rubio: Use This Founder's Top Tip To Make Your Meetings Work For You
Implement a gadget shutdown protocol.
Name: Carrie Dorr
Company: Pure Barre
Evening Routine: I have three small kids. My evening starts with putting them to bed. I struggle to turn off my brain, so I have a shutdown protocol in the evenings. No electronics or bright lights after 8:00 pm. I take a bath, and I read.
Read more about Dorr: This Founder Shares How to Tailor Your Schedule to Fit Your Brain
Reflect on the day with meditation.
Name: Bastian Lehmann
Evening Routine: I go home and usually have dinner with my fiance. After that I’ll go through a bunch of emails, and maybe read a bit or watch something on the TV. It’s important to slow down and try to reflect a bit on the day. I often let my mind wander or meditate for a few minutes in the evenings. This process allows me to reflect on decisions and clear my mind before I go to bed.
Read more about Lehmann: This Founder Shares the One Trait He Looks for in Every Hire
A work in progress.
Name: Randi Zuckerberg
Company: Zuckerberg Media
Evening Routine: In my ideal mind, I want to do something relaxing, like meditation or yoga. In reality, I’m in bed on social media, on my laptop and on my phone all at the same time. That’s an area of my life that I’m actively trying to work towards. I know that sleep and relaxation is so important, but I would consider myself a work in progress when it comes to the end of the day habits.
Read more about Zuckerberg: Why Everyone Can Use Randi Zuckerberg's Number One Focus Tip
Carve out family time.
Name: Julia Hartz
Evening Routine: I am with my family. Structure allows me to be focused on the day to day and have the assuredness that I have time for family. I’m still seeking a perfect schedule. The beauty of being co-founders with your spouse is that we run our business and family together.
Read more about Hartz: The Day This Eventbrite Co-Founder Learned When to Speak Up
Share what inspires gratitude.
Name: Tim Chen
Evening Routine: Before bed, my fiancé and I talk about one thing we're grateful for every night. It’s one way to stop and appreciate what's good in your life. Achievement-oriented people are always focused on what’s the next thing, what could be better. And it’s a way to foster more appreciation and mindfulness. We feel really happy after we do it every day.
Read more about Chen: Nerdwallet's Founder Shares the Worst Advice He Ever Got
Changing up the calendar.
Name: Chris Wanstrath
Evening Routine: It’s looking at how I spent my time that day and looking at the next few days. I end up changing my calendar a lot, as I always want to spend my time in the most valuable way given the information at hand. I exercise to wind down, but there is no set everyday ritual.
Name: Jordana Kier
Evening Routine: I try to do yoga two to three times a week. I discovered yoga after graduating from college and found that the combination of physical exercise and mental meditation was an amazing way to release any physical or mental residue from the day. So I try as much as possible to get onto the mat whenever I can.
Read more about Kier: How You Can Use Your Computer Password to Make Your Aspirations a Reality
Go for a long walk.
Name: Deepak Chopra
Company: Founder of The Chopra Foundation, co-founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing
Evening Routine: I end my evenings by going for a long walk. After the walk, I will reflect on the wonderful things that happened during the day and experience gratitude for them. I then close my eyes, observe my breathe and go to sleep -- 10:00 at the latest.
Read more about Chopra: Deepak Chopra Has 3 Simple and Surprising Productivity Secrets for You
Go right to sleep.
Name: Luis von Ahn
Evening Routine: That varies depending on what I did during the day. Sometimes I just get back from a late dinner and go to bed immediately. If I have time, I try to wrap everything up before the next day, so I don’t have anything that carries over. That’s rare, but when I am able to do that, that makes me feel a lot better. If I can start the next day with nothing immediate carrying over, that really helps me.
Get a read on what’s happening in the world.
Name: Kathy Fields
Company: Rodan + Fields
Evening Routine: I catch up on reading -- sometimes from up to 16 sources. What I read ranges from medical news across all specialties to philanthropy, politics and daily news. I like to compare sources to really discern the truth about what's happening in the world.
Read more about Fields: The 2 Simple Ideas That Helped Rodan + Fields Build a Billion-Dollar Business
Check in with people who are just waking up.
Name: Bruce Poon Tip
Company: G Adventures
Evening routine: I usually end my day with the news and with calls, either speaking to our Australia office or our offices in Europe or the U.K. I want to catch that group at the start of their day and see if there's any kind of questions or things that will hold them up. I want to be available so I can sleep easy, knowing nobody's waiting on something for me.
Read more about Poon Tip: I Was About to Shut Down My Business but I Changed My Mind. Here's Why.
Learn something new.
Name: Jeff Chapin
Evening routine: Some nights I watch Game of Thrones, but when I’m better behaved, I read. I read a lot of nonfiction, so I can keep learning. Mostly I read about science, technology, design and sometimes history. Anything that tells me how the world works.
Connect with family.
Name: Karlie Kloss
Company: Kode With Klossy
Evening routine: I like to unwind by FaceTiming my family, catching up on a book or listening to a podcast as I get ready for bed. I try to stay off social media as well, so I can unplug and really invest in this me-time.
Read more about Kloss: Model and Entrepreneur Karlie Kloss Shares the Importance of Always Learning
Name: Nirav Tolia
Evening routine: I have tried to institute a new routine: 30 minutes before going to bed, I turn off all devices. I talk with my wife about our day or what we need to do tomorrow. Then I try to get to sleep, whether it's listening to music or potentially even a few minutes of a podcast or in some cases doing a very simple meditation. It's this idea that you don't want to fall asleep of exhaustion as you're in the middle of writing an email, which is something that I used to do pretty frequently. You want to give your body a chance to wind down.
Look at customer feedback.
Name: Michael Broukhim
Evening routine: Reading the member forums and hearing from our customers. We're not only a consumer business, but we're a membership business. Keeping what the members are thinking about at the forefront of our minds is really important. Often, I think about that at the end of the day.
Read more about Broukhim: This Entrepreneur Shares Why an Ability to Change Course Is What Will Set You Up for Success
Step away from the screen.
Name: Christene Barberich
Evening routine: I usually go to bed before my husband, and I like to read at least five or so pages of my book. For some reason, reading a regular book [not on an e-reader] before bed is like melatonin for me. It completely knocks me out.
Read more about Barberich: Why Your Done List is Just as Important as Your To-Do List
Watch customers use the product in real time.
Name: Sarah Kauss
Evening routine: I love to look at Instagram and see the happy pictures of our S'well customers. I try to stay away from email at the end of the day and try to close my brain off a little bit. If I'm lucky, I'm having a glass of wine.
Exile your phone from your bedroom.
Name: Barbara Corcoran
Company: Forefront Venture Partners
Evening routine: I end my day reading gardening books and catalogues and daydreaming about the garden. It just winds me down and puts me out.
The more important thing than the gardening book or the catalogues is I've eliminated my phone from my bedroom. That is key. I used to use my phone to wake up in the morning. Now, I actually bought a battery-operated white clock and use that to wake up. What a difference that's made.
Read more about Corcoran: Shark Tank's Barbara Corcoran Explains Why You Must Make Time in Your Schedule For Fun
Take a break from the industry.
Name: Tristan Walker
Company: Walker & Company
Evening routine: I end my day by reading for an hour and a half. For me, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day work stuff and what reading books enables me to do is to stretch my mind and explore a world outside of health and beauty.
Check in with loved ones.
Name: Payal Kadakia
Evening routine: Startup life is so intense. For me, there’s no better way to end the day than with the person who brings the greatest sense of calm and perspective to my life: my husband. It’s ideal to see him in real life, obviously, but given our work schedules, FaceTime works, too.
Read more about Kadakia: This Successful Entrepreneur Explains Why You Can't Succeed Unless You Invest in Yourself
Use a calendar to hold yourself accountable.
Name: Melanie Perkins
Evening routine: I’ve always found it difficult to stop whatever I’m working on and go to sleep. I’m making an extra effort this year. I have a physical calendar keeping me on track and I tick off the days when I get at least eight hours sleep a night.
Rad more about Perkins: She Was Told 'No' 100 Times. Now This 30-Year-Old Female Founder Runs a $1 Billion Business.