Ask an entrepreneur what keeps him or her up at night and one of many answers you will likely get is a fear of forgetting to do something. I don’t know how many things I tried to make myself remember at 3 or 4 a.m. before I read a very simple, and what should be obvious, tip. Keep a pen and notepad on the bedside table. I have done so for many years now and find that, while I have to wake up a little to write the notes, I probably lose less sleep having done so because I’m not worrying about that thing I need to do. That thing that would bother me in the morning, “what was I going to do???” had I not written it down. Instead, it turns into a somewhat legible reminder. A note pad by the bed isn’t the best bedroom fashion accessory, but it has proven to be a wonderful, and simple tool, to minimize sleep loss. (Not that there are not other things that keep me awake sometimes, but I’ll address that another time.)
As fond as I am of making lists, writing notes, and keeping records of my life on various calendars, I do not share David’s penchant for writing notes to myself in the middle of the night. The middle of the night, in my opinion, is for sleeping, not note writing. I have never, ever, stayed up all night or “given it the old college try” to prepare for an important event. (This includes times when I am partying with my friends; I am usually the first person to call it a night and go to sleep.) There have been many times when personal or business worries have kept me awake at night, but none of these worries could have been remedied by writing something on a piece of paper. David’s and my brains function very differently. I am overly organized and thus, rarely have any nagging concerns concerning things I need to do or forgot to do. Besides, my bedside table is topped with a beautiful antique crocheted tablecloth, a “princess” style telephone, and David’s and my wedding photo. Where would I put an ugly notepad and pen amongst that beautiful decor?