So far this week we’ve covered getting up an hour earlier to experience a “Miracle Morning.”    

Terrific.  That’s step #1.

But – will we be energized and ready to go?  

Today started lasted night, says Brian Johnson, creator of the Optimize Mastery program, year-long learning program I’m currently participating in (and loving!).  

In other words, the choices we make tonight will determine our level of energy and focus tomorrow morning.  

To create a “masterpiece life,” Brian tells us, we begin by creating “masterpiece days.” And, the key to creating masterpiece days is focusing on the parts of our day around where we have maximum control: the beginning and end of the day – what he calls the AM and PM bookends.

Today we are focusing on the PM bookend. We’ll cover three big ideas. Suggestion: see these ideas as giving yourself a gift. Not a chore to be done.

1: Get a good night’s sleep. Brian argues sleep is not just a pillar of health, it is the foundation on which all the other pillars rest.  

The sleep researchers tell us we need 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Not time in bed. Time asleep. So, if we are going to get up at 6 am, we need to be in bed around 10 pm. [Note: I’m a night owl and this is a clear area of opportunity to me.]

2: Digital sunset. Brian uses the metaphor of a snow globe. Stimulating ourselves (shaking the snow globe) by watching Netflix or answering email up until the moment we fall asleep will directly impact the amount and quality of our sleep. The solution: turn off all devices (aka digital sunset) one hour before bedtime.

3: Shutdown complete. The idea here is to create a bright line between our work day and time with family and friends. Brian suggests having a specific time (5 pm? 6 pm?) when our work day is over. Hard stop. He suggests ritual zing it. When the clock hits the appointed hour, power off our computer and say “shutdown complete” and work no more until the following morning.    

Lots of benefits here. Knowing we have a hard stop will naturally increase the intensity with which we work. 

We also will be more present with the people we care about. In their book 5 Gears, authors Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram outline five different modes: recharge, connect, social, task, and focus. They argue being intentional about recognizing what the moment calls for and fully embracing that mode is the key to happiness and success.  

When we are working – work!  When we are playing – play!  Trying to do both at the same time is the road to burn out and ineffectiveness.


Reflection: Do I want more definition between my personal and professional lives?

Action: Experiment with a digital sunset one hour before I go to sleep tonight.

What did you think of this post?


  1. Spencer Siino Reply

    Another good post. What else do you do during your sunset hour besides read?

    • My morning routine is locked down at this point, but my evening routine is still a work in progress. In addition to the three actions outlined in the post, I am also writing down each night one thing I learned that day. I’ve gamified it a bit by seeing how many days in a row I can remember to do this. Current record is 24 days.

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