How and Why to Create a Sleep Ritual

My first post on my personal blog was one where I pondered whether exercise is a requirement for sleep. The post was actually triggered by my inability to sleep, and I wrote it in the middle of the night. Since then, I have made a number of adjustments and I now sleep much better, so I’d like to share what I’ve changed. Why create a sleep ritual? As an early stage startup founder, I’ve found the emotional ups and downs to be incredible. In my experience so far in building Buffer, there have been many different events which have caused…

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Buffer’s June Investor Update: 7% MRR, Introducing Daily and More

June was a great month, here’s the latest: Traction update New users: 60,530 (Total: 1,598,049, from 1,537,519: +3.9%) Daily active users: 39,752 (up from 39,559: +0.5%) Monthly active users: 158,894 (down from 160,241: -0.8%) Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR): $303,000 (Annual: $3,636,000 up from $3,396,000: +7.0%) Cash in bank: $715,000 (last month: $653,000) Team size: 25 people across 5 continents We’ve been super happy to keep up consistent MRR growth, with 7% growth again this month. We also broke past $300k in MRR, which is a big milestone for us to reach. We’re excited to keep pushing forward here. The bank balance is also continuing to grow, which is very…

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My Month of Minimalism: How I Decluttered My Life

I have a lot of stuff. That’s not really meant to be a brag—far from it. More just a statement of fact. Amazon deliveries arrive all the time. Knickknacks and little gifts and random tchotzkes take over spaces. I can’t stop buying art. And plants. And why do I have so many nail polishes? It’s one of life’s mysteries. You probably have a lot of stuff, too. When did life start to feel so overstuffed? When I discovered The Minimalists recently via an interview in Slate about their new book, their philosophy immediately struck a chord with me. I especially…

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How Successful People Start Their Day: The Best Morning Routines for Feeling Great and Getting Work Done

Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, we all start our day at some point. And we all seem to start it differently.

Some of us hop online to check social media, others dive in to email, still others eat breakfast, exercise, or pack lunches for the kids. There’re a million different ways a morning could go.

Which morning routine might be best?

While there’s probably not an ideal morning routine that fits everyone, we can learn a lot from the morning routines of successful people as well as from the research and inspiration behind starting a morning on the right foot.

I collected a wide range of opinions on how best to start a day, from the scientific to the successful. Here’s the best of what I found—maybe it’ll help you get a little more productivity, creativity, and enjoyment out of your morning.

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The Power of Reading (And 16 Things We’re Improving This Week)

Escaping into a good book is one of my favorite activities, so I could hardly believe it when I learned that working at Buffer meant a free Kindle and the license to grab any book I wanted, anytime! (In fact, I snagged two today.)

You’ll notice that reading shows up again and again in our improvements—fiction and non-fiction, business books and pleasure reading.

Why? Because we know that reading makes us better writers and can even change how we act in life. For lots of us, it also helps us sleep. :)

Need a little reading inspiration? Here’s what we’re reading:

Follow Buffer’s board What Buffer is Reading on Pinterest.

Here are 28 life-changing books recommended by our awesome community:

28 life changing books

And here are the best tips we have to offer on reading more and remembering what you read.

Happy reading!

Buffer team weekly improvements

Here’s what each Buffer team member is working on this week!

We love hearing your improvement goals, too—tell us about them in the comments so we can cheer you on and learn from your goals!

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The Simple Reason We Share Administrative Tasks Throughout the Whole Team

Earlier this year, Buffer had a job opening for a position we (at the time) called “Life Saver.” That person, we thought, was going to work in lots of different and important areas to help keep Buffer running smoothly—things like helping to plan our multiple annual retreats, helping us to find awesome new team members and more. Then we decided to go in a different direction and share administrative tasks, distributing them throughout the whole team. The reason? Fun. As Joel and Leo explain in this Founder Chat video, the book Joy at Work had a lot to do with…

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The Habits of Successful People: They Disengage to Renew

I just booked a flight for a vacation to Cancún, Mexico, and it got me pondering the relationship between work and rest in a startup. One reason I’m building a startup is to gain control over many aspects of my life. I like to hack my productivity, and I’ve found I don’t necessarily thrive by following normal working hours or only working from an office. If you’re working on a startup or have aspirations to create one, I’m guessing you can relate. By experimenting with these concepts, I’ve found I can get more done. I find it particularly interesting to…

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9 Science-Backed Methods for a Happier, More Productive Meeting

If you have ever wanted to pop an escape hatch or teleport to distant worlds just to get out of a meeting, take heart.

There are ways to hold a better meeting.

Forward-thinking companies have found creative ways to get their teams together, and their lessons and structure can be easily duplicated in meetings anywhere. These creative methods aren’t just clever for cleverness’s sake: Most of them are science-backed and all of them are grounded in successful experience.

With just a handful of hacks, meetings can be speedier, more productive, and more enjoyable for everyone involved. Here are 9 outside-the-box ideas—and the science and success behind them—that you can discuss … at your next meeting, I guess.

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The 100 Happy Days Challenge: A Simple Experiment to Increase Happiness

One night, I got a Facebook message about the 100 Happy Days challenge. So I clicked through and here’s what I read: “While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in: Every day submit a picture of what made you happy!” OK, fair point, we don’t take time to appreciate things anymore… I was about to click away and get on with my life, when I read that next sentence: “71% of people tried to complete this challenge, but failed quoting lack of time as the main reason.” Uh!…

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Every Step Counts: 13 Things We’re Working on Improving This Week

We talk about “steps” a lot at Buffer-how many we’re aiming for every day, how many we’re getting and how we’re making changes to get more.

That’s because each member of the Buffer team gets a free Jawbone UP (among other neat perks) when they join us full time.

Why? Not only is general self-improvement part of Buffer’s core culture, exercise pops up quite often as a specific form of self-improvement for many of us. Here’s how Buffer founder Joel puts it:

In the last three years, I’ve gone from dabbling with exercise to it becoming something I do every weekday without fail. At first I had no idea what to do at the gym, so I asked my brother, who’s a personal trainer. I then went a few times with a good friend and soon I was hooked.

Over time, I developed this into a daily ritual so strong that I feel a pull towards it, and by doing it consistently I feel fantastic and can more easily take on other challenges. I recently discovered that exercise is a keystone habit which paves the way for growth in all other areas. I’ve also found that it helps me to get high quality sleep each night.

We’ve written before about the power of exercise to make you happier and it can also help you sleep better and reduce stress. Once you make something like this a habit, it’s easier than you think to get moving every day.

Here’s what each Buffer team member is working on this week!

We love hearing your improvement goals, too—tell us about them in the comments so we can cheer you on and learn from your goals!

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