10 things high achievers never do in their free time

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Ever wonder what sets successful folks apart? It’s not just what they do, but also what they don’t do in their free time!

Let’s look at 10 things high achievers avoid doing when they’re not working.

1. Mindless Scrolling

“Hey, have you seen the latest viral video?” “Did you check out those holiday photos on Instagram?”

Sound familiar? We all love a bit of social media or TV time, but high-achievers know where to draw the line.

They understand that every minute spent on mindless scrolling is a minute not spent on something productive or enriching.

Sure, they might check their feeds or catch an episode of their favorite show, but they never let it consume hours of their day.

Instead, they use these ‘media minutes’ wisely—maybe by following thought leaders, reading up on industry trends, or learning something new from a documentary.

They know that time is precious and choose to spend it in ways that add value to their lives.

2. Ignoring Health

Picture this: It’s late at night, you’re hunched over your laptop, munching on takeout because you skipped dinner.

Sound like a common scenario? Well, not for high-achievers!

They know that staying healthy isn’t just about looking good; it’s a crucial part of performing at their best.

They understand that a healthy body equals a healthy mind. So, they never neglect their health even in their free time.

High-achievers always make time for balanced meals—packed with nutrients to fuel their body.

They never skip breakfast, lunch, or dinner because they’re too busy.

They also prioritize a good night’s sleep—because they know it’s essential for maintaining focus and energy levels.

And let’s not forget about exercise! Whether it’s a morning jog, an evening yoga session, or a quick workout during their break—they always find time to get moving.

3. Stopping Learning

Once upon a time, I found myself stuck in a rut. Work was great, but I felt like I was just going through the motions—day in, day out.

Then one day, I stumbled upon an online course about a topic I’ve always been curious about, but never really had the time to delve into.

On a whim, I signed up. And you know what? It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Not only did I learn something new, but it also sparked a newfound enthusiasm in me.

Suddenly, I was excited to finish work so I could dig into my course.

This is something that high-achievers inherently understand—they never stop learning.

Even in their free time, they’re always seeking to broaden their horizons, whether it’s through reading a book, taking up an online course, attending seminars or just exploring new ideas.

High-achievers know that learning doesn’t stop when school ends—it’s a lifelong journey. So, they seize every opportunity to learn and grow.

The world is full of knowledge waiting to be discovered, and they’re more than ready to find it.

Pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read, sign up for that course you’ve been eyeing or just take some time to learn something new. Trust me—you won’t regret it!

4. Missing Networking Opportunities

High-achievers understand that networking isn’t just about making contacts—it’s about building long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships.

So, even in their free time, they never miss an opportunity to connect with others.

Whether it’s attending industry events, participating in online forums, or striking up a conversation at a local coffee shop, high-achievers always keep their eyes and ears open for potential networking opportunities.

They know that the next person they meet could open doors to new ideas, opportunities, or partnerships.

Every person you meet has the potential to change your life in some way. 

5. Neglecting Hobbies

Imagine a life where all you do is work, sleep, and repeat.

Sounds pretty monotonous, right? High-achievers certainly think so! They understand that there’s more to life than just work, and that’s why they never neglect their hobbies in their free time.

Whether it’s playing the guitar, painting, gardening, or hiking, high-achievers always find time to engage in activities that bring them joy.

They know that these passions not only provide a much-needed break from their busy schedules but also stimulate creativity and bring a sense of fulfillment that work alone can’t provide.

These hobbies are their haven—a place where they can express themselves freely and fuel their soul. It acts as a reminder of who they are outside of their profession.

And often, it’s these moments of personal expression that lead to breakthroughs and fresh ideas in their professional lives.

So, cherish your hobbies—those activities that make your heart sing. They’re not just pastimes, they’re a crucial part of who you are and can be a source of happiness and inspiration.

Remember, we’re not machines programmed to work continuously; we’re humans who need to nourish our spirits too.

6. Forgetting Loved Ones

I remember a time when I used to be all about work, work, and more work.

My loved ones often complained that I was too busy for them. I brushed it off, thinking they just didn’t understand my hustle.

But one day, I had an eye-opening realization. I was missing out on life’s precious moments with them.

This is something high-achievers are careful to avoid.

They understand that no amount of professional success can compensate for a lack of personal relationships.

So even amidst their busy schedules, they never forget to spend quality time with their loved ones.

Family dinners, game nights with friends, or just quiet moments shared with a partner—these are as important to them as meeting deadlines or clinching deals.

They know that at the end of the day, it’s these relationships and shared moments that truly enrich life and give it meaning.

7. Avoiding Challenges

We all have comfort zones. You know, those cozy little spaces where everything is familiar and safe? Yeah, they’re great. But you know what they aren’t? They’re not places where growth happens.

High-achievers get this. They know that if they stay in their comfort zone, they’re not going to get very far. So, they don’t just step out of it—they leap out.

It’s not easy, trust me. It’s scary and uncomfortable and sometimes downright hard. But high-achievers do it anyway. They embrace the fear, the discomfort, the hard work—because they know that on the other side of all that is progress.

They might fail. Actually, scratch that—they will fail at some point. But that doesn’t deter them. They see each failure as a stepping stone towards success, another lesson learned, another notch on their belt of experience.

If you want to be a high-achiever, don’t shy away from challenges. Embrace them. Grow from them. And remember: it’s okay to fail—it’s just not okay to stop trying!

8. Ignoring Personal Growth

High-achievers know that growth isn’t limited to their professional skills or career progression.

They understand that personal development—be it emotional intelligence, communication skills, or mindfulness—is equally important.

They are always on the lookout for opportunities to enhance their personal skills or traits.

This could involve reading self-improvement books, attending personality development workshops, or practicing mindfulness techniques.

They understand that these skills not only improve their personal lives but also have a significant impact on their professional success.

If you’re eager to join the ranks of high achievers, don’t ignore personal growth.

Becoming the best version of yourself is a lifelong journey, and every step you take towards personal growth brings you one step closer to achieving your goals!

9. Not Planning Ahead

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I used to be the queen of procrastination. “Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?” was my unofficial motto.

But then, I noticed something about high-achievers—they plan ahead.

High-achievers don’t just wake up and go with the flow. They have a clear plan for their day, including their free time.

They know what they want to achieve, and they set out a roadmap to get there.

So, I decided to give it a try. I started planning my days, setting goals for what I wanted to achieve, and guess what? It worked! I was more productive, less stressed, and I even found more time for myself.

High-achievers understand that planning ahead is crucial for managing time effectively. It helps them stay focused, be productive, and also ensures they have time for relaxation and hobbies.

If you’re like how I used to be—always rushing, always feeling like there’s not enough time—try planning ahead. You might just find that it makes a world of difference!

10. Skipping Reflection Time

We live in a world that’s always on the go—always hustling, always moving, always doing. But high-achievers know something that many of us often overlook: the power of pause.

They understand that taking time to reflect—on their actions, their decisions, their successes, and their failures—is not just important, it’s essential.

Reflection isn’t about dwelling on the past; it’s about learning from it. It’s about understanding where you’ve been, so you can better navigate where you’re going.

It’s not always easy. Looking back at our mistakes can be tough. It’s tempting to just move on and forget about them.

But high-achievers don’t do that. They confront their failures head-on, learn from them, and use them as stepping stones to success.

So if you want to be a high-achiever, don’t skip reflection time. Take a moment to pause, look back, and learn.

Because the path to success isn’t always about moving forward—sometimes, it’s about looking back.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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