8 things successful people do when they’re not at work

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Ever wondered what successful people do in their spare time?

Perhaps you imagine them obsessing over projects, planning how to take over the world, or refreshing their inbox every minute.

Not so much.

Instead, they pour their energy into activities that make them even more efficient during work hours.

If you’re keen to follow their example, it’s time to reassess your schedule.

Here are 8 things successful people do when they’re not at work.

Add them to your routine ASAP.

1) Rest

You can’t be the best version of yourself if you don’t get enough rest.

Your focus drops when you’re tired or overwhelmed. In other words, you can’t get as many things done.

As a result, prioritizing rest outside work is a must.

I’m not just talking about sleep. 

You also need to make sure that you’re doing things that recharge the mind and let you start every day feeling passionate and energetic.

Here are a few things you can try to give your brain a reboot:

  • Develop healthy sleep habits
  • Spend time in nature – even walking home from work through the park can help!
  • Meditate or engage in mindfulness exercises
  •  Listen to relaxing music or nature sounds

If you can only pick one from the list, let it be sleep. At least 7 or 8 per night would be ideal.

Remember that sleep deficiency can lead to severe problems like depression and heart disease, to name only a few.

You may not feel the effects immediately, but you’ll be sabotaging future you. 

Think of them next time you consider staying up late to watch “just one more episode.”   

2) Unplug

Speaking of the “just one more episode” mentality, let’s quickly talk about screens.

(You knew it was coming.)

Being “always on” wreaks havoc on your mental state.

If you spend your hours outside of work constantly scrolling social media, binge-watching TV, or catching up on email, you’re not allowing yourself to unplug.

Soon, your attention span will dwindle, and you’ll experience digital stress, which decreases productivity.

Successful people understand the importance of establishing a healthy work-life balance and ditching devices every now and then to reclaim their ability to concentrate.

If you don’t think that your smartphone use is a problem, track your screen time for just a week.

You’ll be surprised by how much time you spend looking at others’ stories on Instagram.

Here’s what helped me reduce my screen addiction:

  • I got an alarm clock, so I don’t have to touch my phone for the first hour of each day
  • I have a no-screen rule whenever I spend time with loved ones
  • I read before bed instead of binge-watch
  • I disabled all push notifications on my phone
  • I put my phone on Do Not Disturb whenever I engage in deep work

Alternatively, do a yearly or monthly social media detox. I haven’t tried it, but I’m eager to give it a shot.

3) Exercise

Successful people take the Latin phrase “Mens sana in corpore sano” seriously.

It translates to “a healthy mind in a healthy body,” – a terrific mantra to live by. 

If your body is strong, your mind will follow suit.

The good news?

You don’t need to spend hours at the gym to stay healthy. Daily walks, for instance, can be incredibly effective.

(They also help you unplug, so you’ll check off two things from your wellness list simultaneously.)

Or, you can pick a type of exercise you enjoy. Like dancing, boxing, or biking.

When exercise doesn’t feel like a chore, you have a better chance of actually completing your workouts.

4) Socialize

Another thing successful people do when they’re not at work: they socialize.

Making time for your partner, family, and friends isn’t an indulgence; it’s a necessity.

First off, spending time with your loved ones lets you have a meaningful life outside of the office too.

Secondly, regularly being among people improves your communication skills, expands your cultural horizons, and can boost your emotional intelligence.

Quiet time at home is precious, but it’s a good idea to occasionally get out of the house too.

See a show, go to a restaurant, attend a dinner party. 

Trying new things sharpens the mind.    

5) Network

Since we’re on the topic of socializing, networking is another thing you should do outside of work if you want to become more successful.

Getting ahead is often less about what you know and more about who you know – so make sure you know as many influential people as possible.

Find a mentor, join a local business group, attend industry events, and schedule lunch with potential clients or associates.

Successful people excel at making fruitful connections. 

With the right attitude, you’ll become one of them in no time.

6) Learn

If you’re not interested in learning new things, your career will plateau sooner rather than later.

Technology is constantly evolving, so it’s best to keep up.

You never know when you might get the opportunity to switch companies or even try a new field.

Depending on your areas of interest, you can try enrolling in online courses, learning a new language, or mastering new software.

Thankfully, it’s easier than ever to invest in yourself, with the internet a vast and incredible resource.

Oh, and one more thing: read.

Reading reduces stress, improves your vocabulary, and enhances your critical thinking skills, among numerous other benefits.

It’s also a lot of fun, so there’s that.

7) Prepare

You’ll never catch successful people off guard.

Whether giving a presentation, moderating an event, leading a meeting, or simply doing day-to-day tasks, they’re always on top of things.

That’s because they take the time to plan their day and prepare for important assignments.

If you feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done, experiment with various time management systems to see which better fits your personality and habits.

Personally, I use the Pomodoro Technique when writing articles to avoid distraction and task batching to organize my work day.  

Find out what works best for you, and you’ll dazzle your managers with your preparedness.  

8) Review

You won’t get far in life if you don’t reflect on where you’re at and where you want to be.

Successful people review their progress regularly – and make adjustments as required.

Sit down at the end of the day and think back on everything you’ve accomplished.

Every Friday, reflect on how things went that week and see if there are any areas that need improvement.

Assess the headway you’ve made towards reaching your goals every quarter.

At the end of each year, sit down for an hour or two to conduct an honest review of the past 12 months.

It’s easy to lose track of what you want to achieve. 

Reviewing your progress prevents you from doing so.

Final thoughts

Successful people understand that how they spend their time outside the office is just as crucial as what they do during work hours.

Incorporate the activities above into your calendar, and you’ll become a force to be reckoned with.

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.

Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.

With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

Alexandra Plesa

Alexandra Pleșa is a freelance writer obsessed with television, self-development, and thriller books. Former journalist, current pop culture junkie. Follow her on Twitter: @alexandraplesa

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