Essays & Confessions

6 Non-Work Things Highly Successful People Do On Weekends

By | Saturday, August 15, 2015

While I spend a good deal of my time considering ways in which I can improve myself, my work, and my relationships with friends, it can be exhausting to always be on the #quest of self-betterment. Sometimes, I find it more useful to take a look at what other people are doing, specifically, highly successful leaders, CEOs, and entrepreneurs — I like to see how my habits are similar and dissimilar to theirs. One of my favorite pastimes (embarrassingly enough) is Googling the habits of successful people and finding out what makes them tick, how they take their coffee, uncovering what their morning routines look like, etc. It’s fascinating for me to see how they spend their time when there is so much riding on their shoulders. How do they feel about work-life balance? Do they ever turn off email? How do they manage the fate of hundreds of employees and sleep well at night? I find myself wondering how they make it all work and make every day count — weekends included.

Recently, I was digging around on how these highly successful people spend their weekends, and discovered that it wasn’t all that different from how they spent their weekdays. They still focus on mindful play, spend quality time with family, invest in their hobbies, and get exercise. It was intriguing to read through articles about how they use their personal time on the weekend, and through reading about it, I was able to gain valuable perspective on what’s important and valuable through their eyes.

For me, the work week always feels as if it flys by, but I try not to get sucked into the black hole of overworking. When you work for yourself and freelance full-time, it’s tough to stop working because you always feel like you could be doing more. This 2014 study from Stanford reported that once a work week reaches over 50 hours, productivity starts to decline. While it’s essential for me to go hard during the week, I don’t like to overextend myself to the point that I’m so exhausted come Friday night that all I want to do is sleep in, and veg out on the couch.

Below, I’ve gathered some great examples of how some of the most successful people spend their time on the weekends. I feel it provides invaluable insight as to what’s really important and worth focusing on, no matter what point you’re at in your career path. Check it out!

1. Unplug And Spend Time With Family
Spencer Rascoff, The CEO of Zillow, says that it’s essential to connect with family and loved ones during his weekends. I agree, and I feel that when you unplug, you take time to process what’s going on in the background of you life. It’s easy to get caught up in the immediate that happens day in and day out, but when you set aside time to remove yourself from the hectic daily grind, you can truly reset. Plus, spending time with family makes me feel genuinely happy which lowers stress levels, and sets me straight again.

2. Make Appointments For Yourself
Laura Vanderkam, author of What The Most Successful People Do On The Weekendsuggests that making appointments for yourself is a fantastic way to devote chunks of time for you time. It’s a good way to practice discipline, and do the things you say you’re going to do. Since you’re committing to something that’s not work related, and something that is more fun and light, you’re less likely to brush it off in favor of another task/activity. Over the long run, this can help you commit to doing things at specific times.

3. Keep Your Routine/Schedule
The Disney CEO, Robert Iger claims to rise every morning at 4:30am. While this seems like an ungodly hour to most people to get up at, there is something to be said for sticking to a weekday sleeping pattern even on the weekend. When you maximize the number of waking hours you have available to you, there’s more time to relax and pursue the things that interest you. I find that I’m able to pack in many of the things I love to do, like reading, drawing, and seeing my friends, if I have a full day to do so. When I used to sleep in until 12 or 1pm in college, it made the weekend fly by and feel unsatisfying short.

4. Ask Yourself The Tough Questions
Steve Jobs revealed in his commencement address at Stanford, that he apparently wakes up each morning and asks himself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? And whenever the answer has been “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” Hearing that makes me examine my own life and assess whether or not I’m putting enough attention toward the things I love to do. While I do feel immensely satisfied with my working life, I feel like I’ve neglected the other creative areas of my life over the last couple of years. Once and a while, it’s nice to be reminded of your mortality (#feels), and that each day is a unique and special one. While I hate hearing that old adage, “life is short,” it’s worth examining if you are truly unhappy with your current life path. Use the weekend to pursue activities that ~fEeD yOuR sOuL~.

5. Workout And Stay Active
Anna Wintour apparently begins each morning with a “rousing tennis match,” at 5:45am in the morning. While I’m all in for staying active and fit, I know that my weekend workouts certainly won’t occur before the sun breaks. But staying active keeps your mind sharp, which can help you power through the weekend with productivity, and feel ready for a fresh week of work come Monday morning.

6. Stick To Your Hobbies!
Warren Buffet urges people to continue working on the side projects, hobbies, and activities they love. I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Buffet (as I would with anyone worth $72 billion dollars), as he seems to know what he’s talking about. But in all seriousness, pursuing hobbies switches things up and forces your brain to refocus on a wide variety of tasks.

Every once in a while, I like to take a step back from myself and my own thoughts, and take a look around at what others do to keep themselves focused and productive. Sometimes I feel like I get too wrapped up and stressed out over what’s going on in my own life that I forget I’m not the only one who deals with issues throughout the week. For me, it helps to put my own life in perspective by remembering that there are people far above the career “food chain” than I who find ways to make it all work. For more insights into the habits of the successful and powerful, here are a few articles that are interesting to look through!

Image via Unsplash

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