Most people are curious about the productivity hacks and workday schedules of highly successful people – but what about the ways that they spend their free time? Turns out, successful people are just as intentional about how they spend their downtime as they are about their work time. Check out these nine ways that successful people spend their free time. By implementing a few of these ideas, you may just find yourself leveling up in 2019.
1. They take classes.
One thing that successful people know without a doubt is that in order to excel at life, you never stop learning. Especially in an era where so much education is available online, it’s easier than ever to enroll in a course and add a new skill set to your plate with just a few committed hours per week. If you’re interested in taking a class, check out the local colleges in your area to see if they are offering any free courses, or sign up for a free e-course.
2. They make exercise a priority.
Most successful people understand that in order to operate from a peak mental state, they have to take care of their physical state as well. The benefits of exercise are limitless – it releases endorphins, burns calories, builds muscles, and sends oxygen to your brain, among many others. Maintaining a regular workout schedule also ensures that you are regularly practicing self-discipline, which benefits all areas of your life and career. If you haven’t yet found an exercise routine that works for you, try committing to at least half an hour a day of some sort of movement, whether it’s walking, jogging, or taking a guided exercise class.
3. They spend time with friends and family.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but successful people understand that maintaining a sense of connection with the ones they love is key to living a healthy, prosperous life. Whether it’s through scheduled trips, designated quality time, or even regular FaceTime sessions, keeping in touch with loved ones ensures that you stay grounded. Try keeping a regular meetup with a friend or family member during your off-time. Most likely, you’ll find that this quality time will leave you refreshed and ready to take on whatever challenges you may face when you make it back to work.
4. They reflect on their accomplishments.
It’s important to develop an awareness of self if you want to be successful. This does not just mean being able to assess a failure and learn from it – it also means being able to step back and appreciate accomplishments. So much work goes into achieving a goal, and successful people realize the importance of honoring this work by reflecting on and celebrating their wins. The next time you check a big goal off of your list, make sure you take some dedicated time to reflect on all that went into your achievement before immediately moving on to your next task. Perspective is crucial to continual growth.
5. They manage their stress through strategic effort.
Living in a state of constant anxiety and stress will take its toll on you mentally and physically. However, avoiding stress is unfortunately not an option, it’s a part of life and navigating a career. Successful people do the hard work of not only exploring their natural reactions to pressure – but then learning and implementing new strategies to better manage their reactions. If you recognize that you have certain habitual reactions to stress, such as breathing erratically or verbally lashing out at others, do your research on how you can change those reactions to become more positive. Whether you decide to take long walks, practice a relaxing exercise such as yoga, or spend time focusing on your breath, small changes can make a big impact.
6. They volunteer and serve.
Successful people are those who not only look to the future, but they understand that giving to others actually gives back to them in return. If you are looking to make a positive impact in the world, you don’t have to wait to be successful to do so. By volunteering for a local charity, feeding the homeless, donating used goods to those in need, etc., you will immediately make a difference not only in your community but in yourself. Giving to those who are less fortunate helps connect you to another side of humanity and gives you some perspective of all you have to be grateful for.
7. They practice a creative leisure activity.
Studies show that successful people who engage in creative activities outside of the office feel more focused and relaxed when they return to work. Activities such as painting, playing a musical instrument, knitting, journaling, dancing, etc., allow people to drop into a creative flow state. This becomes a sort of meditative time for the brain, which stimulates openings for creative ideas, innovative breakthroughs, and more focused future states of mind. Whatever activity you choose to practice, remember that we are all creative beings, and exploring this side of your brain will reward you in your technical work as well.
8. They recharge their brains.
Successful people understand that brains need rest, too. They’ve learned that in order for them to operate at peak state during work hours, they need to make sure they rest and recharge their brains during their time off. Whether it’s through spending time in nature, meditating, listening to relaxing music, or designating device-free evenings or weekends, allowing your brain to relax is vital. If this thought overwhelms you, start small. Set a timer for five minutes of silence every day for a week, then increase to 10 minutes, etc. Chances are, your brain will thank you.
9. They read a lot of books.
Successful people never stop reading books. In fact, most read multiple books a month. After all, reading is a lifelong skill with many benefits – the number one being: it gives you a greater understanding of the world around you. Reading books introduces you to new people, perspectives, skills, and languages, all the while improving your communication skills. If you’re looking to cultivate a habit of reading, join an online group for accountability and suggestions. If you feel like the physical act of reading isn’t your thing, take advantage of the plethora of audiobooks that are now available. It’s never too late to cultivate a habit that will give back to you ten-fold.
One thing that all successful people have in common is that they are constantly seeking knowledge and growth. We hope this article was helpful in offering you tips for ways that you can start living more successfully, too. For more pointers like these, check out 5 Tips to be a Better Leader and Productivity Tips for Road Warriors.