how successful people put their weekends to work

Creatures of habits…

That’s what we’re called. And it’s so true because most of our lives is made up of routines.

Wake up, eat breakfast, drop the kids off at school, head to the office, put in 8 hours, come home, eat dinner, watch a little TV…you get the idea.

The worst part is most of our routines are just that routines, they’re not memorable. We simply put ourselves on automatic pilot.

Successful people understand that routines and habits are what determine our success.

We need to create success habits to replace our old average habits.

Most people simply fritter away what precious time they have.

Successful people, on the other hand, know that we must invest the most valuable commodity we have; time.

You’ve got no time you say…sadly, in this day and age, I will admit that the pressures of work and life are harder than ever, so studying an hour a night might be of a tall order for some.

But I have yet to meet anyone that didn’t have some time to invest towards a better, brighter future.

Lunch breaks, commuting, at lunch. All prime examples of time that could be invested, but often isn’t.

However, today I thought I’d take a look at how successful people approach their weekends because that’s what I find often is glaringly different.

Let’s take a quick look.

For most people, the weekend is a time to unwind, forget the troubles of work, shopping (women’s favorite pastime), spend time with family (one of the best investments possible), catch up on movies, hang out with friends and maybe even one or two cold ones with the guys.

Compare this to the weekend of successful person:

  1. Family and friends
  2. Exercise
  3. Meditate
  4. Network
  5. Pursue a passion
  6. Volunteer
  7. Vacation
  8. Plan
  9. Reflect

Most successful people I know put family and friends at the top of their list when it comes to the weekend, this is especially true the more time they invest in their work during the week. Family and friends are about as important as it gets. They are who we share our life with. Never forget to treat them as if they are the most important things, because they are.

Truly successful people understand that we can only be productive as our mind and body enables us to be. That’s why they devote a certain amount of time each week for exercise and meditation.

Personally, I chose to take up Yoga to battle the effects of aging and must say that it has not only helped my flexibility but also my patience.

To add even more effectiveness to this aspect you could organize sports events (ie. basketball league) with colleagues and friends to increase opportunities to network.

In business, and life, it’s often who we know…so devoting time each weekend to expanding your group of friends can pay off big time if done in an effective manner.

Weekends are the perfect time to do what you love. You may be shackled to your desk during the week, but when the weekend rolls around it’s all up to you.

Whatever is it you love to do, do it. Maybe that’s community service (great way to appreciate just how much you have), writing a book, going to the movies or maybe listening to Pavarotti. Just don’t let your passion consume your entire weekend unless you are able to work in more of the successful habits above (and yes, it can be done).

The key about doing what you love is it keeps you sane in what can be an insane world.

Stress is a killer these days (literally) so we need to do whatever we can to fight its effects.

Which is why a vacation or simply disconnecting is always a good idea.

We have become a society of always within reach, which isn’t always a good thing. While I personally love tech, I admit it can very pervasive and often distracting. Sometimes with disastrous consequences.

Humans survived on this planet just fine for thousands of years without the Internet, a few days wouldn’t kill us.

The last two items on the list are planning and reflection. Planning is exciting, reflection helps us apply what we have learnt.

Too many people I know are “too busy” to plan and could care less about reflection and as a result find themselves more stressed and less able to cope with the strains of everyday life.

Successful people understand the power of planning which is why they invest so much time in it and what better time than the weekend before the workweek starts.

Weekends may be our time to unwind, but unwinding doesn’t always set us up to win.

There’s only so much TV that’s actually relaxing, once we hit a point any more doesn’t add to our enjoyment, it just becomes a time suck.

The same can be said about much of what most people do on weekends.

The truly successful people understand that we need a balance in life between work and play. It’s not one or the other. It’s a combination of the two that creates the lifestyle we’ve always dreamed of.

Don’t simply enjoy your weekends, put them to work. They are our greatest source of “free” time and as such is often treated that way; free.

Time is valuable, invest it.

Adrian Shepherd

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