- Elon Musk, Investor & Entrepreneur
We’ve all been there: After spending all week looking forward to a relaxing weekend, it’s suddenly Sunday night and you feel more stressed than ever. Where did my time off go? What have I even been doing?
But it doesn’t have to be like that. Many of the world’s most successful people follow pretty similar patterns in those two precious days off. From Olympians to CEOs, from celebrities to that neighbor who just seems to have it all together, all of these success stories do some simple things each weekend to stay successful (inside and out).
Wondering where to start? Here are a few habits to help you be more successful on the weekends:
CONNECT (AND DISCONNECT)
A strong work-life balance is a key to success all week long, and the weekend can be just the right time to restore your relational center. Most highly successful people find time in their weekend to be with loved ones – family, friends, even pets – can help lift your spirits and restore your positivity.
The most important part of this time to connect is in disconnecting – from distractions, that is! Getting the most quality out of your time with others depends on being fully present with them, that means no emails, no multi-tasking (looking at you, cleaning the house while you’re on the phone with Mom!), no phones. Studies have shown that just having a cell phone out on a table or in your hand can lower the quality of in-person interactions.
Not only will this quality time help you feel refreshed and relaxed for the week ahead, but it’ll also help improve the lives of the people you love the most.
During the week, is there anything you wish you had time for but never seems to happen? Maybe you love birdwatching, but never have time to break out your binoculars. Maybe you love running, but never manage to get those miles in. That’s where the weekend comes in!
Successful people find things they’re interested in and then devote time to them on the weekends. This looks different for everyone, but spending time on the weekends to engage in hobbies helps keep a healthy balance and refreshes your mind for the week ahead. Here are a few hobbies that many successful people share:
- Exercise: Staying physically active improves your health, allowing you to think more clearly and be more productive during the week.
- Reading: Staying mentally active expands your horizons and can even help you learn important strategies for managing your time, money, and health.
- Creativity: Engaging in a creative hobby engages the full potential of your brain, supporting better problem-solving and relational skills.
Struggling to get motivated? Join a group! Workout classes, interest clubs, and local meetups can add structure and keep you accountable. Plus, it’s a great way to spend time with friends!
GET (A LITTLE) OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Sure, it’s a place no one wants to be on their “time off.” But spending some time outside of your comfort zone can stretch your boundaries and ultimately lead to a more productive life. That area of discomfort is where growth happens, but it can be hard to manage during a stressful week.
Try to start the weekend by identifying something you’ve avoided during the week (laundry, yard work, etc.) and spend a set amount of time doing that task. Try to stick to the time you set for it – if it turns out to be a bigger job than you expected, put it aside and keep it in mind for next weekend. As long as you have a plan, you can enter the next week without stressing over it.
It’s not all about chores. If you’re introverted but have been hoping to meet some new people, push yourself to join a networking or community service event. If there’s something you’ve wanted to learn but feel hesitant about trying, make it a point to dive into YouTube or wikiHow (and give yourself the grace to make mistakes).
Whatever you try, keep it balanced with the things you know best. You’ll find yourself on Sunday evening feeling accomplished, ready to bring that spirit of growth into a new week!
STRATEGISE & GOAL SET
There’s not much worse than getting to work on Monday morning and spending the first hour (or more) of your day scrambling to find the most productive tasks. Highly successful people avoid this by dedicating as little as 10 minutes on Sunday night to strategizing for the week ahead.
Consider asking yourself these questions:
- What does my schedule look like tomorrow? For the week?
- What’s my most important goal for tomorrow? For the week?
- What should be on my to-do list?
- What would a successful week look like? What are the key factors in that success?
Once you know what you need to do and what your goals are, you can set them aside for a restful Sunday night and a productive Monday. No more last-minute thoughts keeping you up; no more scattered mornings.
REFLECT & RECHARGE
One of the most universal strategies for a successful weekend is reflection. Individuals from Bill Gates to Oprah to Malcolm Gladwell emphasize the importance of spending time in stillness.
Mindfulness, meditation, journaling – all of these habits contribute to greater self-knowledge. With greater self-knowledge, you can more clearly see your goals and plans, better understand your interests and habits, and generally improve your wellness and balance.
If you’re unsure where to start, try downloading an app or listening to a guided meditation online. Journaling can be an especially helpful strategy for reflection since it gives you a practical reference for growth. Whatever you do, using stillness to reflect and recharge allows you to start the new week with a clear mind and increased self-awareness – both keys to success.
THE KEY? PRACTICE INTENTIONALITY
Do what works for you – some people do better by setting out a plan, while some feel more at-ease going with the flow. Some wake up early and jump into their day, while others feel most restored after a slow morning.
It isn’t the list of things you do; it’s why you do them. Knowing what will work best for you makes the difference between a relaxing Sunday night and getting the Sunday Scaries.
So, the next time you get to TGIF, make an active choice about what your weekend will look like. Whether you go on a hike with your family, join a local cooking club, or set aside an hour to journal and meditate, be intentional about how you relax, and you’ll find yourself more successful throughout your week.
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Thought leaders & celebrities share their tactics for success on the Lisnic podcast by Lisa Teh & Nick Bell