Advertising
Advertising

15 Productivity-Boosting Weekend Habits Of Successful People

15 Productivity-Boosting Weekend Habits Of Successful People

Once you start looking for it, you will find mounds of suggestions on steps you can take to become more successful. While much of this advice can be very useful, the focus is usually on activities to engage in during the work week. What about the other two days of the week? Are there things that successful people do on their weekends that make them more productive and more effective during the work week? Of course. Here are 15 common weekend habits of successful and productive people.

1. They step away from their electronics

Working away on your laptop can feel productive, but successful people know that they cannot recharge fully over the weekend if they are constantly connected to their devices. Because of this, they make a commitment to unplug completely for at least a few continuous hours on the weekends.

2. They engage in physical activity

There’s no better way to burn off the stress of the work week and rejuvenate oneself than taking an hour or two to engage in some physical activity. Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson credits his four additional hours of productivity each day to the fact that he works out regularly.

3. They pursue a hobby

Successful people, ranging from business mogul Warren Buffet to renowned actress Meryl Streep, have hobbies that they engage in on a regular basis. They do not only benefit from the immediate enjoyment they receive, they are investing in their greatest asset – themselves. Being a more well-rounded individual who takes the time to pursue interests is always a good thing.

Advertising

4. They spend time with loved ones

There is no greater motivator than spending time actively engaging with friends and family members. Successful people understand that in order to keep going, they must have a touchstone, and that is usually the people who love them the most. This means that time spent with loves ones is never time wasted.

5. They do some good

Gratitude is an attitude that is embedded in the minds of successful people. The natural result is that they are driven to give back. A free weekend afternoon or evening is a great time to volunteer in your community. Good for the mind and the soul.

6. They keep their minds engaged

The brain needs exercise just as much as the body. Lack of mental activity will result in atrophy, which is not conducive to success or productivity. Engaging in just an hour or so of mental activity, such as the Sunday morning crossword puzzle, is a great way for you to stay sharp and focused. So, next time you see someone working diligently on a crossword, remember that they are not just burning time, they are engaging their mind.

7. They do something productive

While it is a good idea to avoid filling your weekends with chores and other busywork, completing one or two meaningful projects each weekend is a great way to maintain a productive mindset while still leaving time for relaxation and enjoyment.

Advertising

8. They actively relax

No, that is not an oxymoron. Passive relaxation, such as internet surfing or watching TV, is enjoyable, but it doesn’t have the restorative benefits of active relaxation. Meditating or engaging in other relaxation techniques is a great way to truly rest on a physical and mental level.

9. They learn

Successful minds are constantly seeking new information and opportunities to learn things that don’t relate directly to the work that they do. Learning of any kind always increases the likelihood of inspiration. Free online learning is available through many popular websites, and the opportunities for you to learn new things is nearly limitless.

10. They do weekday prep

A successful day rarely starts with a hectic morning. This is why highly productive people take time during the weekend to get ready for the week ahead. Here are a few great tips for getting a jump start on the work week:

Prepare easy-to-heat-up or grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches.

Advertising

Plan your weekday wardrobe and arrange your closet accordingly.

Gas up your car and do the same for any other drivers.

Sign permission slips, put money on lunch accounts, and get everybody’s weekday itinerary.

11. They wake up at the same time

Sleeping in may feel wonderful in the moment, but it throws the body’s rhythms out of whack. This makes getting back on track during the work week even more difficult. Successful people avoid this because they know that those hours spent feeling groggy are never productive.

Advertising

12. They indulge themselves

People who spend the week accomplishing great things know that they deserve to proud of themselves. It’s OK to reward yourself once in a while. Don’t be afraid to enjoy a glass of fine wine, or to indulge in a mini-marathon of your favorite TV shows. Small pleasures give you something to look forward to during a stressful work week.

13. They schedule mini vacations

A one- or two-day trip with friends or family is a great way to get away from it all without extensive planning or cost. The benefit is time spent relaxing and enjoying some different scenery, and getting even further away from the office for a little while.

14. They make lists

Because the work week is often dominated by time spent on urgent tasks, it can be difficult to find time to plan for the future. Successful people take a few moments out of each weekend to write lists of future goals, and the actions they must take to achieve those goals.

15. They find new inspiration

Successful people have action steps that they incorporate into their daily lives. This helps them stay motivated as they work towards the next level of success. Sometimes these steps become a bit stale. Weekends are a great time to find new sources of motivation and new methods of personal development.

Many of the items on this list do not appear be work-related tasks at all — this is intentional. The point is to ensure that your weekend itinerary is a balance of enjoyment, mental and physical activity, planning ahead, and time spent with loved ones. Taking the steps to live a healthy and balanced life is key. These are the things that guarantee productivity and success all week long.

Featured photo credit: Beach Yoga by Kyle Lease via flickr.com

More by this author

Howard Schultz public speaking 8 Books From World-Class Leaders: How To Achieve Phenomenal Success CV and glasses 10 Things You Might Be Doing Wrong In Your CV Star Wars logo Star Wars Films: May The Power Of Money Be With You 10 Books You Must Read to Strengthen Your Leadership Skills 15 Most Motivational Things That Can Inspire Anyone

Trending in Productivity

1 The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain) 2 What to Do When Bored at Work (And Why You Feel Bored Actually) 3 6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills 4 How to Concentrate and Focus Better to Boost Productivity 5 15 Productive Things to Do When Bored (So Time Is Not Wasted)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

Advertising

Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

Advertising

One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

Advertising

But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

Advertising

It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

More About Goals Setting

Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next