Knock-off time: What successful people do after work

How you spend your time outside of work – and who you spend that time with – is a defining factor in your career trajectory. As tempting as it may be to binge-watch Netflix with a bottle of vino on hand, the hours after work are just as important as the time you spend at work.

Successful people know they need to relax, eat well, exercise regularly and plan ahead if they want to bring their A game to the office

With 168 hours in the week – minus the 40 you spend at work – you have about 128 hours left in the bank to sleep, eat, and do whatever the heck you want. But if you want to succeed in your professional life, you have to use your personal time wisely.

In no particularly order, we’ve mapped out five ways successful people spend their time after work.

Now you know these not-so-secret methods, it could be time for a new post-work ritual!

They plan ahead:

Rocking up to work frazzled because you have no idea what your calendar looks like for the forthcoming day is not a good look. To ensure you’re ready for tomorrow, take a few minutes to review your diary and make a to-do-list every night. If you have a morning meeting, pack your briefcase with everything you need the night before, such as business cards, iPad and brochures, and don’t forget to check you have the name, phone number and address of the person you’re meeting.

They keep fit:

Ambitious people tend to excel in all areas of life, and that includes rocking a tight rig!  In all seriousness, people who work out are more alert, focused and energised, meaning they get more bang for their workday buck. Following a consistent fitness regime can also boost your creativity, confidence and resilience, both personally and professionally. Another upside of regular exercise is that it strengthens the immune system and helps keep you healthy so you have less sick days. After all, you can’t win employee-of-the-month if you’re always at home nursing a cold!

They chillax:

While most successful people seem to live and breathe work, in reality, the most successful people work hard at their career but then leave the office behind. They recognise the importance of spending time with their family and friends, hitting the gym and getting a good night’s sleep. This self-awareness keeps them from suffering burnout and becoming resentful if their career becomes all-consuming.

They unplug:

Much like the above-mentioned point, being ambitious doesn’t mean you can’t switch off. In fact, more and more people are choosing to spend their weekends and holidays on a “digital detox” – meaning no emails, no social media and definitely no Wi-Fi. Technology tends to dominate our lives nowadays, but highly successful people know that it’s essential to unplug from time to time too.

They self-invest:

Whether it’s a leadership course, an acting workshop or a certification in your field, ambitious people know that by investing in themselves, they will become a more well-rounded and successful professional. On the other hand, successful people also look for inspiration in unlikely places. Immersing yourself in a unique experience activates your brain in new ways and can lead to a burst of creative genius.

In summary, it’s important to recognise productivity doesn’t end when you clock off. You just need to get the balance right and ensure you’re being productive in other areas of your life – ultimately paving the way to a kick-ass career!

Get the most out of your day…and your career!

We have all experienced those frustrated thoughts, in a moment of desperation, which sound a little like, “There isn’t enough hours in the day” or “How do they find time to do that, I’m too busy!” Yes, we are all guilty of doing this at one time or another. Sometimes, with the weight of our jobs, family, leisure time and those dreaded trips to the gym (or lack there of) it is hard to get everything we want to get done. However, it isn’t impossible…

It is pretty straightforward to understand that the more productive we are, the more we will get done, thus the more we can achieve. So, we have to be productive to be successful! But… how?! Follow these four simple tips to being more productive (and more successful):

1. Commit

Whatever it is you’re doing, BE FULLY COMMITTED. Taking on tasks or jobs but trying to complete them while being distracted does not allow for high quality results. It’s great you are taking on an extra task or a new hobby, but if you don't fully commit it could yield lower results than what you are capable of. Even if you get it done (eventually) and you try and convince yourself that you’re productive, because you got it done, being distracted and not dedicating the correct time and energy while performing these tasks will only negate positive results but cause the task to take longer than necessary. Whatever you do, do your best, fully commit!

2. Multitasking is the enemy

We all have been lead to believe that multitasking is a talent, a skill, and a virtue for us fortunate enough to be able to do it. What we aren’t realising though is that multitasking leads to distractions, which causes tasks and project to take longer than necessary. Research has stated that the human brain is not actually meant to multitask and that we are actually pretty terrible at it (GULP). The extra tabs up on your computer (Facebook, YouTube, maybe some online shopping) leads us to lose focus on the task at hand, which just adds time to the project and deducts time from our other jobs or personal time.

3. Cut out all interruptions, even the friendly ones!

“Hey, can you take a look at this quickly for me and let me know what you think?”

This line is a little too familiar to us all, whether it is someone at work or someone at home. Helping out and looking over others’ work is a great way to gain a second opinion and some advice. However, it’s got to be given at the right time. It sounds a little harsh at first because we all want to help our friendly co-workers but we have to help ourselves as well. When you are working on something, and you are really ‘in the zone’, any distraction or tiny break from your work can derail your train of thought and momentum. To avoid this happening we cannot give in to ANY distractions, but you don’t have to say “no” and offend anyone. To get the best of both worlds we simply (and kindly) have to tell our friendly co-worker that “I’m just working on Project X, can I take a look in 20 minutes?” Thus, no feelings are hurt and we are still KILLING this project!

4. Hang out with productive people

Your mothers’ probably gave you the same speech about what kids you should be friends with at school, and they were usually always the ‘good kids’, the ‘smart ones’, the ‘teacher’s pets’, star athletes etc. Well, mum was kind of right! To get the best results within yourself it is imperative to constantly be motivated and strive hard towards what you want to achieve. Hanging around unproductive, uninspired people will only cause you to mirror their behaviour and attitudes. You don’t have to go through all of your friends and completely cut everyone who doesn’t seem to fit the ‘over-achiever’ role, however you need to learn to evaluate who uplifts you and causes you to work harder, compared to the ones who don’t. Try to spend more of your time with the people who make you want to try harder and succeed more, all the while inspiring them at the same time! It’s the circle of success.