If you’re feeling restless, demotivated, and sleepless, you might want to look at your screen habits. Patient.info recently did a survey of over 2,000 people. They found that people who binge-watch tv are three times more likely to feel depressed, anxious, sleepless and empty.
This was especially true of the 18-24-year-old crowd. But highly successful people will not be among those surveyed. Why? Because they spend their weekends wisely.
This doesn’t mean they’re workaholics. On the contrary, many habits of highly successful people have nothing to do with work.
So here’s a list of the most interesting weekend habits of highly successful people.
1. Unplug for 24 Hours
Fortunately, we don’t stone people for not doing this anymore. But an ancient practice might be useful for contemporary citizens.
I’m talking, of course, about the Sabbath. In Hebrew and Jewish culture and lore, God worked on creating the earth for six days. And on the seventh, he rested.
In honor of this day God modeled, the Hebrews practiced a day of total rest and worship. They even created a bunch of mundane laws to keep themselves and anyone in their gates from working on that day.
While we probably won’t follow laws that dictate how many steps we’ll take on our day of rest, we can follow the principle of the Jewish Sabbath. And that’s taking a day to unplug from the world.
Turn off your cell phones, your laptops, your tablets, and TV screens. If you need a 24-hours, a great metric is sunset to sunset, which the Jewish people still use to mark their Friday-Saturday Sabbath.
Instead of being inside, get out in nature. Find a park or a green space if you’re in a city. Find a trail if you’re out in the mountains.
You’ll be refreshed for the rest of the week and you’ll find that you sleep better and you’ll have a clearer mind.
2. Keep the Same Wake/Sleep Schedule
It’s tempting to sleep in on Saturday. You’ve been going hard all week. But unless you’re sick, you’ll side rail your schedule if you sleep in on your weekend days.
Instead, have something ready to do when you wake up on Saturday. That could be as simple as “go for a walk” or “go for a jog.”
Once Monday hits, you’ll still be in the habit of waking up for work. While everyone else is fighting the Monday blues, you’ll be rip-roaring, and ready to take on the world.
3. Actually Spend Time With Family and Friends
One other aspect of the Sabbath principle many people ignore is the community aspect. It’s great to spend time by yourself during your 24-hours of rest. But you’ll benefit even more if you participate in it with other people.
Encourage others to take a 24-hour break from technology with you. Then get them together for food and conversation.
If you’re friends with people who love to get outside, plan a hike or a walk or bike ride around the city.
4. Be Active
If you asked any of the high profile entrepreneurs what they do on the weekends, you’ll find that many of them are actually active people.
People like Vogue’s editor-in-chief play tennis. Richard Branson loves to kite surf. And the fourth richest person in India is a marathon runner.
Your mind responds to how fit your body is. We’ve even found that just taking a walk every day like Stephen King and many writers over the centuries have done gets the neurons firing.
5. Don’t Pack Your Day
Even during the week, star entrepreneur Tim Ferris recommends only having two goals or tasks for your day. He isn’t a fan of multi-tasking.
And really, our ability to concentrate or succeed diminishes the more we try to do at once. One bit of evidence comes from the effect of smartphones on our emotional and work-oriented intelligence.
We’ve found that even having your smartphone nearby in a bag where you could check it will reduce your brain power. You won’t concentrate nearly as well and you’ll end up distracted at some point anyway.
So, tether your cell phone. And reduce the number of things you have planned for the weekend. You’ll find it easier to relax when you need to and you’ll feel accomplished at the end of the weekend.
6. Be Still and Know
If every day of the week is get up and go until you drop at midnight, you’re doing life wrong. We’re not meant to put on the gas 24-7. Our brains just overload.
Guess who doesn’t get up and go until she drops. Oprah.
Oprah spends 20 minutes twice a day being still. Meditation increases immune function, decreases pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, stress, etc. You name it, meditation seems to improve it.
On the weekends, you can increase the amount of time you spend being still. Get maximum benefit out of meditation. You’ll see a ripple effect through your whole week.
7. JOMO Instead of FOMO
As entrepreneurs, we often capitalize on the fear of missing out. We want people to participate in our brand because they won’t experience something again.
Also as entrepreneurs, we often fall into the trap we’ve set for others. We fill our lives with events because we feel we’ll miss opportunities to connect.
Brandi Zuckerberg talks about the opposite. She says we should embrace missing out. She calls it JOMO or the joy of missing out.
We base too many of our decisions on fear. And when we do that, we add stress to our lives. Instead of being afraid of what we’re missing, focus on what we’re enjoying.
Decline invites to parties and feel good about it. Instead do something for yourself or for your family. And take joy in the doing.
8. Pay It Forward
If you’re successful, you’re blessed. No matter what you believe in this life, you are probably in the top 1% of the people in this world.
Giving back to others is the best way to celebrate your success. And you’ll quickly find that your life is more full of something to give than you think.
The first thing people often think of when they think of giving is money. But money isn’t always the best route.
73% of rich people give at least five hours of their time in volunteer activities a month. That’s not much. You could probably afford giving more time than you think.
Find a charity to get involved in. Go to your local food bank. Take your blessings and pay them forward.
9. Take the Weekend to Reflect
Bill Gates is one of the most successful people in the world. But even he sees value in reflection. He says that while success is great, failure is the best teacher.
So take some time and look back at your week. Figure out where you failed and write down how you can succeed next time.
10. Plan Out the Rest of Your Week
You’re more likely to accomplish something if you’ve decided to do it beforehand. You’re also more likely to accomplish something if you can imagine the positive outcome.
Spend an hour or two on Sunday evening planning out your week. Use Tim Ferris’ principle of making two major accomplishable goals a day — something like “contact Atlanta SEO Solutions and set up an SEO campaign; write a 2k word blog post.”
Schedule in time for exercise and time for meditation. Once you have it written down, you’re more likely to do it. And you won’t suffer from analysis paralysis once you’re there.
11. Plan Your Weekend Before the Weekend
Adventist universities schedule no classes after noon on Fridays. This gives students time to prepare for their weekend rest.
It’s an interesting practice and it seems to give students more time to do homework and do long weekend activities.
One thing you can take from this is the practice of preparing for the weekend. Jewish people do all their cleaning and cooking the evening before sunset Friday so they don’t have to cook or clean on Sabbath.
You don’t have to go that extreme, but if you’re going to take 24-hours to unplug, if you’re going to meditate or spend time with family or be active, it’s wise to plan. This way you will stick to your plan instead of binge-watching some new TV-show on Hulu.
If you can plan your weekend and use it wisely, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to go on Monday. You’ll steam roll the week with success and then be ready to maximize your weekend again the next time around.