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Monday, 17 August 2015

Weekend Habits of Successful People that Improve Work-Life Balance

Ever wonder what some of the most successful CEOs and entrepreneurs do on the weekends? If you guessed that they put the work week on pause, kick their feet up, and take off to a quiet paradise on board one of their private jets, or sail off to sea on a 100-foot yacht with their friends and family, your assumptions have led you astray. After reading numerous articles on the topics of work-life balance and the qualities of successful leaders, a pattern began to present itself, and pointed to the secret ingredient to their sustained success. As the esteemed philosopher, Aristotle, once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

These successful leaders don’t just switch off their work brain and motivation once the clock hits five on Friday afternoon, they carry this productivity and successful mindset over to the weekend. Emma Rushton of Lifehack.org puts it perfectly, “Success is a 24/7 lifestyle choice.” However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that in order to be successful you have to be all work and no play. Here’s five ways successful people maintain their motivation over the weekend, which contributes to the prosperity of their career and work-life balance.

1. Howard Schultz: Greet the sunrise
Starbucks’s CEO, Howard Schultz gets up early and begins each morning with a workout, usually a bike ride with his wife, and arrives to work by 6 AM, according to a Business Insider article. Disney’s Robert Iger doesn’t hit the snooze button when his alarm goes off at 4:30 every morning. Iger values his quiet time and uses it to catch up on the news, exercise, and look at emails. I love the saying, “you have the same number of hours in a day as Beyonce;” the caveat is what you do with those hours is what actually counts. Getting up early increases productivity and allows you to get a lot more done throughout the day.

2.  Mark Cuban: Prioritize the important things
“Things don’t have to change the world to be important,” Steve Jobs once said.  Weekends give you a chance to manage or reset your work-life balance. Since settling down and parting with his party boy past, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban puts family first. His wife, Tiffany Cuban, told a DFW magazine, “We’re not the couple you see about town at all the events, because when he’s home, we pretty much want to spend time with the girls and it’s kind of downtime, family time for us.” Cuban also reportedly does between six and 16 hours of work from home; talk about a work-life balance. Rushton notes that, “Spending time with your friends, children, or partner might not directly increase profits that day or propel you into the limelight, but that doesn’t make it any less important.”

3. Warren Buffet:  Find a hobby
Hobbies really influence the creativity and competitive nature of an individual. Successful people are typically interesting people, and a lot of that is attributed to their “free” time activities. For example, Warren Buffet, possibly one of the greatest investors this world has ever seen, plays the ukulele.  President Obama plays basketball and George W. Bush enjoys oil painting. Weekend hobbies serve as tools for carrying over constructive motivation into the work week, and they also reduce work-related stress.

4. Anna Wintour: Stay active
A common practice among the previously mentioned power players is staying active. If you’re the leader of a successful organization, stress is likely a frequent visitor. Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour, leaves it all on the tennis court—one hour, each day, while Richard Branson is an avid kite surfer, as noted by Rushton. Keeping an active body helps promote an active and healthy mind, and advocates a healthy work-life balance as well. Building up the motivation to leave the office for a quick walk, run, or swim will relieve some stress and increase productivity for the rest of the day.

5. Oprah: Practice mindfulness
If you aren’t familiar with the benefits of practicing meditation and mindfulness, I urge you to read this post. A quote from Deepak Chopra, the mindfulness guru, and advisor to Oprah, “You can't make positive choices for the rest of your life without an environment that makes those choices easy, natural, and enjoyable.” The most successful people take time out of their hectic schedules to be still and practice meditation. Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square, not only wakes up at 5:30 AM and goes for a six-mile run, but he also meditates before heading into work. If this is something you are interested in, try closing your door, turning everything off, and sitting quietly for five minutes—try not to fall asleep or let your mind wander from the present. Five minutes doesn’t sound like a long time to shut out the sounds of office chatter and printers going off, and it’s not as easy as it sounds. You may experience an elevated attitude, a more refreshed vision, and an increase in productivity once you return to your work. Mindfulness is like exercise for your brain, and an imminent part to a successful work-life balance.

Successful people use the weekends to refresh, spend time with friends and family, maintain motivation through hobbies, and prepare for the upcoming week. You have the same number of weekends as Bill Gates, so make every hour of them count!

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