How do busy, successful people make the most of their limited time off? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
Work is similar to training for a sport. To maximize your performance, you need periods of rest and recovery. Otherwise, there's no way you can perform at your highest and training can lead to minimal returns and burnout. I perform my best with about 45-55 hours of work per week. More than that and I tend to see a big drop in performance, productivity, and creativity.
For time off, I look to do the activities that will most revitalize and ground me. Since I often work on Saturday, I do as much as possible to maximize the remaining time off. Here are a few ways to do that:
- Unplug. Turn off your devices, get rid of any notifications, and even better, go to a place where you can't check your phone. Checking your phone and scrolling social sites has become a nervous habit. You spend enough time doing all this during the week.
- Minimize screen time. Stop surfing the web, stop mindless scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, etc. If you go online, have a purpose (e.g. write; read longer, in depth content; watch specific YouTube content; etc.)
- Be unproductive. You have all week to be productive, crank through emails and to do lists and organize your days. Spend your time off doing as little of this as possible. If you have errands to run, do them all on a single day, so you have one day to do nothing but the activities you most enjoy. Don't feel rushed, don't feel like you have to get a lot done or over-plan your day. Try to do as little as possible.
- Exercise (preferably outside). There are countless benefits of exercise. Find an activity you love and friends to do it with. Go out and do it.
- Spend time in the biggest space you can get to. I believe the smaller the space our consciousness experiences, the faster time goes. Think of sitting and flipping mindlessly through your phone; an hour will blow by. Think of being out at the beach or on a hike and how different your perception of time is there.
- Experience new things. Similar to experiencing open expansive spaces, our sense of time expands when we experience new things. These new experiences revitalize us. Travel, new hobbies, hikes, sports, music, activities can tap into the youthful, curious part of your brain and rejuvenate you.
Here's an article emphasizing the value of vacation time and ways to best utilize it:
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