What do Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore, Huffington Post Founder Arianna Huffington, and Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff have in common?

They're incredibly intentional about how they spend their weekends.

Don't worry. I'm not about to sell you on the benefits of waking up at 4 am and tackling every item on your 3-page long checklist. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Stop using your weekend to catch up on work. What you should do instead: think about long-term vision, relax, and reconnect with your friends and family. As many notable leaders have found, this helps them to avoid burnout, and maintain that crucial work-life balance.

Look, productivity isn't simply about the number of hours you clock at work. It's about whether you'll be able to stay productive for the next 10 years. It's about playing the long game.

Now, if you want to be as productive as these entrepreneurs and executives, here are some tips you can implement into your weekend routine:

1. Think about the big picture

Weekdays are often filled with interruptions, so let your weekend be filled with introspection. Spend time to think about your business from a bird's-eye-view, and you will naturally become strategic, rather than reactive.

Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff, uses his weekends to think deeply about his company and industry. Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore does the same by catching up on the latest innovations within his industry, and thinking about how this impacts his company.

To try this for yourself, schedule an hour on the weekend to just think about things and put your to-do-list down.

2. Spend time doing your favorite activity

If you haven't already realized, all work and no play makes Jack an ineffective CEO. In fact, living by the "work hard, play hard" motto is what you should do, just like Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. Richard's weekend routine involves exercising, enjoying live music, and partying at his villa in the Caribbean. Sergey Brin, Google's co-founder, is more partial to extreme sports. His hobbies include roller hockey, springboard diving, high-flying trapeze, and more.

You don't need your own island in the Caribbean to have fun: you can still go ahead and find some me-time: whether it's lounging on the beach, bowling, or checking out the latest restaurant in town.

3. Spend quality time with your family

As entrepreneurs, we work hard so that we can provide for our families. But isn't it ironic that we spend less and less time with them as a result?

If you've been spending too many hours in the office and missing too many anniversaries or recitals, it's time to make a change. Wealthfront CEO Adam Nash, for example, reserves his weekends for date nights with his wife. Bobbi Brown, makeup artist turned entrepreneur, never fails to have dinner with her extended family on Sundays.

Spending time with your family can be as fuss-free and easy as you want it to be. (If you don't feel like cooking, simply make a reservation at a restaurant for dinner, and you're all set.) Pencil in some family time now.

4. Engage in some much-needed R&R

Yes, I know that your to-do list is never ending, but you won't have the energy and stamina to do anything without a good night's rest. In fact, I don't think you would want to end up like Arianna Huffington who collapsed due to sleep deprivation, would you? Today, Arianna Huffington religiously ensures that she gets eight hours of sleep per day; she also turns off all her electronic devices 30 minutes before bedtime.

Try this same trick to quiet your mind before you sleep. I would even recommend turning off your alarm and sleeping in if you can.

If you insist on squandering your weekend on work, trust me, your productivity will be at an all-time low when you return to the office on Monday. Do any of these four activities--all of them ideally--and see your productivity soar. Remember, you're in this for the long haul.

Published on: Sep 14, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.