9 things successful people do when they’re not at work

There’s a clear distinction between those who achieve success and those who don’t – and it often has less to do with what they do at work, and more about what they do outside of it.

Success, you see, doesn’t just happen in the boardroom or behind the computer screen. It’s usually the result of habits and activities pursued when the work day is done.

Successful people know that their after-work hours are just as important, if not more so, for maintaining their productivity, creativity, and overall well-being.

So what exactly are these people doing when they clock out? Well, you’re about to find out.

Here are 9 things successful people do when they’re not at work. And hey, maybe adopting a few of these habits can set you on your own path to success.

1) They prioritize self-care

One thing’s for sure – successful people understand the importance of taking care of themselves.

You see, these folks know that the key to maintaining high levels of productivity and creativity isn’t just about work, work, work. It’s also about rest, rejuvenation, and self-care.

Contrary to the popular “hustle culture”, they don’t spend every waking moment buried in work. Instead, they ensure to carve out time for activities that help them unwind, relax, and recharge.

This might mean hitting the gym for a workout, enjoying a good book, or simply spending quality time with loved ones. Heck, it could even be as simple as getting a good night’s sleep!

It’s not about how much you can squeeze into your day. It’s about maintaining a healthy balance that keeps you at your best – both at work and outside of it.

If you’re aiming for success, don’t neglect your self-care routine. It might just be the secret ingredient you’ve been missing.

2) They make time for learning

I’ve always admired people who are constantly learning, and it’s no surprise that many of them fit the bill of a ‘successful’ person.

Let me share a personal anecdote. One of my mentors, a successful entrepreneur, once told me that his most valuable investment isn’t in stocks, real estate, or even his own companies. It is in his knowledge.

He dedicates a portion of his day, every single day, to learning something new – be it reading a book, listening to a podcast, or even attending seminars and workshops.

And I’ve tried to follow in his footsteps. I’ve made it a point to squeeze in at least 30 minutes of learning every day, no matter how busy my schedule may be. Trust me, it’s made a world of difference.

3) They maintain a strong network

Successful people don’t operate in a vacuum. They understand the importance of building and maintaining strong relationships with a diverse set of individuals.

Yes, networking isn’t just for finding your next job. It’s also about gaining insights, sharing ideas, and even finding mentors or partners.

Interestingly, a study conducted by the American Sociological Review found that 70% of all jobs are found through networking. This shows how powerful a strong network can be in terms of opening up opportunities.

But it’s not just about opportunities. A strong network can also provide support during challenging times, offer different perspectives, and act as a sounding board for new ideas.

Whether it’s attending industry events, reaching out to old contacts, or simply having lunch with a colleague, successful people make networking a priority – even when they’re not at work.

4) They set personal goals

While work-related goals are crucial for success, successful people don’t stop there. They also set personal goals that align with their values, passions, and long-term vision.

These goals can range from health and fitness targets, to learning a new skill, to even achieving a particular life milestone. These goals keep them motivated and focused, driving them forward even when they’re not at work.

By setting personal goals, they ensure their growth isn’t confined to just their professional lives. They’re continually striving for improvement in all areas, which in turn contributes to their overall success.

Success isn’t just about succeeding at work. It’s about living a well-rounded and fulfilling life – and setting personal goals can help you do just that.

5) They practice mindfulness

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the hustle and forget to live in the moment. But successful people understand the importance of practicing mindfulness.

Mindfulness is all about staying present and focused, rather than getting lost in past regrets or future anxieties. This could involve meditation, breathing exercises, or simply taking a moment to appreciate the world around you.

By practicing mindfulness, successful people are able to reduce stress, enhance their focus, and improve their decision-making skills. It allows them to approach their work with a clear and calm mind, leading to better outcomes.

6) They give back to their communities

Success isn’t just about personal achievements or financial gains. It’s also about making a difference in the lives of others. And this is something that truly successful people understand.

They know that their success isn’t just their own, but also belongs to the community that helped shape them. So they make it a point to give back, whether through volunteering, mentoring, or philanthropy.

Giving back doesn’t just benefit the community – it also brings a sense of fulfillment and purpose that money can’t buy. It reminds them of their roots and keeps them grounded, allowing them to appreciate their success even more.

If you’re striving for success, don’t forget to look beyond yourself. After all, true success is about lifting others as you rise.

7) They embrace failure

I’ve had my fair share of failures and setbacks, and let me tell you, it’s never easy. But one thing I’ve noticed is that successful people approach failure differently.

Instead of seeing failure as a dead end, they view it as a learning opportunity. They understand that failure is not the opposite of success, but rather a part of the journey towards it.

Each setback gives them valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t, helping them refine their strategies and approach. They learn to accept failure, dust themselves off, and move forward with renewed determination.

If you’ve experienced a recent setback, don’t let it discourage you. Instead, take it as a stepping stone on your path to success. 

8) They nurture their passions

Work is important, but successful people understand that it’s not everything. They know the importance of nurturing their passions and hobbies outside of their professional lives.

Whether it’s painting, cooking, hiking, or playing a musical instrument, these activities allow them to express themselves creatively and add a sense of joy and fulfillment to their lives.

Engaging in such activities also helps them to relax and unwind, reducing stress and boosting their overall well-being. It recharges them, leaving them ready to tackle new challenges at work with fresh energy and enthusiasm.

If you want to follow in the footsteps of successful people, don’t neglect your passions. Make time for what you love – it might just give you the balance you need to achieve your goals.

9) They are consistently consistent

Success isn’t achieved overnight. It’s the culmination of small, consistent actions taken over time. Successful people understand this and make consistency their mantra.

They stick to their routines, habits, and goals, even when it’s difficult. They know that consistency breeds results, and they’re willing to put in the work day after day.

Consistency isn’t flashy or glamorous, but it’s the silent force that drives long-term success. So if there’s one thing to take away from the habits of successful people, let it be this: Stay consistent. Your efforts will compound over time and lead you to your definition of success.

Final thoughts: It’s about balance

The journey to success is indeed a multifaceted one. It’s not just about what you do during your working hours, but also about how you spend your time outside of them.

Successful people understand this and strive to maintain a balance between their work and personal life. They prioritize self-care, continuous learning, networking, goal-setting, mindfulness, community service, embracing failures, pursuing passions, and above all, consistency.

By integrating these habits into their daily routines, they not only excel in their professional lives but also lead fulfilling personal lives.

So as you embark on your own journey to success, remember this – it’s not just about crossing the finish line. It’s about the experiences you gain, the lessons you learn, and the balance you maintain along the way.

Success is a journey, not a destination. And it’s these actions and behaviors outside of work that make the journey truly worthwhile.

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Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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