6 Ways To Use Your Downtime To Be More Successful

Whether it's simply the weekend or you're taking a planned break, how you spend your downtime can be key to staying productive in the longterm. To be successful at work also means being intentional about the way you spend your time outside of work too.

Ask yourself — how did you spend your last few evenings, weekends, or holidays? Does your downtime help you to build the career that you want?

If you're wondering, how does my downtime impact my work performance, take some inspiration from the way successful people view their downtime:

An investment - One of your best investments is in figuring out what recharges you. But the last thing you want to do is waste your downtime trying to figure out how to make the most of it. Get to know what works for you. Think about activities that slow you down and leave you feeling revived and fully reminding of your driving passion, your 'why'. This improves the quality of your downtime. Slowing down and avoiding burn out enables us to be more effective, productive and successful in future.

Downtime is sacred - Treat downtime as an opportunity to focus and clear your mind of all the week's clutter. Focusing on your greater goals during your downtime frees up space to take a more objective view and cultivate some of your best ideas. This means regarding your downtime as sacred, a time in which you can’t do everything, be everywhere, and help everyone. When deciding how to spend your downtime, ask yourself, “What is my main focus right now?”— then, “Will spending my time this way help me to achieve that main objective, or will it make it harder?”

Seek inspiration - High performers, innovators and CEO's will rarely be found parked on the lounge at home having a Netflix-a-thon, well at least not every weekend. Surrounding yourself in new, intriguing environments, whether it be locally or abroad, activates your brain in new ways. With neural pathways being influenced by environment and habit, introducing fresh experiences into your downtime stimulates your creative problem-solving abilities.

Time for self care - Whether it’s taking care of your health or wellbeing, use the opportunity to connect with yourself. Everyone needs time for themselves, without it, your quality of work, focus, creativity and effectiveness can be negatively impacted. If you’re feeling distracted, unwell or unhappy, you may have forgotten the importance of self-care. That's where simple, daily rituals can be game-changing. Consistency is key, so choose rituals that make you feel good about yourself and can be kept up daily. 

Move your body - The benefits are undeniable, exercising is good for your career. If you want to boost your productivity during working hours, spend at least a little of your free time moving your body. Both your work life and personal life stand to benefit from enhanced creativity, confidence, and resilience, simply through consistent exercise.

Schedule it - While some people mistakenly think they don’t need downtime, the reality is that everyone needs to take some time for themselves. But despite its importance, it's easy to see the time come and go without maximising its potential. Deliberately schedule your downtime and spend it with intention.