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18 Ways Successful People Spend Their Weekends

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The weekend… two precious days stretching out with the promise of relaxation and renewal. But for the truly successful, these days hold far more potential than simply catching up on sleep. The weekend is a strategic tool, a time to recharge, reimagine, and lay the groundwork for extraordinary achievements.

This isn’t to say those who achieve great things don’t value downtime. They approach their weekends strategically, unlocking hidden potential within these days off. Let’s explore 21 habits that separate the highly successful from those simply clocking in and out.

1. Disconnect to Reconnect

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Purposely unplugging from technology over the weekend isn’t about deprivation; it’s about strategic self-care. Our brains weren’t designed to handle the constant bombardment of notifications, emails, and social media feeds.

Studies show that intentional tech breaks significantly boost creativity and productivity by allowing for much-needed mental downtime. Successful people understand that true disconnection allows them to be more present, engaged, and effective when reconnecting.

Rather than letting technology dictate your weekend, take control. Designate specific tech-free hours each day. Start small – maybe an hour before bed or during a morning walk. Turn off notifications for non-essential apps and fully disengage from work email. The resulting mental clarity might surprise you.

2. Reflect and Strategize

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Weekends are an oasis in the often chaotic flow of the workweek. Successful people leverage this time for reflection, taking stock of wins and challenges, and strategizing for the week ahead. This isn’t about obsessing over work but rather intentionally setting yourself up for success.

Research shows that employees who engaged in structured reflection demonstrated a 23% increase in performance. By dedicating even a short amount of time to reviewing and strategizing, you can enter the new week with a clear action plan and priorities in place.

Carve out time on Sunday evenings for a “strategy session.” Review your calendar, note highlights and pain points from the previous week, prioritize essential tasks, and set clear goals for the upcoming week. This process creates a sense of control and minimizes the dreaded Monday morning overwhelm.

3. Pursue Passion Projects

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Engaging in activities purely for joy and fulfillment outside work is a hallmark of successful people. Passions reignite energy, spark creativity, and help avoid burnout. Hobbies aren’t distractions—they often lead to unexpected breakthroughs and fresh perspectives that directly benefit one’s professional life. Whether painting (or any other artsy hobby), playing a sport, or volunteering for a meaningful cause, these pursuits foster a sense of well-roundedness that is crucial for long-term success.

Is there a passion you’ve neglected? Make a conscious decision to dedicate a specific amount of weekend time to it. Schedule it like any important meeting and protect that time fiercely. You might be surprised how reconnecting with something you love recharges you for the rest of the week.

4. Prioritize Physical Well-being

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Successful people understand that their physical health is inextricably linked to their mental acuity, energy levels, and overall performance. While squeezing in workouts can be challenging during the week, weekends offer a chance to prioritize movement.

Regular exercise is a powerful tool against stress, fatigue, and the risk of chronic diseases. Even moderate exercise has significant benefits for both physical and mental health. Don’t think of weekend exercise as punishing or restrictive; consider it an investment in your most important asset—yourself.

Resist the urge to treat weekend mornings as an excuse to sleep excessively. While rest is important, incorporating physical activity into your weekends sets the tone for an energized and productive week ahead. Explore diverse workout options—a morning yoga class, a hike with friends, or an afternoon bike ride—and find what motivates you and gets your body moving.

5. Invest in Relationships

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The hustle-and-grind mentality often consumes weekdays, leaving little space for meaningful connection. Weekends provide a valuable opportunity to nurture relationships with loved ones. Successful people understand that strong social support is a cornerstone of resilience, happiness, and overall well-being. Studies consistently show that feeling connected and supported reduces stress, boosts the immune system, and promotes longevity.

Prioritize face-to-face interactions. Schedule a relaxed brunch with friends, a family game night, or even a long, meandering walk with your partner where the focus is on the conversation. Putting away distractions and truly being present with loved ones deepens those all-important relationships.

6. Expand Their Knowledge

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For high-achievers, the pursuit of learning never ends. Whether through reading, listening to podcasts, or exploring online courses, successful people make time to expand their intellectual horizons. Continuous learning is crucial for staying adaptable and thriving in a rapidly changing world. Cultivating a thirst for knowledge enhances problem-solving skills, fosters creativity, and may even open the door to unexpected professional and personal opportunities.

Designate a specific weekend reading time and commit to a set number of pages or chapters per day. Expand your horizons by selecting books on unfamiliar topics and challenging yourself with new ideas. If you prefer audio learning, explore podcasts covering areas of interest you may not encounter daily. Consider online learning platforms and pursue topics that pique your curiosity.

7. Step Outside Their Comfort Zone

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While it’s easy to fall into weekend routines, successful people strategically introduce new challenges as catalysts for growth. Embracing discomfort might mean trying a new activity, attending a networking event, or taking a public speaking course. Individuals build resilience, gain confidence, and open themselves up to unforeseen opportunities by pushing personal boundaries. The discomfort of the new can be a launchpad for significant personal and professional progress.

Start small but start somewhere. Make a list of things you’ve always wanted to try but held back from due to fear or hesitation. This could be anything from taking a dance class to introducing yourself to a stranger at a coffee shop. Each small act of stepping outside your usual routine builds the “confidence muscle” needed for bigger leaps down the road.

8. Give Back to the Community

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Successful people often possess a strong sense of responsibility to contribute positively to the world around them. With their slower pace, weekends offer a prime opportunity to volunteer time and give back to causes they care about. Studies link volunteering with a sense of purpose, increased well-being, and opportunities for unique networking and leadership experiences. Giving back isn’t just about altruism; it has tangible connections to greater professional and personal fulfillment.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of huge commitments. Explore local volunteer opportunities aligning with your skills or passions. This could involve helping at an animal shelter, mentoring at-risk youth, or volunteering your professional expertise to a non-profit organization. Remember, even small acts of service create a positive ripple effect.

9. Network Strategically

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Weekends aren’t just for downtime; they can also offer valuable opportunities for networking and relationship building in a less formal setting. Successful people understand that building a strong professional network is essential for generating new opportunities, staying abreast of industry developments, and finding potential mentors.

Explore weekend events related to your field. Attend industry workshops, conferences, or even informal meetups organized through online groups. Be open to striking up conversations with new people, asking insightful questions, and sharing your own expertise. Remember, genuine connections often lead to the most meaningful collaborations.

10. Rest and Recharge

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While filling every waking moment with activity is tempting, successful people know that strategic rest is crucial for sustained productivity and creativity. Weekends provide the opportunity to recharge mentally and physically. This might look different for each individual. While some thrive on active rest, like hiking and exploring, others require quieter downtime spent reading or enjoying nature.

Be intentional about rest. Schedule specific activities or blocks of time dedicated to recharging your batteries. Experiment to find what truly rejuvenates you. Honor this time as fiercely as you would any important work commitment.

11. Seek Out Inspiration

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Whether through visiting museums, listening to inspiring talks, or exploring thought-provoking documentaries, weekends present an ideal time to soak up new ideas and perspectives. Successful people know that inspiration can strike from anywhere. Exposing yourself to art, history, science, or innovative concepts can spark unexpected connections that fuel problem-solving and generate fresh approaches in your work life.

Make inspiration a proactive pursuit. Visit a local art gallery, attend a live music performance, browse thought-provoking documentaries, or schedule a visit to a museum you’ve never been to. Open your mind to the possibility that inspiration can come from unexpected places.

12. Embrace Spontaneity

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While structure and planning are important, successful people also allow space for spontaneity on their weekends. This could mean embarking on a spontaneous road trip, trying a new restaurant, or attending a last-minute event that sparks curiosity. These unplanned adventures break us out of routine, foster a sense of playfulness, and can often lead to unexpected experiences and connections.

Leave room in your weekend plans for the unexpected. Challenge yourself to say “yes” more often to opportunities that might fall outside the realm of your meticulous schedule. A bit of intentional spontaneity might just lead to your next big inspiration.

13. Embrace “Do Nothing” Time

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In a world that glorifies overachievement and constant busyness, successful people often prioritize moments of intentional “nothingness.” This might mean taking an uninterrupted nap, staring out the window while sipping coffee, or spending time simply being rather than doing. While counterintuitive in a productivity-obsessed culture, these moments allow the mind to wander and the subconscious to work, often leading to creative breakthroughs or increased clarity.

Resist the urge to fill every moment of your weekend with activity or external stimulation. While giving yourself permission to simply “be” might initially feel strange, this practice reduces mental fatigue and creates the space for deeper insights to emerge organically.

14. Address Lingering Tasks

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Successful people use their weekends strategically. They tackle those nagging tasks that often get pushed aside during the busy workweek. This could mean filing taxes, organizing digital files, or finally getting around to fixing that leaky faucet.

Create a “to-tackle” list of those small but important tasks that tend to linger. Dedicate a portion of your weekend to systematically working through the list. Crossing off those items provides a sense of accomplishment and frees mental space, allowing you to enjoy the rest of your weekend.

15. Nurture Their Curiosity

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Successful people are naturally inquisitive and use weekends as an opportunity to explore subjects they find interesting, even if unrelated to their careers. This might mean diving into a historical period, reading about a new scientific discovery, or learning about a different culture. Intellectual curiosity keeps the mind sharp, fosters creativity, and leads to a greater understanding of the world at large.

Pick a subject you’ve always wanted to know more about. Explore documentaries, online lectures, or library books. Embrace the learning journey just to expand your knowledge base without pressure for it to be “productive.”

16. Spend Time with Uplifting People

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The company we keep profoundly impacts our well-being and overall outlook. Successful people intentionally prioritize relationships with supportive, positive, and inspiring individuals over the weekend.

Be mindful about who you spend your precious free time with. Seek out the company of friends, mentors, or family members who leave you feeling motivated and energized, not drained or dispirited.

17. Dream Big (and Write Those Dreams Down)

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Weekends offer a reprieve from the demands of the daily grind, presenting an opportunity to tap into big-picture thinking and dream about the future they desire. Successful people embrace the power of visualization and goal setting.

Find a quiet space and give yourself permission to dream without constraints. Write down goals for various aspects of your life: personal, professional, financial, health, and relationships. Don’t be afraid to think boldly. By putting these dreams on paper, you begin to solidify them and increase your commitment to their realization.

18. Take Small Steps Toward Big Goals

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Getting caught up in dreaming big without taking tangible action is easy. Successful people use weekend time to break down large, long-term goals into smaller, achievable steps.

Take one big goal from your list and create a series of small, actionable steps that move you toward that ultimate achievement. Set realistic deadlines and celebrate each milestone along the way, building momentum and increasing the likelihood of reaching your final destination.

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