Using your spare time constructively could help improve your work performance and advance your career.
By: Mitali Colabawalla
Success has always had an ambiguous definition, but most millennials associate it with happiness, health and social networking, which provide the foundation for a balanced lifestyle.
Work-life balance seems to be especially important to this particular generation, however, only five per cent of 20-somethings are thriving across all these elements based on a 2017 Gallup survey.
According to experts, how you utilize your free time plays an integral role in your ability to have a successful career. Employees who are thriving in their personal life perform better at their daily tasks, miss fewer workdays, and are able to adapt to change at a faster rate, empowering them to stay with companies longer.
In a 2017 interview with Forbes magazine, Ryan Harwood, CEO of PureWow, said, “It’s whatever allows you to sleep well at night that you’re balancing your wants and needs properly to be a happy person. There is no wrong or right. Time off is important to avoid burnout.”
So, how exactly do successful millennials spend their time away from work?
Good health and regular fitness is a consistent part of a successful person’s lifestyle for mental and physical well-being.
Exercising everyday forces you to create—and stick to—a routine, which is a versatile mental discipline to master.
Elyse Goetze, 24 year-old nurse at Toronto General, says, “Working out your muscles promotes blood circulation throughout your body improving the overall strength of your heart. I like to call it 30 minute of magic. It’s also a lot of fun, because you can do it with a friend and there’s so many unconventional ways to exercise like hiking, snowboarding, rock climbing…even bungee jumping for those adrenaline junkies.”
Plus, the energy boost provided by eating healthy and exercising daily acts as a stress reliever and makes you more productive throughout the day.
Networking is more important now than ever; meeting new people can open doors to exclusive contacts, opportunities, and information.
“I have met a lot of people at my job, but I have met more people outside of it. Networking events are free and a lot of them are well-organized,” 26 year-old financial advisor at TD Bank, Rahul Kanda, recommends websites such as Eventbrite and Meetup for millennials looking to expand their social spider-web.
Millennials also understand the importance of keeping up with their online community to stay connected with their peers, so feel free to Instagram, Tweet, Facebook and Snapchat in the name of success!
- Spend time with loved ones.
Successful millennials take time out of their busy lives to enjoy the people who make working so hard worth it all.
Sometimes we get so consumed with making money and advancing our careers that we forget about the importance of appreciating family and friends.
“I have met people who focus only on work and although they do move up the ladder, they alienate themselves from experiencing the basic human emotion of love,” Elyse points out.
Making an effort to check in with your family and friends can go a long way in your overall happiness and well-being.
Travel is a unique way to push yourself outside your comfort zone and hone your ability to handle change.
Yes, travel can be pricey, but utilizing your thrifty and creative side can help you figure out ways to explore the world on a budget.
Not only that, but travel, especially backpacking, exposes you to a world of problem-solving, team-building, culturally-rich experiences.
“Learning is essential to our success, but learning through travel is just plain fun. Even if you’ve somehow become a pro in your field already, there’s always something new to learn and travelling exposes you to things you wouldn’t normally see at home.” Connor Campbell, 28 year-old foreman at Danik Electric, puts aside time to travel every year in order to appreciate everything life has to offer and utilize his money in a productive manner.
- Relax and Recharge.
Being well-rested and focused is essential to success so that your mind is also being nourished and cared for.
Sleep is not just for the dead. Take the time to get some proper shut-eye every night—a lack of sleep results in lower productivity and a higher chance of sickness.
Meditation, yoga, even just a simple bubble bath, are great ways to reconnect with yourself and recharge your batteries.
“Meditating even just 10 minutes a day can help you clear your mind, improve your memory, and reduce stress,” Elyse informs us.
Journaling, drawing, colouring, and musical arts are great ways to unwind and unleash your creative side. Don’t be afraid to embrace any activity that helps relieve stress; there is no wrong answer when it comes to what you need!
But word to the wise, merely doing these things in your spare time does not guarantee success. If you choose to maximize on leisure time, then there is no room for complaints at the lack of accomplishment. However, finding that balance between working and living will help guide you toward a more rewarding professional life—and keep you sane at the same time.
Mitali is a student in the Professional Writing and Communications (PWC) program at Humber College that has always been engrossed in the world of literary fiction and non-fiction. It was at the University Of Ontario Institute Of Technology (UOIT) she was able to seriously start to hone her skills as a writer. At UOIT she realized her talent for research-based writing. This sense of accomplishment and genuine joy led her to Humber’s PWC program. Humber’s PWC program has pushed and pulled her abilities, stretching them far beyond imaginable measures, teaching her that you really don’t know what you don’t know. In short, writing makes her incandescently happy. That happiness inevitably echoes through all paths in her personal life, enriching it entirely.