If you don’t know that the time you spend outside the office has a big impact on your career, you really need to. When you return home after closing at work, the first thing on your mind may be rest, food or curling on the couch to watch reruns of “Grey’s Anatomy”. Don’t do it. Time is very precious and if you’re aiming to be highly successful in your career, every minute counts including the time you’re not in the office.

We’re not saying you should have work on your mind 24/7, but what you do after office hours can either build your career or hold you back. Highly successful people know this and that is why they engage in some of the following activities when work is closed for the day.

1. Work Out

There is a reason some Japanese companies host exercises for their staff. Working out keeps you alert and is a great stress reliever. It’s also a  great way to regain the energy that literally drains from you while you’re seated at your desk for hours on end. Exercising helps to increase your productivity which ultimately gets you working towards your career goals.

2. Network & Connect

Networking is an important after work activity. But there’s good networking and there’s not so-good networking. The former gives you the chance to engage in deep, meaningful conversations with others. We’ll leave you to guess what bad networking looks like. If you have the opportunity to network after work, grab it with both hands! Connecting with colleagues, friends and/or mentors may even lead to brilliant ideas that could positively impact the course of your career.

3. Unplug

Turn off everything, your laptop, your TV, your phone, your iPad too. You need time away from devices and the Internet to renew your mind, body and spirit. The close of a work day provides a great opportunity to unplug and ensure work is left behind at the office. If you find yourself bored while unplugging, meditate or read. The most successful people are known to always read books, fiction and non-fiction alike.

4. Make plans for tomorrow

It’s best practice to plan ahead for the following day. Review your calendar every night and ensure you have everything ready for tomorrow. Check through so you have enough time to notice if anything is missing and then get things in order. This saves you the stress of panicking in the morning because you forgot something important.

5. Don’t forget to sleep

Highly successful people sleep for more than eight hours. It’s true. Don’t be under the false impression that staying up late is good for you or your career. Adequate sleep is a wise career choice, if you’re not getting enough sleep it could affect your judgement and mood. Even worse, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to serious health problems.

What do you spend your time doing once you’ve closed from work? Kindly share them by leaving a comment below.

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