Most people only spend 8 hours per day at work. If you work 5 days a week, that’s 40 hours. Even if your job is super intense and you’re working 60-80 hour weeks, you still have hours and hours of time to yourself. Okay, you have to spend a lot of that sleeping—that’s important. But in the hours of leisure time left to you, there are things you could be doing to vastly improve your future. Rather than just blowing all those hours on happy hours and Netflix, why not try spending an hour a day doing these 5 things and see what happens?
1. Make your evenings matter
Don’t just rely on your working hours to gain skills and knowledge and make your career magic happen. Try doing a little bit each day off the clock that will help you advance in your career, not just get your daily job tasks done. Take online classes, develop new skills, practice and master old ones. Keep pushing yourself to learn more and do more and you’ll be amazed at how much faster you advance at work.
2. Read more
It almost doesn’t matter what you’re reading. Keeping the habit, taking in knowledge, considering other points of view—all of this makes you more interesting and interested in the world around you. One hour spent learning about a new topic makes you that much closer to being respected by your boss and peers as “in the know.” Plus, the benefits to your general knowledge and vocabulary will be palpable.
3. Side projects
If your company won’t give you the opportunity to take your new skills and interests for a test spin, try volunteering. Find a way to have practical expression of what you’re learning so it can really start to translate into workable results. If nothing else, these side hobbies and projects will help keep you feeling fulfilled.
4. Build your network
Even if you just spend 10 minutes a day maintaining your contacts, reach out, participate in conversations on social media or LinkedIn, and pursue new ones. You’ll start to see a major difference and that work will really pay off when you need to rely on your network to change jobs or take your career to the next level.
5. Start now
Don’t start this next week—or after the holidays. Start tonight. Don’t put off what can become such an ingrained habit that you hardly realize it is a chore you’ve set yourself.
If you can get to the point where you are doing these 5 things naturally? You’ll be well on your way to actualizing your success.