By: JACQUELYN SMITH
We all define “success” differently, but most millennials associate it with happiness, good health, a strong social network, and a well-balanced life.
According to experts, how you spend your downtime as a 20- or 30-something plays a huge part in your ability to achieve these things.
“If you take time to recharge and pay attention to fitness and your diet, for example, after work or on weekends, you’ll set the stage for great life habits that put you at the top of your game at the office,” says Lynn Taylor, author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job.”
“It’s self-perpetuating. A healthy mind and body helps you do your best work. Knowing that you are achieving great results at the office further encourages you to relax and follow your passions during your leisure time — which creates a work-life balance and positive outlook in all your endeavors.”
Here are 13 things successful 20- and 30-somethings do in their downtime:
- They tend to their social networks. These people typically have a strong social network, “and they understand that constant contact is critical to happiness in their spare time,” Taylor says. “The loss of a smart phone is a disaster for most anyone today, but particularly this age group, who thrives on its broad and advanced network of friends through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.”
- They spend time with family and friends.When they’re working or going to school, it’s hard for millennials to give focused attention to those they care about, Taylor says. That’s why they make an effort to check in with friends and family during their downtime.
- They exercise. Many successful millennials thrive on good health and seek a natural adrenalin rush, such as a regular fitness program or even extreme sports. “You can go cycling, hiking, kayaking, snow boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and, for the extreme sports lovers, there’s bungee jumping and a host of other options,” Taylor says.
- They learn something new. Successful 20- and 30-somethings are typically intellectually curious, seek to remain well-read, and surf the net constantly for the truth. “They don’t take much at face value, as the last 10 to 15 years of world events have underscored the need for them to question things that prior generations were more apt to accept,” she says.
- They reflect on their personal and professional success. This age group is often fascinated with how other young, mega entrepreneurs in technology have made it, and the role of innovation, Taylor explains. “In their downtime, they ponder how that career trajectory could apply to them, not because material wealth will give them fancier homes and cars per se — but because they want to make a difference and seek career freedom, which financial reward provides. Successful millennials are passionate about their pursuits — both at work and play.”
- They spend time outside. Enjoying nature and outdoor activities of all kinds contribute to successful people’s ability to function at their best during the workweek, physically and mentally. “Successful millennials don’t take our environment for granted,” Taylor says.
- They eat well, with purpose.“Casual dining, especially with friends, is a high priority for this group of people after work or on weekends,” she says. “These foodies want to know what they’re eating, and prefer organic and healthier foods. Cooking a killer meal is also appealing to many.”
- They travel. Travel can be expensive, but the most accomplished and fulfilled millennials figure out ways to explore new cities or visit friends and family during their time off from work. Why? They crave exciting experiences — and want to learn about new places and cultures.
- They do something spontaneous. “Successful millennials realize that sometimes you just need to live a little,” says Ryan Kahn, a career coach, founder of The Hired Group, and author of “Hired! The Guide for the Recent Grad.” “Being spontaneous shows that you are able to think on your feet and make quick decisions, which are also qualities of those that hold leadership roles.”
- They engage in an activity that supports their passion.They recognize that this is the perfect time to unwind with their favorite pastimes or hobbies, such as shopping, golfing, socializing, reading, painting, or something else, Taylor says.
- They do something philanthropic. “Successful millennials are more likely to think green than their demographic counterparts,” Taylor says. “Supporting that philosophy with their deeds, not words, translates to success.” She says many are socially conscious and want to make a positive difference on the planet. “They may volunteer to support a cause that helps the environment, for example.”
- They tap into their creativity.“Leisure pursuits that tap into creativity, such as playing a musical instrument, listening to their latest musical download, or attending a concert are all popular pursuits for successful 20- and 30-somethings,” Taylor says. “Similarly, painting or writing a blog on a topic of passion supports a desire to be innovative and expressive.”
- They recharge.Successful millennials use their downtime to recharge their batteries. They know they’ll be able to get more done at work if they’re well-rested and focused.