Top of Mind: 4 Smart Ways to Spend Your Downtime

Go ahead, give your body and mind time to recharge.
April 29, 2016

Top of Mind: 4 Refreshing Ways to Spend Your Downtime I'd probably want to sleep a little—that's something we don't get much of these days! Then, I'd hop on a plane and fly somewhere I haven't been before to explore for the day. My favorite thing to do is to travel and see new sights that I haven't seen before. Those experiences mean so much to me and it pushes me to step outside my comfort zone. Every time I go somewhere new I realize how little I've seen of this world.

—Jessica Hagen, president and managing partner of Experience Events Group

Related: What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend

Top of Mind: 4 Refreshing Ways to Spend Your Downtime Typically, if I have nothing work-related to do, I try to keep my mind or body engaged in other ways. Whether that’s going to a museum I haven’t been to before, or getting a good workout in, I pretty much always have to be moving and/or learning in some way. Reading books or working DIY projects around the house are always fun as well. Essentially, there’s no such thing as “nothing to do” in my mind.

—Josh Holat, co-founder and chief technology officer, StageBloc

Top of Mind: 4 Refreshing Ways to Spend Your Downtime I read and write constantly. Sleeping can be nice. Last Saturday, waking was a question I pondered with my bed and phone for an hour while reading poetry and a biography of Lincoln, tapping out nonsense ideas until I couldn’t take it anymore and bounced outside. I like skipping and walking while inspiring friends into monologues about their visions for different technologies.

—Nancy Hua, CEO of Apptimize

Top of Mind: 4 Refreshing Ways to Spend Your Downtime I’ve spent the past year cultivating mindfulness and presence. In the past I would have spent that day figuring out all of the next things I can and should be doing. Now, I like to think that I’d ride my bike along the river, throw a hammock up in a tree, and quite literally “hang out.” I would catch up with old friends, maybe call my grandma, write a poem, you know, the usual. But honestly, I’d probably be thinking about ways to optimize, streamline and crush whatever was most challenging me at that time.

—David Yarus, Founder, JSwipe

Related: Want to Be Successful? Do These 7 Things in Your Spare Time


Jim Rohn One Year Success Plan

This article appears in the May 2016 issue of SUCCESS magazine.

I’m a firm believer in exercise and fresh air. Even if I don’t have time for a full workout, getting outside and moving every day is so important for the mind, body and soul. And feeding my body good, wholesome foods and fresh juices, while also indulging in life’s sweeter things (brownies!), is also important for balance.

—Jeanne Hoffa, founder and CEO of Coast Public Relations

Related: Food, Sleep, Exercise: Why You Seriously Need All 3 to Be Successful

I believe that keeping your mind and body engaged on different subject matters is important. If you work in tech, read a book or do a project on something unrelated, such as cooking in your free time. Oftentimes the knowledge gained in other subject matters even cross pollinates to your main area of expertise without you even thinking about it. As long as you’re keeping your mind open to new ideas, I don’t think it will ever get stale.

—Josh Holat, co-founder and chief technology officer, StageBloc


I talk with people who inspire me, because we come up with a fistful of crazy ideas that we swear to follow up on after we conquer countless other arenas. Breathing on the Earth under a million stars always lures my thoughts towards how one day I’ll be dead but how marvelous it is to be alive in the meantime with my very own body and my very own mind to do with as I wish.

—Nancy Hua, CEO of Apptimize


I bucket things into two categories: 1. Stuff that I can’t control, 2. Stuff that I can control. If items fall into Category 1, I put that concern away as something intellectually interesting and detach emotionally. If items fall into Category 2, I either attack it immediately or put it on a work queue to be tackled in time. Reducing uncertainty means reducing anxiety.

—Geoff Woo, CEO of Nootrobox

Related: 7 Thoughtful Ways to Stress Less

Sleep! We live in a culture that glorifies all-nighters and partying ‘till sunrise. Not getting enough sleep is the most common cause for being off your A-game. Be realistic with yourself. If eight hours a night sounds crazy, shoot for seven. But set the intention and respect it. You’ll thank yourself later.

—David Yarus, Founder, JSwipe


It’s important to work out and make healthy lifestyle choices. My clients and team do not get the best from me if I’m not taking care of myself. I am conscious about what I put into my body, and I want to keep my energy level high. Drinking lots of lemon water and hot tea—as well as taking 30-45 minutes to break a sweat every day—is very important to me. I can clear my mind during those minutes while I work out.

—Jessica Hagen, president and managing partner of Experience Events Group

Related: 13 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Every Day


This article appears in the May 2016 issue of SUCCESS magazine.

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