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10 Ways Successful People Spend Their Time After Work

By | Suzanne Gelb, PhD, JD. |

When Neil Patrick Harris was in his late teens and early 20s, he rocketed into fame starring on the hit TV show, Doogie Howser, M.D. Precocious and prodigiously talented, he quickly became one of the most sought-after young actors of his generation.

Many of Harris’ young Hollywood friends liked to drink, do drugs, and party. Harris quickly realized that the “club scene” wasn’t for him, so he started spending his free time in a different way.

As he recounts in his autobiography, whenever he had a couple weeks of vacation time, he would fly to NYC to see as many Broadway shows as he possibly could. Sometimes, that meant two shows a day.

Why? He wanted to spend his free time watching masterful actors at the top of their game. Harris knew that he would absorb priceless lessons at every performance—and he did. He’s gone on to build a long, celebrated career as an award-winning actor, writer, director, presenter, and host.

The way you spend your time outside of work—what you do on your evenings, weekends, and vacations—can have a big impact on the trajectory of your career. If you want to be highly successful at work, you have to be thoughtful and intentional with the way you spend your time outside of work, too.

Think back to your last few evenings, weekends, or holidays. How did you spend your time? Are your after-hours activities helping you to build the career that you want—or holding you back?

If it’s time for a new post-work ritual, here’s a list to inspire you—10 ways successful people spend their time after work.

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