How the World's Wealthiest and Most Successful Entrepreneurs Use Their Free Time

Actions turn into habits, which build productivity -- the make-or-break determinant of success or failure.

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By Dillon Kivo

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Virtually anyone who has reached considerable success in life will readily admit that his or her habits play a big part in that. So if one wants to become like all the successful entrepreneurs, thought leaders, executives and giants before him or her, the best way to stand on their shoulders is to see what their habits look like. Actions turn into habits, which build productivity — the make-or-break determinant of success or failure.

Emulating someone involves looking at the totality of his or her life and seeing how he or she lives, breathes and acts. And while there are countless studies, books and articles that look into how successful entrepreneurs work, there aren't enough that show how they make use of their free time. So let's take a look into some practices that the wealthy and successful have when they aren't busy grinding.

1. They wake up at the same time

If there's one thing that successful people don't do, it's sleep in on the weekends. That's because many studies point to the importance of following a Circadian rhythm to maintain a sense of consistency. When our sleeping pattern becomes erratic, it eats into the rest of the week and gets our body confused. By waking up at the same time on the weekends, successful people allow their bodies to maintain a steady rhythm.

Some successful people known to rise early include Apple's CEO Tim Cook, who wakes up at 3:45 a.m., and Ellevest CEO and co-founder Sallie Krawcheck, who's up and about at 8:00 a.m. Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Mark Whalberg and many others ensure that they maximize their mornings as well.

Related: 9 Simple Ways to Transform Your Morning Routine and Boost Productivity

2. They keep learning

The most significant mistake people make after college is thinking that their learning season has ended. We're never truly done with learning. There's always something new to learn and an area that we can improve in. And successful entrepreneurs have a way of building that into their calendars deliberately.

On his famous "think weeks," legendary entrepreneur and philanthropist Bill Gates likes to bury himself in books while taking time off the day-to-day bustles of his vast empires. However, constant learning is critical for someone who wants to keep growing, and that entails taking time to read, taking online courses and listening to podcasts on weekends, breaks or when you're winding down before bed.

3. They take care of their health

Physical health is a profound contributing factor to entrepreneurial and work success. Many studies correlate physiological and psychological health. Some of the world's most prominent entrepreneurs admit to keeping a strict exercise regimen no matter how busy they get.

Healthy living does more than boost the physical body. It also builds up one's emotional well-being — something that a lot of entrepreneurs tend to neglect. There's a millennia-old philosophy that correlates one's physiology with psychology. The healthier we are, the happier we become. Moreover, healthy living — having a fitness regimen and eating healthily — builds more integrity in our life on top of giving us more energy to refocus back into our days. It's not a secret that healthier people tend to work more efficiently. They have more focus, endurance, drive and creativity. These are but a few of the many benefits of taking care of one's health. So build muscle by exercising at the start or end of the day and continuing it on weekends.

Related: 9 Top Entrepreneurs Reveal Their Health Regimen Secrets

4. They connect with loved ones

The famous social-media and entrepreneurship expert Gary Vaynerchuk is known for working like a horse on weekdays. But on weekends, he shares that he is "all-in on the kids" and maximizes his time with family. Contrary to popular belief, work success doesn't have to be in a constant tug of war with home life success. Successful and wealthy people still love to take time to connect with friends and loved ones and will even admit that it's core to their professional growth.

The saddest thing in life is pursuing so much material success that we miss out on the things that matter most to us: our relationships. Life is a big balancing act at times, as we find the time to focus on families and friends and the endless hustle and bustle of entrepreneurial living. But when we find that balance — even if at times it feels imperfect— we're on to something big.

5. They pick up a hobby

Having a hobby or vocation helps keep people optimal and creative. These passion projects are often completely detached from their professional work and will have very little to do with making money. Some hobbies might include creating music, going on outdoor hikes, photography, writing a novel and many others. These hobbies help build more headspace and prepare the mind for important decisions and strategy work when it's time to put the pedal to the metal on work days.

Related: How Finding a Hobby Will Make You a Better Entrepreneur

Success is a process

There are many other tips and practices that can help one become a more successful entrepreneur. While you might feel like you have a long way to go after looking at those tips, don't feel bad. We're all works in progress. Sometimes what matters more than looking back at how far you've come is being excited about how much more you have ahead of you. So don't forget to enjoy the journey. After all, success is a process, not a destination. And it's a fun one at that.

So don't wait till you "get there" to savor the moment. Love whatever season you're in now. It's worth it.

Dillon Kivo

CEO of Authority Titans

Dillon Kivo is an American entrepreneur, best-selling author and keynote speaker. Kivo helps brands find their competitive edge and share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising and social media marketing.

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