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Have yourself a weak weekend

Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 11:17 a.m. CDT

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Honestly, I don’t understand our obsession with successful people.

Every day, there’s at least one useful article detailing the success secrets of successful people that I totally ignore. I’m not bragging here, but my greatest success may be in not caring what successful people do before breakfast and after breakfast and even at breakfast. (Spoiler alert! They eat.)

It’s bad enough following these successaholics through their workweek, but now we also have to emulate their weekends. Or so believes Jacquelyn Smith, a writer on Forbes.com who recently published the must-read screed, “14 Things Successful People Do On Weekends.”

If Ms. Smith is right, we not only have to feel like failures in our jobs, but we can also feel inadequate when we’re in our homes.

Smith kicks off her article with a profile on Spencer Rascoff. He’s “only 37” and is already wildly more successful than thee or me.

Why? Because unlike us, Spencer Rascoff doesn’t spend his weekends lounging on the couch, complaining about how hard we work and how little we’re appreciated and how much we need to be left alone to recharge our batteries with the magical source of energy and inspiration that is “Duck Dynasty.”

Instead, Mr. Success knows that “weekends are an important time to unplug from the day-to-day and think more deeply about my company and my industry.”

It’s a good story, and while your supervisor at work is probably dumb enough to accept it, don’t expect the same reaction from your supervisor at home.

They’ll never believe it’s important for you to hold the corpse pose from Friday p.m. to Monday a.m., because, like super-successful Spencer Rascoff, you’re “processing in the background.”

While your passion to be successful may not get you out of loser weekend activites, such as lawn mowing, leaf blowing or in-law visiting, some of the 14 weekend success secrets might prove helpful in your own scramble to the top. Here are my favorites:

1. Make time for family and friends.

Since they’re spending the workweek with their button noses to the grindstone, successful people use the weekend to check in with their spouses and children.

If your loved ones do not seem interested in spending quality time with you (and who could blame them?), why not drop in on your manager and take advantage of his welcoming warmth on the weekend?

Bring a sleeping bag, because you are certainly going to be invited to stay over. And won’t it be a wonderful experience to join the family as you watch your manager provide his loved ones with the same high quality direction and inspiration he so generously offers you at work.

(It might also be useful to bring some nametags. This will help your manager remember the names of his children and his spouse.)

2. Disconnect

Believe it or not, the most successful people avoid email over the weekend. This is not easy to do, so start slowly, since “even a walk without the phone can feel liberating.”

Of course, you will feel a good deal less liberated when your walk is interrupted by a werewolf attack, so if you don’t carry a cell phone, carry a gun loaded with silver bullets. You’re disconnected; you’re not crazy.

3. Volunteer

After spending the week scratching and clawing to get more, some successful peeps use the weekend to give more. There is a great deal of inner satisfaction that can come from helping people less fortunate than you, and if you’re really successful, that’s about most everyone.

Best of all, as career coach Roy Cohen points out, “The visibility also helps branding a successful person as philanthropic.”

That perception can really help when you have to shut down a factory and move manufacturing to Bengalore.

“Yes, she fired us,” the workers will say, “but I really don’t mind losing my job since it was done by someone with a philanthropic brand.”

4. Reflect

Smith quotes professional coach Marsha Egan, who says, “truly successful people make time on weekends to appreciate what they have and reflect on their happiness and accomplishments.”

This is nice. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, successful people have teeny-tiny egos and really have no idea just how wonderful they are.

If your managers and co-workers are too selfish to tell you that you’re a terrific person, the weekends are an excellent time for you to remind you how wonderful you are to you.

Just don’t expect me to get involved. I’ll be on the couch watching Duck Dynasty.

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