• Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday – which means some workers in the US will be getting an extra long weekend.
• Business Insider reached out to three experts to get a sense of some pitfalls to avoid during long weekends.
• They recommended protecting and being intentional with your time off.
Some people across the US will have Monday off, thanks to Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
We already know what successful people will be doing over the long weekend. And we know Martin Luther King Jr. Day is meant to allow for reflection about the enduring legacy of the Civil Rights leader.
But what about the unsuccessful people among us? What mistakes can we watch out for and avoid?
After all, you don’t want your free time go down the drain.
With that in mind, let’s discuss some behaviors to avoid. Here are 11 things unsuccessful people do over long weekends:
1. They neglect their loved ones
“A three-day weekend lets you schedule this critical quality time,” said Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job.”
That being said, spending a long weekend getting away from everyone isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
But unsuccessful individuals don’t avoid people because they’re mindfully trying to unwind – they do it because something’s holding them back from connecting.
2. They stress out
- Dedi Grigoroiu/Shutterstock.com
We all need to rest and recharge our batteries from time to time. Unsuccessful people are unable to do this, even over long weekends. This leads to misery during a time that should be filled with relaxation and happiness.
3. They spend a ton of money (needlessly)
- Matt Cardy/Getty
You don’t want to blow all your cash right before the holidays.
Unsuccessful people don’t know how to control themselves over long weekends and end up with empty wallets as a result. Squeezing too many impulse purchases into such a short amount of time is a really bad idea.
If you’re looking to have a ton of fun on a budget, consider a staycation or just carefully budgeting your fun in the sun.
4. They make unhealthy choices
- Getty Images/Robert Morrissey
Unsuccessful folks tend to use any excuse to neglect their exercise routines and dig into some unhealthy stuff. A long weekend provides the perfect opportunity to shirk good habits.
It’s natural to want to indulge a bit, which is fine – in moderation.
5. They never stop working
- WAYHOME studio/Shutterstock
Unsuccessful people squander their time off by responding to work emails and catching up on busywork.
If you’re scheduled to work over the long weekend because you have bad luck, that’s one thing. It’s another thing entirely if you choose to work over the three day weekend from home. That could be a sure sign you’re about to burn out or you’re just addicted to work.
If you really need to be productive, don’t just allow work to randomly seep into your downtime. Schedule some time to deal with your work and then be done with it.
6. They constantly think about work
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This one isn’t quite as bad as working throughout the weekend, but thinking about your job constantly isn’t a great sign either.
If you love your work so much that you can’t get it off your mind, that’s one thing. But unsuccessful people are so focused on the week ahead that they can’t relax and enjoy themselves in the moment.
7. They’re lazy
- Peter Varga/Flickr
Of course, it’s important to unwind over the weekend. Unsuccessful people take this too far, though.
A long weekend is the optimal time to tackle that personal, non-work-related project that you can never seem to get to during the week – cleaning the house, buying a new grill, or calling your grandmother. Make the most of your time. You’ll feel better once you check something off your to-do list.
8. They don’t unplug
A holiday weekend is the perfect opportunity to ditch your many screens and go outside for once. Don’t be one of those people that spends every waking moment attached to their social media accounts. You’ll miss out on so much.
9. They don’t get adventurous
- 蠹蟲 髒/Flickr
Long weekends are the perfect time to embark on that road trip you’ve always wanted to go on, or try that new restaurant, or hit the beach one last time.
It’s fine if you just want to relax, but if you’re looking for the opportunity to do something different, you’ll probably regret spending all your time on the couch.
“This is a great time to unwind with your favorite pastime or hobby, whether it’s shopping, golfing, socializing, reading, painting, or something else,” Taylor said.
10. You don’t plan anything
Some people can just flow through life without ever having a plan. Good for them.
If you’re not like that, though, it’s not a bad idea to have at least a general idea of what you want to accomplish over the long weekend – and the subsequent week.
You don’t have to plan out every second, of course, but you want to at least have a rough outline. Unsuccessful people end up shooting themselves in the foot by leaving everything up in the air, leading to disorganization and disappointment.
11. They don’t protect their time
Your time is precious. Successful people realize this – that’s why they vigorously defend their schedule. This allows them to do what they want to do, even while juggling numerous obligations.
Unsuccessful individuals allow their long weekends to be eaten up. They get roped into plans that don’t interest them, they laze around and regret it, and they pack in too many plans and end up missing out on the one thing they really wanted to do.
Jacquelyn Smith contributed to a previous version of this post.