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After a long, stressful day at work, the last thing anyone wants is to get home and start working on something else! But if you really want to make progress in your life (whether it’s to start your side hustle, work out, or learn something new), that’s exactly what you got to do. Today I want to share some tips with you on how you can be productive after work instead of just relaxing on the sofa when you get home.
It’s totally normal to desire to get home and relax or better still, sleep. That’s why you often feel the intense urge to just crash on your sofa and maybe order a few snacks while getting a good body massage (yum!). So, sleeping or relaxing is actually not wrong… As a matter of fact, it’s part of the self-care routines one should take seriously.
However, if all you desire after work is to rest or sleep, then you will never be able to achieve anything else outside work. And of course, that’s a pretty good way to be unproductive in life because there are lots of things you can actually achieve in your free time. Not just sleep and rest.
If you can’t make the most of your free time, how can you possibly learn a new language, read new books, acquire new sets of skills, start your own blog, or engage in any other personal projects? It’s practically impossible to achieve all these things during work hours. It has to be during your spare time.
Now, how do you withstand your alluring couch when you return home from work? How do you resist the temptation of staying idle after work?
How To Be Productive After Work
Well, it takes a whole lot of motivation to stay productive after work. It even requires more motivation than you will need for your normal 9-5 job.
However, it might interest you to know that most successful people didn’t depend solely on what they were able to achieve during their official work hours. They had to go the extra mile. They had to make the most of their free time. And trust me, the key difference between such successful people and others is that they make it a priority to be productive after work.
You might be lost on how to get started. That’s fine! In this article, I have carefully prepared 10 tips that will help you to be productive after work. Let’s dive right in!
- How To Plan Your Day And Stick To It
- Simple Goal Setting Steps For Beginners
- 10 Ways To Get Motivated To Achieve Your Goals
- How To Stop Procrastinating And Get Things Done
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1. Build Your Mental Strength
The ability to do extra work is not only physically generated, it has more to do with willpower. Your mental strength needs to be on the high side before you can pull off such a task.
You need to have the willingness to get something done before you can actually give it a shot.
You need the enthusiasm, the passion, the drive!
In fact, without high mental energy, you won’t have enough motivation to arrive home and start working on another task. So, if you want to be more productive after work, you have to start by building your mental capacity.
2. Don’t Freshen Up
Yes, if you intend to extend your productivity beyond official work hours, then on arriving home, you must resist the temptation of taking your bath and changing into something more comfortable (like your cozy pajamas). Nah! Rather, as soon as you get back home, still in the same clothes, start doing something else.
This way, your brain will not be driven into relaxation mode.
You will agree with me that most times, once you take your bath and change into your pajamas, the next thing will probably be to have your dinner and…sleep off.
However, if you choose not to freshen up, you will be more poised to tackle one or two pressing tasks at home. That, my friend, is a good way to be productive.
3. Get Started As Soon As Possible
Once you wait till after dinner, or till after spending some time with your family – that’s it. You will be so relaxed and so lazy to do any other thing than to retire to bed.
Want to deal with that?
It’s simple, just get started as soon as you return. Get started immediately with those important tasks. The trick here is to walk into the house, say hello to everyone, and head straight to your library, your room, or any other place you do your homework.
It doesn’t matter how long you spend doing that important task which you might not be able to do any other time. Whether it’s a couple of minutes or hours, the most important thing is that you spend that time being productive after work. The end result is certainly worth the stress.
4. Go Somewhere
If you’ve got other side-works to attend to, and you find it difficult to resist the urge of relaxing on your bed/couch, then take a step away from home.
You can either take a walk around the neighborhood or go somewhere else where you’ll be more productive. You can stop by a coffee shop to do a little writing or reading, or your local hackerspace – there, you can commence your DIY projects.
In order to make the most of your free time, you can also enroll in a skills-acquisition class. Attending such a class will keep you busy once you get back from work.
One thing people don’t understand is that a body in motion stays in motion. But a resting body keeps resting. If you really want to accomplish a task, you need to keep moving. You don’t necessarily have to sit down – until you are done with the task!
That’s why you should try stepping out of your house – if possible. Because if you decide to relax for a while with your family, chances are you will keep on relaxing while there are important things left undone.
5. Create A To-Do List
One way to keep your mind ready for more tasks (even after work) is to write down specific things you’d like to do before bedtime. Creating a to-do list will give you a clearer idea of the important projects you have to execute once you get home. In other words, it gives you a sense of purpose and direction.
Hence, your emphasis will be on the main tasks which you will definitely carry out without further delay.
6. Set Aside 15 Minutes
You don’t have to engage in heavy, strenuous tasks in order to be productive. Any little effort you make towards a positive end truly counts.
At the end of your official working hours, set aside 15 minutes to work on some private projects that are really important. Fifteen minutes might not be too much of a time for work, but it is far better than using your entire free time for rest.
In fact, it is a huge success if you can focus on something positive for 15 minutes. Because after all, you could have easily decided to remain idle – so, the little progress you just made could have been non-existent.
One good thing about setting out little time for an extra piece of work is that you will be very pleased with yourself at the end of that short period. Thereafter, you can freely relax on your couch, knowing fully well that you’ve done something worthwhile – even at the oddest time. That’s the joy of being productive!
7. Start With The Tasks You Enjoy
This strategy will ensure you have the enthusiasm to carry out other important chores after work. People typically feel motivated to do what they love doing.
The reason you might feel lazy to engage in a certain routine after work is probably because you don’t enjoy it.
Once it involves the chores you enjoy, you’ll definitely show eagerness to get started. So, it’s advisable that you begin with the tasks you actually enjoy doing once you return from work. This way, you will find everything not so difficult and boring, and you will accomplish a lot more at the end of the day.
8. Curtail The Use Of Social Media
We can’t shy away from the fact that the world today has gone digital.
Nowadays, virtually everything we do is somehow linked to a social media handle. In fact, it’s almost like a part of our existence is tied to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (or all three). Thus, it becomes so difficult for us to focus on other important tasks!
If you must be productive after work, you have to curtail the use of your social media when you arrive home – at least for a while.
If you can’t control how you employ social media, you might end up being stuck online. And in the end, it will be a totally wasted evening. This is not to say that social media is wrong… this is also not a way of deterring you from having fun. However, there are certain things that should come first before others.
9. Create A Transition From Work Time To Rest Time
This is another good trick that will help you stay productive – even after work!
Once you open the door to your home, don’t be in a rush to relax on your sofa. Rather, create a moment of transition from official work hours to relaxation hours. This transition should be done by engaging in a particular home chore that you like doing.
Some people enjoy going straight into the kitchen once they get back from work. Right there, they might decide to cook or do the dishes.
Remember, the whole idea is to make yourself feel at home and at the same time, make the most of your home time.
10. Or…You Can Sleep Early Instead
Sometimes, it’s not all about arriving home and forcing yourself to do extra work.
When you realize that there is no extra chunk of energy left in you, and that it might be extremely difficult for you to delve into those tasks at home, then the best you can do is to sleep early and wake up early enough to continue from where you stopped!
No matter how you twist it, the fact remains that sleep is important. Especially when your body really needs it. It is important in the sense that it gives you the opportunity to recover from an extremely stressful day. In such an occasion, sleeping early becomes a highly productive activity because it enables you to be in the best shape (for work) the next day.
However, when you make sleep your everyday routine after work, it becomes counterproductive. Because it will undermine your ability to do other important things.
BONUS: Forgive Yourself Whenever You Stumble
We are all human and it’s in our nature to get exhausted sometimes, despite our willingness and zeal.
At times, we might have good intentions and an amazing plan on how to carry out these intentions, however, it takes a lot of energy to execute them. And unfortunately, our energy levels are subject to constant fluctuations; sometimes, they get very high, other times, they get so low.
That is why a wise man once said; though the mind is willing, the flesh is weak. And on such occasions, we just can’t stop ourselves from faltering. We get so weary and tired, and might end up actually crashing. The truth is, it’s better to relax and give in to your body once in a while, than to keep straining yourself till you can’t take it anymore.
Now, whenever you find yourself succumbing to tiredness in the evening, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. Learn to forgive yourself. Moreover, understand that there are days you won’t be as productive as you should be.
Finally, being productive after work is totally up to you. It’s something you can either choose to do or decide not to.
But, you need to acknowledge the fact that going to work every day will only help you to solve the problem of earning a living. There are other problems that must be solved if you really want to be successful in life. And without being productive after work, those problems will remain unsolved.
So, the ball is in your court to make the difference… If you must be successful, you have to make the most of your free time!