If you’re anything of a hard worker, you know how hard it can be to leave work at work. Productivity in our work environment is always encouraged. We build routines, we prioritize organization, and we cut out all the tempting distractions – like browsing our BFFs Instagram feed. But what about after work? While you should definitely leave the work stuff at work, it doesn’t mean your productivity needs to end there.
In fact, keeping a productive routine – even on your time off can make that time so much more enjoyable. Listen, I’m not saying you should go out and buy a pair of skinny sweatpants and rock them to work, but a little planning and motivation can be productive even after the workday is done.
I decided to try being productive after work. I’m sure you’ve experienced this want at some point in your life. It’s not always easy, but when done well it can be a powerful tool for getting things done and recharging yourself for the next workday. Being productive after work is different from being productive at work, we know that.
There’s a difference between maximum productivity at work and productivity at home. So it takes a different perspective and approach.
Here are some of the best ways I have found to stay productive after work..
Staying productive after work
Creating an After-Work Routine
One of the biggest challenges for people who want to stay productive even after work is that they don’t have a routine in place. For most of us, after work means kicking off our shoes, putting on the sweats or yoga pants, and turning on Netflix right? There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you’re looking for a productive after-work routine where you can squeeze in a little more than just Netflix reruns, you’ll need to switch things up a bit. We all have busy lives, so creating a productive schedule after work can be difficult.
If you already have a productive and organized workday, bringing that home with you instead of the work is going to be a cakewalk. You’ll want something that’s going to get you through your day, and prepared for the next one. Creating an after-work routine is all about writing up a plan of action and simply following through with it. What you choose to include in your plan of action is up to you and your desires. Remember the goal here isn’t to bring your work home with you. Instead, it’s to make your downtime just as productive as your uptime.
After a long day at work, you may be tempted to immediately flop down on your couch and check your email or social media. Next thing you know, it’s 10 PM and you spent your whole night browsing social media. Not the goal here. So how do we create an after-work routine where we can get the laundry done, organize our schedule, and have time for social media and Netflix?
Because, a little myth-busting: You CAN be productive after work, and you don’t have to turn into a couch potato. Start by writing down everything you want to get done after work. Remember to leave your work at work. This is the time to focus on the other parts of your life.
List them out in order of importance. You’ll want to tackle the stuff you really want to get done at the beginning of your routine. I’ll explain this further in a bit.
Lastly, besides actually taking action and doing your routine you’ll want to tweak it because it can be hard to get it right the first time, after enough tweaks you’ll have the perfect after-work routine that’s productive and relaxing.
How to ACTUALLY get things done?
How do you actually get things done after a long day of work? After work, productivity is all about ending the day on a productive note, it doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon after your 9-5 but instead to keep productivity up even in your downtime. You’ve just got finished building up the perfect after-work routine for yourself and now you’ve got to stick to it or it would all be for nothing.
You can start by unwinding a little, allow yourself to kick off your shoes, and let your hair down. Rehydrate yourself and go for a snack. While you’re doing this, glance over your routine, and if it helps only focus on one task at a time.
Remember putting the most difficult task first?
Maybe that’s laundry so you have fresh clothes to wear tomorrow, maybe it’s hitting the gym.
Whatever your hardest task may be, you’ll want to get that one out the way first, this takes the heaviest burden off your shoulders and allows you to wind down even more.
Another tip is to think about the long-term benefits of your new routine. You might feel like immediately flopping on the couch and turning on Netflix, allowing the night to rush away in a blur.
Truth be told, some nights, that’s just fine. But skipping on laundry or leg day will only make it so that you miss out on possible long-term benefits that your productive routine could bring.
You’ll find out quickly that a productive after-work routine brings structure, organization, and long-term benefits to your life.
Remembering to Relax
Remember that productivity after work doesn’t mean you don’t need time to relax. You’ll still need several moments to rest both your mind and your body. Without these moments of rest, you’ll only run into something called burnout and will fall even further behind. That’s why it’s important in your new productivity routine that you also pencil in time for when you’re going to kick your feet up and enjoy yourself.
If you’ve ever been a workaholic, it can be hard to know when to reel it in. Especially when you’re all about meeting productivity quotas. To negate that, similar to your routine above, list a few different relaxing activities you’d like to try. This could be a new TV show you’ve been wanting to see. This could be stopping by the salon to get your nails done. In addition to general health care, such as staying hydrated and healthy you’ll want to dedicate a chunk of your after-work routine to taking care of yourself and relaxing.
Everyone has a different way of unwinding after work. The key here is to find yours and fit it into your new routine. If you have 3 hours of after-work time before bed. You might spend the first 1.5 hours attending to the difficult tasks in your routine while spending the remaining time truly relaxing and readying yourself for the next day. Remembering to relax after a long day of work will allow you to continue being productive the following day.
More importantly, you’ll start to strike a healthy balance in your life. There’s a saying that goes: “There’s a time for work, and a time for play.” It does good to recognize when those times are in your life, it builds character and responsibility.
Despite what some may think, it is responsible to know when to relax just as it is responsible to know when to put your phone away and get the work done.
The greatest part about a productive after-work routine is that it’s customizable to your needs and wants.
No matter your schedule or how much you work you can begin building a productive routine that’ll allow you to get much more done throughout the day and still give you enough time to let your hair down and watch the latest Netflix movie.