I can’t be the only one who has, at one time or another, gotten into the weeknight evening ritual of finishing work, eating dinner, and clicking on the TV. For anyone who does this and then feels lazy, though, there are ways to be more productive tonight that are very simple, and actually can be a lot of fun (and can be good for our bodies, too).
I know, I know — after a long day of work, it can feel so nice to do nothing. Watching mindless TV shows, for example, can often feel like a great way to relax and clear our heads. Whenever I’ve done this in the past, though, I would suddenly realize I'd been on episode five in a row of whatever show it was and would get a pang of feeling incredibly lazy. The next day I would be kicking myself thinking of all of other, far more productive things I could have used that time to do. It’s a tough balance sometimes to achieve — having time to decompress from the long hours spent at our jobs and also keeping ourselves feeling like we’ve accomplished as much as we can on a given day. Many out there might truly enjoy using their free time to completely chill, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. However, for those of us who get antsy and want to make the most out of our evenings, I’ve rounded up some ideas here to get the nighttime productivity juices flowin’. Here are eight ways to be more productive tonight.
1. Lace Up Those Sneakers
I can go on forever, and ever, and ever about why working out is good for your body, but it’s also a good way to make you feel productive after work. This might prove especially true if you just got home and are contemplating whether to change into sweats and watch Netflix, or choose those sneakers to hit the gym. If you choose the sneaks, according to Huffington Post it could help you keep your mind sharper, boost your energy level, and make you a whole lot happier. What if you’re already worked out that morning? No problem, because I have seven other ideas for you.
2. Set A TV Ban For Yourself
I will never forget one summer growing up when my dad banned my siblings and I from watching TV more than an hour per day. He wanted to encourage us to get outside more, but I felt it was a death sentence. When our hour was up, I’d mope around like no other, but finally would put on a bathing suit and ride my bike down to the beach. You want to know what many of my most vivid and happy childhood memories are? They’re from that very summer on the beach.
As an adult, I have a TV ban (just one hour per evening), this time implemented by myself, and it works — my productivity level has skyrocketed and I’ve managed to finish personal writing projects I’d been putting off for ages. There are shows that I, of course, allow myself to watch (how could I honestly skip Shameless?), but for the most part I try to avoid the big screen and focus on projects and tasks that make my free time feel useful.
3. Find A Passion Project
A great way to make the most of our your evening is to work on something you’re passionate about, but feel like you never have time to do. Carve out time on a select weekday night or two and devote it to whatever it may be — whether that’s refurbishing that piece of weathered furniture, or writing a screenplay, or starting a cooking YouTube channel. Whatever it may be, Fast Company suggested figuring out what this passion is and using our free time after work accordingly.
4. Get Your Most Dreaded Chores Done On Monday Night
Weeknights can offer a great opportunity to get chores done that might otherwise get pushed and pushed into eternity. I know how easy it is to say, “Eh, I’ll just do it tomorrow,” but a way around this is if you make a vow to yourself to get the most annoying chores done on Monday night. According to Huffington Post, this tactic will help you reserve more enjoyable post-work activities for later in the week. So, if you hate doing laundry — Monday is your night to get it out of the way. It helps the chore to feel more manageable and frees you of the burden of it for the rest of the week.
5. Set A Goal For The Evening And Stick To It
If this sounds too simplistic, it’s because it is — a super easy way to stay productive no matter what time of day is to set a goal and get it done. It’s just like how you have you to-do list as work. Come home and tackle a mini goal. If it’s something you truly enjoy doing, it’ll turn out to be really fun. I like to think of this example from Stephen King. According to INC., Stephen King makes a goal for himself to write every single day — specifically at least ten pages per day. Because he doesn’t falter on his self-determined goal, he’s been incredibly productive throughout his career. In our lives, if we set a goal that we think is achievable for each weeknight and vow not to falter, too, we can quickly notice our productivity is on the upswing.
6. Turn. Off. Your. Email.
If you’re the CEO of a flourishing company, this might not be practical for you every night. However, if you’re an Average Joe like me, while the act of turning off email can seem very difficult, it doesn’t have to be. Think of how much more time you’ll have to do productive tasks for you if you switch off your work email. In fact, even Forbes cited turning off emails on your phone as one of its top ways to become highly productive.
7. Sign Up To Volunteer
Volunteering is a great thing to do for so many reasons. For one, you’re giving back which is bound to make you and those you’re helping feel good. Also, it helps you feel more productive and as those you have more of a balance between work and the rest of your life, according to Huffington Post. If you have kids, consider volunteering as a coach for one of their recreational sports teams, or signing up to be a Girl Scout leader of their troop. Not only will you keep your after-work hours feeling busy and productive, you’ll also get that quality time you’ve been seeking.
8. Make A Public Promise To Be Productive
OK, I genuinely hate to encourage people to overshare on social media, but this is a case when it could actually benefit you. Pete Kennedy of eProfit Partners offered his advice to INC. on ways to be productive, and said putting your reputation on the line by making a public promise can actually be beneficial, as it helps hold you accountable. Want to start a 30-day fitness challenge that you’ll tackle during those post-work hours? Consider letting your friends and family know on social media (just the initial post is fine, they certainly don’t need a play-by-play each day), and you’ll feel more accountable to stick to it.
If you’re looking to get the most of your weeknights, try implementing some of these ideas. You might soon find that overarching feeling of evening laziness has disappeared, and you’re accomplishing more than ever before.
Images: Pixabay (9)