I am SO guilty of changing into sweats, having an afternoon espresso and losing an hour to Netflix when I get home from work. One of my goals for 2023 though is to be more productive during that time. I usually get home during my work week between 2:30-3:30 depending on the day so I have plenty of time to do something productive. Still likely to be doing these things in my comfy clothes after having my afternoon espresso and scrolling through instagram though. 🙂 Everyone needs a little downtime after working hard all day! Here are some productive things to try after work.
Do A Little Meal Prep
If you’re not a big weekend meal prep person it’s easy to take some time after work to think about food for the next day. I unpack my lunchbox right when I get home so it makes sense for me to just get my lunch and even breakfast ready for the next day. And if you aren’t bringing lunch to work I highly recommend it. It’s cheaper and can be healthier than alternatives that are near your job.
Breakfast – Plan what you are going to eat and prep if needed. Overnight oats or a yogurt with fruit are super easy to put together the day before. Or even better, prep a bag of cut up fruit and put them in the freezer. Simply add milk or water in the AM for a quick, healthy, and yummy smoothie. Just planning on grabbing banana or granola bar on your way out the door? Then place one by your bag so you can grab it and go.
Lunch – Having a lunch ready the day before is such a time saver! Especially if you’re up and out the door early like me (6:30am!) It can be as simple making a favorite wrap/sandwich and putting some mini peppers/apple/carrots in a tupperware. A little sweet treat is always nice too. I also love to pack leftovers for lunch. Easy peasy.
Get your heartbeat up! Even if it’s just going for a brisk walk around your neighborhood, scheduling a time in your day to get moving after work is great for your mind and body. You can create your own home workout routine by using Youtube or Pinterest, or go to the actual gym. I’m not a big gym fan but I do take a Zumba class which I look forward to twice a week.
Catch Up On Current Events
Being a productive member of society means knowing what is going on around you and forming an opinion on hot topics. So sign up for a current events newsletter (like the Skimm) and explore headlines to get more info. Be careful about the sites you use though, make sure they are informing you in a non bias way, which is super hard. I like to check out NPR and PBS if a particular news headline sparks my interest.
Listen To A Podcast
This is another great way to catch up on current events, or get a dose of true crime. There are SO many podcasts available now and topics range from news to motivational to true crime to just pure entertainment. A huge plus of listening to podcasts when you are at home is that you can listen to it while doing other things like packing your lunch, doing laundry or cleaning the house. I listen to them all the time but my favorite time is to listen on my commute from work. Some of my favorites are The Daily, Stuff You Should Know, Crime Junkie, Dark Downeast, and Sounds Like A Cult.
Lose Yourself In A Good Read
I love to read. Whether it’s a thrilling whodunit or a book that teaches me something new. I find it’s not only a great way to relax but I’m also keeping my mind sharp, instead of just zoning out in front of the TV. I’m also the type of person who googles while I read. Anyone else do that? If a place is mentioned I’m curious to see what it looks like or if I encounter a word I’m unfamiliar with I want to make sure I’m understanding what I’m reading.
Enjoy A Favorite Hobby
Try your hand at something new or make time for a favorite hobby. Do you love to crochet? Is photography your passion? Baking pastries worthy of The Great British Bake Off? Maybe you’re into blogging? Taking time to be productive with something that brings you happiness is a great way to spend time after work. It’s easy to let hobbies that you love take a backseat to everything else going on in your life, but these things are important and will help keep you sane. If you want to learn something new try looking on Youtube for tutorials, I learned how to crochet that way.
This a great after work activity! I am not the most organized person but I’m working on it. Taking the time to organize things after work will make it easier to find something that you may need and also helps things look tidy. Don’t attempt to organize every room in an afternoon just take on a small section once or twice a week. It’s amazing how quickly things start to look organized and tidy. Some areas to start with are closets, under sinks, pantry, and the fridge. When things are neat and clean it’s easier to relax later.
Taking care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally should always be a priority. Taking an hour after work once or twice a week to give yourself a little pampering is SO good for you. Paint your nails, have a foot soak, do a face mask, exfoliate, do a hair mask…you get the idea.
Being productive after work is one of the biggest changes I have made in 2023. It’s only been a few weeks but I have already noticed a difference in my day to day. I hope these after work activities inspire you to be more productive and not just lay on the couch when you get home. 🙂