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Op/Ed

Couch calling your name? Tips to boost post-work productivity

It is hard to get home after a long day and want to do more. Here are a few tips to make working after work less painful.

person flying to couch after work

We’ve all been there. You get home from a long day of work and the only thing you want to do is rip off your bra (ladies say what!), put on your pj’s and veg the eff out.

Those days when making a frozen dinner seems too tedious, but delivery will take too long, so you grab cereal instead (probably sans milk). And then there are the really bad days when you just faceplant on your bed and maybe never move until the next morning. Ok, maybe this is just my life but still, I feel like some of you can relate.

Chores for days

Water plants, feed your animal, take care of kids, and the list goes on and on. Instead of giving you highly generic ideas and trivial backups as to why you should use them to get things done after a long day at work, I’m going to give you my real-life tips.

  1. If you really have stuff to do after work, i.e. errands, make a list. You don’t have to do all of it but do the most important things. One of my favorite life hacks/pro tips was to do the errands that are on the way home. That way, even if you only get a few things done, you’ve still been productive. Congratulations.
  2. If you have stuff like laundry or dishes that need to be done, load those appliances up right before bed. I hated running the dishwasher while I slept because it was loud as hell. So I loaded it up at night and threw in the detergent in the AM, wham bam, thank you, mam. Clean dishes when I came home. Same with Laundry. I’d throw the load in at night, soap in the AM, and then all I had to do was shove it in the dryer when I got home.
  3. If you aren’t going to fix yourself dinner and you want to eat something good or healthy, plan ahead. Place your to-go order before leaving the office. Pick it up on the way home. Donzo.
  4. If you have a pet, once their done eating the time before (for example, my dog eats in the morning and at night), put their next serving in the bowl. My dog practically inhales her food so it’s usually all been eaten by the time I turn around, so I refill it and put it on the counter.
  5. Another pet tip (specifically if you are single), walk them as soon as you get home and right before you go to bed.

The only advice I can give parents/couples is to tag team. There are two of you. Break up what can be broken up and give each other the time and space to do what the other needs.

Working after work, yikes

Ok now for the “work” productivity after work issue… (that just sounds wrong). For many of us, our job is 24/7/365, whether we like it or not. At my old job, I would come home after working 6am to 3pm, sleep for a few hours, wake up at 8pm to deal with countries in different time zones, and then go back to sleep around midnight, rinse and repeat (I don’t suggest this for anyone, it was living hell). So when I came home I followed the rules above and then threw in these few gems before I hit my first sleep (4pm).

  1. Respond only to the emails that were urgent. They literally had to say urgent or have an urgent flag to get a response.
  2. Grab the mail on the way into the house (if it’s there), if not, it can wait till tomorrow (or until you walk your hypothetical dog or until your S.O. comes home and gets it). Once gotten, cursory glances, organize the important stuff to be dealt with on the weekend and deal with the crap stuff later (or simply throw in the trash). It’s snail mail, come on guys. It can wait.
  3. Check your calendars. We all live and die by them these days. Might as well make sure you know what is going on tomorrow and set reminders if need be.

And that’s it!

The nature of the beast

Remember, productivity, though many people want it to be objective, is entirely subjective. Small changes, concrete ones that is, are the key to productivity.

What’s that old saying, “Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you could do today?” Great quote but in this day and age, I would amend that to say “Put off until tomorrow what isn’t absolutely necessary” and don’t forget to treat yo self, even if that just means take out or a nap.

Written By

Pam Garner is a Staff Writer for The Real Daily with a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas, currently pursuing her master's degree in graphic and web design. Pam is a multi-disciplined creative who hopes to one day actually finish her book on all of her crazy adventures.

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