How to Be More Productive at Home
It’s one thing to learn how to get more done at work. There are incentives of different kinds, even if you don’t enjoy your job. Having expectations that you need to meet or face consequences that will affect your life can be a big motivator. Learning more productive things to do at home is a whole different scenario, however, because of the difference in environment and the lack of direct consequence for being less productive.
Our goal here is to break down a very specific set of things you can do to get more done when you’re at home and away from work. This can include anything from your workouts to working on side projects or anything else you can think of that doesn’t tie directly into your work life.
How to Be More Productive in Life Outside of Work
By and far, the best thing you can do to start is get some clarity about what getting things done actually means to you. You don’t have to write out a bunch of goals, which is often the first thing self-help books and other approaches will have you do. Instead, you need to take a moment to think about what things you would actually like to do if you had the ability to get yourself to do them. It’s useless to break down how to get more done at home if you don’t have clarity on what it is you want to get done in the first place.
Here are some common examples of things I’ve focused on outside of work with the people I’ve worked with:
- Working out on a regular schedule (usually a few times each week).
- Putting in time on a side project or business.
- Keeping their home and/or car cleaner and more organized.
- Having more time to spend on a relationship or dating in general.
- Learning a hobby through regular work and practice.
These cover some of the major things that people have told me they want to be able to do outside of work, and they’re some great things to focus on. They can make you very happy and make you feel a lot better about yourself, but if you don’t know how to actually make yourself get them done without a ton of stress and aggravation, then you’re not going to have a good time.
Additionally, you’re not going to be able to sustain any results over the long-term because you’ll eventually quit. Some people may feel like this is a personal failing, but it’s actually completely natural. We’re not designed to do something super stressful over and over again if we have the option not to.
How to Get More Done and Meet These Goals
Once you have clarity about what it is you’d like to be doing, you have to figure out when you’re going to do them and how often you’re going to work at them. If you have a hobby that you’d like to get better at, it’s completely reasonable to decide that you want to spend two or three “sessions” each week at it with each “session” lasting 45-60 minutes or so just depending on what the hobby is.
This way of breaking things up into “sessions” is one of the best time management strategies you can use because it’s easy and makes it easy to fit things into your schedule without overly rigid planning.
Using meditation for productivity at home is another way to use your newfound clarity to get more done when you’re away from work because it will help to empty your mind of all of the stress and baggage you’re holding onto from your work day. We have discussed this type of mindfulness training on another page, but the whole point is that taking 10 minutes to get this practice out of the way will make the rest of your time off of work much more productive.
Incorporating Other Productive Things to Do at Home
If the other things you want to do don’t break up into simple session-based chunks, then there are other strategies you can use to make it easier to make them happen. One way that some of the people I’ve worked with have used is focusing on what their energy levels are like once they’re home.
For some people, work completely drains them of all energy, whether that’s physical or mental. This is a big problem once you’re home because you don’t actually feel like doing anything. What you can do is work out a strategy for how you’ll handle certain things at home when you’re running on empty.
A short nap followed by a short period of time of working on something can be a good way to wake up. It sounds really simple, but it’s super effective for some of the same types of reasons that meditation works so well to empty your mind. It also allows you a miniature burst of rest physically, and once you get relaxed and away from the tense nature of work, you’ll be in prime shape for your body to take on new things at home.
Meditation for Productivity Away From Work Doesn’t Have to Be Boring
Something that you often won’t learn in self-help books and seminars is that almost anything can be a form of meditation. To qualify as meditation, all you have to do is make sure that you keep bringing your focus back to what it is in front of you instead of getting pulled away to different distractions.
One of the biggest pieces of feedback I’ve gotten over my advice on how to be more productive in life away from work has been to turn things like cleaning and cooking into active forms of meditation.
All you have to do to make this work is start to do the task, and when your attention gets pulled to something else, catch yourself, take a deep breath and return back to what you were doing before. You will get distracted, and you don’t need to beat yourself up over it. Instead, just use it as practice to bring your focus back to what you were doing before because it’s an excellent skill to have.
Other Time Management Strategies at Home
There are other things you can do to manage your time at home and to get more things done than you are already, but it’s also really easy to over-complicate the whole thing. A simple nap for 30 minutes, meditation for 10 minutes and/or making sure you get clarity from actually know what it is you want to get done will be what gets you from where you are now to making huge steps towards where you want to be.