How to Be More Productive Outside of Work

How to Be More Productive Outside of Work

The average workday for an American goes like this: wake up, go to work, watch TV, then off to bed. The cycle repeats 5 times a week. Then the 2 days of freedom you get on weekends is spent relaxing, spending money, or procrastinating.

You worked all day, and you worked all week, so gathering the energy to do more outside of work isn’t always easy. The temptation to unwind with your favorite TV show, a nice cold beer and a slice of pizza is hard to overcome.

It’s even harder if you’ve been in this cycle for years, it’s become a way of life. All of your hard work, effort and productivity goes to your employer. After a while, it’s easy to get depressed and start to long for more out of life.

You want to do more besides working a regular job, but it feels like there’s not enough time or you’re simply too tired.

I’m here to tell you that there is enough time. You can start living a rich and fruitful life outside of your 9 to 5 job. If you are reading this article, you’re already on the right path. Here are some tips to help you break the cycle and become more productive outside of work.

Figure out What You Want out of Life

One of the biggest reasons people tend to be unproductive after work is because they lack a purpose. If you have nothing to look forward to or get excited about then what’s the point? There isn’t one. You need to discover what you want out of life. You need to find something to be passionate about.

Some people are content with the “work-tv-sleep cycle.” Kudos to them, but most people I know hate their jobs. They’re working to get a paycheck and that’s it. To break the cycle, you’ll need to find your passion or find your “why.”

Once you figure out what you want out of life, you’ll have a reason to be productive outside of work. Having a purpose will not only boost your productivity, it will make life more fulfilling. You’ll gain more energy you didn’t know you had. Suddenly there’s more time in the day to work on your goals. Crazy how that happens.

Finding a purpose in life is not an easy task for most people. There are a lot of choices and sometimes none of them seem to fit. You’ll also get hit with self-doubt and fear of failure along the way.

Keep going, keep trying and eventually, you’ll figure it out. The worst thing you can do is nothing at all.

Stop Thinking There Isn’t Enough Time

Is there really no time in the day to get some shit done outside of work?

Let’s do some math. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the average full-time employed American works 8.5 hours on weekdays. And Americans are sleeping an average of 6.8 hours a night according to a Gallup Poll. We will factor 1 hour to get ready and 1 hour for the commute.

  • Sleep 6.8 Hours
  • Getting Ready 1 Hour
  • Commute 1 Hour
  • Work 8.5 Hours
  • Total 18.3

So that means on average, Americans have about 5.7 hours of free time during the weekdays and at least 15 hours of free time on weekends.

That comes to an average of about 58.5 hours of free time every week!

There is enough time, don’t tell yourself otherwise.

Make a Schedule

Are you sleeping too much? Too little? Maybe you’re playing video games or using social media too much. The only way to find out is to keep track of your time and make a schedule.

If the thought of making a schedule makes you cringe, you’re not alone. It sounds about as fun as getting a cavity filled. But the rewards are well worth it.

Your employer sets your work schedule not only to pay you, but to make sure you’re being efficient. If you’re willing to slave away and work a schedule for a job, why not do it for yourself?

Wake up early enough to achive something for yourself before you go to work. The feeling of accomplishment will boost your self-esteem and energy throughout the day.

You don’t want to burnout so make sure to schedule in some leisure time. Balance is key, but don’t baby yourself either.

Break Bad Habits

Once you make a schedule and keep track of your time, you’ll be able to identify your bad habits. Here is a list of time-wasters to either cut back on or cut out completely.

  • Watching TV
  • Social Media
  • Oversleeping
  • Excessive Shopping
  • Partying
  • Video Games
  • Getting Stoned
  • Overeating
  • Procrastinating

There is a time and place for everything. If you’re content with your life then party on. But if you’re not happy with where you are, entertainment probably shouldn’t be a priority.

Find Creative Ways to Utilize Downtime

Ever find yourself doing nothing while at your job? Downtime during work hours can be turned into time to be productive for yourself.

There is some grey area with this one. You don’t want to risk losing your job, so make sure you know exactly what you can and cannot do.

Before I left my regular 9-5, I spent downtime day trading stocks and building a social media account. While this may sound like something a slacker or bad employee would do, it’s not the case. If you’re efficient with your time, you can accomplish your workload and then some.

The 8 or 9-hour workday is arguably a bit excessive for most jobs. Research shows over an eight-hour workday the average employee works for about three hours.

Additional Tips to Get More Done Outside of Work

Take care of your health – Poor diet and lack of exercise will make you sluggish. Don’t eat garbage, instead cook at home and exercise often.

Keep track of your goals – Set goals and keep track of your progress. Write down a list of things you want to accomplish each day.

Get an accountability partner – Having a friend or significant other that’s on the same page as you will do wonders. It’s harder to break the cycle if you surround yourself with unproductive people.