You can either come home from work and lounge on the couch while watching Netflix, or do a number of things that benefit your health and your finances.
I choose the latter.
In my opinion, full-time jobs suck. Sure, it’s steady income, benefits, a schedule, and so on, however, my goal is to work for MYSELF, sooner rather than later.
I choose to be proactive with my time and work on my online businesses when I come home even though I’m tired. I choose to exercise and read after work to take care of my mind and body.
I think it’s so important to take advantage of the time that you do have to do something for yourself, even if you don’t want to be an entrepreneur.
I work from 7 am to 3/3:30, Monday through Friday. Fortunately, I got to choose my schedule. I don’t like to work late into the afternoon (like a 9-5). I prefer to wake up earlier, work earlier, and get home earlier.
This way, I can come home and still have several hours to be productive.
Below is my after-work routine that allows me to make time for myself and my business.
Eat a pre-workout snack
I get homebound 3:30/4 pm and by this time I’m pretty hungry. I also need some fuel for my workout! I quickly prepare a snack such as peanut butter toast, apple slices and peanut butter, or chia seed pudding with cut up fruit.
While I snack I usually allow myself to watch a YouTube video just to take a little break after my day.
Change into gym clothes
Changing into workout clothes means there is no going back for me.
I have made such a habit of working out that I rarely skip it, but to be honest I’m usually really sleepy around this time.
When I change into my gym clothes it signals to my brain that it’s time to go lift some weights! I also freshen up a bit by reapplying deodorant and brushing my teeth.
Work on my businesses for 30 minutes-1 hour
Once I’m changed, I get on my laptop to work. This is mostly so I can digest my food a bit before I workout.
Obviously I can’t get a crazy amount of work done during this time, but I can get started on something.
I’ll either start editing a YouTube video, start writing a blog post or e-mail, or work through a course.
I try not to spend too much time here because I’ll end up getting sleepier…which leads to my next step.
Workout for 45 minutes to an hour
Working out gives me a rush of energy during AND after. This is exactly why I make it a huge priority in my life. If I didn’t work out, I would end up napping on the couch and be in such a fog. Therefore I would be unproductive and lazy.
Not only do I feel great physically after a workout, but I feel more energized and excited to start working.
I used to work out for 1.5-2 hours! Now I’ve realized 45 minutes-1 hour is sufficient for me.
I lift weights 5 times a week (usually Monday through Friday) and then incorporate cardio, abs, and stretching on various days.
Below is a YouTube video where I share my workouts from the week! I change up the workouts a bit, but this is an average week for me.
Shower/put on pajamas
After my workout I’m usually pretty sweaty, so obviously I’m going to shower!
I love showers.
They’re a place of tranquility and safety for me. I spend about 10-15 minutes in the shower depending on if I am washing my hair or not.
I only wash my hair about twice a week though.
Post-shower, I put on my deodorant and facial moisturizer, and then slip on some pjs.
Eat dinner (while I watch a YouTube video)
I meal prep every Sunday, so it’s pretty rare that I actually have to cook dinner. I just pop my food in the microwave, cut up some fresh veggies if necessary, and I’m good to go.
I know this isn’t the best thing, but I love to watch a YouTube video while I eat.
For awhile I tried to give this up. I wanted to be more mindful while I ate, but I figured if I truly enjoy it, why not just watch the video??
As of right now, I live alone. So in the future I may not watch anything while I eat, but it makes me happy now!
Work on my businesses from ~6/6:30 pm to 9 pm
Now is my time to focus.
To be honest, being productive after a work day is pretty exhausting. However, my goals are important to me so I discipline myself to get started.
I work on a few things:
- Writing blog posts
- Writing e-mails
- Designing Pinterest images
- Brainstorming ideas
- Editing videos
- Uploading videos + writing descriptions
- Doing keyword research
- Working through courses (blogging)
I try my best to schedule my week out every Sunday. I set a task (or tasks) for certain days of the week so that I know exactly what I need to get done.
I have also implemented a schedule for my work.
For example, Mondays are for editing YouTube videos and uploading, Sundays are for planning my week and writing e-mails to subscribers, Thursdays are for writing blog posts.
Sometimes I’ll change things up, but this helps me to stay focused on tasks I need to complete.
Also, at some point during this time I talk on the phone for a bit with my boyfriend. I only see him on the weekends, so we spend some time chatting about our days and whatever else comes up. He understands that my work is a priority to me.
Wash the dishes/tidy my apartment
I stop working around 9 pm. The next 10-15 minutes are dedicated to the dishes and tidying up.
I honestly love that this is a part of my routine. It’s important to keep your environment clutter-free. It shows you respect your home and belongings.
This nightly clean prevents stress and saves time for the following day. I don’t have to worry about dirty dishes or feel overwhelmed by the mess in the morning.
Brush my teeth
I floss and brush my teeth. Obviously this is self-explanatory, but I did want to mention I started using an electric toothbrush and my teeth feel way cleaner!
Another thing is that I put in my retainers at this point. I’ve been wearing my retainers just about every single night since I was 13!!
If you don’t wear them, I guarantee you your teeth WILL shift! Just a tip 🙂
Get in bed
At this point it’s about 9:15/9:20. I lower the temperature on my thermostat and turn on my bedroom fan.
I also text my boyfriend good night, make sure my alarm is on, and plug my charger into my phone across the room.
I rarely, if ever, scroll through my phone before bed. It wastes so much time and often causes me to go to bed too late if I do that. Also, the light emitted from our phones disrupts our circadian clock! I don’t like messing with my sleep.
Write in my gratitude journal
I have a small notebook on my night stand for my daily gratitude list.
I write the date, followed by “I am grateful…”
I then write down at least 3 things that I am grateful for in that moment. I try to make my list unique to each day. Of course I’m grateful for the common things…my health, to be alive, my family, my job, etc. Which is why I like to reflect on other things from my day that I may not think about otherwise.
I LOVE reading. I read about a chapter each night. I know reading in bed makes people fall asleep, but I find it inspiring. I’m always reading personal development/business books, so I often get a wave of motivation. It’s a great way for me to end my day.
Sometimes reading does make me sleepy, so I’ll stop if necessary.
Go to sleep
On average my lights are out by 9:40 pm. I know I’m totally in granny mode, but I wake up around 5/5:30 for work.
I stick to this routine just about every day.
Some weekdays I’ll take a 20-minute nap if I really need one.
Sometimes I get home later if I had an experiment take longer at work.
Sometimes I’ll skip a workout.
And sometimes I even allow myself to indulge in YouTube videos and relaxation.
However, for the most part I stick to this routine, because it’s the best way for me to manage all that I do!
How to Transform Your After-Work Routine
Have a plan
If you have clear goals for yourself you should also have a plan.
This plan should include weekly action steps and daily habits to reach your goals.
For example, my two main goals and priorities are:
- To be healthy
- To increase my income from my online businesses
Therefore, I create my routine around these goals.
I know I need to move my body and eat healthy food. I also know I need to dedicate a couple of hours of focused work to my businesses.
I plan these more extensively each week, like which body part I’m going to train on which day, the meals I prep every Sunday, and what work tasks I need to finish.
Take the time each month, week, and day to create a schedule and routine that works for you. You don’t have to go all in at once! Just start somewhere and add on from there as time passes.
Change into workout clothes
Like I mentioned in my routine, changing into my workout clothes means there is no going back. I will definitely workout.
Sometimes you have to set little rules for yourself, because your brain is going to try to talk you out of doing things that are difficult, but good for you.
You may not want to workout everyday, but on the days that you want to I suggest changing right when you get home.
Otherwise, I do suggest you try doing SOMETHING active. Take a long walk, do a quick yoga flow, stretch, etc. Physical movement obviously helps you physically, but it should also help you to focus more and make better choices as the evening continues.
RELATED: How to Make Exercise A Habit
Complete two needs with one deed
In my post, How to Manage It All, I mentioned that I “complete two needs with one deed.” This is just a saying that means I try to combine two areas of my life if I can.
Exercise class + a friend = Health + Social life
Cooking dinner + significant other = Health + Relationship
Cardio + YouTube videos = Health + Leisure
Working on side hustle + significant other = Finances/Career + Relationship
You get the idea.
This is one little trick to include more in your day without getting overwhelmed.
This is different from multitasking though! You don’t want to do two things that require a lot of attention. For example, I wouldn’t mix working on my business with watching tv.
Make time to invest in yourself
You are the most important person in your life and you should be treating yourself that way!
Which is exactly why you should implement self-care and personal development activities into your evening routine.
If there is something you love to do, make time for it. Read a book, paint, draw, write, journal, bake, etc.
Doing things that bring you joy or that improve you as a person is a great way to invest in yourself.
I expand a lot more on how to invest in yourself in this blog post!
Set yourself up for success tomorrow
The best way to create a better tomorrow is to start today.
This should include a few things:
-Wash the dishes from the day
-Tidy up a bit and put things back where they belong
-Lay out your clothes for the next day
-Prepare/pack your lunch and snacks
-Write a to-do list for the next day or for the week
-Get in bed at a reasonable time so you’re well-rested
It’s tempting to be lazy after work, but this is why many people get behind on things.
These activities don’t take much time, but they can make a world of a difference for your morning. Which is exactly why they’re so important to complete.
If you make things easier for the morning, then you won’t feel rushed or flustered when it’s time to go to work. You can make the start of your day a lot more enjoyable, which in turn will likely lead to a better day overall.
Create a wind down ritual
If you scroll through Instagram or watch tv in bed you’re making a huge mistake!
Exposing yourself to screens right before bed is going to mess with your internal clock and you may not sleep as well.
In addition to that, you’re probably staying up later than you should be and exposing yourself to useless information.
Instead, make at least the last 30 minutes of your day relaxing and for you.
Take the time to journal…write down things you’re grateful for or reflect on your day or goals.
Read a book…fiction or nonfiction you’ll inspire your creativity and enrich your knowledge.
Stretch…try some yoga poses to improve your sleep and ease pain.
Meditate or visualize…be still with yourself or think about what you really want in life.
There are many things you can do that will enrich your evening. You’ll end up sleeping better and improving how you feel the next day!
The decisions you make and the actions you take day in and day out are going to define where you’re at in life.
If you come home and lounge around and allow your environment to get messy, your life will reflect that.
If you come home and work on improving yourself and your life, you’ll see a change.
You can decide to transform your after-work routine today and I highly recommend you do!
Hey Leila, I am an aspiring blogger from India. I am 26 years old and I am inspired by your beautiful and insightful blog. Will keep visiting. 🙂 In the meantime, You may visit my blog too.
Thank you so much! Keep it up ❤️