How to Be Productive Outside of Work

Posted September 23, 2012 by Marcy Farrey in On the Ladder

Are you stuck in a cycle of going to work, coming home, doing chores, sleeping, then doing it all over again?

It’s only natural that our lives fall into routines and patterns, but at some point, we get tired of the routine. We have other, personal goals that we sometimes put off until the timing is better, or until we feel like it. Maybe you really wanted to get in shape and have a good workout routine. Maybe you wanted to start a blog or write a book. Whatever it is, there’s no time like the present — it’s time to work it back into our lives!

The Daily Muse has “9 Ways to Be Productive Outside of Work,” and all of them are sure to help you get back on track. When we’re at work, we want to make sure we’re giving our best, but sometimes we lose track of our personal projects. All of these tips will help you make more time for them. I’ve picked out a few of my favorites for you:

  • “Use Your Commute.” I love using my commute — it always feels great when you realize you just squeezed in an extra 40 minutes of work on your own projects. I commute in on the train, so that certainly helps, but for those of you traveling in your car, Daily Muse Contributor Adrian Granzella Larssen says you can still use the time wisely: “If you drive, turn off the radio and listen to a podcast or language tapes, or put in your Bluetooth and make phone calls you’ve been putting off instead.”
  • “Sneak in Time at Work.” Okay, this might sound bad, but we don’t mean doing personal work when you should be focused on your job. What we mean is using your break times wisely. When you head out for your lunch, carve out some time to do your own thing. I know a lot of writers who use the last half of their lunch break to work on their stories or novels. Doesn’t seem possible? Larssen has another idea: “Don’t want to miss lunch with your co-workers? Arrive early and have your power hour before everyone else gets in.”
  • “Get Accountability Partners.” I think this piece of advice is really important. You need to have likeminded friends who will support you in your endeavors — in your career and in your personal life. If a friend only makes fun of you for taking time away from her to do your own work, don’t spend all your time with her. Find those likeminded friends who will help keep you on track. Larssen says, “Having to give an update to others will keep you focused and on your toes, and you’ll get some good tips, too.”

These are just a few of the great tips Larssen offers — you should check them all out here. Still skeptical? Remember that in order to get what you want, you do have to make some sacrifices — including waking up early or skipping an occasional social event. You should strike the balance that’s right for you. There will always up weeks that are better than others, so don’t get discouraged if you aren’t perfect. What are some of your creative ways for getting work done outside of work?

About the Author

Marcy Farrey

Marcy Farrey is a videographer, writer, and editor. In her previous life, she worked as a broadcast news reporter and producer in Lincoln, Nebraska and as a writer and producer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has a Master of Arts in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University. Learn more about Marcy on her website


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