The Secret to Getting Things Done After Work

Posted March 6, 2015 by Briana in Productivity / 28 Comments

I’m writing this blog post after a long day at work. Like many of you, I work full-time at a standard 8-5 job. At the end of the day, I want nothing more than to come up and curl up on the couch with my cat. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t have any chores to do, emails to answer, or posts to write, but it is what it is. Even though I’ve worked all day, I know I can’t rest the minute I open the door to my apartment. There’s still work to be done.
Old television on the street

You know how it is: you get home from work, grab a snack and a drink, plop down on the couch, and turn on the television. Next thing you know, you’re three hours into your House of Cards binge and you haven’t eaten dinner, fed the cat, or gotten any of the items crossed off your to-do list. You swear you’ll accomplish everything tomorrow.

The next day, when you get home from work, you grab a snack and a drink, plop down on the couch, and repeat the whole cycle. You know you’re wasting your life, but you can’t help it – or so you think.

That’s where I come in. No matter how set in your ways you might be, I promise you that you can change your routine. How do I know? Because I’ve been there. When I started this job (my first real full-time gig), I could barely keep my eyes open throughout the day, much less continue to be productive once I got home. Soon I realized that if I didn’t change my habits, I would never be able to accomplish my goals. I took a hard look at myself and took the plunge.

Now, I work a full-time job, run a blog, post on social media, film vlogs, and work on my novel – all while managing to keep the apartment in an organized state of chaos (caveat: my chaos is much cleaner than most people’s). So how did I manage to turn things around?

The biggest change I made was to turn off the TV.

Really. I’m not joking.

I already wrote a post about turning off your television, but I didn’t emphasize how it helps your productivity. For me, TV changes my whole mindset. Once I turn it on, I’m done being productive. I can say “only one episode” all I want, but we all know it’s easy to get sucked in to Netflix.

See how long you can go without turning on the TV. Make it a game. Each day, try to beat your personal best. You’ll be surprised how much time you have now that you’re not glued to the screen. With your new free time, you can read, write, or even do some chores around the house.

Try it for yourself and see how much more productive you can be. You’ll cut down on distraction, earn some peace and quiet, and carve out a few more minutes to do what you’re passionate about.

What are your secrets for getting things done after work? What do you think about avoiding the television?

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28 responses to “The Secret to Getting Things Done After Work

  1. The executives at media companies that sell advertisements to corporate clients want mindless snack-eating eyeballs and do not condone this message.
    In fact, embrace the mindlessness and help boost the stock price of these conglomerates and year-end bonuses for the afrementioned executive.

    Do your part to strengthen the mass media industry! Turn on that TV!

  2. I like this idea—although I’m not sure that style would work for me. I mean, at my house we only get what the antenna brings us (and PBS is the only station in English) so I’m never constantly watching TV, so in that regard it’s not a problem for me—but I also know it could distract me, because I really get into watching movies. They tend to be an inspiration and a relaxant, so I watch them pretty frequently, but mostly on weekends. For me, I think it’s probably just social media. Blogging, Twitter, Facebook, email—there’s a drive to stay connected, and it’s distracting. We all have our own distractions!

    • Briana Morgan

      That’s very true! For you, I would recommend logging out of your social accounts before writing to make it a little more difficult to procrastinate. If that doesn’t work, you could try blocking time-wasting websites with something like Freedom or StayFocusd. 🙂

  3. mikaylashyanne

    I am so glad I discovered your blog through HCBN. I love all of your advice! This is a great idea! I often get distracted, so I will have to try this.

  4. It’s funny I remember reading something like this when I was younger, and I use to just roll my eyes. But it’s so true! That’s why I like having shows that I can watch once week, that way I’ve got something to look forward to, but it’s not consuming all of my time 😉

  5. Coffee Beans High Heels

    i decided to stop watching tv too and it has help me get thigns done. I get attached to a show and i just want to watch it and it is 2am, and i just finished the second season. it is terrible. this is great advice, Briana!xo

  6. I turn off all of my social media and use the self control app on my laptop when it’s really crunch time since I’m currently abroad and don’t have a TV / stream all of my shows anyway. Great advice!

    Dezzie |

  7. My solution to the Netflix thing took many years of hard work, but now it’s paying off. I don’t watch much on Netflix BECAUSE I HAVE ALREADY WATCHED EVERY SHOW I WANT TO SEE.

    No, really! Gilmore Girls, check; West Wing, check; Lost, check; Heroes, check; Damages, check; Friends, check; Fringe, check; Dollhouse, check; Dexter, check; Star Trek TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY, Enterprise, I, II, III, IV, V, VI, Generations, First Contact, check check, check…you get the idea.

    My most common reaction to seeing something come up on my recommendations is “Seen it.”

    It works great.

  8. Lauren Simonis

    Definitely agree! I didn’t cut out watching shows completely – I just allow myself an episode or two right before bed AFTER I have finished whatever else I wanted to accomplish that day. If I’m dying to see the episode, I am much more efficient 🙂

  9. When I left my parents house and moved to the city I couldn’t get over how much time I seemed to have. A few months into living on my own I realized I felt like I had so much time because I didn’t have a television in my new space! Great post. Great idea to ditch the tv once in a while! xo

  10. Ron

    I like your suggestions. Since I have kids, I have found that reversing the schedule works better for me. I’m up writing around 5 am and then head off to work. When I come home, I can put my dad hat on.

    What I’m trying to be a better judge of is being more judicious with my time. This means social media was the first to go. I found myself wasting tons of fine on Facebook and Instagram. I check in on twitter but a lot less and found the time I’ve gained back to help me on my side gig projects.