Due to my work schedule, I have many days off during the week where I am home alone. What happened for a long time on those days is that I would write myself a lengthy to-do list and then only accomplish a tiny portion of it because of one distraction or another. Afterward I felt like I completely wasted my day. Over time I’ve developed a system for actually being productive. If you have a conventional work schedule this could also apply to a weekend day. If you have kids at home I’ve got no advice for you, but this is what has worked for me during this stage of life.
1. Get a good night’s sleep.
This is probably the most important point. For a long time I found myself staying up way too late the night before a day off because I knew I didn’t have to go to work the next day. What I always forgot about is that my body doesn’t like those changes in routine, and I would wake up late feeling groggy. Getting your rest is a must.
2. Go through your morning routine.
I don’t know what this means for you, but for me it means GET DRESSED ALREADY. I find that if I put on real clothes I can get a lot more done than if I stay in my pajamas. It’s a mental thing, but it works. It’s also important for me to eat breakfast and do a little Bible study before I begin the day.
3. Drink some coffee.
I don’t know about you, but coffee works on me. My body is sensitive to caffeine, so coffee gives me energy and wakes me up.
4. Get comfortable.
If I’m too cold, all I want to do is curl up in bed and read. If I’m too hot–which I can’t remember ever happening, but hypothetically speaking–I’ll feel lethargic. Wear clothes that are easy to move around in and won’t bother you.
5. Schedule your day.
Treat your day like you would a day of work or school. Schedule out your time–realistically–so you won’t find yourself lost somewhere in cyber space hours after you should have been cleaning or running errands. One of my days off recently looked like this:
7:30 – wake up, get ready
8:00 – breakfast, Bible study
9:00 – computer time (blog, check finances, social media, etc.)
11:00 – clean, lunch
1:30 – grocery store
3:00 – swim
4:00 – shower, dress
5:00 – walk Cleo
6:00 – church
That day I accomplished everything I wanted to, and when it was time for bed I felt satisfied and ready.
What about you? Given all the distractions at home, how do you stay productive when you need to be?