December 11, 2015Lifestyle & mindset
5 min read

Fight With The Couch, or How To Stay Productive After Work

Couch is idleness, and idleness is the dark side

Entrepreneurship is risky. That’s why it is often done while still working a full-time job. And yet, if you are serious about what you’re doing, it requires time and effort which get consumed in large parts by your daily work. And even if you aren’t involved into your own private business after work, you might like being able to spend your so-called free time wisely. We browsed the Web and read through forums to find out what experts suggest and what people actually do to stay productive after work. Here is what we have learned:

  1. Exercise or just take a walk after work. When you exercise, you are increasing blood flow to the brain, which can help sharpen your awareness and get you ready to tackle your next big project. The majority of the cells in your brain contain mitochondria, a component producing energy. So, when you exercise, your body develops more mitochondria thus boosting energy. "It's now been shown in many studies that once you actually start moving around - even just getting up off the couch and walking around the room - the more you will want to move, and, ultimately, the more energy you will feel," says Robert E. Thayer, PhD, a psychology professor at California State University, Long Beach. Having a coach is a must for you but too expensive? Sell your couch.

  2. Meditate 10 minutes every morning. It gives your body a rest and produces slower brain waves similar to sleep. Your productivity improves when your mind is at peace and that’s what meditation is a great tool for. It provides clarity in thoughts resulting in reducing stress, and stress is one of the main reasons for decreased productivity.

  3. Alright, say, you missed exercising after work for a good reason, but still are determined to get stuff done. When you get home the most dangerous thing there is the couch. By no means let it have you! Once you do you’ve lost the battle. We all know how it works: you say yourself, “I’m just going to veg out a bit and then tackle my project” and soon you find out it’s time to go to bed because otherwise you won’t get enough sleep. Fear the couch!

  4. The first thing most of us do getting home from work is having a dinner. Some people tend to feel slack and sleepy after that, and that’s where the tempting couch comes into your sight. If this is true for you here is a piece of advice: eat your dinner at work or out, then head home and get to work immediately.

  5. Another way to keep the coach out of sight is not going home until it’s time to go to bed. Just stay in a cafe. There, you can have your dinner and right after that unpack your tablet PC or laptop and start, e.g. building your app or website or plunge into your online business.

  6. If cafe is not an option either you still can be productive. Take a shower and change clothes when you get home from work. We can only make assumptions why, but many people say the latter helps. Maybe it’s because your skin gets a refreshing feeling and sends some kind of a signal to your brain like, “c’mon, we’re still alive”.
  7. Have a clear plan. You should know exactly what actions to take and in which order. Sloppy planning increases the power of the coach, as well as all other possible distractions.
  8. Get enough healthy sleep. According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, insufficient sleep can cause anxiety, irritability and impatience as well as inhibit concentration and memory. When aggregated, these effects can result in poor productivity. Learn about sleeping strategies and apply them instead of occasionally falling asleep in the couch’s embrace. Take into account both quality and quantity of sleeping hours.

  9. Power nap(15 minute midday lunch nap). Studies show that 20 minutes of sleep in the afternoon provides more rest than 20 minutes more sleep in the morning. The body seems to be designed for this, as most people’s bodies naturally become more tired in the afternoon, about 8 hours after we wake up. Cheat on your couch with the office couch if there is one.

  10. Drink more water. Staying hydrated keeps you focused and alert thus increasing productivity and overall concentration. Drinking enough water helps your body stay healthy and aides in the transportation of nutrients. Staying hydrated, therefore, is critical in maintaining sufficient energy levels.

  11. Reconsider your diet. Get your day started with a balanced, hearty meal that includes protein and healthy fats. Eat more fresh vegetables and fruits (raw at best), add some vitamin В and fish oil into your menu.

  12. Get more sunshine. Find a place in the office that is closer to a window. Multiple studies have proven that natural light boosts your energy and helps you better sleep at night. If it’s not an option you can try using hi-tech lamps imitating the natural light.

  13. Some say Rhodiola Rosea makes wonders on them. In Russia and Scandinavia, it has been used for centuries to cope with the cold climate and stressful life.

Of course, all bodies are different, as well as circumstances. The best you can do is to give everything a try - in case you really want to accomplish extra goals. If none of the above makes you productive after the workday, consider doing things in the morning. John Grisham used to wake up at 5am everyday to work on his first two novels A Time To Kill and The Firm before he went to his day job as a lawyer. Find your personal tools and start living an interesting life at last!

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