10 Things to Do After Work to Improve Your Productivity Tomorrow

Every Monday through Thursday evening, the actions you take after work can spill over and affect how happy or productive you are at work the next day. If you want to make sure you’re doing things that will benefit you, try focusing on one or more of the 10 activities on this list!

1. Meet Up with a Friend: Socializing with your coworkers is great but it’s also important to make time for friends. If you want to improve your productivity tomorrow, meeting up with a friend to blow off some steam or catch up is a great choice!

2. Attend a Meetup: You can pursue the technical knowledge you’re interested in, geek out over shared interests, learn new things, and have fun when you attend a meetup! Seriously, expanding your professional network and your skills after work will help reignite your passion at work the next day and may inspire you to take the project you’re working on to the next level.

3. Read: Defaulting to scrolling endlessly or watching TV is fine but, if you want to be happier and more productive at work tomorrow, it may be beneficial to read in the evening instead. If you’re choosing nonfiction, this can help you learn and grow. If you’re choosing fiction, this can help you decompress from a long day and get a similar escapism that you’d find by watching TV but in a more effective, relaxing format.

4. Exercise: If you want your energy levels to improve so you can improve your productivity tomorrow, exercise is a great post-work activity. While it may seem counterintuitive (because exercise expends energy), if you’ve ever exercised on a regular basis before you know how much it can improve your overall energy levels and help you get rid of some of the natural stress that sticks with you after the workday is over.

5. Meditate: This is one of those cases where everyone says you should do it but no one is ever really sure when or why. If you’ve never meditated before, this quick bolt of relaxation can help lead into more effective rest and relaxation for the rest of the evening or help you de-stress after work. It will put you in a better mood and improve your productivity the next day, and you only need to spend 10-30 minutes doing it so you can fit it into your schedule easily.

6. Listen to an Informative Podcast: If you spend your workday looking at a screen, it is definitely tempting to avoid them entirely once you get home. One way you can do this but continue to learn new skills is by listening to an informative podcast or audiobook!

7. Clean: If you’re the kind of person who finds cleaning and organizing relaxing, you probably already to this after work. But, if you’re more hesitant to clean after work, think of it this way: you’re checking something off of your to-do list (it will have to be done eventually, right?) and you’re setting yourself up for less stress tomorrow.

8. Cook: How awesome would you feel if you had a healthy meal for dinner or prepared an easy, healthy meal for breakfast and lunch tomorrow? Cooking may take a little time and effort—two things most people are short on at the end of a long workday—but its benefits for the next day are undeniable.

9. Focus on a Hobby: You’ve been working all day and, sometimes, the best thing you can do is to take enough time away and focus on something else you’re passionate about. This is where hobbies come in. Creative hobbies stimulate areas of your mind that aren’t always exercised at work, exercise hobbies help you feel better and have more energy, analytical hobbies help you strengthen your problem solving skills, etc. Whatever category your hobby falls into, it will help put you in a better mood tomorrow and could have even more positive benefits on your productivity. If you don’t have a hobby, spend some time testing out a few potential ones until you find a good fit!

10. Pamper Yourself: After a long work day it may feel kind of relaxing to sit down in front of the TV and veg out, but wouldn’t it feel so much better to find a way to pamper yourself? From face masks to baths with Epsom salts to getting a massage or going to the sauna, there are a lot of small things you can do to pamper yourself that will put you in a better mood tomorrow.

Optimizing your free time can help you be happier and more productive at work. On Monday through Thursday evenings, choose one or more activity from this list of 10 and see the benefits at work the next day!