We all know the best time of day is the end of the workday. By the time 4:50PM creeps around, any normal office worker has already checked out mentally, packed their things, and are patiently waiting for that clock to hit 5:00PM. It’s like Christmas morning, except we feel this joy every day, at precisely the same time, for precisely the same reason: work is over, and we can go home!
But this is where most people drop the ball. The workday is over, but the actual day—that’s not over.
You have plenty of time left before it’s time to sleep, and you can use this time however you please. But in case you need a few positive ideas, or you’ve been stuck doing the same thing after work for too long, here are a couple activities we suggest.
Just because it’s not a Friday night or Saturday afternoon doesn’t mean you can’t spend your time after work hanging out with friends. Go out for a drink. Have a nice dinner. Watch the latest comedy movie with a friend. Spend this time with your loved ones, and in the process, relieve stress, connect with other people, and become a more fulfilled person.
If you’re not a people person and you don’t really feel like going out all the time, pick up a book. Find a book club to join and get to reading. Not only is it a relaxing way to spend an evening, but it’s also rewarding. You can explore your emotions or expand your knowledge—the choice is yours. Visit thousands of different worlds from the comfort of your own home.
People can easily become absorbed by hobbies. Painting, sewing, body building, biking, crafting, writing—all activities that work well to capture a person’s attention completely. This is important because if you’re laser-focused on an activity that you truly enjoy, then you aren’t thinking about bills, the stress of your workday, or personal problems. You’re only thinking about what you’re doing in the moment.
While this doesn’t have to take up everything that remains of your day, it can prove worthwhile to dedicate a few minutes of every evening to organization and tidying. Organize for the morning to gain a couple more minutes of sleep. Organize for the next workday so you arrive at work with a plan and with less stress. Organize for your next evening so you can look forward to whatever activity you’ve set up for yourself. A few minutes every night can save you more time later and help you avoid unnecessary anxiety.
This one should be an easy one. A lot of people get off work and then go home to clean, cook, do laundry, pay bills, and take care of everything in their personal lives. And while this is all important, it shouldn’t be an everyday thing. There should be days of the week where you can go home and literally do nothing and unwind. Sit on the couch. Binge-watch a few episodes of your favorite show on Netflix. Or get in bed at 6:30PM and scroll through social media for an hour before passing out. Do whatever your version of nothing is and enjoy the peace of nothingness.
Now, you shouldn’t get into the habit of doing nothing every day of the work week, but don’t be ashamed to let things go every now and then.