Make the Evenings Count

One thing I have learned about adulthood is that sometimes we tend to feel like shutting down after a long day of work. Getting up early in the morning, grinding through a long day, squeezing in a work out, and moving 100 miles per hour takes a toll on our bodies. By the time we get home and get something to eat, the inclination to just sit down on the couch and watch TV and maybe fall asleep is sometimes too easy not to pass up.

I admit, I have done it before. When I have done it I wake up feeling like garbage. I wake up feeling like I have wasted hours where I could have done something productive for myself, something not work related. Because let’s face it, during this time of the year the majority of my time is going to work. This makes it crucial for me to really make that four hour window I have from around 8 p.m. to midnight worthwhile. If I just decide to snooze and waste those hours I feel like I have cheated myself.

I wish I had the motor I had while in high school. I would wake up for zero hour weights, go to school, work my butt off at football practice for three hours, wind down, go home, eat dinner, and then study and do homework late into the night. I did this no problem. I didn’t feel the fatigue factor and I didn’t feel like I needed to park myself on the nearest couch.

News Flash: I don’t have that motor anymore.

Well, actually I do have that motor still. I guess what I mean is that it doesn’t run as fast anymore. I do get suggestions from my body much more these days to take it easy. My dilemma is to differentiate from when my body suggests rest and when it demands rest.

I take my hat off to the parents out there with full time jobs and children. Most of you never get to listen to either the suggestions or demands of your body. Rather you just have to go 24/7 round the clock. As a single guy with no attachments I have it much easier. I get to entertain many choices and options when my work day ends. But just because I have it easier doesn’t mean I always want to take the easiest way out. I have recently made it so I would never fall into this temptation by making a little change to my daily routine.

As I have written about before, I live off of checklists. They do wonders for me at work but I also use them for every other facet of my life. One of those facets includes my time for when I get off work. I used to come home in the evenings and depending on how I felt I would scribble out a checklist of items to do that night. But what I came to notice is that on some nights I would come home and not even bother making a checklist and then spend the whole evening accomplishing absolutely nothing. At the beginning of this month I decided to make some life improving changes and one of those changes was to make my evening checklist in the morning. Now, before I go to work each day I carefully write out what I want to accomplish later that evening and then stick it to my refrigerator.

You see, I can’t say no to a checklist. If I write something out and say that I am going to complete it by a certain time, I am going to complete it by that certain time. I know it seems simple but it did take me some time to come to this novel concept. I have noticed that I have become much happier with how I am spending my time. When the evenings come around I am much more proficient with my blog, with my personal objectives, and with my social life. In the morning I have a good idea if I am going to get home at 7 p.m. or 11 p.m. that specific night and so I plan my checklist accordingly. But even if I have a small checklist because I get home late I still have something to hold myself to and something to feel accomplished about when the night ends.

My point is to demand something out of yourself each night. Just because the work day ends doesn’t mean your productivity should too. How you demand something out of yourself is up to you. For me it is using a checklist. Like I said, if I write a vertical list with bullet points I am going to do each one of them. For you it might be utilizing a planner or it might just be making mental notes. Some people are excellent at staying on task solely through what they jot down in their brains. Whatever method you use, make sure you figure out a system that enables you to accomplish something worthwhile each evening besides passing out on the couch. Believe me, you will feel much better about yourself in the morning. Don’t Blink.

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