After spending so long having every single of the week to myself it has taken a bit of time to get into a routine of getting up and getting ready to head to work. But the thing I have struggled with more is making sure I spend my time off being productive and remembering that I cannot just do it tomorrow.
The way my hours work means that sometimes I have the morning to myself before going in for the afternoon, the whole day until heading to work in the evening or of course a whole day off. I approach my day very differently depending on how many hours I have available but after the first time I found myself starting at 2pm and basically sitting around doing nothing I have figured out how to keep myself occupied and get stuff done.
Having the morning off
- If you are working from around 2pm and finishing about 7pm then make sure you set your alarm for just an hour or two later to when you normally wake up. This will really help to ensure you have the time to get ready and get things done and keep you in a pretty reasonable routine for when you return to working earlier in the day.
- The amount of time available is not really enough to go out into town, do some things and then come back and get ready to head back out again. Instead I would recommend using the morning to get a few odd bits done around the house. For me that is taking blog photos and the odd bit of cleaning/housework but you could use that time to do some meal prep for the week ahead or to put something into the slow cooker for when you get back home in the evening.
- Use it as a chance to do anything that involves a bit of brain work. For me this would be figuring our finances, incomings and outgoings as well as planning what is happening for the rest of the week or month. This is a good amount of time to do some scheduling and planning for the upcoming time to ensure you get the most out of everything (and do not forget to do something!)
Having until the evening off
- With having so many hours of the day free I feel this gives you a bit more flexibility to do a lot more things but what it does mean is that you probably want to set your alarm a little bit later otherwise by the time you get to starting work you will already be shattered.
- Make the most of having a large chunk of the day to yourself and try and get out the house. Whether that is just popping to the local shop to get some essentials, heading out to do a full food shop or going for a walk around a local park. You are going to spend the evening inside so you might as well make the most of having the daylight around, especially if you work shifts then there is a fair chance you sometimes have to watch the bright sunshine beaming outside and not be able to make the most of it, and also I find that it helps to break up the day a little bit. For me getting outside really helps to clear my mind and not only break up the day but really helps to make me feel like I have had some time off otherwise hours tend to get away from me and I feel like I have just finished work and I am heading back out again.
- Because of working late I find myself cooking a proper meal for mid-afternoon and then just taking a snack with me to work if I need it. Of course living with my partner, and him being at work during the day, means I have to do something like a bake that can sit in a turned off oven and then be re-heated when he gets in from work. As a result a chunk of my day is spent in the kitchen but I find that fuelling myself for the evening ahead at lunchtime is much more effective and better for my stomach than waiting until around midnight to eat. If you can try and do the same or pack a good hearty meal up with you to eat whilst at work or on your break because eating at midnight is not good for anybody (especially if you are tired and wanting to go to bed five minutes later).
Having the day off
- I find that making the most of my days off can massively vary depending on whether it is a day where my partner is still at work or if I worked late the night before or have an early start the following day. If I worked late I will treat myself to an extra hour or two in bed but I still aim to get out of bed by 9am or I feel my whole morning has vanished and gone to waste. If I am working early the next day I will get out of bed a little earlier and try to get to sleep by 10pm (11pm at the latest).
- If my partner is at work then I will use my weekday off to just relax and have some me time. Generally that involves getting as many blogs scheduled for the week or two ahead as possible (if you find I miss an every other day post that probably means I have not had a weekday off and have missed other key moments of chances to be productive to stay ahead of the game). As well as writing blogs I will again try to get outside for at least a short walk and have a bit of a pamper with a bath, doing my nails and making sure my face is not hating me for all the make-up I have been wearing to work.
- If my partner is home then we will generally try and get out of the house and do something. That might be going for a walk in the local area or hopping on a bus to another town or point of interest in the surrounding areas as otherwise I complain of being bored and wanting to do something. Of course sometimes finances or the weather ruins our plans a little and we do have to spend the day at home so we will play a variety of games (computer, paper and board games) and just generally do our own thing. This tends to be the day where we do the most elaborate evening meal and it is normally the most rewarding one to eat before just crashing out in front of poor quality TV for the evening.
Basically I really like to ensure I break the day up by doing something outside of the house to make my brain really acknowledge that I have had some time off as I really want to avoid falling into the trap of feeling like I am ‘always at work’ and I also find that getting outside for a short walk really helps my mental health.
Preparing my schedule for the week ahead by figuring out when I am at work and therefore when to eat and what to actually eat really helps me to keep on track and fuelling myself suitably. It can become so easy to just grab something that is not so healthy or fuelling when we are in a rush, tired and not prepared for it at all. If I know what I am supposed to be doing and when it means I can easily figure out what I have time to do everywhere else and with that tick things off the ‘Must Do’ list.
What do you do with your time off from work? How do you ensure you stay productive when you are at home? And do you find that there is anything specific you do to make it really feel like you have had ‘time off’?