Work Life Balance: Beating the After-Work-Low-Energy-Blues

How is your energy level after work? 

When you work hard all day long and come home exhausted, what is the first thing you want to do? For many people, it’s pick up the remote, sit on the couch, watch television, and just veg out.

Let’s discuss some alternatives, because the less you do, the less energy you are going to have. The more you do the more energy you are going to have. It’s one of life’s cruel ironies. Take exercise for example. The more you exercise, the more energy you have; the less you exercise, the less energy you have. Intuitively, we know this is true, but it is so hard to put into practice.

After you’ve worked hard all day, you come home to more…work.  This is the second shift—the one you don’t get paid to do. You need all the energy you can muster to make dinner, take care of kids, supervise homework, do laundry, clean the house, run errands, and do the myriad chores that make your world go around.

Instead of plopping down on the couch, try these ideas.

1. Don’t drive home. Just drive somewhere else—like to the gym. Sometimes when you are facing an evening of paperwork, bills, or more work after the kids are in bed, the gym could be the best productivity activity you do all day. Sometimes a little bit of exercise keeps your energy level humming through the early evening hours. And how do you feel when you’re done exercising—great!  We always remember how good we feel afterward, but it doesn’t always give us the motivation we need to do it again.

 Or instead of the gym, take a little detour to the park. Do you have a beautiful, open space where you can walk? A track? A path? A loop that you enjoy that gives you energy, that makes you feel good, and gets you out in nature? Or perhaps meet a friend and just ease into your second shift.

 2.  Stop feeling guilty when you take care of yourself or when you work out. Some people feel guilty if things are not going absolutely perfectly in all the lives of the people they love. They want to give their time and attention and energy to everything and everyone but themselves. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have the ability to take care of others.

 3.  Find something you enjoy.  Move. Do not think of exercise as something you have to do, but something that will get you going, rather than sitting on the couch and letting your energy drain even further, falling asleep in front of the television and being exhausted by 8:00. What do you like to do?  Jump on your kids’ trampoline. Shoot some hoops out in the driveway. Practice Yoga? Find a sense of fun in your play that so many people are lacking.

 Bottom line: You must make time for yourself at the end of your workday. Renewed energy will give you a boost of productivity when you finally do get home and get to work, yet again.

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 © 2010 Laura Stack.   To have Laura speak at your next event, call 303-471-7401 or visit to sign up for her free monthly productivity newsletter.