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Structuring those “not so busy” days

If you’re like me, you ALWAYS want to be doing something and feeling productive.. even when you have absolutely nothing to do. I’m not someone who can just sit around and do nothing. I mean, I can hardly sit through a whole movie! Honestly, a lot of this has to do with depression and anxiety. If I just let myself sit and do nothing for too long.. I get deeper into my depression and my anxiety skyrockets. So, I’ve found that for me, I need to keep myself busy busy busy, or at least keep my mind busy. I guess it’s kind of a blessing in disguise – it keeps me busy, productive, and active all day long!

Now, I’m not saying that there is ANYTHING wrong with sitting around doing nothing. If that’s what you like to do – do it uppp! Mentally, it just doesn’t work for me! I don’t start work until 2:30 pm – that will change soon and I will be working 8am – 5pm everyday, but for now I have plenty of down time. Because of this, I’ve gotten pretty good at structuring and scheduling my days in a way that makes me feel productive and good.

I know that many of us hate feeling “lazy”. I know for me, I feel physically and mentally a lot worse when I’m just laying around the house doing nothing all day. I’m not saying I’ll never have days like that, because some days thats all you feel like doing BUT for the most part, I keep busy and I wanted to share my tips and hopefully help some of you guys out!

 

So, here are my TIPS to feeling productive even on the “not so busy” days!

  1. Lists are your bff- Personally, to feel organized I need to write things down. So, on Sunday nights I make a list of what I want to get done for the week ahead – basically just the random things that I want/need to do that don’t need to be done on a certain day. Things that will keep me “busy”. Here’s an example of what I wrote this Sunday:
    • Clean and organize room & desk drawers
    • Return leggings at target
    • Re-test brownie recipe
    • Clean out fridge
    • More research about hormonal imbalances
    • Call to reschedule blood test

Yup, I even write things I want to “research”, maybe I’m a nerd but oh well!! These are basically just some random things to organize my intentions for the week – nothing that absolutely needs to get down but things that will keep me feeling busy. On top of that, I usually make a list of “intentions” every night for the next day. For example, on a Monday night, I write down my Tuesday intentions (like a “to do” list, but I feel better calling it a list of intentions because I don’t worry so much if I don’t get everything done). It usually looks something like this:

  • 6:15 am GYM
  • Walk with pup
  • Finish work for online classes
  • Errands –
    • Whole Foods
    • Home Goods
  • Read _______ blog post
  • Work at 2 30
  • Clean out fridge (just an example lol)

That’s just an example. The majority of things aren’t things that need to get done, but like I said – they’ll keep me feeling busy and productive. And besides the gym and the walk, they don’t really have a specific order or time that they need to be done – Just whatever I’m feeling!

Here’s todays actual list:

See.. just small things that keep me going!

2.) Make a morning routine – I’m going to be writing a whole separate blog post on morning routines because I feel like they are just SO important but for now, I’ll keep it simple. No matter what time it is that you’re rollin out of bed – have a routine that will get your day started in a positive way. I like to start my mornings by getting out of the house – usually this just means going to the gym and for a walk with my pup. But do whatever works for you and will get you up and out of bed! If that means getting up, going right for the coffee, and reading for 30 mins, do it! Your morning routine doesn’t have to be extravagant and take 2 hours, just anything that will get you out of bed! Personally, I’m an early riser, so I’m out of bed by 6:30 latest (usually 5:30) and I’m off to the gym. When I’m back, I take the pup for a short walk. This is just what works for me. It gets my day started in a positive way and since I’m up and going, it kind of sets the pace for the rest of the day. I find that if I wake up and lay around for awhile – the less I want to do. So movement in the morning for me is always my go to. BUT like I said, find something that works for YOU.  If you want to wake up and watch tv for an hour, do it!  If you’re one of those people who like to lay around in the morning (which is TOTALLY fine) I think the next tip is really important!

^from a morning walk with the pup. part of my every day routine!

3.) Get yourself ready for the day- For me, my day starts with gym/walk/breakfast/shower. After my shower, I get myself ready.. no matter what. Even if I have no errands to run or nowhere to be, I get dressed, put my makeup on, and do *something* with my hair (usually just brush it lol). So like I said, if you have slower mornings that involve laying around for awhile, this is so important! Watch your show for an hour or lay in bed – whatever you like – but when that time is done, get up, shower if needed, and get dressed! (Make sure breakfast happens somewhere in there too 😉 !) Now you don’t need to put on a cute outfit and do your hair and makeup and look your best – BUT, I find that I feel a lot better when I get out of my sweats, even when I’m just doing things around the house! Usually I just put on some leggings and a comfy loose long sleeve or something – nothing crazy and it takes me like 10 maybe 15 mins. I just find that I feel more “blehhh” if I’m lounging around in a huge t-shirt and sweat pants. I do my makeup – usually face makeup, a lil eye shadow, and some mascara..again, nothing crazy, but it makes me feel better. It makes me feel ready for the day and for some reason I just feel a whole lot more productive when I get ready earlier in the day! I don’t wash my hair everyday so usually I just have to brush it. Super simple. You don’t have to get all done up, just put on something that makes you feel good!

4.) Errands- I love running errands. Whether I have to quickly run to CVS, or head to the mall just to return something, errands always help to keep my feeling “productive”. I almost always find errands to run. Sometimes it’s more of a “oh I wanna stop at Home Goods to see if they have cute mugs” and other times it’s “oh I need to go to Whole Foods today to pick up ___ for dinner”. I usually can think of at least one errand to do during the day, and if not – I  ask others (typically my mom and nana) if they have anything they need to get done. Sometimes my mom will have me pick up something at a store here and there, or my nana needs something small. Even the littlest and seemingly “unimportant” errands can help make you feel productive and busy!

5.) Find stuff around the house to do- Ok, obviously there are only so many errands that need to be done. I have many days where I don’t have any I need to do! So, I always always ALWAYS find things that can be done around the house. This way, when I am just hanging around the house all day, I’m keeping myself busy and feeling productive – even if that “productivity” is making homemade cashew milk 😉 ! Just finding small things that can be done around the house really does help. If you have a recipe you’ve been wanting to test – try it out (even better if you don’t have some of the ingredients…grocery store errand!). If you really want to get your desk drawers organized, do it! Clean out your closest, dust and vacuum your room, clean your whole kitchen – ANYTHING! I’ve gotten real good at finding things to do around the house, even just the little things! Today is actually one of those days where I really don’t have any errands to run, so heres how its looking (before going off to work) – it started with the gym, then walking the pup, then breakfast,  a shower, and getting myself dressed/ready. After that, I feel ready for the day and get the rest of it started!

  • Blog (doing that now duh)
  • Empty out fridge and clean shelves
  • Reorganize fridge
  • Finish discussion board for online media class
  • Clean kitchen (wash stove/counters, reorganize)

So, after blogging, I’m gonna blast some music (Drake obviously) and empty out my fridge/clean the kitchen! Do I absolutely need to do this today? Nope! But it helps keep me busy, and keeps the house clean – win! You could even do things like go through your freezer/cabinets and reorganize/throw away things you don’t need anymore. Anything like that!! Maybe there’s a project in your room you’ve been wanting to do – new lights, new decor, something like that. DO IT! Like I said, make lists! I like to write things down because I find that when I do have free time, it helps me fill it up by reminding me “ok, I can get this done now”. I’m sure cleaning the kitchen does NOT sound like fun – but it keeps me from chilling on the couch or in my bed, aka it keeps me busy, which leads to less feelings of depression and anxiety. Household “chores” can be your bff (along with lists lol!) on the not so busy days. Find anything little that has to be done, and do it!

8.) If you have stuff to do on your laptop (hw, blog, etc) don’t sit in bed while doing it. Get up, move to the kitchen table or to your desk. At least for me, If I sit in bed while working on stuff it just makes me want to stay there all day and be unproductive! And then I get all into my head and start feeling lazy and depressed and blehhh. Of course there are exceptions, sometimes you just want to sit in your bed and finish your homework and that’s totally fine! I’m actually writing this blog post from bed 🙂

Some more quick tips –

  • Go for walks! Walks help clear your head and boost serotonin levels, so if you’re feeling anxious around the house.. get out and walk while listening to a podcast!
  • Put at least one thing you truly enjoy on your “to do” list. For me, that’s walking my pup! I also love recipe testing and all that.. I blast some music and get lit af in the kitchen (embarrassed that I just said that) BUT it keeps me having fun while feeling productive
  • Ok I know this was already said but.. LISTS!!!! Get a journal or book that you write everything down in. Sometimes I flip to a blank page and write things down that I need to get done in the near future (like by the next month or so) then when I really have nothing to do.. I look at that!

Remember, It’s perfectly fine to not do anything! It’s perfectly fine to wake up and be like “hmm, I have nothing to do until ___ time today, I’m gonna lay in bed and watch a movie”. It’s okay to not be busy all of the time and just chill out – theres nothing wrong with that! Personally, I find that on days I’m just “chillin” my anxiety and depression worsen, so that’s why I’m always finding ways to keep myself busy. The things I’m doing may not always actually be “productive” like sitting down to read a blog post or making homemade almond milk – but they help me FEEL productive and that’s what matters to me. Do anything that will help you feel productive. Like “hey, I’ve accomplished _____ today, I feel good!”.I feel much better when I am organizing the drawers of my desk as opposed to laying in my bed watching a movie. And thats what its all about – FEELING good. It doesn’t matter if you have nothing to do, you can always find something that will make you feel accomplished! Just keep in mind that it’s also okay to have days that aren’t busy. Days where you just lay in bed extra long or crawl back into bed after a productive morning.. like me today! I went to the gym, walked the pup, had breakfast and showered. Then I was like “wow I’m kinda tired and I want to blog” SO I got my laptop, plopped my booty into bed, and thats where I’m writing from 🙂 It felt good to rest for a little, but now I’m off to clean the kitchen and be a little productive!

 

I hope that these little tips helped some of you who are similar to me 🙂

*This is mostly for weekdays because I work weekdays at 2:30. On weekends, I still like to keep some structure to my days because too much down time is not good for me! If you guys would like another post like this but geared more towards weekends or days where you have no work/school, let me know and I’ll be more than happy to write!!

Thanks so much for reading!

xoxo

Allie

 

 

One Comment

  • Marina

    Allie! I just wanted to say I loved reading your blog! 🙂 I am a very organized and productive person like you and love making lists as well! Have you ever used passion planner? Also I am a teacher and have summers off for the most part so would like to read a post thats geared more towards staying productive when there is no work or school! Thank you 🙂

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