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To think there's a way to make my evenings productive?

(72 Posts)
Willow108 Sun 17-Jan-16 13:24:10

There are loads of interests and activities I would like to spend time on in the evenings (exercise, reading, cooking, creative stuff like knitting, writing). I work full-time and have young children so the time from 8pm until I go to bed is the only time when I can realistically do any of this stuff. And yet once DCs are in bed I tend to flop completely and spend hours sitting around, mindlessly surfing the internet, reading blogs and instagram feeds showing other people's productive and creative lives.
Its an honest question- how can I be more productive in the evening? Can anyone share advice on how they do it?

Throwingshade Sun 17-Jan-16 13:30:20

Set yourself a reading lists (say 10 classics you've never read or all the Book prize winners of last 10 years)

Start a blog

Do an exercise DVD

You tube craft stuff and set yourself a project like making a cushion or something for your dc or parent

Bake

Cook

I mean honestly there are hundreds of things you can do.

WhatsGoingOnEh Sun 17-Jan-16 13:34:57

I am exactly the same. The ONLY thing that forces me to do anything is a deadline, set by somebody else, that has a horrific consequence if it's missed... So without that, my evenings are spent in a mindless trance on the sofa.

I was a lot more productive in the evenings when I was a single mum.

Just start setting little rituals. Monday, you'll exercise for an hour. Tuesday, nothing. Wednesday, you'll do some writing. Thursday, you'll knit. Friday, nothing. Saturday, nothing. Sunday, you'll plan what you'll do next week.

CurlyBlueberry Sun 17-Jan-16 13:37:00

I get it Willow. I do the same. Of course I know there's hundreds of things I can do but it's finding the motivation to get up and do it... I usually sit down and think I'll have a quick browse then find I've been there for ages!

One thing I am going to do is make a little timetable perhaps and set myself something to do each night. I'm going back to university in September so will NEED to use the evenings to study, so if I'm used to doing things, that will help.

BrandNewAndImproved Sun 17-Jan-16 13:37:06

I've just started the same hobby as my dc do, so instead of taking them there twice a week for the children's class we now go on the mixed adult and dc class. It's actually really fun and I didn't think I'd like it. (taekwondko)

BeautyGoesToBenidorm Sun 17-Jan-16 13:38:00

Have you thought about learning another language? Apps like Duolingo, Memrise and Babbel are really good, and you can set targets as small or ambitious as you like. Memrise has subjects other than languages too.

Willow108 Sun 17-Jan-16 13:46:51

Throwingshade I have lots of interests and things I would love to be doing in the evenings. The problem is the HOW to do it rather than the WHAT to do. I'm wondering how other people who seem to get all this stuff done and carry on hobbies and creative pursuits get themselves unstuck and doing it?
BeautyGoesToBenidorm learning a language is something I am interested in and have tried but it gets lost in the evening slump like most other things.

Throwingshade Sun 17-Jan-16 13:52:05

I don't really know what you mean? Not being arsey just don't know what you mean by 'how'? smile. Do you mean how do you give yourself the push and impetus to do it? In that case, have a reason, give yourself a deadline. Like it's a work project.

My close friend and I have our own mini book club i.e. we read the same books then argue about them discuss them.

I tell my sister that I'm going to do something new - she is very fierce and bossy so I know she'll keep asking about it if I haven't done it!

I also work FT, always have since dc were little. So I totally get the flopping, then faffing around on the laptop and not really much of anything in the evening. But I'm not sure what advice people can give except, do something!

Willow108 Sun 17-Jan-16 13:55:32

Throwingshade I know its a bit of a strange question and yes, its is "how?". I struggle when I'm only accountable to myself. I have no problem meeting deadlines and completing all kinds of work for my job and family. I seem to lose all motivation and drive particularly at that time of day when kids are finally in bed. I'm under the impression (I could be wrong) that lots of other Mums are up to all kinds of creative and meaningful stuff in their evenings and I do wonder how?

WhatsGoingOnEh Sun 17-Jan-16 13:56:39

But I'm not sure what advice people can give except, do something! LOL, I have to agree. smile

Do you commute home from work? Maybe use that time to plan what you'll do that evening..?

Maybe you need more of a REASON to do something. Feeling like you "should" do something isn't really very motivating. In fact, it just makes you feel guilty, and then ultimately even less motivated.

WhatsGoingOnEh Sun 17-Jan-16 13:58:58

Do you have a designated space, or room, where you can pursue your hobbies and interests? I think creating a lovely, inspire space might be a good start. Hopefully, somewhere that's so inspiring, you'll want to go there every evening, instead of the sofa.

Willow108 Sun 17-Jan-16 13:59:30

WhatsGoingOnEh that's a good point about the "should" concept. I will give more thought to the issue of a "reason". Yes I do commute home and didn't think of having a specific plan for a particular evening. That has given me something to try, which is what I was really hoping for in posting! Also interested in how others get themselves moving in the evening. I just seem to run out of energy and feel that I've let myself down because its the one time of day when I could be doing anything and am not in employee or parent mode.

Pippidoeswhatshewants Sun 17-Jan-16 14:00:08

I am exactly the same... Set yourself an alarm for half an hour after dc bedtime, that's your slot for mindless surfing. Then put all your gadgets away/on charge and get on with something?

ginagslovechild Sun 17-Jan-16 14:00:41

Sorry but why do you have to be doing anything? You have children, young work fulltime, I'm assuming you rub a house along with your OH so just sit on the sofa and relax with wine you bloody deserve it!!
I tend to knit or crochet in the evening in front of the TV, or YouTube videos showing me how to knit and crochet smile

ginagslovechild Sun 17-Jan-16 14:01:15

*you work
*run a house

stumblymonkey Sun 17-Jan-16 14:01:26

Start small....I'm going to get back into sewing so am going to set aside one night every week that is my sewing project night and treat it like a proper appointment. It's in my diary and everything.

Then I'll decide what I'm going to aim to do the next 'sewing night' like....'research and choose a project and order the fabric', or 'cut out the pattern' as breaking it into small chunks make's that week's task feel achievable and more concrete than just 'get back into sewing'.

Willow108 Sun 17-Jan-16 14:08:06

Pippi the alarm idea is great! Thanks so much for suggesting something I can try.
ginagslovechild I do know what you mean about this sense that I should be doing something. I'm happy to leave the housework etc in the evening and don't feel I should be scrubbing floors or anything. The point is that I feel over the years I've let go of a lot of things I used to do and enjoy and feel I am selling myself short. I'm impressed that you knit and crochet in the evening, that is an exact example of something I would love to get myself doing!

Willow108 Sun 17-Jan-16 14:09:00

Stumblymonkey that is a great suggestion to start with small steps. I am probably guilty of being overly ambitious and then falling at the first hurdle. The idea of scheduling seems to be a bit of a theme in what people are suggesting, I will give that a try.

MrsHarveySpecter Sun 17-Jan-16 14:09:15

Willow, I completely understand as also work FT and have two little DDs. I've found small changes have made a big difference so concentrating on three areas - running, books and baking bread. I'm training for a marathon so have to run, joined a book club to give me impetus to read and have found a dead easy loaf recipe which isn't going to win me the GBBO any time soon but is better than shop bought I think. Not easy though and some nights everyone just needs to flop!!

Willow108 Sun 17-Jan-16 14:09:46

Whatsgoingoneh I would love a room of my own but not possible in current house set-up! A girl can dream

GertyBoo Sun 17-Jan-16 14:12:12

Give yourself a no screens rule for a couple of hours after the DC are in bed. If I turn on TV/iPad as soon as DD is in bed it's hard to switch them off. I read/write/knit to music instead and that routine is a habit now.

Viviennemary Sun 17-Jan-16 14:13:43

I agree with do you have to be doing something. You work all day and have small children so by evening I'm not surprised you flop. but if you do want to do something there are plenty suggestions here. What about an on line book club or join a local book club where meetings are once a month. In

CoffeeCoffeeAndLotsOfIt Sun 17-Jan-16 14:15:06

I could have written your post - though I work PT rather than FT.

I've dusted out the wii and bought a new game that I'm using several times a week.

Also reading more - making effort to go to bed early so I can read for a while. Resisting urge to surf FB / MN / random websites as they'll suck you in and before you know it the whole evening has gone.

I find joining a class- Zumba etc forces you out of the house at a particular time each week

Willow108 Sun 17-Jan-16 14:16:00

GertyBoo the screens are a big problem (she said while looking at one). They are the single biggest obstacle to me completing other activities. Do you just put them away before DC bedtime and manage to stick to it? Starting to think I need to attend some kind of screentime anonymous meeting asking that question.

Willow108 Sun 17-Jan-16 14:17:15

CoffeeCoffee its reassuring to hear I'm not the only one! I have this fantasy that everyone else is making their own pottery at 9pm every night.

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