How to Make the Most of 5:00-9:00 PM, Part 1 of 2 By Laura Stack, MBA, CSP

laura-stack4Let’s forget about 9:00 to 5:00 for a minute. We spend lots of energy making sure that we are efficient and productive during the workday.

What about AFTER the workday? Do you find yourself keeping your nose to the grindstone and working diligently throughout the day only to have it all unravel when you step through the door at home?

I hear it all the time: “I’m so exhausted when I leave the office, but I always know there is more work waiting for me when I get home. What can I do?” With most of the day behind us, it’s easy to lose our focus and end up letting those precious hours at the end of the day go to waste. Keep in mind that those weekday hours from 5:00 ‘till 9:00 make up 20 hours of your week! Not many of us can afford to waste that much time.

Ask yourself a few questions to help you make the most of those evening hours and feel less stressed as a result.

How much television am I watching? For many, the biggest culprit – by far – is television. There’s no reason you can’t enjoy a favorite show or two, but don’t let it dominate your evenings. See if you can turn it off for a week. You don’t even have to spend the extra time doing something particularly productive – just something different. Read a book. Talk to your family. Organize a drawer or two. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel than you do after hours in front of the TV.

Where does the time go? Try keeping a diary for those 20 hours between 5 and 9 for one week. At the end of the week, it should be clear where there’s room for improvement.

Visit next week for a few things to look for as red flags, and some suggestions on how to tackle them.

© 2009 Laura Stack. Laura Stack is a personal productivity expert, author, and professional speaker who helps busy workers Leave the Office Earlier® with Maximum Results in Minimum Time®. She is the president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., a time management training firm specializing in productivity improvement in high-stress organizations. Since 1992, Laura has presented keynotes and seminars on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in today’s workplaces. She is the bestselling author of three works published by Broadway Books: The Exhaustion Cure (2008), Find More Time (2006) and Leave the Office Earlier (2004). Laura is a spokesperson for Microsoft, 3M, and Day-Timers®, Inc and has been featured on the CBS Early Show, CNN, and the New York Times. Her clients include Cisco Systems, Sunoco, KPMG, Nationwide, and 3M. To have Laura speak at your next event, call 303-471-7401. Visit to sign up for her free monthly productivity newsletter.

To learn more about how organization and time management can help you achieve success visit the Day-Timer Community at

One thought on “How to Make the Most of 5:00-9:00 PM, Part 1 of 2 By Laura Stack, MBA, CSP

  1. I would also suggest that if the feeling tired is a constant thing in one’s life that an appointment be made for a medical checkup. There are a number of minor health problems that have “tired” as one of the symptoms and these problems are pretty easy to diagnose and treat. Thyroid is often found to be a problem for women entering middle age, but it can also arise in young women following pregnancy. Anemia is often a problem for women, too. Talk to your doctor and see what can be done to help.

    Another factor is the commute time added to the hours at work. For some people, those combined hours really are too much. If it is financially feasible, I would suggest hiring outside help to deal with the housework, yard work, and child care. Yes, that costs money, but it beats feeling tired and not being able to enjoy much of what should be quality family time or leisure time.

Comments are closed.