Staying Productive After Your Day Job Ends

It's 5 o'clock and you're just beginning your commute home from the office. Most people are headed to happy hour or a movie but you have work to do. The night is just getting started because you believe you should never stop learning and building even if you love your current job.

My commute most recently consisted of a bus to a train with a transfer. I really enjoy public transportation, even if it can be crowded or late sometimes.

You have a few options to choose from to make the most out of your commute:

Relax -- Read a book/magazine or watch a movie on your phone.

Work -- Collect your thoughts; jotting down ideas in a notebook or iPad.

Sleep -- To keep you going strong through the evening, get your nap time in now.

But if you don't take the bus or subway and you drive to-and-from work, you're at a disadvantage. I would recommend listening to podcasts and maybe keeping a small notebook and pen nearby in case you get stuck in traffic or at a light and can take some notes. Don't play on your phone and pretend to drive at the same time. It doesn't work.

I seem to always get good ideas when I absolutely can't write them down so keeping a pen and notebook handy is key.

You've braved the commute home one way or another and you're ready to get to work. Almost. I recommend getting comfortable. It might mean that you ditch the tie or untuck your shirt but I wouldn't go so far as to get into your pajamas because it may make you too relaxed. Next thing you know, you're on the couch sound asleep.

This next part is something you have to really budget the time for yourself. If you're married with kids, you probably have to cook dinner and help with homework. If you're single you may just be heating up a hot pocket (my favorite meal for working late into the night) and be done. Either way, spend time with family but when the coast is clear and everyone is tucked in, get to work.

What you do from this point on is up to you. Write a blog post, code a website, woodworking in the shed… it's your call. Get out there and create something.