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My situation is little different in that getting home from work is a 40 min hike up a hill - 250m elevation over 3.3km.

When I get home I feel tired, and it's easy to just sit around and the time flies away.

What's the best way to get started and into doing the few productive things I want to do (like practising keyboard)?

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I do a ten-minute procrastination dash when I first get in before even taking my coat off (extra points for keeping your iPod on from your walk!), so I don't have chance to get distracted or realise how tired I am. This is enough to get a couple of bits out of they way (take the bins out, clean the sink etc.), so I can then

a) enjoy guilt-free the fixed amount of time to blow of steam that another answer suggests


b) focus on the real productive (or fun) stuff I had planned for that evening without fussing over mundane household chores to the extent possible.

To apply it to your keyboard practice example: maybe use those enforced ten minutes to give yourself a taster of an interesting or exciting challenge you want to get to grips with, then leave some water in the well so you're keen to come back after a break, having already done the hard part of starting.

You might also find this extension of the aforementioned procrastination dash technique useful in itself to make the task of starting on something productive after work feel less daunting.

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Allow yourself a fixed amount of time to blow off steam. There's nothing wrong with that. For the rest it is sticking to "do as your 'say'".

Maybe you can even bring structure into this, e.g. if you have specific action to do anyway: do them after the 'rest period'. That could be anything trivial like feeding the cat, having dinner - not necessarily one of those 'productive things you want to do'. It will get you out of your chair ;-) and from there you take on the next thing.

You can also use a device to bring stucture: set your egg timer to 20 minutes before you sit in your chair.

Generally for things like this, external reminders and structures work. Those could even be people reminding you. [But avoid the pitfall there that you shift responsibility to them. They are not responsible for your 'say what you do, do what you say].

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