Defining a Productive Day

When I was working full-time, I lived by my to-do lists. I love making a list of all the things I need to accomplish by day and get great satisfaction from seeing all the check marks at 5 PM.

Since moving to Germany and becoming a full-time stay at home wife (for now), I’ve had to really do some soul searching when it comes to what it means to be productive.



Finding a purpose for each day, which I’ve started to do recently, has really helped. The days tend to run together if all I do is go to the gym and watch tv. And some days that’s certainly all I want to do, especially if it’s raining.

A productive day for me is comprised of certain elements:

  • Taking Copley for a walk. The little Bean loves going on walks and taking her for a morning walks starts us off on a great note. If we can’t go for a walk for any reason, the day feels off.
  • Some sort of physical activity. Usually this means going to the gym, but sometimes just the walk and a quick at-home workout is all I need. I am much more mentally stable when I exercise. I never understood what people were talking about when they said they exercised for their minds, but now I totally get it!! I feel like I’m coming out of my skin if I don’t work out!
  • Studying German. Honestly, this is the one thing that I tend to procrastinate. It’s really important to continue to study German so that I can start to feel more connected to our new home. Having homework from my teacher does help me get something done, but as the lessons are becoming harder and harder, I tend to just want to take a nap over studying. I need to set a low expectation, even 10 minutes a day is better than nothing.
  • Writing. Blogging or writing some book ideas is such an accomplishment. Getting my creative juices flowing is as helpful for me mentally as going to the gym. It’s so cathartic and I really, really love writing!
  • Cooking a delicious meal. I love cooking a meal for my husband, and I consider it a productive day when dinner is on the table as he’s getting home from work. Sometimes that meal is simply pasta and chicken and sometimes it’s homemade guacamole and tacos.
  • Spending quality time with Vinn. My marriage is the most important thing to me. And in order to have a productive day, I need to spend some quality time with him. Whether it’s simply eating dinner at the table instead of in front of the tv, going on an evening walk with the dog or watching one of our favorite shows, being together emotionally is so important.

A productive day will probably look a little different once I start working, but these are the guts of what makes a day feel accomplished.

What does your productive day look like?

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