Productivity Tips for Retirees: A Productive Path to Personal Growth.

Carl Pullein
5 min readFeb 14, 2024

Retirement is usually associated with slowing down a little and enjoying your free time. This doesn’t mean you don’t want or need to stay productive. After all, you’ll have day-to-day tasks to take care of as well as personal projects.

This week’s article is written by the wonderful Katie Brenneman. Thank you, Katie, for writing this for me.

This doesn’t mean you need to put yourself under the same productivity pressure as you may have experienced at work. Nevertheless, adopting actions that help keep you on top of tasks can support your personal growth and empower you to enjoy your retirement for years to come.

Maintain Your Cognition

To keep productive at any age, a certain amount of mental sharpness is definitely beneficial. Before cognitive decline tends to begin in later life, take some preventative steps. Let’s face it, if cognitive hurdles start to affect your ability to be productive, this might also impact your happiness and general quality of life.

The good news is that there are relatively simple activities that can help.


The fun factor of playing games can definitely boost your mood. But they can also exercise your brain. For instance, card games have numerous cognitive benefits. This is because many of them promote the use of your working memory and encourage you to pay close attention to details. Effectively, you’re engaging your focus to develop strategies to overcome challenges. As a result, this regular stimulation can help keep your mind sharp and productive.


Gaining new skills and knowledge is vital throughout your life. Importantly, some studies have shown that learning can improve cognitive scores for memory and attention in older adults. These are essential attributes for staying productive in retirement. Consider courses that exercise the mental skills you want to maintain. For instance, art classes can help your creative thinking, while learning a new language can be good for memory.

Remember that many of the ways you can boost your cognitive functions have social aspects, too. While it’s great to learn on your own, consider joining group classes or playing games with new people. Firstly, this can enrich your life and stave off isolation. Social interactions and dynamic conversations also boost the cognitive benefits of your actions.

Consider Your Diet

What you put into your body is your fuel for daily tasks. It gives you the energy to keep productive in your activities, as well as support your long-term wellness. This is why it’s so important to keep the quality of your fuel intake as high as possible. Yes, it can be a chore to keep this up, but the positives of this tend to outweigh the labour involved.

So, what steps should you take?

  • Keep it balanced: The most basic step to staying productive is to maintain a balanced diet. Incorporate a good selection of fruit, whole grains, dairy, and vegetables into your meals. Particularly as you age, increasing your protein intake — with eggs, seafood, and beans, among others — can minimise your loss of lean muscle. This helps you stay physically active and able to be productive.
  • Reduce alcohol: The occasional alcoholic drink isn’t necessarily bad. However, it’s important to know that alcohol can impact your body in various ways. There’s an immediate effect on your central nervous system (CNS), where you can have impaired motor skills and cognitive abilities. Excessive drinking can also lead to long-term health challenges, such as symptoms of GERD and a weakened immune system. As each of these can disrupt your productivity, it’s wise to keep your alcohol intake relatively low.

Diet is also quite an individual experience. You’ll likely have specific needs related to your health and these can certainly change as you age. Regularly review your diet to look at what your current needs are and how you can make improvements to keep you well and productive.

Shake Up Routines

Keeping regular routines can be a great tool for productivity. After all, they’re a pretty solid framework to build your tasks on to and stay organised. Yet, over time, your routine can become a little stagnant and you might not be as engaged with them as you once were. Occasionally shaking up your routines can be good here. It can help you to renew your focus by introducing novelty into your life, improve your creative thinking, and generally stimulate your cognition as you adapt to change.

Firstly, you should occasionally switch up the times of day you do your daily tasks. Given that people’s moods and energy levels can fluctuate throughout the day, you may find these changes enable you to get different perspectives on each activity and how you perform them. You may even find new ways to do them more productively.

Staying in the same space all the time can become stale and uninspiring, too. Occasionally switch this up. This might include heading out to a park or cafe to do your home admin. It could be meeting friends in a new location rather than going to one another’s homes. Even changing the furniture layout in your home office or personal sanctuary can disrupt the entropy that makes you feel stagnant.

Don’t forget to carefully assess what types of changes are most positive to your productivity. This isn’t just good for identifying what to keep in your long-term routines. It also gives you insights into similar changes you could introduce elsewhere that help you stay productive.


A few effective productivity hacks can make a genuine difference to your retirement experience. Think holistically here, adopting actions that boost mental functioning, physical wellness, and emotional well-being. Remember that you’re not in this alone, though. Talk to other active retirees about what helps them. This not only leads to a mutual sharing of knowledge, but it also keeps you socially connected to others who prioritise productivity in retirement.

Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specialising in lifestyle, mental health, education, and fitness-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit those clapping hands below many times👏 It would mean a lot to me, and it helps other people see the story.

If you would like to receive the best productivity and time management tips and tricks each week in one convenient email, you can subscribe to my weekly newsletter here.

You can also learn more about what I do here on my website



Carl Pullein

I help people learn to manage their lives and time better so they can experience joy and build a life they are truly proud of.