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Quick Tip: Determine Your “Perfect Day”

Read Time: 3 min

Do you know what your "perfect day" looks like? Those are the days when you achieve far more than you might normally expect, where you feel good and rested but still productive. They're the days that don't leave you feeling drained. They're the days that leave you wanting more.

I know what my "perfect day" looks like because I've lived it plenty of times. And I've experimented quite a bit with my schedule to find out what works best. Have you done that yet? Have you looked for ways to rearrange and re-prioritize your time to see if you can get more done in less time and have more time for things that really matter to you?

Your "perfect day" probably won't be an everyday thing. Mine certainly doesn't work out that way. But knowing what your ideal day looks like can help you make small changes that let you make better use of your time. So this week's quick tip is simple: experiment with your schedule. Try something different. Find out how, and when, you work best and try to adjust as much of your schedule as you can to fit that plan.

Your "perfect day" goes beyond work though. Figure out the best balance for your life -- family, friends, work, hobbies, housework, errands, and downtime for yourself. Then try to live that "perfect day" at least every once in a while to recharge and re-motivate yourself.

Let me share my "perfect day" with you.

My "Perfect Day"

My alarm goes off at 4:00 a.m., waking me with peaceful chimes. I get myself ready to face the day, and then I wrap myself in a rope and slip on some fuzzy slippers before making my way downstairs.

I head straight for the coffee maker and brew a cup, or maybe an entire pot. I whip up some eggs and veggies and take it, and my coffee, back to my office where I settle in for the morning.

I usually move on from there, opening email and checking social media accounts through breakfast before it's time to get to my real work -- writing.

Then it's Pomodoro time. Twenty five minutes on my first blog post, article, or larger project of the day. Then a short break to stretch my legs, and probably refill my coffee. Then another twenty five minutes. After four of these blitz sessions, it's time for a longer break -- perfect for a quick walk or workout, play time with the pup, or a short meditation or deep breathing session to chill out before another round of work.

The Pomodoros continue until it's around noon, when my typical perfect work day ends and my time begins. That's for errands, gardening, lounging by a pool, DIY projects around the house, going for a drive just for the hell of it -- whatever strikes my fancy that day or needs to be done. No matter what I'm doing, the point of working early hours is that I have several daylight hours to spend on me.

When my hubby gets home in the late afternoon, he usually gets into work of his own (he runs a business part-time after his day job). I might bum around on the couch, make dinner, play games, or even take a short nap during this time. Then we have dinner together and, depending on the day, we might catch up on an episode of a favorite show or watch a movie together. And then it's time to curl up with some good books before bed.

Do most of my days look like this? Absolutely not. In fact, I have a bad tendency to save my Pomodoro timer for "crunch time" days when I'm struggling to stay motivated, even though it works wonders on any old work day. But the closer my days come to looking like this, the more I tend to get done, the better I tend to feel, and the more I tend to look forward to the next day.

Now tell me -- what does your perfect day look like? If you had nothing pulling you in other directions and you had full control over your schedule, what would it look like? When would you start and finish work? When would you get some downtime to unwind? How would you keep your energy up and your mind focused?

If you don't know the answers to those questions, try to figure it out. Test different options. And look for ways to make your everyday life look as much like a "perfect day" as possible.

11 thoughts on “Quick Tip: Determine Your “Perfect Day””

  1. Awesome, this is just what I needed to read today! I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed & really need to evaluate where I’m at & make some changes, and imaging my perfect day is just the tool I need to move forward.

    My perfect day would actually sound a lot like yours, I think… except I don’t get up quite so early ;D

    Reply
    • Oh, there’s nothing quite like those early hours. It’s so quiet. No noise from neighbors doing yard work. No phone calls. Nothing. Just peace. Pair that with just waking up so my mind is fully rested and it’s absolutely blissful. 🙂

      I suspect I was thinking about this today because I haven’t had many of these days recently. We’ve been bombarded with schedule interruptions — family events, car repairs, contractors, vet appointments every week for our cat’s chemo treatments, and now the township is paving the roads in our community (a good thing, but even though they haven’t gotten to our road yet we can hear trucks all day — not too loud yet, but enough to make the dog antsy). What I wouldn’t give for one of those perfect days right about now! 🙂

      Reply
  2. My perfect day is one in which the phone doesn’t ring, the surprises are held to a minimum (and are good), and I’m able to work my schedule uninterrupted.

    My day starts at 7 am (earlier in the summer — the minute the sun is up, so am I). I grab my tea and wake up in front of HGTV or Morning Joe, then I get in front of the computer by 8 — rarely later. I spend the next hour checking blogs and emails. Sometimes my blog reading stretches into the 9-ish hour (as right now). But if I have a ton of work, I’m able to start at 9 on the dot.

    I do my “heavy lifting” writing first — those projects that are complicated or that require a lot of concentration. I spend an hour or better on it, depending. And I give myself 10-minute breaks when I find my attention dwindling. I check social media or Facebook.

    Then on to a light project for an hour. This continues until noon, when I force myself to get up and get lunch. I stay away from the computer until at least 12:30 but usually 1 pm. Then back to it.

    I do my blogging in the afternoon, so somewhere around 3, I’ll stop my project work and put together a post or two. Then I’ll work until 4 pm.

    From 4 – 4:30, it’s exercise time. I drag myself to the basement (where all things go to die) and spend 25 minutes on the Focus T25 program. Every other day, I’ll throw in an extra 15-30 minutes on pilates, step, whatever I know my body can handle (not much after those workouts).

    Then I shower and sit back down here to make sure I’ve completed my intended tasks. I’ll answer emails that need answering, but typically it’s just a look to make sure I didn’t miss anything, then off to make or eat dinner.

    Reply
    • That’s so important Lori — knocking out those “heavy lifting” projects before we feel drained and look for reasons to procrastinate. I’m the type who would absolutely procrastinate if I saved those until the end of my day. Great reminder!

      Reply
  3. Thanks for sharing your perfect day, Jennifer!

    My perfect day starts around 6 a.m. I make tea, do a few sun salutations to get my body moving, and head into our home office. I generally start with polishing and submitting the articles that are due that day so I can get them off my plate.

    Then, depending on the day’s to-do list, I do some combination of interviews, outlining, drafting, writing, editing, meeting, scheduling, social media-ing, brainstorming future blog posts and pitches, sending pitches, promoting posts, bookkeeping, and all the other fun stuff that comes with being a freelance writer.

    On a perfect day, I’ll go down and spend a few hours working out of my coworking space. It’s inspiring and motivating to be around all that talent and brain power.

    Throughout my work day, I usually do a loose version of the Pomodoro Technique, with work blocks and short breaks.

    By early afternoon, I like to wind down my work day so I can go for a walk, hit a yoga class, have some alone time, spend time with my partner, or hang with a friend.

    In general, my perfect day is a balance of productive work, relaxed time, then time at home just hanging out. At the end of the day I like to feel like I exercised my body and brain.

    Another type of perfect day is when I’m travelling and still able to work from the road…but that’s for a different post.

    Cheers,
    Cat

    Reply
    • “In general, my perfect day is a balance of productive work, relaxed time, then time at home just hanging out.”

      You nailed it right there. It’s all about feeling good about your day at the end of it. You’ve accomplished something. You’re not burning out or over-stressing yourself. And you leave yourself ready for more the next day.

      Your perfect day sounds like a great one! 🙂

      Reply
  4. That sounds lovely, apart from when you get up:) I’m not an early morning person so I spend those hours sleeping.

    My perfect looks something like this:
    I wake up, have a healthy breakfast, get ready and grab my essentials to head to my favorite coffee shop. It has a great sea view and healthy offerings for lunch.

    I work for a few hours and take a break by walking near the sea. Then it’s a few more hours until my brain fries and I rest by walking back home (which is about 1,5 miles.) I take a shower, eat in front of a favorite series episode and then do some reading, either for fun or work (but usually it’s both.) 🙂

    I do this once or twice a week, and I get terrific results. Not to mention I get fresh air and exercise.

    Reply
  5. Getting up that early was tough early on because I’m not a natural morning person. But once you see how much more you can get done (and how much more free time you’re left with to do what you really want to do every day), it doesn’t take much convincing. 🙂

    Reply
  6. I also thought that I’m a night person and inspiration came to me especially at night. But after waking up at 5 a.m. several times I realized that morning is a great time for productive work. Because my mind is full of fresh ideas. That’s why the first point of my perfect day is to wake up at 5 a.m 🙂

    Reply
    • That’s pretty much how it happened to me. I thought I was a night owl too, and still occasionally am. But there’s nothing quite like a fresh mind in the morning (even if someone’s morning might not start as early as ours). 🙂

      Reply

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