We all have probably thought about what a perfect day for us would look like; we may even have spent some time sketching out a few ideas on paper, but how many of us are living the ‘perfect’ day?
Our ‘perfect’ day often feel elusive because we have delegated control of our calendars to other people. Yet, technology is available that allows you to control a large part of your day. My work would be challenging to do if there were no scheduling services. I live on the east side of the world, and many of my clients live on the west side. There can be as much as seventeen hours difference between us. If I were to make appointments manually, I would spend a large part of my day back and forth trying to fix a time.
Scheduling services allow you to set the times you are available for meetings, and your clients and partners can choose the best time for them.
When it comes to designing your perfect day, it starts with knowing what you want each day. You have 24 hours to fit in whatever you want. Of course, most of us will need to schedule our work. That’s likely to be eight to ten hours. Then we have our sleep time which will take up six to eight hours or so. But that still leaves us with six to eight hours each day for other things. So, what do you want to use that time for?
A trick I use is to set up a “Perfect Day” calendar in my calendar app. On this calendar, I put in the time blocks for everything I would like time for each day and allocate the time I want for the activity. As a guide, I like:
- 1 hour for my morning routines
- 2 hours for writing
- 2 hours for coaching calls
- 1 hour for exercise
- 2 hours family time
- 6 hours for sleeping
- 1 hour for communications (email, calls, and other messages)
- 1 hour for general admin
- 2 hours for planning out content
- 1 hour for eating
That’s a total of nineteen hours. That leaves me with five hours for handling the unexpected and anything that may overrun.
Now each day is likely to be different. I try to take Tuesday afternoons off, and at weekends I usually have five or six hours of calls each day. But on the whole, this is how I would like each day to be. If I have time for these activities, I know I would cover all my focus areas — the things that are important to me — and I would end each day feeling fulfilled.
Once you have all your activities on and arranged in your perfect day calendar, turn on your other calendars and see where things align.
You will likely notice that most of the things you want to do each day are not in alignment with how your days are usually scheduled. Don’t worry, this is normal.
The next step is to see where you can align your real calendar with your perfect day calendar.
I first did this experiment two or three years ago, and I could make a few adjustments. I scheduled a two-hour writing window for Monday and Wednesday mornings. Likewise, I also blocked out an hour each day around 2 pm for exercise. Since then, I’ve managed to include a one-hour communication block each day; I’ve got my sleeping times almost where I want it, and for the most part, I get one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening for family time.
I still don’t have the ‘perfect’ day set up — after all, it is a ‘perfect’ day, and “perfect” does not really exist, but I have made progress in creating an ideal day.
And that’s the point of doing this exercise. It’s not that you will be able to achieve the ‘perfect’ day — it’s likely you won’t — but the exercise gets you to think about what you do want to do each day and allocate sufficient time for it. It becomes a goal, an aspiration, and it points you in the right direction towards building balance into your life.
The real purpose of this exercise is to uncover the activities you want in your life on a daily and weekly basis and to show you that you have time for them. If you never identify what you want time for, how will you ever know if you have time to do them? This exercise uncovers those activities. It also allows you to schedule them on your calendar, and once they are on your calendar — even your perfect day calendar — you then have the chance to bring them into your real day.
Having a balanced life is important on so many levels. For your mental and physical health, your relationships and your personal development. Too often, we delegate our time to others and never think about the damage that does to our wellbeing. This method gives you that chance to align what you want time for each day with your daily life.
Our ‘perfect day’ will change over time, and that’s fine. We change, our work-life changes, and so do the surrounding people. You may also find that it does not quite give you what you want when you align your perfect day with your real day. You will make adjustments, and it will feel like a work in progress. But if you never do this, you will never live the life you want to live, which would be a shame.
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My purpose is to help as many people as I can live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.
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