Many highly driven entrepreneurs recommend mapping your perfect day. The goal is not to live this day every day, but rather to have a guide for the activities that are most essential and important to us. If we ever did live a perfect day, it should bring us complete joy and wellbeing.
I came to this idea on my own about five years ago, before I started following the work of these highly driven entrepreneurs who had a name for this exercise and when Pampi and I were still trying to figure out how exactly to bring together our disparate skills and passions. I was working full-time in retail, and my hours were opposite to those of most. I had to find a way to be productive in my outside projects while keeping a job that, even though I loved, made me physically and emotionally exhausted and kept me busy when others had their free time.
Upon the new year, while writing my New Year’s Resolutions (yes, capital letters – I take these seriously), I decided to be more specific and break them down into categories and detailed timelines:
a. What would I do for myself, my job, my outside projects and my family and friends?
b. How would these goals break down daily? weekly? monthly? and annually?
So much structure might sound like too much. However, I believe that the more I plan in advance, the easier the rest of my life becomes, and therefore I waste much less time. Also, my OCD* tells me to overplan, but I’ve actually gotten to a point where I plan without obsessing for hours. Great accomplishment! Thank you, CBT 🙂
After years of making these guides and accomplishing quite a bit in spite of a full-time job, I have arrived at my Perfect Day for my life today: post full-time-job-working-for-others and immersed in developing my own two projects, one for-profit and one not.
For the Perfect Day to work, we need to plan it in great detail by imagining we are living every minute of it and relishing in its perfection for it will bring us everything we want.
Here is mine:
8 am -> Wake up (8 am is a great GOAL … not there yet. I am a night owl, matched by none.)
Have a glass of water. Get coffee.
Check email and social media for personal messages and anything that deserves immediate attention (project-related email and social media gets done during project times later in the day)
8:30-9:30 am -> Workout: Some sort of HIIT and perhaps a little cardio for endurance; yoga (Pampi’s video at the moment); Reiki.
9:30-10:30 am -> Shower and pamper my body. Breakfast.
10:30-11:30 am -> Make healthy food for the day and perhaps for the next three. If so, I free up more time later for personal and work projects.
11:30 am-12:30 pm -> Items from my weekly/monthly/annual list (might include laundry, clearing clutter, paying bills, washing the car, learning Hindi …).
12:30-1:30 pm -> Lunch then rest.
1:30-2:00 pm -> Errands (things that need to get done by me in order for my life to function since I will not be able to hire an assistant for a while).
2:00-4:00 pm -> Projects: Networking, following-up, marketing, fundraising, planning (long and short-term).
4:00-5:o0 pm -> Break (read, surf internet, TV shows), snack and any other Items (see 11:30 am) or Errands (see 1:30 pm).
5:00-7:00 pm -> Projects (same as above).
7:00 pm till … -> Dinner, then:
a) events (in my current work, there is always an event to attend and peers to see in person)
b) more work on projects.
Midnight -> Bed!
So, this is my Perfect Day, never lived, always a guide! Each night, I review what I have accomplished and plan my Perfect Day the next day. I let things shift and readjust and (I am working better to) respond to spontaneity, but since I know what the essential and must-do tasks are, I can say that on any average day, I get at least a few of those done and am living my Perfect Life**.
PS – If I can find a way to fit more Criminal Minds into my Perfect Day, well. I love TV and movies.
*diagnosed, not just saying it for fun … more on that in a later post
**my Perfect Life means I am designing it to live my dreams … more on that in a later post as well 😉
Most importantly, WHAT IS YOUR PERFECT DAY?