When I think about my Perfect Day, I’m reminded of this quote by Paulo Coelho:
“Live simply, dream big, be grateful, give love, laugh lots!”
How do you define your Perfect Day?
What would you do, who would you do it with, and how would you feel?
Ask most people these questions and you will get replies like: “a feeling of accomplishment,” “a big business deal closed,” “a promotion at work,” “time with good friends,” “family time,” and that mystical feeling of being in “the zone.”
But how do you balance closing a business deal with spending quality time with loved ones or getting a work promotion with family time?
You can start by creating building blocks for a Perfect Day. Solid foundations are essential and here are some tips from my friend and colleague Craig Ballantyne’s new book, The Perfect Day Formula.
Create a Not-To-Do List!
Quite simply, this is a list of things you do not do under any circumstances.
I am not here to make any moral judgment on what a not-to-do list may include — but it could include deciding to never do your own laundry, never to discuss politics, or to never use profanities, for example.
Create your own set of Life Rules
Most of us have admirable beliefs and values and hold ourselves up to high standards — but not so many of us write those standards or rules down. I was inspired by Craig to more carefully define my own set of life rules.
As an example, here is one of Craig’s 12 Life Rules (which is also something for the not-to-do list) below…
“I do not engage in confrontations with anyone, in person or online. This is a waste of time and energy. If I have caused harm, I apologize and fix the situation. And then I take a deep breath, relax, breathe out, and refocus my effort back on my work and goals.”
Why are these so important?
With a not-to-do list and your own personal set of life rules you are less likely to encounter conflict and anything that gets in the way of having a Perfect Day.
Also, life is a lot simpler once you start adhering to your own personal philosophies and stop worrying about what others think because your closest friends know your position on the important things in life.
Develop a Positive Morning Ritual
The important thing here is to develop a ritual that empowers you and sets you up for the day. For example:
- Give yourself at least 15 minutes without screen time. (Do not check email or social media).
- Stretch or exercise (morning is a good time for Yoga or Tai Chi). Exercise gives us a wonderful feeling of wellbeing. In my case, I find walking — often on my own, by the Beach in West Sussex — was the time when I had some of my best ideas. I rarely — if ever — had my best ideas in the office.
- Look at daily motivational readings (read some of your favorite, inspiring quotes).
- Review your goals and life purpose.
- Meditate, pray, or give thanks. Whether or not you are religious, the point here is to incorporate something that allows you to focus and start your day with energy.
Make Exercise Part Of Your Morning Ritual
7 Key Actions For a Perfect Day
1) Reflect and journal in the evening. Before you go to bed, create a routine that allows you to think about your day. What did you learn from today’s mistakes? Mistakes are meant for learning, not repeating.
What will you not do in future? What are you grateful for? How did you progress towards your goals? I recommend you answer these questions via a written word brain dump (journal). Take it one step further by pulling out the key points and structuring your upcoming day accordingly.
2) Plan your day ahead the night before. For many years I have diligently sat down each evening and set out my “things to do” list for the following day. It is a good policy — but if you want to step it up a gear, prioritize. Far better to have three important, life-changing priorities that you must accomplish rather than a long list of relatively average things that, frankly, will not make a lot of difference.
Many TTD lists are far too general and lack prioritization. Sure you can have a list for things like household chores, but the list I am referring to should reflect your life goals and ambitions.
Ask yourself this critical question: What is my No. 1 priority right now? And No. 2? And No 3? I would suggest that those priorities would rarely be collecting the laundry.
3) Wake up 15 minutes earlier than usual and focus on solving your No. 1 problem in life. This is super powerful. Apply this immediately and you will start to experience a more productive and perfect day, every day.
4) Identify when you are most productive and dedicate that time to your No. 1 project (this is what Craig Ballantyne refers to as Magic Time.) [LINK to http://www.earlytorise.com/identify-your-magic-time-to-get-more-done/]
Personally, my productivity decreases as the day goes on. Therefore, after my morning routine, I try to complete the most essential action of the day as soon as possible because I know that the longer I wait to complete my essential task the harder it will be to focus and the slower I will work. In turn, I become frustrated with my inefficiency.
5) Batch your work. Select a time to do emails, calls, and focused work. Don’t multi-task. Remember, “The man who chases two rabbits, catches none.”
Confession time: Multi-tasking used to be something I almost prided myself in. Ever heard the term “busy fool?” That used to be me.
If you need to send emails and reach out to people, devote an hour to doing this exclusively. If you’re creating a course that you’ll eventually sell and you need to create videos, break it down into workable batches (filming, editing, etc.). Doing so allows you to take the same actions over and over again for a short period of time. This helps to get into a rhythm and can often lead to the feeling commonly described as “in the zone.”
It is the focused work that gets us to our goals and it is the focused work that pays the bills.
6) Always be proactive — follow your plan. If you are following the strategies above it is almost impossible to not be proactive and following your plan.
Simply doing the above, creates FOCUS and what you focus on is what you get.
7) Stop living in the past – Live in the NOW! “Living in the past means I’m living in regret. Living in the future means I’m living in anxiety. Learning from the past means I’m becoming wiser. Being excited for the future means I’m doing what I need to do now to make that exciting future happen” ~ Matt Hearnden
Creating and scripting your own Perfect Day is well worth the investment of time and energy. Actually, you can’t afford not to.
These 7 key actions and the earlier foundations are starting blocks only — there is more to do and learn. Craig Ballantyne’s The Perfect Day Formula [USE LINK ABOVE HERE AS WELL] has made such a huge difference in how I live my life and manage my day. It will do the same for you.
The Perfect Day Formula is about multiplying your productivity, having more fun, making more money, and enjoying more freedom into your life.
What are you waiting for?
Written by Barry Dunlop
About the Author: Barry Dunlop is a lifelong entrepreneur who is dedicated to living life as an adventure and curing the world of fear. You can follow him on Twitter @midascode.