Several years ago I read an interesting assignment. Imagine your perfect day: not a special day like a birthday or holiday, but an ordinary day. Be specific, such as what time you wake up, eat meals, and go to bed. Be sure to include activities that you consider priorities in life. Afterwards, place the schedule in a prominent place and try, to the best of your ability, to live it out.
In theory, this should help us live authentic lives, putting first things first and devoting time to activities we consider important rather than giving control to the urgent.
I tried this at the beginning of the summer and after living with the schedule for several weeks, I have made a few tweaks that I believe comes close to my “perfect day”
As you can tell, I like color. Yellow represents non-negotiable daily tasks, such as, getting up, Bible study, preparing and eating dinner, going to bed. Green represents daily exercise, both in the form of brisk morning walks and more leisurely outings with the basset. Gray represents down time and time spent with family and friends.
When I originally created the schedule, Purple represented writing time and Pink represented time for fun activities. However, I found this to be too limiting and truth be told, writing IS fun for me. So I have kept the colors but give myself permission to interchange activities as I see fit.
Not only does the schedule meet my spiritual, mental, and physical needs, it also balances my work life and leisure time. In addition, I now make sure that I get out of the house on a regular basis. It is very easy for this introvert to become a hermit, but that is not conducive to a creative lifestyle. I try to go to the library at least three times a week to write. I like the change of scenery, and I find that I am able to focus better on my work. And of course, it doesn’t hurt that I am surrounded by books.
So far I am pleased with this schedule. I have found that I am more relaxed, more focused, and go to bed each night satisfied that I am maintaining a more balanced life.