How well do you love the way you spend your typical workday? What would a typical workday look like if you had absolutely no constraints? Here’s a fun exercise to get you thinking about your future and how you can make small changes in your current day to move it toward your ideal day.
Get comfortable and begin jotting out what your ideal day looks like. Start with what you do before you get to work. How do you start your day? With a workout or breakfast or something else? What does breakfast consist of? Where are you eating? What do your surroundings look like?
How do you get to work? What is your commute like? List the sights, sounds, smells. Once you get to work, what do you do first? Will you spend time on the phone? With whom? At the computer? Do you go somewhere?
Do you get a nice break for lunch? Write it all down in detail, and continue until your post-workday routine. Who are you with? Where are you? What do you do?
Here’s a partial sample:
“Lunch with my two friends at our favorite Mexican restaurant on the beach. We laugh a lot, share stories, and part with hugs and handshakes. After lunch, I work on my favorite work project, which challenges me to think about how to help my employees gain new skills. While I work, I listen to my favorite music CD. In a few hours, I am ready for a stretch break and walk outside to water the plants. After break, I return calls, talking with my clients and catching up on how to best serve them.”
OK, now it’s your turn. Here are some questions to consider while you do this exercise:
- What’s important to you to spend time on?
- What’s enjoyable that you would really like to have as part of your daily routine?
- What activities will give you a nice balance of accomplishment, relaxation, and socialization, even during work?
- What do you need to include in your ideal day to get your needs met?
Change One Thing
Getting to your ideal day can take time. Don’t try to change your whole routine all at once. What one or two things can you pull out of your ideal work day description that you could bring into your current work day to brighten it with happiness? In the description above, this person might block out time to find employee training, go out for lunch instead of eating at her desk, make a new playlist, delegate tasks that are not part of her ideal day, or take more time when returning client calls.
Make gradual changes in your current day to improve it. With each change, you’ll be moving toward the realization of your ideal day. And if your ideal day doesn’t include bookkeeping but your current day still does, we’re here for you.
John Thew is President of CRUNCHING NUMBERS, a company founded to help organizations create and manage effective accounting systems. He has over 30 years of experience working with companies in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors helping them to grow top and bottom line revenue.