Have you ever felt pressure to structure your day the same way as someone else?
Maybe you’ve heard contradicting productivity information that confused you?
For example, it seems like everyone talks about being a “morning person”.
But there’s also a lot of information about being a night owl that contradicts it.
Or maybe you’ve tried a productivity system, only to get discouraged?
But regardless of your past challenges with being productive, my goal is to give you a simple strategy for creating an ideal day that works for you.
Years ago, when I started my first business, I struggled with how to structure my days.
Over the years I’ve tried many different productivity methods.
I’ve use daily planners, productivity apps, read books, and tried many different systems to increase my productivity.
While many of the methods were helpful, I always struggled to get them to work for me.
Of course that doesn’t mean they don’t work… they just weren’t the right fit for me.
And based on my conversations and observations of others, it seems like most people struggle with this.
What are the Five Components?
Over the years I identified five core components that must fit into your day to lead a productive and happy life.
And I learned how to use them in what I call the “ideal day framework” so I have good days more often.
First, you may wonder “what do you mean by ideal day framework?” ...so let’s talk about that first.
Everyone must do five things, on a regular basis, to stay productive, be happy, and feel fulfilled.
For example, if all you did was work and you never saw family, friends and people you love then you would most likely become very unhappy or even depressed.
All of your hard work would be pointless without relationships, right?
I think it was Dave Ramsey who said “if you don’t make time to change the oil in your car then you’ll have to make time to change the engine”.
And life works the same way.
For example, if you don’t make time for your spouse, then you may end up having to “make time” to get divorced.
But when you create a “framework” for your “ideal day” you can use it to divide your time wisely and intentionally, so you have time for everything in your life, that’s important to you.
Get out a piece of paper and write “My Ideal Day Framework” at the top of it.
Below that, put “core components of my day”.
And below that list the five core components that you will make time for in your ideal day.
Here are the FIVE “core components” that (almost) everyone needs to have a happy and fulfilling life.
#1 Self Care
The first one I call “self care,” because if you don’t take care of yourself, you will be forced to IF you had a life threatening disease come up as a result.
And it doesn’t matter if you have a balanced life if you’re dead.
I know that may sound harsh but I’ve personally lived this reality when I stressed out as a young adult, got a major disease, and almost died from it.
So I can tell you firsthand that without HEALTH... your wealth, success, and everything else you hold dear in life has very little meaning.
This is why I believe taking care of yourself should be a “core component” of everyone’s ideal day.
And when I say “self care” I mean stuff like exercising, eating healthy, maintaining your mental stability and really anything that involves taking care of yourself.
The second “core component” (almost) everyone needs to fit into their daily life is work, or something that provides financial stability.
And of course this takes up the majority of your day during your workdays.
I could go into a lot of detail on how to structure your work blocks of time to be more productive, but we will revisit it in another section.
#3 Rest and Recreation
The third “core component” is rest and recreation.
I know many people talk about “hustling” or “working harder” to be “more successful,” but many studies have proved that results diminish as you work longer hours.
A few summers ago, I slipped and fell down the stairs at my home on my way to work.
I dislocated my foot and ended up in a cast.
I wasn’t able to do the recreational things that helped me rest and recharge like cycling and kitesurfing. I decided to “work more hours” to keep myself busy for the summer.
I ended up getting really depressed, burned out, and discouraged by working too much.
It was a good reminder that more work doesn’t equal more results.
As a result, I plan my “rest and recharge” time and try to make it as important as my work.
Because if I’m not rested I won’t be nearly as productive.
We are all humans, not robots, and we have to rest and take care of ourselves to be productive when we do work.
The fourth “core component” of an ideal day is relationships.
Many studies have proven that people who have good relationships with other people are the happiest.
In the past, when I have tried to “work more hours to increase my success” and therefore spent less time with people I love, I quickly lost a sense of purpose with life and got depressed.
If you want to do some more research on this topic yourself I recommend watching the Happy documentary on Netflix.
Or read the “The Top 5 Regrets of The Dying” or “Being Mortal” book.
I highly recommend making relationships a priority and putting it on your ideal day framework.
Relationships are what make life worth living, in my opinion, so don’t take them for granted.
#5 Personal Growth
The fifth “core component” is personal growth and development.
When you grow as a person, you feel better about yourself.
Plus your life improves, so it’s a double win.
I can attribute a lot of my success to books I have read, courses I’ve been through, and from things I learned OUTSIDE of school.
Putting it All Together
Now that you have the five “core components,” you can use them to create your ideal day.
For example, I like to do my “self care” time block the first thing in the morning, between 6 and 8. If I can, I listen to an audible book that helps me grow as a person while I exercise or while I have breakfast and coffee after my workout.
Then I go to work between 8 to 9 and normally come home around 6 or 7pm.
And I spend the rest of my night resting, recharging and spending time with my wife.
As things in life change, you may have to move the core components around to make it work for the stage of life you’re in.
But now I know that things happen and life changes but if I make time for the 5 core components I will have a pretty good life.
If you want a cheat sheet to help you create your own “ideal day framework” template, and get more productivity tips, then go to SmartAgents.com/Productivity