Plan Your Ideal Day

Schedules suck, I hate them, you hate them. And I’m convinced the solution you are looking for right now is to schedule everything. A lot of us are feeling the pandemic blues. I know I am. We’re almost through it. I promise. But right now, a lot of us feel like we are missing something. That is because we are. It’s different for each one of us. But it’s felt by everyone. There are many factor but I see a common thread. A loss of control. 

I have a suggestion to gain some control back. Use your calendar to create your ideal day. I think this might be what you need. Because I’m guessing, right now you’re lacking one of these two:

– Balance
– Structure

And this method can you give you them back. First we will proactively bring back more of what is currently missing. Second, we will create anchors, which will allow us to settle our days around them. With these two, we will begin to feel afloat again.


Do the things you want, or you need. Everyone’s situation is different right now. So everyone needs something a little different. I want you to list out the things that would be a part of your ideal day. Be realistic, think on a timeline of today or tomorrow with the resources and restrictions you have in place. Sorry, no coconuts served on the beach of your private island. As you come up with this list, try to think of what is currently missing or underrepresented in your current life. These items should be things you would like to do regularly, or even daily. Again, be realistic. My ideal day includes me playing basketball at the park. But it’s mid-February in Canada and gyms are closed. So it’s not an option. But my ideal day in winter would have me going for a long walk or two short ones. My ideal day would have me having dinner with my best friends but there are social gathering restrictions. For now, I can FaceTime for the social aspect and I can get my chef hat on. List out ideas for your ideal day. Acknowledge your commitments, and then, have some fun with it.


The idea here is we are going to build in anchors to your schedule that the rest of your day can revolve around. The goal is to give you ownership of each day. If you are without or have reduced work, this is critical for you. If you are working, you likely have them already. But why not have your own. Ones that are made by you and meant for you. Think of these anchors as your canvas. With the guidance of them in place, we are allowed to get creative as we paint your ideal-self-portrait.

Let’s begin building your ideal day

1) I was serious above and I’m serious now. Write down ideas for what could possibly be in your realistic ideal day. Maybe some become your daily anchors. Others we can save as we piece together your day.

2) Write down the approximate times each activity takes. This is important information for when we are staring at the blank canvas that is our schedule and looking to create our beautiful days.

3) Ask yourself. Are there certain things that already have specific times? If so, hurray you have your anchor! Skip to Step 5 (unless this anchor isn’t yours).

4) If you don’t, it’s time to create your anchor. Start simple. What from your list would you like to do daily? If you had a copy and paste template of your day. What must be on it? Of these items, do any of have a time? If not, could you give them a time? My anchors are a morning and evening routine of things I have batched together. They include things I like to do, like meditate, journal and read. And the things I must do like stretch, prepare for the next day and brush my teeth. 

When picking times be mindful of when you are best for certain activities. I like to meditate as soon as I wake up. I like to be active early when possible. My best writing gets done late in the morning. I eat my two biggest meals six hours a part.  I thrive on midday naps. Ideally, I want similar tasks blocked together. My best thinking gets done at the end of large blocks of time, when I get into a flow state.

5) Once you have your anchor – put it in your calendar. Choose repeat daily. Don’t worry, you can move or delete it on days that call for it. ‘Morning Routine’ is actually a daily repeat in my calendar. It holds me accountable on the mornings I’m not ready to get up just yet. It is a created contract. A scheduled promise with myself – and those are the worst to break.

To continue, I should explain. I have two different template days. Both include my morning and evening routine as an anchor. 

My chosen anchor during the day is my workout. However, I either workout at noon or 4PM. And this has ripple effects throughout my day. It changes when I eat, which changes when I nap. Which changes how much time I have in the morning and where my big chunks of time are. And for this reason, I have two separate template days. For the purpose of this step-by-step, we will continue with my noon workout day. Middle row, Saturday, February 20th in the calendar below.

For now, try for one simple template day. But feel free to give yourself multiple options if that makes sense for you.

6) We have our anchors into our schedule. Now we begin to pick and choose from our Ideal Day Brainstorm we started with. Let’s start to fill out that schedule. First, do any activities pair well together? For myself, I’m working out for an hour at noon, I’ll need energy, and time to digest. Okay, I need to finish lunch by 11, and I always give meals an hour. I don’t want to feel rushed during this time. Now, I’m at midday, so it’s almost time for my nap. That little gap is for a post-workout snack and shower (Sorry, I don’t schedule it in anymore so it’s missing from the image above). In the post-nap state, I find visualization exercises work best for me. And now you can see how the day starts to form. After my morning routine, I’m at my freshest. So I get into my Big task for that day. I created Big #1 as a repeat event of an hour. I’ll change the name of the task and modify time needed the night before when I decide what it will be.

7) Continue this process until much of your day is filled up with how YOU would like to spend it. Again, be real, that 2PM Zoom meeting with your boss, it stays. This step does not have to be done as part of your template as your days will change. Remember, now we are working around our anchors. But it should be the day before. 

I have my two templates. On Sundays when I review the week I start to plug in what I expect the days ahead will look like. As things come up, I add and adjust. The night before I fill in the complete picture. 

8) When you start, I’d actually recommend filling up your calendar completely. Every minute of your waking day. Even if it is just ‘Me Time’, ‘Break Time’ or ‘Watch Show X’’. As you progress, and as you see in mine, you can begin to leave some gaps to prevent the rushed feeling and anxiety a complete calendar can produce. But to start, we want to have a full vision of our ideal day. Also when you realize you are always late after lunch, you’ll learn to give yourself more time on lunch. At first, you will be shocked how often your expected times don’t match up. This is useful information to help you adjust accordingly.

With anchors I am trying to recreate structure that is missing. In fact, my week has an anchor. I let Sundays be a different type of day. I wouldn’t call it a day off per say. But a day to reflect, reset, recharge and retool.

As you can see I now do this in my Google Calendar. It even allows you to have desktop notifications. This can be useful as you get used to the renewed structure in your life. Pings to notify you when it’s time to move on. If you see yourself needing multiple template days. It might be easiest to do this in Excel or Google Sheets, if you choose this route let me know and I can send you the template I used. 

I hope this tool gives you back the control to turn the white winter weeks ahead into your own masterpiece. Be the artist of your days.