What is the perfect daily routine? To plan the perfect day, all you really need is a pen and a planner. As a starting point, you need to know what your perfect daily routine should include, the non-negotiables that make up your daily schedule from breakfast back to bed in the evening.
Chances are, you already have a list as long as your arm of to-dos you need to do, places you need to be, people you need to see. Where the element of perfection comes in, then, is in learning how to plan your day properly. Once you do everything at the right time, you’ll begin to work better, focus harder, and be in a better mood. You need to start by smashing expectations of what a perfect day actually is and starting again. Every day is a perfect day, as long as you plan it correctly. Sticking to it, well that’s easy – as long as you’ve planned it to be in sync with your natural rhythm and energy levels, you’ll have no problem smashing every item on your to-do list.
A planner like the Getting Stuff Done planner will help you plan and execute your perfect day, not only can you plan it out, but you can also make sure you stay on top of your health and self-care while you work through it. So, if you’re ready, here is the perfect day according to science – plan your day to follow this and you’ll be smashing every goal in no time.
W A K E U P
Make sure to wake up at the end of your REM sleep. You can find this out by sleeping without an alarm on the weekend and making a note of when you wake up naturally. Is it eight hours exactly after you went to sleep? Less? More?
Download a sleep tracker app, or use a wearable tracker to monitor your sleep. You’ll see when you are in a deep sleep and when you’re lightly sleeping, and be able to plan your sleep/wake-up cycle from there. Go to bed at the same time every night to ensure you wake up fresh and ready to smash your perfect day.
B R E A K F A S T
Research shows that the best time to eat your breakfast is one to two hours after waking. Your body may not have had any food in a long time, but your brain needs the fuel. Your metabolism is also at its peak in the morning so what you eat when you wake up will be used, not stored. If you want to plan a perfect day, make sure to plan for breakfast no later than two hours after you wake up. The perfect daily routine starts with breakfast, of course.
W O R K O U T
If you have time to go out for a workout, definitely plan it in the morning. Natural light will boost your mood and help your body wake up. The morning is a great time because outside factors haven’t yet interfered with your motivation to work out. But if you can’t squeeze it in, make sure that your perfect day does include a workout somewhere, as this will help to boost your brain power.
E M A I L
If you want to get your day off on the right foot, start with emails. Emails sent between 7 and 10 a.m. are apparently more likely to be read than those sent later on. It makes sense, most people are checking their inboxes first thing to see if there’s anything urgent they need to respond to.
Plan a block of time for going through emails and chasing people and stick to it. You can then give yourself an extra half an hour in the afternoon to check for replies, but don’t let it distract you as you go about your day.
T O D O S
In the morning, your alertness is at its highest. Mid-to-late morning is proven to be the best time to tackle those taxing tasks, so if you have something you’ve been putting off, move it to the front of your to-do list and get it done as soon as you possibly can.
If you want to have a perfect day, when you’re planning your daily to-dos, put the easiest thing on the end of the list. This will make sure you’re working in sync with your energy levels and mood.
L U N C H
Have a regular lunch every day, if you usually go at 12, stick to that as your body will become acclimatized to eating at that time. The later you leave it, the more your ability to focus will be affected. Also, studies have shown that eating a larger meal at lunchtime and a lighter one in the evening is actually better for you. Eating a heavy meal before bed can disrupt your sleep.
Make sure that your lunch is a chance to get away from work and rest your eyes and mind for at least an hour. This will help you get back on track and tackle the afternoon’s tasks with energy and motivation.
M E E T I N G S
The best time to have a meeting is 3 p.m. This is the prime time, since it’s not too late in the day, and not too early that nobody is prepared. If you need to discuss something or snowball ideas, this offers a good break from your tasks, so it’s a good time to put your head together with your colleagues and discuss for half an hour.
If you aren’t in control of booking meetings, you might want to arrange your day around a meeting, knowing that your brain will use this opportunity to ‘rest’ from the tasks it’s been working on and focus on communication and collaboration.
G E T C R E A T I V E
Towards the end of the day is the best time to get creative and think outside the box. If you need to attack a problem or think creatively about something, the best time to do it is at 4 p.m. it’s described as a non-optimal time of the day where you’re less likely to have the energy for those big tasks, but can definitely think outside the box and be more creative.
S O C I A L T I M E
When your work is over, it’s important to make time to be social. Humans are social creatures, so this is a good time to be social, whether you’re still at work or on the way home. Schedule time for a call, have a catch up with your colleagues, make time to group up as this will boost your mood and make you feel more positive.
D I N N E R
Have your dinner with plenty of time until going to sleep, the later you leave it, the more likely it is to interfere with your sleep and your digestion. Try to have a light meal that is carb-free, this will make sure you end the day on a high and are ready to unwind for the evening.
L O G O F F
9 p.m is the perfect time to start your digital detox. Engaging with devices before bed is a huge no-no if you want to wake up and live your perfect day all over again. We all know that certain screen lights limit melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep.
R E L A X
Take a hot bath or shower to prepare your body for sleep, moving from hot steamy wardrobe to a colder bedroom will help you get into the mood for sleep, you can add some lavender drops to the bath or shower to enhance this effect. You should also try to do half an hour of reading before you go to bed, it helps you be more mindful, rest and relaxes your mind, and as your eyes travel across the page you’ll start feeling sleepy all of a sudden.
S L E E P
Between 10 and 10:30 is the perfect time to go to sleep, you should aim for eight hours of sleep to perform at your best the next day. No matter whether you’re used to going to bed so early or not, sit in bed and read with a chamomile tea until your body gets the message that this is the new time you’re going to bed. Waking up feeling refreshed and ready to smash another perfect day.