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My Perfect Day – an exercise


This time of year I always feel rather two-faced:  I spend time reflecting on the past year – what did I accomplish/what did I hope to accomplish – but I also look forward to the new year with great anticipation:  what would I like to do differently to achieve new goals.  As I posted recently, I have discovered several new interests that I would like to pursue avidly in 2011.  The problem is that I never feel like I have enough time to do all that I desire, which instantly sets me up for disappointment and an attitude of why bother.  But this year will be different.  It is true that we all have the same 24 hours in a day – and I choose to use those 24 hours with purpose.



So this morning I engaged in an activity that my husband told me about several years ago.  The idea is to develop an image of your “perfect day” – not perfect day as in a special occasion day but a perfectly “ordinary” day.  Once I tried to visualize all the activities that I would like to accomplish, then I attempted to schedule those tasks in the 24 hour time period.  What time would I have to get up – What might I have to give up (like watching television) in order to realize my true desires?  Of course I would have to include all the necessities of life – like going to work, preparing meals, doing errands, and sleeping – but surprisingly enough, those 1,440 daily minutes provide plenty of time to accomplish much.  Multiply that by seven days a week and the free time to pursue my personal interests is staggering.



While my schedule is still in the rough draft stage – and I am sure that lots of tweaking will have to be done in order to get it functional, I thought I might share my free time discoveries with you:

   

Time of Day
Weekdays
Time of Day
Weekends
Saturday
Sunday
5:00AM
Wake up – coffee/blogs
7:00AM
Wake up – coffee
Devotional
Coffee and blogs
5:30
Devotional
8:00
6:00AM
Morning exercise
8:30
Get dressed
6:30
Get dressed
9:00
Write weekly blog entries
CHURCH
7:00AM
Leave for school
11:30
7:30
TEACHING
12:00
Lunch with family
4:30
2:00
Plan weekly menus
5:00PM
Prepare dinner – dogs
3:00
5:30
Evening exercise
4:00
6:00PM
Dinner
5:00
6:30
Blogs or free time
6:00
7:00
Lesson plans or grading
7:00
Lesson plans or grading
8:00
8:00
9:00
WRITE – journal or fiction
9:00
WRITE
10:00
Watch news
10:00
Watch news
10:30
Read in bed
10:30
Read in bed
11:00PM
Sleep
11:00PM
Sleep



While my weekdays are quite structured, I still have enough free time to devote to those activities that I have previously verbalized as “I would do if I had more time….” like personal devotions, an exercise routine, and daily writing exercises. The weekends, however, provide quite a bit of free time, and seem to take away the excuse that I don’t have the time to do anything for me. I am currently thinking that perhaps I could have a different focus for each of the four weekends per month: one weekend could be devoted to photography and Photoshop; one weekend could be devoted to scrapbooking; one weekend could be devoted to personal reading pleasures; and one weekend could be devoted to writing endeavors.



It has also occurred to me that I could write a week’s worth of blog postings over the weekend, rather than try to find a few minutes each day to update my website. I plan to try this new schedule in January and see how that works.



This exercise has empowered me. I have come to realize that no matter how busy my life may be, I do have lots of free time to do what I want to do. I just need to make conscious decisions as to how I wish to spend that free time or else inertia will take over. I wish to be in control of my life. That is a New Year’s resolution that I can actively pursue.


*** In an effort to try to work on efficiency – I wrote this post in Microsoft Word and then attempted to upload to the blog.  Apparently the table function needs a little work.  I apologize for this learning curve.

16 Comments

  • Dave and Tami

    What an interesting exercise. I have been thinking similarly – if I would shut off the tv, there would be plenty of time for all those things I say I don't have time for. The chances of me ever starting a day at 5:00 are slim 🙂 but I think it certainly shows how much you can accomplish if you're willing to put out a little effort.

    Have a Happy New Year

  • Kathleen

    It sounds like you have a great vision for 2011. I know myself that I have learned that I DO have tons of free time to do what I want I just have to prioritize and give myself the opportunity. I've learned I have time to exercise which is something I always said I didn't have time to do in the past. Thank you for being my inspiration this past year Molly and I look forward to hearing more about your journey in 2011!

  • fiction-books

    You really will need to pace yourself, to keep up a regime like that.

    I get up at 5am, and have done every day for the last 20 years. I generally don't go to bed before 11pm, as I have a small on-line shop that I don't close down before that time each day.

    Keeping these hours can be quite tough on the system, so don't punish yourself too much.

    Have a Happy and Successful New Year.

    Yvonne

  • Staci

    You've inspired me!! I love this whole idea of doing something different each weekend. I haven't scrapped in ages, cross stitched, and I miss those activities. Turning off the t.v. is the biggest thing for me and something I need to do more of. I try to do my posts on the weekend too and schedule them for the week, you will be amazed at how much time that frees up for you!!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Stacy at A Novel Source

    Oh wow! You actually answered a question for me I've been wondering all week – when do other bloggers have time to blog, time to read, time to have a life, etc. etc. I love how you laid out your schedule! Thank you, thank you, thank you! But my goodness, how do you do it?

  • Florinda

    I try to write most of my posts in advance and schedule them out. I've done it for awhile, and it's worked well, although sometimes I'll move the schedule around if a topic with some immediacy comes up.

    Sometimes it helps to lay the whole plan out on paper (or screen) and actually see it fit together. I'm sure you've got plenty of things to take up that "free" time! 🙂

  • Bree

    I love your (husband's) idea. Sometimes I feel like I never have enough time but then I think about my days and realize I really do. One thing I've done in the last 2 months is recognize the fact that I REALLY like watching TV shows so I've counted it as one of my hobbies and forgiven myself for the amount that I watch. It's been a big stress reliever. Now I just need to fit in the time to write and scrapbook.

  • Anonymous

    What an ambitious plan you have, Molly, and what an inspiration. I admire you for it. I have never been one to follow a schedule, try as I might, so you give me pause here to try it again.

    Happy new year!

  • Kim

    Thanks for sharing your schedule! I have tried in the past to schedule posts for the week, written on the weekend and when I have done it, it has worked. I am going to give that plan a go again and see if my blogging life improves! 😉
    *smiles and Happy New Year to you!*

  • Kim

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment yesterday. I just wanted to say congrats on the grand daughter! Oh Molly, I think you will love being a grandma–it is so different from being a parent. Truly, all the fun with none of those pesky parenting hassles! I guarantee she will melt your heart. 🙂 Will she be close by you or will you need to travel to see her? Either way, it will be so special!!
    *smiles*

  • Jenners

    I think it is neat that you have such a big chunk of time on the weekends. Your idea of spending different weekends on your different pursuits is a good one.

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