Do you know what an ideal day looks like for you? If you are struggling with the balance between work life and time at home with your family, what exactly do you want to look different?
If you are struggling with the balance between work life and time at home with your family, what exactly do you want to look different?
Today’s post is an exercise that I want you to go through to answer that question. I want you to walk through an ideal weekday and an ideal weekend/rest day. If you work on the typical weekend days (Saturday or Sunday), then imagine what your “work” day looks like and your “rest” day look like, regardless of what days of the week those fall on. Now, don’t roll your eyes (that was my own instinct at a visualization exercise like this). This can seem “mushy” but it’s important.
I want you to walk through an ideal weekday/workday and an ideal weekend/rest day. If you work on the typical weekend days (Saturday or Sunday), then imagine what your “work” day looks like and your “rest” day look like, regardless of what days of the week those fall on. Now, don’t roll your eyes (that was my own instinct at a visualization exercise like this).
The reason I want you to do this exercise is that it will help you identify where you want to go and the gap between that and your current reality.
This is critical to know because over the next several weeks we will be diving deep into topics related to building systems at home that give you space and time to spend with your family, build your career without feeling guilty, and still have time for yourself.
That might sound impossible. I know. But, it can start to shift if you identify the areas where you need help and better processes and systems at home.
Our brains are wired to visual clues about what we want and what is possible. We have to “see” it to believe it. That means you have to be able to see glimpses of the life you want.
So, if you’re still with me, let’s get started. This exercise should take you about 10 minutes. You should read through all the questions or click the audio below that walks you through them to listen.
1. How do you wake up? Do you feel rested or tired?
2. Do you kids come in the room or do you have time for yourself?
3. Where is your phone? Do you look at it first thing or start your morning routine?
4. What is your morning routine like? Bush teeth, shower, meditate/pray, read, exercise? How long do you have uninterrupted?
5. What are you going to wear? How do you feel about the clothes?
6. What kind of interaction do you have with your husband? Do you lay in bed talking before you get up? Do you share duties related to getting the kids ready?
7. Your kids are up. How involved are you in getting them ready? Picking out clothes, making lunches, packing backpacks?
8. What is breakfast like? What do you eat? Do you all eat together or do you grab something as you head out the door? How “healthy” is the breakfast you’re eating?
9. You get to work. How are you feeling? How quickly can you get into your work?
10. Are you thinking about your kids, errands, appointments or tasks?
11. What are you working on?
12. If today included a check-in meeting with your boss/manager/partner at work, how would they describe your performance over the past few weeks?
13. What do you do on your lunch break (eat with colleagues, eat by yourself, do errands, exercise)? How are you feeling? What is your energy level like?
14. How productive are you in the afternoon?
15. When do you start thinking about the evening (pickups from school, dinner, etc.)?
16. What time do you leave work?
17. Do you go to pick up the kids? Do you stop at the grocery store?
18. Once you get home, what is the plan for dinner? Are you trying to figure out dinner? Are there leftovers? Something in the slow cooker? Going to use the InstantPot?
19. Do you eat together as a family? Is there conversation during dinner?
20. What happens after dinner? Who cleans up? What do the kids do?
21. Have you had any time with your husband? Do you know how his day was? Did you get to share about your meeting with your manager?
22. It’s bedtime for the kids. What does their routine look like? How long does it take to get them in bed? Is it a battle?
23. What do you do once they are in bed? Is it time for bed for you? Do you clean? Prepare for the next day?
24. Did you get to exercise today?
25. What does your bedtime routine look like?
26. How do you feel when you go to bed?
Now, you can repeat this exercise for the rest day/weekend. You can remove the questions regarding work and substitute in the activities you do on the weekends. This might include kids activities, parties, date night, etc.
Now that you’ve visualized this ideal day, write down a few key things that stood out to you.
- What was your energy like?
- How did you feel as you went through your day?
- Note your stress levels.
In next week’s post, we will come back to this exercise and contrast it with your current reality.