Do you ever find yourself stuck in a slump, lacking routine, and needing to hit the reset button on your day-to-day life? Chances are everyone has felt this way at some point. It can be hard to find a routine that makes your day productive, happy, and healthy for you while also being good for your finances. But if you lay out all the most important factors, you can create your ideal day and live it too.
Burnout is a very real experience many of us face. I find when I'm burnt out I eventually reach a breaking point and feel the need to up-haul my schedule and try to get back into the swing of things.
Work is certainly not the only thing that causes burnout, but it is the leading cause. According to a recent study, two-thirds of all full-time workers experience burnout on the job.
I truly believe creating an ideal day involves factoring in all aspects of your life, not just work. So hopefully this article can be a glimmer of inspiration to get you into the swing of things and guide you in making your own ideal schedule!
Everything you need to consider when creating your ideal day
Your ideal day should involve allowing time for many different factors of your life.
Think of your day as a garden: without causing too much stress or pressure, you should tend to each different flower on its own. This will keep your day well balanced and enrich your life.
1. Your work and personal life
For a lot of us, the hours in a day dedicated to work and productivity will probably come out to be 8 total hours. Whether you have the typical 9 to 5 schedule or one that is a little different in its start and finish time.
It's daunting to think that 8 hours of our day are for working when you're creating an ideal schedule that factors in things beyond work. Nevertheless, doing your work doesn't mean you can't get anything else done!
So, be sure to create an ideal day that is balanced. You can do this by including your personal goals and self-care in your schedule.
2. Check in on your finances
Money management is important and to truly keep on top of it you need to check in on your finances every day.
Whether it be by taking a look at how you're spending relative to the budget you've created, checking in on the status of your investments, or even doing a financial health check. Your ideal day should support your financial wellness journey.
3. Prioritize your health and take care of yourself
In my opinion, taking care of your health is the most important part of any day. After all, you can't complete anything else on your to-do list without first being physically and mentally equipped to take on the day.
Finding time for exercise, healthy meals, and mental health care is vital.
Prioritizing healthy habits doesn't have to break the bank either. You can use free Youtube workout videos to exercise from home, opt to buy discount produce, and download free meditation apps to practice mindfulness.
4. Spend time with your loved ones
Connecting with others is an important part of every day. A recent study found that having an active social life can reduce stress, improve your mood, and encourage positive health behaviors.
While it's unlikely that anyone has social plans every day, finding a moment to connect with loved ones even from home is an important part of your ideal day.
Consider phoning a friend rather than texting. Or you can set up a virtual movie watch party in the evening or go for a walk with a neighbor.
5. Tap into your creative side and go off the grid
No matter your hobbies or passions, we all have a creative side. And letting your creativity flourish is a great way to get out of your head amidst the daily grind. One study discovered that 49% of millennials said social media urged them to overspend.
Take some time each day to break away from the endless scroll of social media. Put your phone away, and see what you're inspired to do. Chances are, your ideal day will feel more abundant, and your finances will too.
6. Make sure rest time fits in your ideal schedule
Getting a good night's sleep is sure to set you up for success every day. Making sure time to rest and get to bed at a good time is important. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep to feel properly rested.
So, a big part of your ideal schedule is to give yourself a bedtime!
Example of an ideal day
Now that we've covered the basics of what your ideal schedule should incorporate, here's an example of how this schedule might play out for you!
Morning: Starting your ideal day off right
Rise and shine, time to start the day! Here's a great example of an ideal morning schedule: (Keep in mind you can adjust the times based on your own personal schedule!).
7 AM: Eat a healthy breakfast
Energizing your mind and body in the morning is important to ensure you're able to achieve the things you want for the day. Yogurt parfaits, smoothies, eggs, and oatmeal are just a few affordable and energizing breakfast options.
8 AM: Get your body moving
Starting your day with flowing endorphins is a great kickstart. I personally like to begin with light stretches and yoga poses to ease into the day. There are plenty of free guides online for yoga and stretching.
9 AM: Begin the workday
9 a.m. may be your typical start to the workday. This is when I like to set up my desk with my computer fully charged, and some water and coffee on hand.
I answer emails, check my agenda for the day, and prep anything I need before logging into any meetings. Having a morning routine that eases me into the workday starts the day off right.
Afternoon: Beating the afternoon slump and sticking to your ideal schedule
Fuel yourself to get through the second half of the day. Here are some ideas to help you master the afternoon!
12 PM: Lunch break!
Make yourself a healthy lunch, or grab something you previously meal prepped. Take this lunch break to step away from work, re-energize, and enjoy some time to yourself.
I like to opt out of scrolling through Twitter during my lunch break and instead, read a chapter of a book or go for a quick walk. Since social media can be a distraction to your finances and cause stress, try finding something else to do on your lunch break.
1 PM: Back to work
Head back into your workday to finish up your to-do list. Beating the afternoon slump can be tricky, so I like to do something to ease me back in with a clear mind.
This can be your own little moment of self-care! Breathing exercises and journaling are my go-to's.
2 PM: Financial check-in
After getting some more work done, I like to take a short break and delve into other important parts of my ideal day, such as a financial check-in. This gives me a chance to take a breather from the workday and think about other aspects of my day-to-day life.
I usually check my spending, review my budget, or check in on my investments. Scheduling time for your finances is an important part of your ideal schedule. So use this time to check in on your money!
Evening/night: Winding down so tomorrow your ideal day can begin again
Time to end the day! Here are some ideas to help you wind down and have a wonderful finish to your day:
5 PM: Cook a healthy dinner
Once the workday is done, I cook a healthy dinner and take some time to myself to unwind. It is more than possible to eat clean on a budget. You can follow a clean meal plan and have some of your healthy meals already prepped in the evening.
I like to opt for something with chickpeas as a base — like a curry or salad — because they are protein-rich and cheap! Browse through our list of cheap healthy dinners for more ideas.
6:30 PM: Time to exercise
Once I've had dinner and taken a moment to myself, I do a workout. Sometimes this means heading to a class at my gym. And other times it means putting on a youtube video and exercising in my living room.
So take some time to get in a good workout. Try to pick something you enjoy so you will stick to it.
8 PM: Wind down
By 8 p.m. I like to begin winding down. My evening routine is when I do a lot of my self-care. This includes skincare, showering, meditation, and journaling. Ending your day on a positive note is just as important as beginning it that way.
10:30 PM Get to bed
In order to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep, I aim to get to bed between 10 and 11 p.m. This sets me up to live my ideal day every single day. I like to have my creature comforts when I'm heading to make sure I sleep well.
This means extra cozy blankets and a white noise track. Find things that help you relax so you can get a good night's rest.
Your ideal day is waiting for you
When you consider the things that are most important to you and your wellbeing, you can develop your very own ideal schedule. It might seem like a daunting task, but it is more than possible to create a plan for each day that will support you in living your best life.