My “Perfect Day” System

Question for you. At the end of the day, how would you rather feel?

A) “That was a great day!”

B) “Jumpin’ Jupiter! I’m more stressed out and farther behind than when I started!”

Right, A is better! That’s why you’re going to love this post. In it, I show you the simple system I use to make all my days “A” days.*

In the comments below, I’d love to hear about YOUR days … here’s today’s question:

If you could snap your fingers and instantly change one thing about your days (or life), what would it be?

Let me know … and on we go!


P.S. *Okay, not ALL my days. Just the days when I use the system.

P.P.S. I’m curious what you’re doing on Twitter. Follow me (@fromdavidlevin) so I can see what you’re up to. Thanks!

[ transcript ]

Hey, it’s David Levin. Today I want to share a system with you I use to just make a huge difference in my days, in how I feel at the end of my days.

One of the most frustrating things for me is when I have one of those days where I’m working pretty hard but I get to the end of the day, and I somehow feel farther behind and more stressed out than when I started. So this is what I do to keep that from happening.

It’s something I call my Perfect Day System. It’s a simple thing I developed for myself, and I didn’t invent it. I’ve heard variations on it from different places, this is just the version I’ve developed for myself and it’s great. So here’s what it is.

First, you sit down and ask yourself, what would a perfect day look like for you? If you could design the ideal day, where you’re working on all the various things you want to work on, what would that look like?

So for me, since I work at home, self employed, I have a lot of control over my day, so mine looks like this. I get into the office around 8:30 and I spend about 30 minutes just checking in. Email, social. Just talking a look at the day.

9 o’clock, I shut off the phone and email, and I’ve got a 90-minute block of time just for creative work. Whatever the main creative project is that needs to happen for that day, usually it’s writing of some kind – a new article program marketing materials. Stuff like that. So that goes till 10:30.

10:30 I shift gears and work on other work-related to dos, miscellaneous tasks. There are always a ton of those to get done, they don’t take as much time but they need to get done. So that’s 10:30 to 11:30. At 11:30, I take a break go for a run or a walk if I can. Do some personal errands in there. Check email. At 12:30. I have lunch, and some study, check email again.  I almost always have some program I’ve invested in that I’m studying. So that’s part of that time also.

2 to 3:30, I have another 90 minute creative block. So I have two of those during my day. 3:30, I do some more tasks, check in with email, sort of wrap up the day, plan for the next day, and at 4:30, I’m done. That’s the end of my work day.

So that’s what my ideal day looks like. Yours will be different, but that’s the general idea. You look at every area you’d like to work on in your perfect day, and you just write it out, like you’re making appointments with yourself throughout your day. You put it on your calendar and you keep it where you can see it, so you can check in with it as you go through your day.

When I first started, I had exactly the way I just showed it to you, I had actual appointments on my Mac calendar. I could see them there, and then once a week I’d have to manually move them forward to the next week so I could see them again. That ended up way too tedious and annoying. So what I finally did was, I took a screen shot of that ideal day, and I just sit it on my desktop now so I can take a look at it as I go through my day.

So that’s the system. Pretty simple. But there are also some pretty potent insight underneath that that are worth pointing out. The first is these 90 minute creative blocks. These are a really big deal. If you want to do your best work, you need about that much time to get down in to the good stuff. So those are really critical if you can make those happen. Even if it’s just one a day for you, if you can do that – turn everything else off, do 90 minutes on one thing – you’ll see a huge difference from that.

The second is the email. You notice there were assigned times throughout the day where I was going to check email and social stuff. It wasn’t just coming in, responding to them whenever they came in at random. That’s another huge huge thing. One of the best things you can do for yourself is start to batch when you work on those. So try to work that in if at all possible.

The third thing is the idea of balance. You hear a lot of talk about balance – how can we have more balance in our lives. Well, this is how you do it. You write it in. Really, it’s about that simple. You look at my ideal day, for example, I’ve got some of everything I want to do – personal, work, big work, little work, family – it’s all in there.

So anyway, that is The Perfect Day System. Pretty simple. Got some pretty potent insights underneath it. I think you’ll love it.

Now, to be totally honest, I don’t do this every day. I don’t even do it most days. The thing about my life is, I tend to be on a creative deadline most of the time, usually some sort of writing project that needs to be done. And when that’s the case the system sort of goes out the window. I just focus on that and do that, that, that. But even that is a perfect illustration of why this is so important.

When I do that, when I just go and go on the creative thing, I get more done on that, of course, and that’s good because it needs to get done and there’s a lot of stress associated with it, so that’s good. But, that is what gets me to the end of the day feeling like I’m farther behind and more stressed out. It turns out this is the way of working that causes that feeling.

When I go all on one thing, all the to-dos get set aside, and they pile up and stress me out. All the things I do for myself get set aside, and I don’t get that recharge and refresh I need. So yeah, I get more done on the one thing, but it feels terrible.

On the other hand, when I follow the system – and every time I do it – it feels incredible. I’m doing all these various things – I’m getting the good creative work done, getting the other stuff done, doing things for myself, I’ve got family time in there – it just feels incredibly satisfying. So you get to the end of the day and instead of that farther behind feeling, I really do feel like, “Man, that was a great day!”

So that’s the Perfect Day System, and that’s what it feels like when you use it. So I hope I’ve laid that out clearly enough that you can make a version of it for yourself because I think you’ll just really love the difference it makes for you. It’s really incredible.

So the question for today has to do with your days. And here it is: If you could snap your fingers like that and instantly change one thing about your days, what would it be? What’s the one thing you really would love to change right away?

So let me know what your answer is for that in the comments, and if you’re not on my site – – as you’re watching this, come on over. You can put in your comments there, ask any questions about the system, and also get your name on the email list so I can let you know when new videos come out.

All right. The Perfect Day System. Enjoy. I’ll see you next time.


  • Tony

    July 25, 2014

    Well, that’s almost too simple! Love it. Laying out my daily list now. Sort of scary thinking of some of the things I might have to choose to NOT do each day, but also imaging the freedom that will come along. Great stuff. Thanks,

  • Denise Fleming

    August 2, 2014

    We don’t quite have our perfect day yet… still trying to get into a schedule. But we have the ideal morning routine – Wake up, set the coffee maker, go for a short walk while coffee is brewing, come back, grab our coffee, go on our patio and read a chapter of our Bible, write down 10 things we are grateful for, and read a chapter of Parenting the QBQ way. We’ve been doing this for about 2 mos and the days we miss, don’t go well, so we strive to do this every morning.

    I liked how you had a 90 min creative block twice a day. I’m going to incorporate that into a few of my days per week. Thanks!

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