How to Plan Your Ideal Day {w/ printable template}

When you think about your days, do you feel overwhelmed? Like you aren’t accomplishing anything? Is school work random and hit or miss? Do you struggle to get the house clean and meals made?

I can help you with that.

After years of frustrated unproductivity, I decided it was time to for a change. After reading many books and blogs on the subject, I finally found my way into gentle productivity. This new way of life has helped me meet many goals, get way more school work done, and we aren’t all stressed out at the end of the day!

Sound like something you might be interested in? I thought you might.

If you are looking for a different day in this series, you can find them all here.


How to Plan Your Ideal Day

Start with the musts

When planning your days, you have to start with the musts. What must happen? What can you not go without doing? What commitments do you have that there’s no getting out of?

You start with the musts because if we don’t get those things done, we stress. We let people (including ourselves) down. We get frustrated and grumpy.

To avoid all that, we need to make those things a priority.

The musts are a two-part deal.

  • What must I do because others are counting on me?
  • What must I do because if I don’t, I’ll lose my mind?

To manage the second part of that, you need to think about your triggers. What sets you off? What makes your eye twitch? What gets under your skin to the point of making you stop what you’re doing to fix it?

As an example, here are my musts.

Because others are counting on me . . . 

Those are very general and really we could go much deeper into each one, but not today.

Because if I don’t I’ll lose my mind . . .

  • make my bed
  • keep the floors swept
  • keep the counters cleared off
  • wipe the bathroom mirrors
  • make sure school books get put back where they belong
  • plan the meals

Think about these things and write them down. I’ve given you a template to get you started.

Planning Your Ideal Day Freebie

What will make the most difference?

What can you do throughout the day to manage those triggers? What steps can you take to ensure you don’t lose your mind over something silly like the counters being cruddy?

Write those down, too.

What would you like to happen each day?

This can be a slippery slope.

Don’t get overzealous and write down 30 things you’d like to happen each day. That’s just absurd and you’re setting yourself up for failure. I’m speaking from experience here.

Be realistic.

We all have 24 hours and assuming you get 8 hours of sleep each night, that leaves you with roughly 16 hours in your day. What can you do in those 16 hours that will make the greatest impact on your day, week, and season of life?

Things I would like to happen each day . . .

  • read aloud to the kids
  • create something together
  • get outside
  • stay caught up on the laundry
  • connect with my husband, even just for a few minutes
  • talk to the Lord
  • have some one on one time with each of the kids

Write yours down. Getting these things down on paper makes them so much more concrete. Plus, you’ve got the added bonus of a reminder.

Putting it all together

Now that you’ve got your musts and ideals written down, you’re ready to put it all together.

This is the sheet I use to write everything down that I want to see happen in a week. It’s a great tool for establishing habits and routines.

Planning Your Ideal Days

I plug each item I listed above into an appropriate time frame. Then I check it off each day as I get it done.

There are ten boxes next to each line because I originally made this to be used for two weeks. But of course, you can use it any way you’d like.

Because we usually have the same meals each week (Taco Tuesday, Pizza on Friday . . ) I write down what’s on my meal plan for breakfast, lunch, and supper and check it off each time we eat it. There are four boxes because, again, I had two weeks in mind and we’d easily eat eggs or pancakes four times in two weeks.

By the way, if you need lunch ideas, I’ve got over 45 of them (with a printable list) right here.

I hope this has been helpful in planning your ideal day. If you have any questions about the process, feel free to comment below or send me an email via the contact form at the bottom of this page. I’d love to hear from you!

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