Optimizing Your Typical Day

Have you ever considered what your typical day really looks like? Or how it may change somewhat systematically based on week, month, quarter, or even season?

I’ve been more interested in these types of things recently as I’ve entered into a familiar season of life and am beginning to exit one that’s lasted for 7 years. The point of attempting to take a step back explicitly and intentionally is to log these changes in my own rhythm of life so that I can not only document them but begin to optimize them.

You see, these seasons have come and gone more than a few times and although I feel like I’m getting better at managing them, working in them, and expressing them to those that matter most (like my wife who has to “deal” with me the most) I still know that it’s not enough to just muck through it and expect the very best.

As I result I’ve been detailing in my notebook what my days look like, attempting to discover patterns that work and the environments that I find myself in when I really begin to hit my stride.

Have you ever considered doing this for your work?

You may find a number of interesting things about yourself, such as:

  • The time of day that is most optimal for very specific tasks.
  • The types of things you eat that really seem to accelerate your work.
  • Certain people that really get your juices flowing that really accelerate your work and your energy levels.
  • There are certain types of conversations that really just “work” and then there are those that really don’t – conversations that take away from your energy levels.
  • It seems that certain applications and tools provide more joy in their use than others. Making note of them.

And the list goes on and on. I coach and mentor others to find these things explicitly but I do it even for myself time and time again. If your goal is to be more productive, more collaborative, and more successful in the things that you do (or plan to do) then it behooves you to optimize your workflow and typical day structure.

What about you? Have you ever tried this activity in an explicit way? What’s it going to take?