Last week I told you the story of my try-hard-do-little day at the coffee shop, attempting to churn out some of my monthly writing and failing miserably. Despite the fact that I am generally a fast writer, and someone who can put pen to paper with particular speed, that day I did nothing of the kind. Instead, despite the fact I had come to the cafe with the express purpose of getting some writing work done, I did more or less nothing.

Aside from scanning my emails (and not responding), reading the interwebs (US Weekly, mostly), and refreshing my Twitter stream (it keeps going!), that is. Finally, my husband saved the day by taking on an exciting outing (!) to go grocery shopping.

It was quite an afternoon.

But what that day showed me once again was that it is always essential for me to remember when the best time of day is to do my writing. (Mid-morning or dinnertime are the times for me.) More generally, though, it is essential that I not only know the time of day I’m best at writing, but also the time of day I’m best at a host of other things in my life.

Things like:



Doing my Daily Quiet Time

Having Meetings


Talking on the Phone with Family

Playing with my Baby Daughter

It may sound over-the-top to not only figure out the best times of days to do these things, but then also try to build a schedule around it, but I believe it’s pretty close to fundamental if we want to slowly work towards having better days, and better lives.

Here are a few steps to try to build these better lives we’re after using this strategy:

  1. Write a list of the main activities you do in a given day. Work, rest, sleep, exercise are all good things to put down.
  2. Break that list down into smaller activities. Now you’ve got to break it down. What do you do when you work? You talk on the phone. You have meetings. You do brainstorming work. You respond to emails. Write all those tasks down.
  3. Now think about when you’re best at each of those things. Really think. And don’t just answer once and for all today, but take a week. Take a month. Watch yourself as you live your life, and think about it, over time.

After you do these things, you’re then ready to take on the bigger task of starting to build a life designed around living your life at the best time of day you can. Even if you aren’t someone with a detailed schedule day in and day out, this can still work incredibly to give you the broad strokes picture of how you should run your days.

If you’ve tried this in any capacity, I’d love to hear your experiences. What has worked, and what hasn’t? Have you learned about yourself in the process?



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