So I am super curious, after last week’s episode, were you inspired to start any new systems? I would love to hear about it, if you have a second to shoot me a DM over on Instagram. As promised, Episode 7 is going to be all about how to design your day as a busy mom.
We’re going to talk about the design process in general. Then I’m planning to share with you my ideal day in the season that I’m currently in. I also thought it would be fun to share with you an older ideal day that I created back when I was working full-time with an infant. This will give you an idea how different days might look during different seasons of life.
So let’s get into it! Back in Episode 3: 3 Hacks for Jumpstarting Your Personal Growth Journey, we talked about a dream life vision. A dream life vision is what you want your future life to look like. That is not what today is all about. Today is about how to design your day as a busy mom, in the actual life that you are living now.
So if you are working full-time, with a 1-year old in daycare and a partner that works nights, you’re thinking what the best day in that life would look like. This definitely isn’t going to be a margaritas on the beach episode, if you know what I mean!
OK, so your ideal day. To start, I always write down my typical schedule as time blocks in my MAP Book (not sure what a MAP Book is? Check out all the details here) . 5am wake up, 8am kids on the bus, 9:30am work day starts, you get the idea. Don’t worry about the nitty gritty here. Start from when you wake up to when you usually go to bed.
Next, I look at the whole day as it currently stands and ask myself: what would be the BEST version of this?
In January of 2021, my family got hit with Covid. I got it pretty bad and was in bed for almost 13 days. Our schedule after that was all off. Obviously, I was focused on recovering, but once I did, I had to recreate an ideal schedule.
At the time, I was waking up with my kids at 7am. Then everyone was grumpy, we were already late and at least one of us was crying when the bus rolled up at 8:15. That sucked.
So I sat down with my schedule and created my ideal day. In my ideal day, I would wake up at 5am, get to do my meditation, work out, coffee date with my husband, do my life coaching class and plan my day, all before snuggling with my girls as they slowly woke up. Doesn’t that sound so much nicer? So I created my ideal day schedule and did this to the whole day. Obviously, waking up at 5am meant that I couldn’t be up until 11pm, so I made adjustments so the day flowed smoothly.
Once you have your ideal day laid out in time blocks, it’s time to plan backwards. How can you make these things a reality? What systems do you need to put in place? (Check out Episode 6, all about systems if you want to learn more about this)
When I realized I needed to wake up at 5am, I set a bedtime alarm to go off at 8:55, so I would be able to get in bed by 9:30. I set up an afterschool system so that my kids emptied their lunchboxes and backpacks right afterschool and put their shoes by the door so there were no last minute scrambles. We put a bin of socks downstairs so that no one was running back upstairs for those at 8:14am.
Now, this is an important note: you need to choose ONE system that you can start TODAY to get you closer to your ideal day. Just one. Want to start waking up at 5am but you’re waking up at 8am now? Set your alarm for 7:30 tomorrow, next week for 7:00. It’s all about the baby steps. Start layering in the next part of the system when you get another part down pat. Keep this Ideal Day Schedule in your MAP Book for easy reference!
I try to do this ideal day schedule exercise once a year or whenever our schedule gets way out of whack, like it did after Covid. This exercise helps me to focus on my priorities and keep my goals on track. In its simplest form, you are taking your schedule and asking yourself the question: what could I do to make it better? I promise you, you’re going to get addicted!
In case you’re like me and an example always helps, I will share with you my current ideal schedule. Does this happen every day? Heck no. Maybe one day a week looks exactly this way. But you know what? That day is super awesome and the other ones have enough pieces of the ideal that they’re pretty great too. So here’s a peek into my daily life:
5am – morning routine
7am – wake up kiddos – breakfast, cleaning task
8am – bus – hope for the day
8:30am – clean up the kitchen, prep for work day
9:30-11:30am – work block
11:30-12:00pm – walk outside or treadmill
12:00-12:30pm – lunch
12:30-3:00 – work block
3:00pm – husband comes home, we catch up
3:30-4:15 – time with our youngest before the bus comes with our oldest
4:15-5:00 – this is our family routine time (library, game night, taco prep, kid dates)
5:00 – dinner prep & screen time
6:00 – eat dinner together
6:45 – learn Spanish together with Duolingo
7:30 – read Harry Potter together
8:00-9:30 parents’ time
I found my Ideal Day exercise from 2016 in an old MAP Book, when I had a 10-month old daughter and was working full-time, teaching 5th grade. Some things were similar, but a lot of things were different too:
5am – wake up – get dressed, pack for daycare, set up crockpot meal
6am – wake up baby, get her ready
7:15 – turn on crock pot, leave for daycare
8am – 4pm – teach and prep for next day
4:30 – daycare pick up and play time
6pm – dinner
6:30 – baby bedtime (man, I miss that!)
7:00-9:00 house chores, showers, pick up the house, prep bags for tomorrow
To be honest, this frantic schedule that prioritized work is actually one of the reasons I began to realize that I wasn’t living in alignment with my dream life vision and started making big changes to match my priorities to my daily activities. But I digress, that’s another episode ….
Whew, anyone else feeling tired just thinking about all that?! Let’s make a plan, mama!
Set aside an hour in your week to write your current schedule in your MAP Book. Then ask yourself, what would the ideal version of this be? Think really detailed. Maybe you sit in the car drop off line for 10 minutes with your kiddo. What would make those ten minutes better? Could you read a joke book to each other during that time? Get some BrainQuest cards and quiz each other? Chat about your hopes for the day? The more detailed here, the better!
Finally, if you are new around here and haven’t already, hop on over to my Instagram page. On my IG stories this week, I am going to be giving you a BTS look at what the ideal version of my day looks like in real life.
Thank you so much for being here, mama! Get back to doing your thing, rocking your world and remember – keep growing! Little eyes are watching.
If so, be sure to share it with a friend – this helps busy moms like you to find me!
And finally, you can also check out these related episodes that I think you’ll be obsessed with: