Designing Your Life Starts with Designing Your Days
When people think of the words Lifestyle Design images of working from a laptop, location independence, The Four Hour Workweek and digital nomads pop into their head. What they don’t think about is the actual work that goes into those accomplishments, all of which are a byproduct of days and environments that have been deliberately designed.
Designing your life starts with designing your days.
Start with One Small Thing
One of the many reasons I write 1000 words each day is that it gives me a sense of control, progress and accomplishment. I’m not dependent on anybody else for it to happen. It’s a part of the day that’s deliberate that also gives me one focused hour a day of uninterrupted creation time.
Start with any one of the 9 environments that make up your life:
- Clean your car
- Organize your office
- Optimize your life for deep work by making your smartphone into a dumb phone
- Update your social profiles to reflect who you want to become, not who you were in your past
- Take a picture every day `
Starting with one small seemingly inconsequential thing is one of the easiest ways to start a new chapter of your life. The ability to make a commitment and keep it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that creates a ripple effect into other areas of your life.
Designing Your Schedule
Between publishing my first book, doing interviews every week, and overseeing other creative projects my schedule was starting to get a bit chaotic. I found myself in back to back interviews, appointments scheduled at times I wished they weren’t and much more.
A while back my business partner Brian said “I’d love to get this to the point where we can have one month on and one month off. The business would still run but we could take month long surf or snowboard trips.” We’re not currently at that point, but it made me think about what was possible right now.
Most of my appointments are booked using Calendly, which allows people to pick from a set of time slots. But I’m the one who determines what those time slots are. Since I’m starting work on a second book, doing more speaking, and continuing to run Unmistakable Creative, I needed to figure out how to create more time for myself. That’s when I realized that Calendly had a feature called blackout dates. So I made every other week unavailable for meetings with anyone. It’s just one of many simple ways you can design your schedule and take advantage of how effective calendars can be.
Again you can start with one small thing:
- Design 30 minutes of reading time into your day
- Design 45 minutes at the gym into your day
It doesn’t really matter what it is. The point is to take deliberate control over some part of your life that is set to the default and consistently follow through on some commitment.
The Importance of Consistency
Without consistency, your inner critic will write off your attempt to make change as nothing more than a moment of more inspiration and hokey new age bullshit. If you’re going to experience significant and lasting change, consistency is an essential ingredient. When you’re consistent about something ,your habits become part of your identity.
Who you want to become tomorrow starts with who you are being today.
- Most people’s lives are set to the defaults.
- Most people never change the ring on their iPhone
- Most people never question things that can be changed just by their willingness to explore and ask.
Pick something, no matter how small it is and start today.
The easiest way to start designing your life is to start by designing your day.