If you’ve ever read a self-help book, talked to a life coach or listened to pretty much any psychology centred podcast, you’ve probably heard of the “Perfect Day Exercise”.
The perfect day exercise is when you close your eyes and picture what your version of a perfect day would look like. The clarity of your desires helps you make choices throughout the day to achieve them.
Towards the end of the conversation with my friend Jayson Gaignard on a recent episode of Psychology of Entrepreneurship, he mentioned that he applies this exercise to his life on a regular basis, and it really helps him sort out his priorities.
So if the man Forbes names as “one of the top networkers to watch” in 2015 gets beneficial use out of this practice, imagine what it could do for you. But it got me thinking, why does this simple exercise work so well?
Know Your Priorities
One of the main reason picturing your perfect day helps entrepreneurs, in particular, is that it brings your priorities into focus. When you know what you want the results to be, it’s easier to figure out the formula to get them.
This doesn’t have to be an in-depth, introspective process either. Sometimes your perfect day may just mean having your inbox cleared by dinner time. If this is a request that comes up often, maybe it’s time to start dedicating some time to going through your emails.
Recognizing the thing that keeps preventing you from having that perfect day sort of forces you into prioritizing it.
Priorities, of course, aren’t always business-related, and shouldn’t be. Sometimes we don’t realize that we’re neglecting the ones we love until we miss them. Social connections are what make us happy, or allow us to be happy, so prioritizing them can make a monumental impact on your stress levels.
Reducing your stress creates a ripple effect that positively impacts every aspect of life, as we all know.
Burnout is something that has come up multiple times on the Psychology of Entrepreneurship podcast. Entrepreneurs and creatives are at high risk for burnout, partly because we tie so much of our self-worth into our business. “Who are you without your business?”
This poignant question that Jayson asks in the episode really shines a light on how much seeing our businesses and ourselves as interchangeable entities can inhibit us from living our best lives.
Sometimes avoiding burnout isn’t just about spending more time with our family and friends, although that, of course, is a big part of it. But it’s also about spending times with ourselves apart from our businesses.
Solo time with the other part of yourself, the part that isn’t always creating or working, can help the separation process that is so critical for mental health. Even if solo time means sitting on the couch binge-watching crime dramas, or popping your headphones on and grooving to your favourite playlist. Whatever that thing is that leaves you feeling recharged, do it.
The more you do, the more you’ll start envisioning it in your perfect days. Humans are creatures of habit. Sometimes we have to trick ourselves into doing what’s best for us until it sticks. Hey, whatever works.
So when you picture your perfect day, what do you see?
The Psychology of Entrepreneurship
For more insight into the perfect day method and all of Jayson’s insights, check out Volume 9 of the Psychology of Entrepreneurship hosted by Ronsley Vaz with special guest Jayson Gaignard.
Author: Ronsley Vaz
Ronsley is the founder & chief day dreamer at AMPLIFY. He is an author, speaker & serial entrepreneur.
He has a Masters’ degree in Software Engineering and an MBA in Psychology and Leadership. He is known as the creator of We Are Podcast – the first Podcasting Conference in the Southern Hemisphere, and the host of The Bond Appetit Podcast and Should I Start a Podcast. He has an audience of over 3 million in 133 countries.