“I review my notes for a conference call with a client in Asia; I generally talk with them early morning, my time, about twice a month. I stand up to face the large whiteboard, dial in, and present my idea: a customized management-development learning program. The call goes well, and we make plans to co-develop a series of videos to teach basic and advanced leadership, workplace performance, and personal productivity methodologies to their global workforce.”

What you have just read is a portion of one of my Ideal Days at work. This text first appeared as part of a personal journal entry in 1995.

Imagining, designing and anticipating Ideal Days is something that I have been doing for years. I sit down, set a timer for 15 minutes and allow my imagination to take the wheel. I have found it to be an incredibly effective way to continue to advance my business.

Like you, my days are busy. I have a seemingly endless to-do list and countless people who look to me daily. It’s easy to stay focused on the day’s most important things (MITs) while the hours fly by. But no matter how busy my days become, carving out time to imagine an Ideal Day has become an important part of my routine. I have found that giving myself the gift of my own attention is priceless.

As leaders it is our responsibility to inspire and encourage forward-thinking by our team. But until we master this skill for ourselves, it is difficult to motivate others to engage.

At first the process might feel awkward, but like most everything we do, practice makes it more comfortable. Focus on an Ideal Day, not the Ideal Day. Allow yourself to discover new areas of interest and explore skills or projects you might not attempt in real life. You might be surprised what you discover excites you. More than once, new proposals and partnerships have been born on the pages of my journal.

When you adopt this practice and begin to see portions of imagined Ideal Days come to pass, I assure you, the benefits become evident. Imaging Ideal Days will allow you to:

  • Be the architect of your experience
  • Redirect your focus
  • Change your perspective
  • Grow toward new goals

I’m convinced this is a valuable exercise. I have seen many clients encouraged and inspired when they experience parts of their own imagined Ideal Days. Would you be willing to give it try? Share your Ideal Day online or in the comments.

Jason Womack is a workplace-performance expert and executive coach who has worked with thousands of clients during the past 11 years. He is the author of “Your Best Just Got Better: Work Smarter, Think Bigger, Make More.” Womack blogs at The Womack Company Blog and tweets @JasonWomack.

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