Chasing the Myth of the Ideal Day
“No matter how many articles I read on the benefits of waking up at 5am and tackling your day, that isn't in the cards for me.”
Words by Jule Scott
There is no denying that I am very prone to spending hours on YouTube watching everything from "a day in my life" to "how to become a morning person". I've always been fascinated by the concept of a perfect daily routine. I have even dipped my toe into the whole experience of planning out my 'ideal day’ - yoga, meditation, unachievable wake-up calls and bedtime included. Whenever I have tried to follow this 'ideal day' of mine, composed by the routines that I am sure work wonderfully for others, my day turned out to be less than perfect. If anything, those days left me feeling unmotivated and unproductive more so than a typical day.
It was only recently I realised that, for some sordid reason, my 'ideal day' has never included anything I actually genuinely enjoy. I couldn't care less about getting up at 6am on my days off to drink a glass of hot water with lemon and meditate. I am not saying you shouldn't do these things, and while I am sure all are wonderful if done by someone who enjoys them, it simply isn’t for me. No matter how many articles I read on the benefits of waking up at 5 am and tackling your day, that isn't in the cards for me. Every single attempt ends the same way - constant snoozing my alarm, ultimately getting out of bed later than I would have without a wake-up call and likely feeling like someone has robbed me of my sleep. There is something satisfying in starting a day off slow instead of setting my alarm at an unrealistic time in the morning.
All of this leaves me wondering why this obsession with productivity exists, and why it seems that a perfect day always has to equal a productive one. Isn’t there something better you could do with your 'ideal day'? I have come to the conclusion that the connection, as with many things in our culture, can be linked to social media. Waking up to the realisation that someone else in your timezone has already been awake for hours, completed a run, had a green smoothie (that they didn’t even like, but it looked good on the 'gram) and written in their gratitude diary, can feel incredibly overwhelming. Consciously or subconsciously, thoughts like the one mentioned can add pressure and a sense of guilt for having been ‘too lazy’.
If you are reading this on the sofa in your PJs or while taking a break from work to browse this site for a minute (or 10), this is your little reminder to simply enjoy it. There is no shame in not always being your most productive self, especially not if it's those few moments of what social media might call ‘unproductivity’ which ultimately make your day an ideal one to you.