Almost Perfect

I’m obsessed with productivity and optimizing my time, so when I think of a “perfect” day, I think of a day where I get a lot of work done (with a little bit of relaxation built in too, of course).

I’m definitely a morning person. If can get up and get to work without procrastinating (big if), 7:00-11:00 a.m. is by far my most productive time of day. Unfortunately I have a lot of trouble sleeping, which means I have trouble getting up on time in the morning. But for my perfect day, let’s imagine I spring out of bed at 6:00 a.m. on the dot, refreshed and raring to go.

First thing, I go into my home office and write my morning pages. This stream-of-conscious longhand journaling is a daily practice I’ve kept up for almost three years now, and I plan to do it for the rest of my life (at least, as long as I can hold a pen). It wakes me up, clears my head, and helps me get a handle on my priorities.

After morning pages, I shower (with all my favorite LUSH products), then eat breakfast and sip coffee while reading a novel. In my not-so-perfect real life, I often mess around on Twitter during this time, but on my perfect day I would have incredible focus and willpower and wouldn’t even be tempted to glance at my phone until later.

Following breakfast, I head back to my office for a couple of hours of writing. I’ve already planned out the scene(s) the day before, so I’m able to just jump right in and bang out the pages. Around 11:00 a.m., I wrap up my writing session, then spend an hour or so responding to emails and engaging on social media.

I eat lunch, then take my dog for a walk in the park (let’s just assume it’s beautiful and sunny in Chicago on this perfect day). In the afternoon, I take care of business and strategic planning tasks, like updating my website, doing press, working on my podcast or other writing-adjacent ventures, and planning out my next writing session.

By the time my partner gets home from work, I’m ready to totally sign off for the day – no more work, minimal social media. We have dinner (he cooks – that’s not a perfect day fantasy, he always does all the cooking), walk the dog together, and then watch some TV.

Before bed, we clean up around the house so everything is in order when we wake up in the morning. We’re in bed by 10:00 p.m. at the latest. Maybe I’d have a bath first (more LUSH products!), then read in bed with my dog curled up at my feet until I’m ready to drift off.

Writing all this out, I’m realizing that my current schedule is not so far off from my perfect day, except that I have to do my day job instead of focusing on writing-related work all day. But since I work from home, I do have a lot of freedom to carve out the schedule I want and write at my ideal times. I don’t always take full advantage of it, though – like anyone I lapse into procrastination and laziness more than I’d like, but I’m always trying to improve. Someday I hope the majority of my days will be perfect, or close to it!

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Layne Fargo

Layne Fargo is a thriller author with a background in theater and library science. She’s a Pitch Wars mentor, a member of the Chicagoland chapter of Sisters in Crime, and the cocreator of the podcast Unlikeable Female Characters. Layne lives in Chicago with her partner and their pets.

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