How to Design Your Day the Way YOU Want It To Go

How to Design Your Day the Way YOU Want It To Go
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Do you dive into each day without a game plan? Are you easily sidetracked? Do you procrastinate on the important (but boring) stuff, then kick yourself when the day’s over and you still didn’t manage to get it done?

Wouldn’t it be great to arrive calm, prepared and on time to everywhere you needed to be? To feel happy and connected. Grateful for another amazing day – and looking forward to another one tomorrow.

The secret to this involves a little light planning at the start of each day. Instead of just doing whatever’s in front of your face, it’s time to Design Your Day.

I created this printable day planner to help busy mothers stay focused, stop wasting time and be more mindful as you move about your day. 

The feedback I get on this Design My Day Action Sheet. is phenomenal! There’s a colour version or you can grab one in black & white so it won’t suck up your printer ink. I’m working on a lovely spiral bound version as well. I’ll talk you through each section here:

1. Give gratitude.

There’s a small box here to jot a short note about whatever you’re feeling particularly grateful for today. A daily practice of feeling gratitude for what you already have, brings more good stuff into your life. Really! 

2. Choose your feelings.

We spend too much time thinking of what we have to do and not enough on how we want to feel.

You can’t always choose what happens, but you can choose the way you feel about it. Write three words that best describe how you’d like to feel today.

If your day ahead is jam packed with a lot of places to be, you might choose to feel: Calm. Peaceful. Mindful. With those desired feelings guiding your day, you’ll get it all done in a better frame of mind.

For a family day at home, you may choose to feel: Connected. Present. Playful.

Husband driving you nuts? You might want to feel: Open. Loving. Kind.

3. Schedule in events and prepare for success.

Refer to your calendar and jot down where do you have to be today and when. What can you do to make it all go smoothly? Do you need to take snacks and swimming bags for the lesson, forms to the appointment, retainer to the orthodontist, eco bags to the supermarket? Park it all by the front door so you’re not flying around trying to do it last minute.

Leave some gaps so you can slot in some other things… Could you prep dinner earlier? Run an errand on the way to school? As you Design Your Day, think about these kinds of things too.

4. Identify your 3 Most Important Tasks

Your 3 M.I.T’s are the tasks you most want or need to get done today. No matter what else you do today, these are the things you will get done. This means doing them early in the day before you get caught up in other easier, more fun tasks. (Or Facebook.) Get into the habit of doing your 3 M.I.T’s first before doing anything else on (or off) your to-do list. This means you can finally stop beating yourself up for not getting it done again today!

4. Add a few more things from your to-list

Once you’ve done your 3 M.I.T’s, what else would be great to get done today? You might not get to all (or any) of these, but it’s good to have something to aim for. Remember – even if something’s not urgent yet, it’s good to get it done now before it becomes urgent. (Read this if it all feels important and urgent.)

5. Phone calls and emails

Instead of making phone calls throughout the day, note the calls you need to make and do them all at once. Emails can eat huge chunks out of your day if you’re not careful. Stay out of your inbox as much as possible and set a time limit once you do go in. Write down anyone you need to email and send those mails before you get caught up in fresh ones. (I know, easier said than done…)

There’s a nice white space at the bottom for all of those extra thoughts and notes that pop up throughout the day. You can refer to those when designing your next day. It’s a great idea to design your day the evening before so you can get stuck in straight away the next day.

Important note: A mother’s life is un-pre-dictable. Just when you’re getting started on your first M.I.T, you get a call from the school nurse and have to drop everything. Try to see unforeseen setbacks as opportunities to model flexibility to your children. The earlier they learn to adapt to changed plans the better. Just do your best and stop beating yourself up for not getting it all done. Never be a slave to your to-do list. Always find some joy in each day and know that what needs to get done will. The most important thing is to feel happy. Cuz when mama’s happy, everybody’s happy!

Take Action: Print out several Design My Day Action Sheets and commit to doing this for one whole week. Then let me know how you’re kicking ass on your productivity! 😉 

Want more top tips and Action Sheets I only share with my newsletter subscribers? Pop your details in below and join the Project Me movement. Life’s about to turn a little less crazy for you mama!


In the comments below, let me know what you think about designing your day on paper like this each day? What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to managing your time?


photo credit: Tortured Mind Photography via photopin cc

Kelly Pietrangeli

Kelly Pietrangeli

Mama Motivator at Project Me
Kelly Pietrangeli is the creator of Project Me for Busy Mothers, helping women find a happier balance between the kids - and everything else.

Mixing practicality with self-awareness, Kelly helps mothers get on top of their endless to-do’s, set goals and improve their lives one small step at a time.

Grab her free Life Wheel Tool for discovering what needs your focus first.
Kelly Pietrangeli

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Tell Us What You Think.

9 Responses to How to Design Your Day the Way YOU Want It To Go

  1. Al says:

    Ever since I first started working in a professional role I’ve known about prioritizing to-do list tasks with the four quadrants, but I really appreciated finding your “design my day” sheets and reading this blog just now. As a stay-at-home mum of a two-year old and pregnant with my second child, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed, unproductive, and exhausted for a long time. I’ve only just started to have a little more time for myself with my son starting nursery and have just begun using the “design my day” sheets to try to take advantage of this extra time. One of the most useful things on the sheets is the “prepare for success” section. It’s brilliant! Writing down all those little things that you have to remember to bring with you before you head out the door is an amazing step towards getting to places on time. Ideally I’d like to get to the point where I do those things the night before. I’m not quite there yet as I am still quite exhausted at the end of day, but it’s a goal I have towards making my life a little more peaceful, less last-minute, and in the end, less stressful. Thank you so much for posting this!

    • Thank YOU for your wonderful feedback Al! I hope you don’t mind me sharing it on our Facebook page 🙂

      I’m glad ‘Designing Your Day’ helps you feel that bit more organised and in control. Every little bit helps, right?! And yes, getting into the habit of thinking ahead of time of what you’ll need to take with you (instead of leaving it to last second!) is a great sanity saver.

      Keep your goals in sight, you’re doing great!

  2. […] off a Design My Day Action Sheet and begin each day by identifying your 3 M.I.T’s (Most Important Tasks). Begin with […]

  3. Liz says:

    Love this! Once I have had my 3rd child (any day now!!) I am going to use this to help me form some kind of routine! If that’s possible!! Thank you x

  4. Liz Cullen says:

    Thank you for this – going to give it a whirl!

    One of the most helpful things I’ve found to make sure I have everything for my daughter is for her to have one bag for each activity she does – that bag is always prepped and ready to go – we just have to grab it out of the wardrobe. So when she’s been swimming, I wash her kit and then it goes straight back into her swimming bag – same with her dancing gear etc etc. It’s made getting ready and remembering everything so much easier!

  5. Thanks for sharing your great ‘prepare for success’ tip with us all here Liz! It’s these small, forward thinking strategies that can make a huge difference to our sanity on busy days.

    I hope you enjoy Designing Your Day 🙂

  6. Tina says:

    I’ve been meaning to tell you for months how much I love this worksheet! On days I use it, I really do stay on track and I like the prepare for success area which has saved me many times from forgetting to do something relating to an event. Then I have days I don’t use it and I ended up feeling frazzled again. So I can definitely see the different with and without it! I now have a folder of them printed so I have no excuses. Will you consider doing a planner out of these? Then I would absolutely use it daily.

    Thank you!

    • I’m so happy to read this Tina! In my online programmes I require that all participants use it for one full week and then report back. They all LOVE it once they commit to it and, interestingly, when they inevitably slip and don’t use it for a while, they then feel the difference and come back to it!

      I’ve been asked many times to get them turned into a proper planner and I’m working on it. If you’re not on my mailing list, hop on so you’ll be amongst the first to know 🙂

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