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A Perfectly Awful Work Day

Let’s be honest. There are not a lot of perfect people in the world. I can think of only two – me and you. And, since we’re being honest, I’m not so sure about you.

If perfect people are as rare as hen’s teeth, perfect workdays are as rare as dentures for hen’s teeth. If you doubt me, read “This is the Ultimate Routine for a Perfect Work Day,” a Harry Bradford article in The Huffington Post.

As Bradford points out, it’s a rare day when you experience a “monumental event,” like “a promotion or a raise, or perhaps your evil boss getting fired.” He’s right. Usually, what you experience is one of those frequent days when your evil boss gets a promotion and a raise. But there is hope. That’s because “there are plenty of little things you can do to improve both your productivity and your happiness.”


The secret of a perfect day is “to structure your time better.” That should be an achievable goal, since few people structure their time worse. How else would you judge a morning spent wandering the halls, in a frenzy, looking for leftover donuts, and an afternoon, spent comatose, dozing in a donut-induced coma?

Interestingly, the need to get away from work is one of the key elements of a perfect day. According to the makers of the productivity app DeskTime, “the highest performers work for 52 minutes consecutively before taking a 17 minute break.”

Now, I know you probably don’t put in 52 minutes of actual work in an entire week, but the 17-minute break part – that you could do with your eyes closed. In fact, that is exactly what you do with your eyes closed – for most of most every afternoon.

And you do have other skills and habits that lend themselves to creating the perfect day at work. “Taking a few minutes to watch the latest cute cat video can help make you a better worker,” say the experts. If it’s true, taking three hours to shop for the cutest cozy lounge wear or the bloodiest video game must make you the best worker in the whole wide world.

Not satisfied with providing scientific studies to affirm your slacker work style, the HuffPost also provides a minute-by-minute infographic to take you through one perfect day.

You wake up at 6:30 a.m., but “don’t check your email.” This is risky. In the night, you may have received an offer from a Nigerian lawyer asking you to take receipt of three million dollars for a 50 percent commission, and, as result, never have to work again.

At 9 a.m. you “set a schedule. Do least-desirable tasks first.” Since the least-desirable task you know is setting a schedule, you should set a schedule for setting a schedule. I’d say 4 p.m. would be a good time to start, right before you slip out the fire exit and race off to Early Bird Margarita Madness at the Kit Kat Klub.

You want to have “have a snack that’s high in protein” at 11:01 a.m.. I’m not sure what qualifies for a high-protein snack, but anything you can pilfer from your co-workers’ lunches is sure to be good. At 12:10 p.m. you’re supposed to “exercise,” whatever the heck that is. At 2:02 p.m. you’re scheduled to meditate. This is an ancient technique for exploring your deepest thoughts and cosmic intelligence. I say – do it. You’ll be done by 2:03 p.m.

At 3:11 p.m. you do “desk yoga.” See if you can bend your desk into a downward dog. If your desk is not sufficiently flexible, get an ax and chop it into kindling. At 4:10 p.m. it’s time for a “power nap.” Go ahead! After chopping up your desk, you deserve it.

“Wrap up work and leave at a reasonable time” are the instructions for 6 p.m. But if you’re still at work at 6 p.m., call a doctor. You may have had a stroke. “Go to happy hour” is scheduled for 6:15, but if you’re hitting the bar that late, there’s nothing happy about it. At 8 p.m. you “record wins in a diary.” Or, considering your batting average when it comes to wins, record them on the head of a pin.

Eleven p.m. is “sleep time.” The end to a perfect day. Well, almost perfect. You still have to go to work the next morning. But let’s think positive. In the night, your office could be attacked by flesh-eating zombies. And wouldn’t that just be perfect!

Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at


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