To make time for what’s truly important, you don’t need a grid or a calendar. And you don’t need as much time as you think.
Today I Overslept Almost 5 Hours
Most days, I am up and out of bed at 6 am. Even on weekends.
When I hear the alarms (I have several) I get out of bed and turn them off. No snooze.
Today, after shutting the alarms I went to turn off the heat in my living room and I couldn’t take another step. I collapsed on the couch. This almost never happens.
What happened next was even more rare: when I opened my eyes it was 10:45 am. Yikes. Not typically how I want to start a Monday.
There was a time when this would have thrown me into a panic. I noticed had a couple of missed calls and a few text messages. In the past, I would have immediately responded to the messages and started to renegotiate my day: rescheduling the gym, moving other things around.
Today, there was none of that. No scrambling, no panic, no rescheduling. There was no mental chess with the calendar.
Fueling a Productive Day
I did what I have done every day since resolving to put myself first: I put myself first, starting with my fitness and meditation practice.
Despite waking at 10:45 am, I managed to have an extremely productive day. The phone calls and messages got returned. I wrote. I published. I completed my 10,000 steps. I ate nutritious meals. I had a great call with a new collaboration partner. And I had an amazing coaching call with a client, helping her create some profound shifts.
I even managed to fit in a visit to my chiropractor, who praised me for my consistency. No small feat in a day when I lost 5 hours.
Everything vs The Important Things
Did I do everything I wanted to do? No.
I never do. Who does?
What I did was the important things. I kept my core commitments to others and, most important, to myself.
I made progress.
I served without self-sacrifice.
And I did it from a mindset of ease and grace. I never felt like I was behind my day or chasing my day.
There was a time when that wouldn’t happen. I still remember how a slight disruption in my schedule would force me to choose between serving myself and serving my clients.
When you force yourself into that choice, nobody wins. Not the client. Not you.
How I Fit It All In
So how did I manage to fit everything in today?
There were three key factors.
I am fiercely protective of my mornings. They are my peak creative time, and that undisturbed time is essential for my work.
I rarely schedule meetings or calls for the morning. Especially on a Monday. How you start the week sets the tone for the week.
Because I set such a strong boundary around my mornings, I had the space for what I needed to do. There was not much to renegotiate.
Also, I try to under-schedule my days. I build in time around every meeting to allow the time I need for processing. This gives me margin to shift things around.
Obviously, I had to make some adjustments. I typically spend 60–90 minutes at the gym, including my meditation practice. Today I cut that to 45 minutes.
Admittedly, I skimped a little on my stretching. But I didn’t sacrifice the entire workout.
I also shifted my writing time. And I returned the calls on my way home from the gym, before sitting down to write.
This one is the crux of it all.
There was a time when I would have given myself a good berating for sleeping so late, especially on a Monday.
I don’t do that anymore.
After sustaining a traumatic brain injury a few years ago, I learned the importance of honoring my body’s need to rest. I’ve learned to listen to my body: to know when it’s mere fatigue that I can push through with a workout and when it’s real exhaustion that must be honored with sleep.
I’ve also learned the power of energy.
Every day I hear people preach about time management.
Here’s the truth: no matter how much time you have, you won’t get more done if you’re leaking energy. Beating yourself up, getting caught in the chaos of feeling behind your day, chasing the day — these things all leak energy.
When you live from a calm and grounded place, you can do a lot more, and be more effective, with less time.
The Power of Rituals
What keeps me calm and grounded is my morning rituals stack. They create a magic buffer against drama and energy vampires.
These activities I do daily — fitness, meditation, writing, proper rest — aren’t luxuries that I allow myself only when I have the time. They are essential to my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Nothing else happens without those activities.
They are musts. And they happen every day, no matter what. That’s the essence of resolve.
My morning rituals are non-negotiable. And because I no longer spend energy negotiating them, that energy is available to direct to other important things.
What are your non-negotiables?
The Ritual Revolution is my movement dedicated to defining and honoring your musts, so you can live your life with intention instead of in reaction. Register to learn more.