This week, I had an important realization.

I had one day of meetings that felt so packed. I was hurried throughout the day and then drained at the end. I wolfed down some lunch, and had a hard time getting even 1000 steps in throughout the day.

Then that day was followed by a day where I had the same full schedule, but it felt more manageable. I had time to get a few things done, felt more accomplished, and wasn’t so stiff at the end of the day.

I couldn’t help but ask, why?

I realized that the first day was full of 30-minute meetings. Most of my 30-minutes meetings take the whole 30 minutes and then I jump to the next one.

The second day had hour-long meetings. Some of my hour-long meetings end a little early, giving me pockets of 10 minutes in between to check email, run to the bathroom, refill my tea, etc.

You might not think that a few 10 minute breaks throughout the day would matter all that much, but I’ve actually found it makes a huge difference. 

On the days where I have more margin, I get more done, have more energy at the end of the day, and can be more intentional about who I connect with in between meetings to move projects forward. 

On the days where I have less margin, I find that my schedule rules all. I have to jump from one meeting to the next and I don’t have room for much else. That can also cause me to work later than I want to, or to bring work home to make sure I’m meeting deadlines and keeping the trains moving on bigger projects.

It seems like kind of a silly realization, but it really stuck out to me this week.

What are you learning about your schedule and how you operate best?

(There’s a lot of challenging news happening at the moment. I often feel helpless. One small thing to do is donate blood, which goes to many good causes. You can learn more about blood drives through the Red Cross here: