Calendering My Sleep


I am the Master of my calendar. I sit down weekly with my family and schedule out the week – who needs to be where, when, etc. I schedule in meditation, work, commuting, coaching sessions, workshops, personal growth and development… I make sure I schedule in time with my parents, kids, and friends, as well as volunteering…but just because I make sure everything on my calendar gets done, doesn’t mean I really SHOW UP. Sometimes I am just sleepwalking from one task to another.

I’ll go to meditation, but I am so scattered that after like 30 minutes I wonder why I even came, but I stay for the hour because I scheduled an hour. I sit down to talk to my son, but half way through his sentence I realize I’m not even listening because my mind is a mile away and I must ask him to repeat what he just said, or I call my best friend, but I’m so distracted by other things I keep putting her on hold or answering someone else. I decided I wanted to do more than manage my time and cross things off a to-do list, I wanted to learn to manage my energy, so I can SHOW UP in my life.

I called my friend Christina and we set out on the task of working with my energy. I took some time to look at the four major sources of energy: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual and see what they meant to me. I decided to tackle my hardest issue first – Physical.

I don’t know about you, but I struggle to get enough sleep. One way I know I am not getting enough sleep is that my body doesn’t wake up in the morning except to the sound of my pesky alarm, which I have gotten in the bad habit of snoozing at least three times before rising. To focus on other physical things like exercise and eating, I needed to make sure I got enough sleep first. I also though it would be the easiest to start with… nope!

What I found was that to get enough sleep, I needed to go to bed earlier – A LOT earlier. I committed to go to bed at 10:00 each evening, which sounded reasonable and totally doable. It sounded that way until I realized that some nights I didn’t get home until 9:00pm and I had a lot to do BEFORE I went to bed. I was going to have to make some real changes to make that a reality.

I’ve started, but it definitely isn’t a habit yet. Hopefully it will become second nature as I continue to focus my attention to it. I have noticed a difference in how I feel and how I show up already, so I’m excited to add to the Physical energy source. My next area of concentration will be nutrition.

What I Learned from Stephen Covey


About fifteen years ago, I had the great opportunity to travel to Sanford, Florida and get certified in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I was sent to get certified to come back and train the workshop in my company. It was an awe-inspiring, growth opportunity for me in so many ways!! If you want people to point out any mistake you ever make – facilitate something like the 7 Habits workshop. It raised the bar so high on the expectation of how I would react in any given situation that I started working at home about 50% of the time to sharpen my saw. It sounds funny to talk about it now, but the employees at the law firm I worked at would analyze my reaction to things in every situation after they attended this workshop. The work is powerful and I am still striving to do my best in the habits today. Stretch goals!

Some things I still find to be amazing about that experience is that a) the habits are still relevant in my life and b) it wasn’t anything new. Stephen Covey didn’t invent the 7 Habits, he merely studied human behaviors and principles. He crated the package, but all the information he covered was available long before he wrote the 7 Habits.

So, what did I learn from the experience? I learned that your vision and values create the framework, roadmap and compass for you to get where you are going. I learned that if you don’t take care of yourself and consider your needs, you won’t be able to help others, and I learned that the most important thing that I could do in my career was listen. I’ve taken this learning with me everywhere I’ve gone and I’m still working on getting better at it today.

I found that the real power from the workshop was not the information that was covered, but the questions that were asked. The reason the workshop was so powerful was because it asked you – What do you want to achieve in your life? What is the most important thing for you? What do you want to be remembered for? How do you spend your time? It was the power of imaging yourself in that light that handed the reins over from the facilitator to the participants. It wasn’t about the workshop, it was about you.