When I started Final5 in 2009, I was living with then girlfriend (now wife) Katie in a bungalow in Royal Oak. My life consisted of pretty much doing whatever the hell I wanted, working from wherever the hell I wanted to, and opening up time in my schedule by sacrificing things like drinking on the weekends (which I only did in emergency situations).

Things are a bit different now.

10 years later, Katie and I are married with 3 kids, we live in the country… and we eat a lot of peaches.

My personal schedule is often times forced upon my by things that can’t be controlled like bedtime, lunches, and selfish kids that have to eat 3 times a day. What. Ever.

And my business schedule is run pretty much the same way. We have team meetings and work sessions on Monday and Thursday mornings, I have spots in my schedule for client meetings (only at certain times), and I have areas in the week saved for creative endeavors.

But what I’m finding with all of this new-found rigidity, is that if I’m focused on making this part of the schedule work, the rigid times, there are huge gains to be made during the hours that would normally be considered down time. Like right now, with an hour in between client meetings that would usually be spent checking emails or putting out fires, I’m writing to you.

Another good example is that in the past, 2pm sucks for me. 2pm has always been my worst time. If I’m in a meeting, I’m not paying attention or bringing my full self. If I’m at my computer, I’m falling asleep. And if I’m in a quiet room? Forget about it. I’m out. So for 6 months now I’ve been going to the gym at 2pm and it’s been the best prioritization I’ve ever made. I get done around 4, have another great hour of work to end the day, and then have a great night with my kids.

Sometimes it means I’m working at night, but whatever, I do that all the time anyways.

I don’t mean that you can never have down time, and I sometimes think that taking a nap is the most productive thing you can do. Especially, ya know, with a 4 month old on board.

What I’m saying is that, for me, having a clear focus on the rigidity of the parts of my schedule provides the ability steal extra time out of my day. I’m accomplishing more and I feel better than I ever have.

Having kids does weird things to you.