A Minimum Viable Day
by Tania Carriere
October 24, 2021 - 4:58am

My list of to-dos has gotten out of hand. There hasn’t been a day in the last few months where I’ve crossed everything off the list. The overwhelm is, well, overwhelming. I am splitting at the seams.

I’ve been reading about the start-up world where “minimum viable products” are released to clients early on to engage quickly so that important learning and relationships can develop. Instead of aiming for a final product, they aim for a “launch and learn series” (you know, all those updates!) with an assumption that the “perfect end product” is less important than the ever striving towards one.

One night last week as I tossed and turned, intimidated by the to-do list ahead of me, it struck me that I could apply this thinking to all the components of my days. I fell asleep considering “minimum viable days”,  and what was “just enough to make it worthwhile”.

It turns out the freedom of “Viable” is awesome. On those days where I do not have a deep reserve of energy to “go the extra mile” I am now able to streamline my thinking and shift my energy from ‘stuck and anxious’ to ‘momentum and engaged’.

This process has removed so much resistance for me, so much so that, like a favourite condiment, I started applying it to everything….

Though I try and walk every day, the thought of carving out 1.5 hours for a “awesome” walk just overwhelmed me. When I asked myself, “what would make this a viable activity” I realized that 25 minutes would do the trick - minimum viable walk - just enough to clear my head and get my heart pumping.

When I want to reach out to my dear friend Dewitt and check-in, but the pressures of the day and my schedule keep me from finding the time and the energy to call him I asked -what is the Minimum Viable Chat to be had? and it turns out that a quick call of 15 minutes brought smiles with a sense of connection and love.

There is nothing I love more than to treat myself to a long bubble bath on Sunday morning. When my schedule started flashing red I realized I could do it here too… Minimum Viable Soak… I jumped in and thoroughly enjoyed letting myself go into deep relaxation, even if my toes didn’t have time to get all wrinkly.

The revelation for me is two fold.

Firstly, to focus on what would make the activity “viable” asks that I really be clear about the purpose and desired outcome of a task. This clarity has been like turning on the headlights, giving me clear direction.

Secondly, with that in mind, to ask myself what is the minimum that I can do that will allow me to achieve this has forced me to streamline my efforts to align with my focus. The result is to break through the resistance and stagnation that hold me back.

Let me know what you are up to, and what your “minimum viable” look like!

Until then, let's celebrate,


Next month I am headed to France, to find a location for a new retreat I am designing called “Joie de Vivre”. I’ll let you know what it is like to travel internationally, to drive around the French countryside and most importantly, which location has the best village bakery! www.advivumjourneys.ca


Scot Hackeron November 3, 2021 - 12:44am

For me, 1.5 hours of walking/hiking is built into the day because we have a very active dog. Not walking is not an option, and for that I am grateful. Ideal for fitness and mental clarity. 45 minutes before work and after work, with meetings and coding sandwiched in between. The repetitiveness is numbing but as patterns go, I am appreciative of this one.

Dewitt's photography is astonishing. You're lucky to call him a friend!

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