Integrating Health and Productivity: What Works for Business Strategist Michelle Warner

Tara McMullin
What Works
Published in
4 min readAug 21, 2018


The Nitty Gritty

  • From the ideal diet to meditation to work style, learn how Michelle Warner races her Ayurvedic dosha type
  • How Michelle’s rebel brain held her back in traditional work environments — and how she unleashed it so she could do her best work
  • Why Michelle embraces three-day sprints for deep diving into client work and balancing that with three-day sprints for working on CEO type tasks

As a startup cofounder and high achiever, Michelle Warner eventually hit a wall. She completely wore out her adrenals from working countless hours every day. But, instead of pushing through it and carrying on, Michelle’s body forced her to stop. That’s when she decided to get curious: how could she live and work in a way that aligned with her natural strengths instead of constantly pushing against them?

As she began to understand both how her mind and body work optimally, Michelle appreciated what once caused her so much frustration: time management. Today, Michelle designs her business to fit her life instead of modifying who she is for the work.

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Discovering and working with the rebel brain within

“I could not be told to sit in an office at a specific time. I would lose my mind. A piece of that is my entrepreneurial self. I’m just not meant to be an employee. But a piece of that was also trying to structure my day in that way and digging in on something that inherently didn’t work for me.” — Michelle Warner

Have you ever struggled with working a traditional 9–5 schedule? You’re not alone! Michelle did, too. In fact, she struggled so much that she would surf the internet, send emails, or run errands throughout the entire day… anything so she didn’t have to feel like she had to work during those hours.

… But then she’d spend the rest of her evening working from home. As you can imagine, working this way wasn’t the healthiest: Michelle spent most of her waking hours working.

Eventually, Michelle understood and starting working with the rebel within. In other words, she needed the freedom and flexibility to work on what made sense for her and her schedule rather than being dictated by a color-coded calendar.

And while the typical Pomodoro timer didn’t work for Michelle, now she blocks off time and makes a list of projects to do within that time. It works marvelously. “I have to roll with the flow of the day,” she says, “and make sure that I’m at the point I want to be by the end of that day. I need to leave that flexibility for the rebel brain in me.”

Michelle’s 3-Day Intensives

“I can have the 3 day routines and know what needs to happen but I can’t necessarily know which project. I can’t look at my quarter and say: these 3 days for this project and these 3 days are the next project. I will freak out and not do it. If I have a list of 10 to choose from, then one, I’m much more calm about it and two, I make the right choice in term of prioritizing what needs to get done.” — Michelle Warner

For some, slow and steady wins the race. And for others, like Michelle, it’s more of a sprint. Because she embraces how she naturally works best and she understands the rebel inside, Michelle sets aside three full days deep dive into client work, according to what needs to be done each day and according to her bigger business goals.

“I allow myself to completely go down the rabbit hole of their business,” Michelle says. “I create everything they need and get completely engrossed in that world. I don’t worry about anything else.” Now, this is her go-to style for client work — and she’s proven that there isn’t just one single way that you can do the work and succeed as an entrepreneur.

How Meditation, Veganism, and Ayurveda Changed Her Life

“I rely on meditation in a big way. I manage that in the same way: I enjoy doing that for 10–20 minutes every day but there will be times where I go down the rabbit hole of three days of meditation. I take that quiet time to tune back in if I feel myself going way too far back to the high achievement personality.” — Michelle Warner

What led Michelle down the path of meditation, changing her diet, and learning her ayurvedic dosha type? She completely shot her adrenals from stress. “I was a trainwreck, healthwise,” she admits.

She heard about Ayurveda and tested for her dosha. In Ayurvedic medicine, a dosha is your unique physical and mental constitution, which influence overall well-being. There are three dosha types: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Some people are strictly one while most are a combination of 2–3.

Michelle found out that she was full-blown Kapha. She learned everything about it, made some changes, and saw her health improve. That’s when she really started to embrace it. Besides learning and working with her dosha type, she modified her diet to vegan. “That changed everything for me,” she shares.

Listen to this episode to learn more about Michelle’s time management process that’s based in knowing herself from her dosha type to her ideal diet and work style.



Tara McMullin
What Works

Writer, podcaster, producer. I think and write about navigating the 21st-century economy with your humanity intact.