The best way to stick with a ritual is to be intentional with it. Every afternoon at 3:20, we hit pause do something for ourselves – starting with making a cup of tea. Because if we don’t take care of ourselves, we won’t be able to serve others.
3:20 is a daily, shameless, 20-minute ritual that gives you permission to self-care however you see fit.
In March of 2014, three North Americans took a 3-day weekend at a local mountain town to reflect and take stock in their lives: Davina, 27, a graphic design studio owner who boasts a tattoo on her right arm reading, ‘NAPS WILL SAVE THE WORLD’. Ayo, 26, an entrepreneur and dog lover. Philip, 27, an IT specialist and collector of vinyl records.
The three friends have been inseparable since elementary school. Early in their professional careers, they began noticing how demanding modern day life was becoming, and the result was an overall feeling of imbalance. The growing number of things to do in a day, the fragmented demands on their attention, a growing smartphone dependence – what was the impact of all this distraction?
Towards the end of the relaxing weekend, the aha moment hit. It took place over tapas and tea, and they decided to call it 3:20. A promise to each other to take 20 minutes for themselves, every day at 3:20pm. No calls, no work, no responsibilities, no exceptions. Whatever they wanted to do during 3:20 was exactly what they would do.
Davina, Ayo, and Phillip concluded that if the world needed them during 3:20, well, the world would just have to wait for 20 minutes. The founders have not missed a 3:20 in nine years and counting.
In the summer of 2014, Ayo famously interrupted a video job interview at precisely 3:20pm to abruptly shut his laptop, make tea, and walk his dogs, Sandstorm and JoJo, around the neighbourhood reservoir. The world is his during that twenty minutes each day, and the feeling has had positive ripple effects throughout his life. Ayo ended up getting that dream job after the powers that be understood what 3:20 was all about, and the daily ritual is also now practised company-wide.
In the spring of 2017, Davina walked away from her best friend's wedding photo session while bridesmaids screamed and pleaded for her to come back. Unphased, Davina disappeared into the neighboring parking lot to take a blissful twenty-minute nap in her car. Davina relishes the 3:20 challenges so much that she almost looks forward to them. “She became a legend that day – 'not caring' doesn’t even come close to describing her dedication to 3:2. Davina is a dedicated boss, leader, and dear friend to many 23+ hours of the day – but at 3:20, she simply doesn’t give a shit, and that’s how she’s able to be so inspiring to others,” remarked Ayo.
Unlike the over-the-top takes of his two closest friends, Phillip is the 3:20 everyman. A work-from-home IT specialist, he’s made tea and put on a record every afternoon since returning with his friends from that long weekend trip. The streak shows no signs of slowing down. When traveling, he packs his favourite teas and hits play on his phone instead of dropping the needle on a record – still counts.
Davina, Ayo, and Phillip hold the 3:20 torch for us all, challenging us to practice radical self-care, remain intentionally grounded, and keep our roles and relationships in perfect balance.
This whole story is true. Except for the parts that are totally made up.
The power of a tea ritual is waiting.