Tim Ferriss is a beacon of productivity. The podcaster and best-selling author of the 4-Hour Work Week preaches the gospel of designing your life for peak performance. His morning routine is finely tuned. He mono-tasks. He is a master delegator. He gets it done.

But even Tim Ferriss has crap days. Crap weeks even. Crap months. 

Just like the rest of us, Tim Ferriss is a mere human. When everything -- also known as life -- happens at once, even he gets frustrated. His routine gets thrown out of whack. 

"During these periods of fire fighting, I get fidgety and frustrated," Ferriss wrote on his blog. "I feel like I'm treading water, and patience wears thin, especially with myself."

When there's not time for the ideal morning routine. 

During one of Ferriss's recent hectic periods, several problems reared their ugly heads at once. There was a sick pet, a fender bender, a business paperwork snafu that slowed work down, and a dead raccoon in the walls of his home. All were urgent and important. 

He says his first instinct each day was to roll out of bed and immediately start managing the crises.

This, however, was the exact wrong way to go about things. "I often rush and create more problems," Ferriss explains.

If you make time for one thing, it's this. 

When the chaos of life piles on, Ferriss comes back to one mantra that helps him re-center.

Make before you manage.

Every morning, no matter what chaos has greeted him that day, Ferriss carves out time for some form of creative practice -- even if it's just for two minutes. He believes that the rest of the world can wait for a few minutes, and it's critical to make something to set the right tone for the day. 

For example, Ferriss made a 90-second Instagram video writing a single Japanese word in calligraphy. That was enough for him to feel like he produced something that day. 

"You just need to feel like you've pushed a millimeter ahead in some creative direction," he says.

You might not have time for your 20-minute meditation, 10-minute gratitude journal, and 60-minute yoga routine. (Who really does have time to cram all that in anyway?)

That's OK. You can make time to create one, small thing. ​