We gravely underestimate the need for margin. We behave as if it is optional, but it isn’t.
Especially if you want to make the most of your time.
Which is counter-intuitive, isn’t it? I mean, to be more effective and productive, you should go go go and do do do, right? Maybe, for a short season. But generally, you will be much more effective by establishing margin regularly for yourself.
Margin is the white space that allows you to rest and breathe and move and focus and prepare and be intentional with your time and effort.
And yet we see it as an extra 15 minutes we could (and should) be doing something!
Yet statements like that only point out how flawed our perspective is. We think we can get everything done.
You won’t get everything done. Instead, you will wear yourself out doing extra tasks because you’re driven or feel obligated to do so.
And now you’re weary, exhausted, cranky, depressed, physically ill, dehydrated, scatter-brained — as well as entirely unproductive.
Doesn’t that sound like fun? Now let’s do it again tomorrow. If you had only worked a little harder, you could have gotten it all done, right?
No! Instead, block off strategic blocks of time for you to recover and rest and prepare and plan for the next burst of productivity and growth. This theme is prevalent in the lives of people who have been very successful long term.
Besides being more productive (which is pointless if there is no higher purpose in your work), life is more enjoyable with margins. You know — enough white space around the important things so they stand out boldly and uncluttered and get our full attention.
Try to thoroughly grasp this concept. Try to imagine your life without busy hurrying, and instead with slow, intentional strides in the direction you need to go.
You just might agree that in order to accomplish more and better focus what time and energy you do have, you must intentionally leave plenty of margin.
Evaluate the margin in your life right now. Is it a good amount? Why or why not?