Margin to me means making space in your life for what is important to you outside of work and your must get done list: family, friends, God, hobbies. This is an area God has been speaking to me about: making more room for Him, and increasing the amount of rest I am getting on a regular basis.
Just like the margins and space on a document, we need room to breathe and grow in all areas of our lives, to help balance what we do as a whole person.
11 Ways to Create Margin In Your Life- my comments and reflections based on the article by Brad Bridges (link: 10 Ways to Create Margin in Your Life by Brad Bridges)
1) Use all of your vacation days.
Both my hubby & I work without vacation days and benefits, so we have to plan carefully when we want to vacation. We can’t go too far in our budget right now, but we try to take long weekends and days off here or there whenever we can to try and get more rest into our schedules.
2) Protect your day off religiously.
This is harder for me than my hubby. I do freelance work from home, but recently I block off chunks of time (usually most of Wed, Fri nights, and most of Sat & Sun) to unplug. Using a post timing scheduler helps immeasurably for me as social media & web posts are a good chunk of my freelance work.
3) Don’t schedule meeting back to back if you can help it. If I am the one scheduling! I try to not to do more than 2 major things a day. When I have to do more than that back to back, I make sure to try and work in a break as soon as I can to relax and refocus before beginning another task.
4) Make sure that you delegate more responsibility.
I do this where I can. At home with meals and cleaning, not taking on someone else’s tasks if they are there to do them.
5) Only check email during designated times during the day.
I check my personal one three – four times a day.
Work emails: after quiet time before breakfast, around 9-10am when at work, after lunch, and after dinner.
6) Get up earlier in the morning. I am first or second up at home, and usually second to bed. I know I need 7-8 hours sleep to feel well rested and recharge my inner batteries.
7) Put meetings with God and yourself in your schedule book.
I am now taking the steps to do so. Tackling my weekly schedule to use pen to block in quiet time & bible study firmly into my week.
8) Turn off the TV and/or the internet.
I disconnected the TV last year. We only watch a few shows as a family when we choose to, so not a slave to the TV schedule or have to watch commercials anymore. We unplug from the internet between 11pm-6am, nightly and most of Sundays.
I don’t have WiFi from my phone service provider, so I am not online as often as I used to be when my previous phone was on a data plan. It makes for a quieter lifestyle for me, choosing to deliberately unplug more.
9) Learn how to say NO.
I don’t allow the needs to stress me out anymore. I only have the same amount of time everyone else does, and God is helping me balance when to prioritize people over work. I have said no a few times this week. It gets easier when you know why you should say no.
10) Exercise. I make the time to do so because my body needs the physical release, and it helps me sleep better and fight off the blahs. Do what you can with the time you have. Even stairs vs elevators is a start towards a healthier you!
I would add:
11. Be deliberate.
Making rest more of a priority is intentional act. Start making some of the changes above, and modify as you go along based on what works for you. Ask God to show you where to start!
What would you add to this list?