Sunday, January 10, 2010

Creating Margin

If you want to have a life, you need some margin. For too many of us, our life has been so jammed with things, both good and bad, that we have absolutely no margin and as a result no life.

I just came back from a short 3-day vacation with the family. Because it was short we spent literally every minute with each other. The first night we went out to eat and I was amazed that there were families, that looked somewhat like ours, except instead of talking with each other, they were all on their iPhones and Blackberrys and clicking away at the keys.

Perhaps they had something important to say or something really special to share like, "@ a table and ready 2Eat".

People define margin a number of ways. For me, when I think of margin, I think of those slide puzzles that have either numbers or maybe a picture. The objective is to rearrange all the pieces so that it makes sense. The catch is that in order to play the game, one of the pieces has to be missing. It creates room or margin for the other pieces to move around.

To me, margin is that which is required in order for all the other pieces of my life to work. I need margin in my day to be able to get from one place to another or one appointment to another without running like a maniac. I need margin in my finances so that at the end of the month, I have some money left over for possible emergencies. I need margin in my week so that I get an opportunity to spend time with my family and friends.

What piece do you need to take out of your life in order to create some margin and get a life? It's not about priorities, it's actually about saying, "no" to some good things as well. Financial margin happens when we make a decision to not buy something in order to have a little left over for emergencies. Margin in your daily schedule appears when you say "no" to the additional invitation or meeting or activity.

Create a little margin and take back your life.


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