Margin: An extra amount of something (such as time or space) that can be used if it is needed.
Do you have this extra time or space in your life? I know I don’t! This is, in fact, one of my greatest challenges.
Firstly, I think I have to realize the deficit it causes me, and those in my life, if I don’t create margins. I partly blame my “Merchantness,” but this issue really is the downfall of three out of the four Core Values!
For “Builders” or Power people it’s a challenge because they believe they can do everything and anything, so of course it doesn’t feel natural to schedule time and space to stop. “Innovators” have so many ideas flowing that they may have a hard time prioritizing and eliminating the ones that need to be cut, and they end up overworking themselves. The “Merchant” can easily slip into a people-pleasing mode, which makes it hard to say no to invitations and requests for help, but we also have a powerful visioning and creating mode that causes us to lose focus on what is most important. We get a little bit lost in the clouds.
“Bankers,” in my experience, tend to have an easier time putting margins in their lives because they are natural conservers and preservers of everything…including time, priorities, resources and most importantly sanity. We can learn a lot from the Bankers in our lives! Two out of three of my sons are Bankers, and they teach me a lot about this. They say ‘no’ to that which doesn’t fit inside their margins. They prioritize time for themselves and their loved ones, and when they need rest they take it. That is a healthy lifestyle.
So as you consider the question of how much margin do you have in your life, I challenge you to think of it through the lens of your core values. Do you need to be a little more like a Banker? Merchant? Builder or Innovator? Do you have someone in your life who does this well, who you can emmulate?
And next time you see me, I encourage you to challenge me and ask…“How are those margins?”