Without margins for disruptions, anyone can quickly have knots in the gut.
It was the last straw that broke the camels back
Overload occurs in our lives almost daily as we and the people around us keep pushing to do one more thing, one more task, one more activity, one more visit, one more purchase, or solve one more problem. We do this until we exceed our limits and start to operate outside our capacity and capability.
The margin is the time allocated between our workload and our limits. It is the amount of time you allow beyond that which is needed to complete activities. It is your reserve for disruptions, contingencies or unanticipated frustrating delays. The margin is the gap between rest and exhaustion which brings the stress and other health problems.
The margin is the opposite of overload. If we are overloaded we have no margin. Threshold points are not easily measurable and are also different for different people in different circumstances.
“You are entitled to live the life you choose. But, there is always a fine margin in between where you want to go and the work other people want you to do”. Peter Sergeant
You don’t want to be an under-achiever and you don’t want to be dead. Having no margin is having no time with your family and other relationships, or no time for your physical well-being.
Being an hour late for the next meeting, because you were twenty minutes late for a haircut because you were twenty minutes late making some important telephone calls, because the car ran out of petrol a block away from the petrol station and you forgot your money, is a real sign. You will lack the capacity to do the important things in your life.
Balance your life with a margin in each area.
Having margin, on the other hand, is having breath left at top of the staircase, money left at the end of the month, being able to carry a load five kilos heavier than you comfortably can The margin is having time for your family, friends and the things that you want to do.
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I look at putting margin into my life simply because of the fact that I feel like an engine, you can’t go flat out all the time unless you want something to break.
If something breaks then it’s too late to put more margin into your life’s activities. Take some time to relax, think and reflect on the pressure points in your life and how you can relieve them with more margin.
After having several major health scares I realised that if I didn’t take action to slow down and regain control of my life, I was not going to see my next birthdays. So, I reviewed my working environment and started structuring my ideal week and just how I wanted to live and work.