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Keeping things simple has gifted me some breathing space in my life. Routines are important to me. The majority of my weeks look similar to each other. My meal plan, laundry routine, and shopping day are pretty much the same all the time. My husband and I go on a date every Friday night. It is a priority for us, and the highlight of our week. I keep a pretty organized planner.

Feast and famine: Life on the margins

I spend time every Monday planning out my week in a fair amount of detail, and I try to balance out the demanding tasks with some mindless ones. During those times I keep things super simple at home, and then I build in some recovery time when things settle down. I am also getting better at saying no. I turn down great opportunities sometimes, because I know that it will push me over the edge and I will end up turning into the cranky, overwhelmed Christine, and no one likes spending time with her.

I have to make intentional choices about what I commit myself to. A simple life reminds me that my identity, my capacity, and my value does not come from my own capability or possessions, but from my relationship with God. I have to look to God to fill my life with purpose and meaning, not what other people think of my new shoes.

I love that. They are women who speak words of wisdom and encouragement. They are women who show me what it looks like to trust God, to speak with grace, to lead with integrity.

Choose one aspect of your life that is a frustration for you. Start simple , like your linen cupboard or undies drawer. Find a worthy cause, donate a pile of towels and notice how much easier it is to keep your linen cupboard tidy. Once you get started it can be infectious and permeate every area of your life! You start to value white space, quiet time, and less choice.

Margins have to be ruled in before the new page is begun.

I live my life in the margins.

Christine in an Aussie living in sunny Brisbane, Queensland. She has been married for 26 years and has three young adult children, with only the youngest still living at home. Christine loves Jesus and has always been involved in the local church. Leave a Comment Cancel reply Comment. Currently you have JavaScript disabled.

In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. Since then, I have done seventy-three radio, podcast, magazine, and newspaper interviews. I have also had eight speaking engagements. To be honest, it has been overwhelming, especially because I am committed to keeping up with my blog and podcasting. It finally came to a head last week. So, I went back and reviewed my Ideal Week see image below.

I learned a long time ago, the best way to change anything is to start with the end in mind. Margin is the space between our load and our limits. It is the amount allowed beyond that which is needed. It is something held in reserve for contingencies or unanticipated situations. Margin is the gap between rest and exhaustion, the space between breathing freely and suffocating.

Margin is the opposite of overload.

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If we are overloaded we have no margin. Most people are not quite sure when they pass from margin to overload. Threshold points are not easily measurable and are also different for different people in different circumstances.

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Options are as attractive as they are numerous, and we overbook. As a result, many people commit to a percent life and wonder why the burden feels so heavy. It is rare to see a life prescheduled to only 80 percent, leaving a margin for responding to the unexpected that God sends our way. Everyone, it seems, wants a piece of you. And no one seems to appreciate the fact that you are a finite resource.

I was first introduced to this concept by author Todd Duncan in a series of audio recordings he made that eventually became the book, Time Traps: Proven Strategies for Swamped Salespeople.

In the Life: Ep. 1901, "Living on the Margins"

The idea is similar to a financial budget. The only difference is that you plan how you will spend you time rather than your money. And like a financial budget, you spend it on paper first. My Ideal Week—the week I would live if I could control percent of what happens—is divided into a simple grid see image above. Each day has a theme.

In addition, each day is segmented according to a specific focus area. Last week, I discussed My Ideal Week with my wife, my assistant, and my two managers. I then updated my Ideal Week spreadsheet and distributed it. Activities that contribute to my goals and priorities are shaded green. Those are not related to my goals are shaded red. Those that are grey are simply not scheduled. This scheme is admittedly subjective, but it is helpful to me to make sure I am working on what matters most.

If you are like me, not everything can be shoe-horned into the template. However, having this document will better enable you to to create the margin you need to get the important things done while still enjoying your life.

Life At The Margins | Urban Institute - The University of Sheffield

Michael Hyatt. In a word, I needed margin. Margin is not something that just happens.