Can You Create a Margin Without a Schedule?

Michael Hyatt posted an interesting entry on his blog entitled “How to Create More Margin in Your Life.”  In fact, it’s a summary of a book with a similar title by Richard Swenson called “Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives.”

I haven’t read the book, but it wisely advises professionals to create extra time, space, energy, etc. in daily life in order to avoid the risk of going into overload.  It’s a great strategy, and one that Orange Belts in Scheduling employ to ensure that their days don’t become overbooked and therefore impossible to complete with peace of mind.

The authors make the point that its rare to find someone who schedules free time for themselves in their schedule – most people run at 120% rather than 80%, with predictable results.

He also makes reference to an “Ideal Week” which is a concept that’s the same as one that we discuss in MyTimeDesign and NewHabits training.

It’s a post that’s worth reading as it indicates the power of pre-planning what one’s week will look like, before the first email arrives on Monday morning.

I have adopted the practice of placing margin time twice in each day.  When I have to delete these blocks of time in order to squeeze something in, I know that the day is at risk of being over-scheduled.  Wherever possible, I try to move time demands into later time-slots in the week.

This technique could be overkill for those who only need Yellow Belt Scheduling skills, and can get by with an appointment calendar and one or more lists. (At the Yellow Belt level, ones schedule remains in ones memory, so it’s much more difficult to create a margin.) However, when the time comes for an upgrade, this is an essential practice.