7 Ways to Get More Margin in Your Life

Anne was a very successful business woman. She had a wonderful family and many friends. She was involved in several activities and volunteered regularly. Everyone loved Anne because she never said no when help was needed.

Anne had one problem though. She had no time. She never had time. And things just seemed to always happen to her to take away the time that she already was short on. Anne was feeling burned out and depleted.

Do you know anyone like this? This may even describe you. Every day you’re barely afloat. You’re exhausted just thinking about what’s coming at you each day before the day even starts. Then more things seem to get piled on.

What’s your margin? Your extra. Your reserves. Do you have any extra time, energy or resources?

You can’t continue to move ahead, be successful and be at your best if you don’t have any margin in your life


Photo Credit: Compfight.Katarina2353.cc

Photo Credit: Compfight.Katarina2353.cc

7 Ways to Get More Margin in Your Life:

1. Learn to say No. This is critical for you to create margin in your life. Many people don’t know how to say no. More importantly, they don’t know when they should say no. Your first step is to clearly define your priorities. Write them down and use this list as a filter for activities. If something comes up, or you’re asked to do something, run it through your priority filter. If it’s not a fit – say NO!

2. Make Margin a Priority. Just because you have a few spare minutes, doesn’t mean you need to fill it with hours of activity. Everyone needs margin to continue performing at their best. Determine how much margin is necessary for you. What’s your mix? Some people need more margin than others. Creating margin is a reason to say no to something else. A blank space on the calendar doesn’t always mean you’re free to do something.

3. Create a generic schedule. A generic schedule allows you to see where you’re spending your time on a regular basis. It also allows you to then determine how much time you do have and then figure out how to use that time. In my schedule I have an established morning routine. After that I have blocks of time that I can use for accomplishing my goals. I know how much time I have in each day for certain activities. If that’s not enough, I can look at my week overall and determine where to move or include tasks.

4. Color code your time to trim your schedule. Write down everything you regularly do in a day or week. This list should include everything, social media, watching tv, exercising, work, meetings, eating etc. Now look back through your list and color-code every activity using Green, Yellow, Red coding. Green are those activities that have a direct link to a specific goal you have. Yellow are those activities that have to be done but aren’t directly advancing your cause. Red are those activities you either need to eliminate or delegate. This will give you an awareness of how you are actually using your time. PS – Margin is a green activity!

5. Be Intentional. You absolutely must be intentional with your time or it will get away from you. You have more control over your time that you realize. When I do Time Mastery workshops I always end with a slide that says, “Time Mastery = Self Mastery.” Get on top of YOU. You make the choice how to use your time and energy. If you don’t, someone else will!

Margin is a must for Peak Performance. Set aside time today to determine how much you need and when you will incorporate it into your schedule.

Related Posts:

  1. Learn How to Say No: A 3 Step Guide
  2. Your Success Depends on the Type of Goals You Set
  3. 10 Ways to Laser Your Focus
  4. Learn the 3 R’s – Relax, Reflect, Recharge.
  5. There is No Such Thing As Work/Life Balance
  6. 5 Signs You Might Be Addicted to Busy
  7. Three Reasons Why You Should Take the Time to Dream
  8. 30 Minutes to End Your Day Right
  9. What’s Causing Your Schedule Stress?
  10. One Way to Declutter Your Schedule



About Kaylene

Kaylene Mathews, MBA, BCC equips and empowers individuals and groups to gain the clarity they need to achieve their personal and professional best through keynotes, coaching and training services. She authors a weekly blog, and a monthly newsletter. She is currently working on her second book. Her first book is available on Amazon.

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