My friends say that I am well organised.

That I like to plan ahead – way ahead!

They also call me punctual.

I call that ‘having a comfortable margin’.

I don’t like stress (who does?). So I plan.

I ask myself: what do I need to do or put in place so I don’t get stressed?

Leave 10 minutes earlier for example.
Sometimes that gets me to my appointment 10 minutes earlier (which allows me to have a coffee or revise the topic of my meeting), sometimes traffic is bad or something else happens and I’m just on time.

Start writing my blog post 1 week in advance.
Sometimes it’s written a week in advance (leaving me ample time to write other things, or paint or read), sometimes I am devoid of inspiration and just about make it before Friday.

Having this comfortable margin creates time and space.

And when you have time and space you relax and become more creative, ie more productive and deliver better ‘work’.

Sometimes I forget to build in this comfortable margin.

Sometimes I add too much to my plate with no space to breathe.

Sometimes unforeseen things happen that eat up that margin.

Sometimes that margin needs to be bigger than before.

So here’s a reminder for me and you to consciously create that comfortable margin.

It can be added just about anywhere in your life.

  • Leave 10 minutes earlier than planned
  • Schedule empty slots into your agenda
  • Set up systems to create serenity
  • Get organised with boxes to save time
  • Have a weekend day where nothing is planned (just idleness)
  • Get up 10 minutes earlier in the morning and start your day with a nice ritual
  • Go to bed 10 (or 30) minutes earlier to end the day on a positive note or to read a book
  • Schedule 15 empty minutes before and after each meeting. Go have a tea, meditate, go for a quick walk outside.
  • Plan an extra 30 minutes to prepare dinner.
  • When on vacation, have ‘no plans’ every other day.
  • Add 10 minutes to your fitness routine just to relax.
  • Saying no to things that don’t serve you or simply because your plate is already full.

Where can you (or do you need to) add a comfortable margin to your daily life?

As Henry David Thoreau wrote in Walden

 “A broad margin of leisure is as beautiful in a man’s life as in a book. Haste makes waste, no less in life than in housekeeping.”