Living not striving…

Random thoughts and daily adventures in my life

Did you think I forgot? July 1, 2009

Filed under: Random stuff — erikaivory @ 3:43 am

Haven’t heard me quote Mark Batterson recently have you?  Never fear I have some for you tonight:)

Read his great post tonight about “creating margin” in our lives.  I have heard several sermons on this concept and love Andy Stanley’s take on it.  I think Stanley even wrote a book on it.

Basically it is the challenge to create space in our lives…so that we have space for creativity, adventure, rest, inspiration, or whatever we need.  Whatever GOD wants to fill it with.  I know for me I tend to naturally try to fill up every minute with something productive.  Then I am exhausted and truthfully don’t accomplish much or enjoy what I do.

I am learning this lesson a little more each year.  This past weekend I cashed in my Mother’s Day gift which was a night and day alone at the beach.  Kind of a personal/private spiritual retreat.  It was awesome!  I am so thankful for a husband that realizes how desperately I need that and how it refreshes me.

I rested, listened to music, read a ton, enjoyed the beach, slept, prayed, journaled, planned and did a little bit of shopping.  I unplugged from the internet and other things that tend to distract me.  Every so often I just need to silence the noise so I can be clearheaded and focus inward and upward.  It was pure bliss:)

So back to Batterson…he does a better job of this challenge to create margins in our lives.  It is hard to do but the better I get at it, the more freedom I find.  And I am so determined to learn this so I can raise my boys to live out this concept.  Enjoy..

One of the quantum challenges leaders face is this: as the organizations they lead start experiencing organizational growth they stop experiencing personal growth. Why? Because of the demands of the organizational growth. They start leading the organization and stop leading themselves. And that is when the blessing turns into a curse. Growth will grind to a halt. In fact, it will probably implode. You lose spiritual margin. You lose intellectual margin. You lose creative margin. And you stop growing. No Margin = No Growth.

The key to continued organizational and personal growth boils down to this: margin. You need margin to think. You need margin to play. You need margin to laugh. You need margin to dream. You need margin to have impromptu conversations. You need margin to seize unanticipated opportunities. You need margin.

One of the primary responsibilities of leaders is creating margin. It almost seems selfish. But you are doing everybody you work with a disservice if you give them everything you’ve got. You need margin. And it starts with time management. If you don’t control your calendar, your calendar will control you.

Here are a ten ways to create margin:

1) Use all of your vacation days. You owe it to yourself and your family.
2) Protect your day off religiously.
3) Don’t schedule meetings on certain days or before certain hours.
4) Delegate more responsibility.
5) Only check email during designated times during the day.
6) Get up earlier in the morning.
7) Schedule meetings with God and yourself.
8) Turn off the TV.
9) Get out of your organizational context and go to a conference.
10) Hit the gym. You don’t have enough time or energy NOT to work out.

Have any ideas to add to the mix? How do you create margin?

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