Podcast 20: Margin – Surprise Ingredient in Productivity

podcast 20

The concept of “margin” has been around for a long time. Margin is the white space in life that allows us to rest so we can work effectively.

Margin is critical for productivity.

Margin provides us with:

  1. Rest.  Our body and our mind need time to regroup.  Eventually we must stop and let our body and mind catch up.  It's been found that sleep is when the brain transfers information into memory so we can access it in the future.
  2. Creativity.  Margin allows us to see solutions or new potential. Doing something different provides new connections by giving you a different focus.  It’s white space in your brain. We make new connections because we can see things from a new perspective after we've had some margin in our life.
  3. A fresh start.  A fresh start provides new energy toward accomplishing our goals….getting stuff done!

This is why we need margin in our lives.  We are not machines!  We are human beings and we cannot keep a pace of perpetual motion if we expect to make our best contribution to our work, our family, our community.

Margin is critical to doing our best work.

Margin only happens when we make it happen.  Michael Hyatt says, “Margin doesn't just happen, you have to fight for it.” And that is so true.

Our culture does not support margin, despite all the books out there that address it!

Building margin into your life:

Daily—power naps, a real lunch hour, limit the amount of time you spend working,

Weekly—Sabbath/day of rest, turn off electronics

Annually—vacation, extended time away from work/productivity (not time to get work done at home)


Margin, by Richard Swensen

Essentialism, by Greg McKeown

The Best Yes, by Lisa TerKeurst

The Contemplative Pastor, by Eugene Peterson

Invitation to Silence and Solitude, by Ruth Haley Barton

Sacred Rhythms, by Ruth Haley Barton

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