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8 Tips to Add Time Margin to Your Day

By July 19, 2023Leadership

What if you could find more time margin in your work day?

How could you fit more activity into an already busy schedule?

I’ve learned I have to be intentional to create more time margin in my schedule – to do the things I want to do and the things I need to do.

8 ways to create more time margin:

Prioritize your life.

What do you value most? Without knowing this we find ourselves chasing after many things that have little value. If you haven’t identified a set of values for life, start here.

Stop unnecessary time-wasters.

If every night includes three hours of television, don’t be surprised you didn’t get to spend a lot of quality time with your children. Most of us form bad habits of doing something that waste bulks of time. Make a list of what you spend the most time doing and see if there are places you can cut.

Work smarter.

I know so many leaders who simply handle things as they come up rather than work with a plan. The benefit of organization is that you can do what you need to do more efficiently and productively; leaving margin for other things – even interruptions.

Schedule times to organize.

Spending time planning the week will make the whole week more productive. Usually for me this is the first part of my week. If I know where I’m headed it’s much easier to get everything done and still handle distractions.

Prioritize your day.

It doesn’t matter what system you use, but keeping some sort of prioritized list of tasks increases the rate of completion. Sometimes I start with the easy ones first to feel a sense of accomplishment.

Don’t say yes to everything.

Be picky with your time allotment based again on your end priorities and goals. It’s okay to say no to some things. (Sometimes we just need “permission”.)

Schedule personal time.

When my boys were young, I wrote on my calendar time with them. This may sound mechanical, but it kept other things from filling up my schedule. I still schedule this time for Cheryl. It may even sound counterproductive, but we get away even more frequently during busier seasons.

Evaluate your schedule often.

Plans should not be implemented and then ignored. Develop your plan to create margin in your life, then periodically review the plan to see how you are doing and what needs to be changed.

Check out my leadership podcast where we discuss leadership nuggets in a practical way. Plus, check out the other Lifeway Leadership Podcasts.

Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • Thanks Ron. I really appreciate these suggestions for creating time margin. They are so important. I so often go from one task to another,or one meeting to another,without pausing at all! One tool I have appreciated recently is that Microsoft Outlook now has an option to automatically set/suggest shorter appointments,e.g. one hour appointments will be suggested as 50 minute ones,to build in that little bit of margin between appointments. It all helps!