Years ago I read Margin by Richard Swenson.  Highly recommend it.  Here's the concept: 


Read this passage.  I'll bet this one is easier. What's the difference?  There are spaces between the words.  Not unnecessary spaces, ones where they need to be in order to make the words discernible and meaningful.  That's margin.

The same is true for our lives.  We need margin.  Time and space.  Physically.  Relationally. |Financially. Emotionally.  Meaningful space.  Instead of cramming everything together to fit it in.  That's too much stuff.

My tip for today is to examine your life, your pace.  Don't tell me you know you are too busy but there's nothing you can do about it -- do you live in a concentration camp, for crying out loud???  (oops, sorry, that was a little harsh but you get the idea - you can do something about it if you want to.)  You do not have to let your children participate in all those activities (kind of redundant, aren't I?)  You do not have to go to every event available.  You do not have to stress yourself physically or financially to create a Pinterest home.  You do not have to! 

You can build margin into your life.  Here are some ways-

1.  Spend less than you make.  All year long.  The peace of mind is worth it.
2.  Get rid of stuff.  Less clutter and stuff creates a calm atmosphere emotionally.
3.  Go to bed earlier (I know some of us stay up way too late and we have all sorts of excuses for it but they are empty.  Lame.  Seriously) so that you can get up earlier so that you won't rush yourself and everyone around you.  When your day starts off like that, it sets the tone for your whole day.
4.  Use that calendar we mentioned earlier in the month and when a day is full - don't make more commitments!!!!
5.  Allow a bit more time than might be necessary for errands, commutes, etc.
6. Make use of any windfall time (see #5) to catch up on correspondence, phone calls, reading, or whatever.
7.  Don't waste time.  It's a valuable commodity.  Make sure you are using it in such a way as to be investing it. 
8.  Whenever something can be done in advance of its "deadline", go ahead and do it.  Such as meal prep, gift buying, cleaning, work-related activities, etc.

There are zillions of ways to build margin into your life.  I'd love to hear how you do it!