Monday, October 11, 2010

Building in time margins

Margins: I think of it as the gap between the edge of the paper and the text -- to others, it's a financial term! I suppose a broad application would be an all-around buffer, void of clutter.

My very first, full-year of teaching, a co-worker often spoke about building more time margins into our day, and I thought he was absolutely crazy! I was a busy person! From first-time-around lesson planning to their execution, creation of assignments and projects and the grading of those, other commitments to various extra-curricular activities, cooking, cleaning, and rest, could I actually build in margins?!?

It took me several years to really wrap my head around it! But once I realized that building in margins was about looking outside of myself, it was a much easier process. I didn't feel like I had to rush from place to place or event to event because I had more time in between, just in case a friend or a student needed more time to talk. I found that I actually engaged in serving others more, because I had built that "spare" time into my daily schedule!

This week, I've started to think about this more because my schedule now is more complicated. But I'd like to get back to building in more margins. This will involve:

1. Setting priorities -- what absolutely needs to be completed?
2. Understanding time commitments -- how long will it (really) take me?
3. Re-evaluating my attitude -- how is this helpful in the long run?

Should be interesting to see what happens! I'm anticipating less stress and more enjoyment of each day! =) One day at a time...


  1. Great post and great advice! The tip about how much time will this really take me is helpful.

  2. I hear ya! I really dislike getting up so much earlier than the kids, I'm tired, but when I do it makes our morning's so much smoother. And like you said, if we forget something, it's not so stressful to run back in and get it. We've been getting to school earlier and the kids seem more at ease and I am definitely less overwhelmed. It's hard to do though, I really would rather sleep that extra 20 or 30 min:) Good Luck!

  3. Great ideas!! I do this by always setting myself 5 mins early for everything. If we have a football game at 8, I put it in my planner as 755 sometime I even use 10 mins.
    I love your blog and have 3 awards for you over at my blog.
    Tiffany @ Wyatt Family Farm