I was journaling the other night after a 6-week break from writing. I usually get great clarity from the reflection, introspection, and insight I get from the basic act of journaling. I wrote, “I’ve been a little rebellious about journaling even though I know it is good for me.” I got to thinking about the other things that are good for me, but I’ve been rebellious about and stopped doing. I started to think about
WHY I felt the need to be rebellious about them. What I surmised is that my calendar is so full, I don’t have a lot of “margin” and I don’t or can’t fit in what is really important. Meditation, prayer, logging my food, even activities for work end up being crammed into some hole in my calendar instead of being scheduled, planned, and protected.
Think about any paper you wrote for school: there is a border of white space surrounding the content. It isn’t full from edge to edge. But sometimes my days are. I get up at 4:45 AM so I can work out. We eat by 6:10 AM so we can start to get ready for work. We leave the house by 7:00 AM so we can avoid traffic. We work until 5:00 PM, come home have dinner, do a little more work and head to bed by 8:00 or 9:00 PM so we can get up and do it again. I think, as Americans especially, we have this unhealthy and inappropriate “badge of honor” regarding how busy we are, how much we have to do, and how stressed we are. It is truly unhealthy and inappropriate.
What if you had the time for all the important things, not just the urgent? I submit that if you make time for the important, you’ll have a different perspective about the urgent and maybe even categorize things that others have asked you to make important in a less urgent fashion.
I also submit that rest, exercise, meditation or prayer, drinking water, eating right and just being in relationship with those important to you are things that you must schedule, make a priority, protect like any other important appointment. If you do that, then the rest will fall into place.
Years ago, I decided that I needed to get better informed about the industry I worked in. I committed to spending the first 20-30 minutes of my day reading articles, publications, and white papers about the industry. At first, the fear that some unanswered email was waiting to explode gave me some anxiety. I was wrong. I was also afraid I would be so far behind by dedicating 30 minutes to this non-productive act. I was always amazed at the end of the day when I had accomplished as much and sometimes more on the days I actually carved out that time. I’m sorry to say that eventually I let emails, interruptions and others determine my priorities and lost that time.
We all have the same 168 hours in a week. What activities are you not protecting in your schedule that deserve protecting? What would you like to have protected on your calendar that isn’t negotiable? If you had an appointment with a person, you would probably keep it. How can you make that appointment with yourself to ensure you respect it the same way you would if it was with someone else?
Put more margin back into your life. The content of what is left will be much clearer and much more relevant if you do.
My wish for you is peace. It will come easier if you create some margin around your life.