Margin Makes the Difference

I made the same mistake this week that I make way too often…I put too much in my schedule and found myself in constant hurry mode.  The people pleasing weakness in my personality causes me to say “yes” way too much.   So when I make this mistake I find myself living in perpetual state of hurry, moving from one thing to the next with no margin to think, process or follow up.  I find that there are 4 dangers when I don’t build margin into my schedule.

DANGER #1 –  I make decisions I regret. 
When I’m in a hurry I tend to make bad decisions.  This week, I made a quick decision that I looked back on and regret.  It was a small decision that may seem inconsequential but a bunch of bad small decisions will eventually led to big trouble.

DANGER #2 – I miss valuable leadership learnings. 
Solomon said in Proverbs 1:20  “Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares.”  Each day we have the opportunity to gain leadership wisdom.  But if we haven’t build margin into our schedule to think and reflect we’ll miss valuable learning opportunities.

DANGER #3 – I lose my passion.
Even though I get to spend my days doing the very thing I love, if I don’t have margin I find myself losing my enthusiasm.  For me scheduling “Think time” is like pulling up to an emotional filling station.  Stopping and reflecting on what God is doing gets me excited, encourages me and fuels my passion  I just can’t lead on an empty tank.

DANGER #4 – I have nothing to give. 
If I am not growing as a leader then I will not influence the growth of the team around me.  As a leader I have a responsiblity to my followers to make sure I’m building margin into my schedule and growing every day.

When will you build margin into your schedule this week to think, dream and refuel?

Monday Morning Questions

I love questions.  Questions have power to redirect our thinking, make priorities clear and bring greater wisdom for our situations.  Solomon said in Proverbs 3:13-14, “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.”  Notice that wisdom, like silver or gold, must be sought out, dug up or uncovered through great effort.  Sunday night is a great time for me to seek out wisdom for the new week by thinking through the right questions.  So here are my questions as I begin my week:

  1. What am I looking for God to do in my life this week?
  2. What are my top 3 priorities for the week?
  3. Have I put my priorities in my schedule?
  4. Have I scheduled time to think and dream this week?
  5. What am I going to read this week that will grow me as a leader?
  6. If I could only meet with three people this week, who would it be, why?

Spend a few minutes reflecting on these questions.  What questions are you asking at the start of your week?