How I’m Creating and Maintaining Margin with My Time

Time is the only thing we can’t get back once it is gone. 

How are you feeling: are you feeling refreshed, energized, empowered to make a difference in the world? Are are you dragging with a longing desire to stay in bed all day because you just keep hitting that wall? 

I have a lot of coaching calls that focus on time management and prioritization. For the most part, pastors are people-pleasers who find their identity in what they do, not what they are. In order to help define their context, I often ask this question (sometimes more than once):

“Is your hurry a season or your new normal?”


No one likes to be called out for letting their schedule get out of hand. But when you are married, maybe have kids and a life outside of work, your calendar it not your own. You have got to adult, and own your calendar.

How to I create and maintain margin with my time? 

I wrote a post earlier this week that discussed two ways I do this on the regular: I share calendars with my wife (even my work calendar) and I black-out weekends because my kids are out of school. When I share calendars with Sarah, I am inviting her into my work and valuing her time and how schedules affect the family. When I black-out time with my kids (make space), it shows them that they are more important than anything I have in the office, and life is better making these two decisions.

But you want to know what really helps me focus my time? 

It’s saying “NO”. I used to be a people-pleaser. Now I’m a jerk … but I am a jerk for my family. Here’s the rub: I used to say yes to everything and everyone. There was something within me that made me think that what others thought about me and the work I do was more important than anything else. Yeah, I was young and perhaps a tad immature back in the day, but you can’t tell em you haven’t been there before too. Once I learned my value and had someone tell me (constantly) that it’s OK to say no, I slowly but surely got my life back (I do still miss speaking all the time – at conferences and even at a church).

It’s OK to lose something to gain something. Ambiguous, right? Maybe that’s intentional. But maybe it’s supposed to be that way. maybe you’re supposed to trim the fat so you can have more of what you really want. Maybe the meetings on your calendar don’t need to be there, the people you’re meeting with just need a call to feel heard; I don’t know. What I do know is there are a lot of people who crowd their calendars so they can feel important. You need to know this: You are equally important with a clear calendar as you are with a complete one, and perhaps a healthier person as well.

Tie a pretty bow on this!

  • Share Calendars
  • Make Space
  • Say No

I still don’t have this all figured out. But I am learning how to live the life I want to live. If I can help you sort through your options, drop me a line. If you are local, let’s do Kettle!