The speed at which business and life operates seems to be overwhelming these days.
We rush out of bed, rush to get ready, rush to the office and then rush all day to get projects done and meet deadlines. Many times though it seems like the faster we work, the more work that piles up, and the harder we try to get caught up the more it sometimes feels like we fall behind. We are stressed. We are anxious. We are tired.
You need more space.
You need more margin.
You need more peace.
The American Psychological Association offers these tips for creating margin:
1. Practice mindfulness.
Research shows the mind-body benefits of mindfulness: reducing stress and anxiety, boosting immune system and helping to maintain work-life balance.
2. Practice positivity.
Positive thinking can expand your mind and open up new possibilities which can boost your resilience. One simple way to practice positivity is to express gratitude.
3. Seek social support.
We all need a social support network. You’ll find others with similar struggles and it helps to not feel isolated. You could even learn a new coping strategy or helpful tip from your family, friends or colleagues.
4. Get moving.
Exercise can boost your mood, improve symptoms of depression and help protect your brain from cognitive decline.
5. Get outside.
Connecting with nature can have physical, mental and social health benefits for adults and children alike. Research results found that spending time in nature can help prevent cancer cell development, strengthen the immune system and aid in stress reduction.
Many of us have falsely convinced ourselves that if we work fast enough and long enough that we’ll get to a place where we’re caught up on everything so much that we’ll finally have margin…it’s not true. The amount of busy work always expands to fill the amount of time we allow to be available. There will always be something else that we could do that is waiting for us at the completion of any other given task. So perpetually running at a frantic pace isn’t going to do anything but burn you out.
Instead, create space. Make margin. Be intentional about what you agree to take on and what you turn down. And protect the time that you need to accomplish your most significant priorities.