5 Ways To Create Space in Your Life - The Living Well

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5 Ways To Create Space in Your Life

The motto of the world seems to be; do more, be more, have more. So we find ourselves stuck in a constant state of busy, rushing from one place to another. Nearly suffocating in our workload, let alone family and friend commitments. Yet we wear busyness like a badge of honor. Busyness has become a sign of success or prestige, but what we feel is much less than that.

Stress.

Burn-out.

Frustration.

Lack of happiness.

We cram our schedule so full of activities and busyness that our emotional, physical and spiritual health suffers. Busyness becomes the blinders that prevent us from living the life we wish—forcing us to spend more time dreaming than living.

But that life isn’t far off. It is totally within reach. Small changes, a better mindset, and more margin can change your day, potential, and success.

breakfast meal of pancakes with whipped cream and strawberries on white marble

The Need For Space

Space or what we’ll call margin, is the boundaries, the rest purposely built into your everyday life. It is the space between your load and your limits. You could say, margin is the gap between rest and exhaustion, the space between breathing freely and suffocating.

Margin is the space to regroup, to get your mind in the right spot, to daydream. The space to pick up a good book, soak in the bath, take your kids on a bike ride, or run your dogs on your neighborhood trail. Margin is the space of living. It’s deliberate time creating more balance and deeper engagement in everyday life.

We don’t need a ton of it, but we need it. Here are some suggestions on adding margin in your life, breaking the cycle of busyness, and creating a life well-lived. 

5 Ways To Add Margin

Tip 1: Schedule 15 minutes between activities. 

Stacking appointment after appointment and meeting on top of meetings and booking your schedule full can sound like a productive way to get more done. But, it just creates more stress. This increase in stress decreases creativity, awareness, and happiness. 

To break this cycle, plan 15-minute breaks between activities, meetings, or projects. Give yourself space to catch up if something is running behind and prepare you for what is ahead. Even if you don’t need the time, a quick break is always welcome.

Tip 2: Create a morning routine.

There is nothing worse than forgetting to set your alarm and waking up late. Or maybe you set your alarm, but you make it for the last possible second. Either way, it means the rush is on when you get up only to get stuck in traffic and make you late for your morning meeting. But, as experts have found, how you start your day is typically how you end it. Create space first thing each day to set yourself up for success. 

It doesn’t have to be a two-hour morning routine, and you don’t have to make grand plans to bask in relaxation. While you certainly can do those things, we’re looking for time and space for you to breathe. 

Maybe it’s time to break up with your traditional morning routine and try something more filling?

Tip 3: Stick to five priorities a day.

It may seem like a great idea to keep adding to your to-do list, but it doesn’t always pan out well. Whether you are a “list-person” or not, believing that you can tackle a massive to-do list is an unrealistic belief. Beat overwhelm by making a realistic list of five or fewer things you want to accomplish and commit to doing them. Save anything that didn’t make the top-five for tomorrow. 

Tip 4: Be proactive rather than reactive.

Do you say a hundred times a day, “Hurry! We’re going to be late!” Or speeding from one activity to another, barely able to breathe? 

Instead of reacting to life, because there will always be a curveball, begin to live proactively. Take the stressful situations and plan for them. If you want to wake up and start running, set your clothes out the night before and enlist a friend to go with. If you want to eat out less, start the practice of meal planning and meal prepping. Don’t wait for perfection, but live knowing the perfect day doesn’t exist. It will ever only be what you make it – so take action to propel the motivation inside of you, to keep going. 

Tip 5: Limit social media.

The greatest time-suck of today is social media. It’s just so easy and seems so relaxing. Yet, how often does scrolling fill you up? It pulls you in and spits you out. While we all love social media from time to time, spending too much time completing an activity that doesn’t give back is never worth it long term.

Instead of filling your down-time and space by checking your phone, schedule time to do it. Whether that is 30 minutes a day to scroll, schedule it and stick to it. Opening up all kinds of space to do things that fill you up. 

Don’t create it – cultivate it

Given that everyone, it seems, wants a piece of you. And no one seems to appreciate the fact that you are a finite resource {perhaps you don’t even realize this}. Creating a margin is essential. Remember, margin is the space that separates us from our limits. We can’t expect to live life at 120% when we max out at 100%.

But space isn’t something you have to create – it’s simply a choice to live. Space is always there, it’s recognizing it and using it. Focusing on cultivating it rather than creating it.

Stop, take a breath and remember everyday margin is in the cultivation.

How will you add more margin into your life?

Want help creating more space in your life? Check out the Nourished Planner to help you create a life well-lived.

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