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The humble glory of margin

Mostly quiet here on the office front, with a bit over an hour until Community Group. Margin is a good thing, and boy, do I ever appreciate it. Many of my friends work in careers that are consistently marginless—regularly working late and traveling, always jamming more into each day and slamming into deadlines. While that's acceptable and even energizing in seasons, I just don't see how it can be sustainable. In my imagination, such companies are forced to put much of their profit back into infrastructure in an ongoing effort to run longer and harder on half-charged batteries. Indeed, they may even realize "rewards" of that way of doing business, but is that really better than running leaner with a greater charge? More than any of that, however, I just miss and worry for my friends, and I wish they weren't pushed to the edge so regularly.

Margin is worth sacrificing for and fighting for—it's even worth fighting myself for. Not that every moment needs to be either productive or meaningful, but I'm realizing that it's a very good idea for me to throttle back on some of my timesinks (internet, media, etc.) instead of cramming every space as full as I can. Sometimes I binge on information, which is useless if I'm not leaving space to process and integrate it. And that doesn't even begin to cover the benefits of simply being interruptable (the cost of not being so is almost always humility, at least in my case).

And who knows? Maybe I'll even finish a book one of these days…

Comments

I don't want to be one of those marginless businesses.
I never used to want to admit to myself how much I wanted free time in my life. I thought that made me lazy or something. I've since come to realize that placing a high value on personal pursuits is anything but lazy. If we had more of it, perhaps we wouldn't feel so compelled to squander it out of sheer physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion.
I'm trying ... but can't quite get out of that ... yet.

a lesson learned

this was one of the great lessons learned in my year in the dry and barren land of Birmingham...I'm going back to NC with a determination to defend my margins!!
Where'd you hear the term "margin"? Oddly enough, K and I have been attending a couples' study on that very topic. (And even more oddly, it's that very study that is crowding out yet another evening in our schedule. How terribly ironic...)
I read Richard Swenson's Margin back in the mid-90s and was really affected by it. I think it's had a recent popularity resurgence, and probably a revision or two—Swenson's premises and projections seem to have been starkly confirmed by the last decade.