We live in an overloaded world and we are suffering for it. We are overloaded with activity. We are overloaded with choices. We are overloaded with commitments. We are overloaded with debts. We are overloaded with decisions. As a result, we are worn out, burned out and just plain tired.
What is the solution to overload?
Margin is the solution to overload. Margin is the opposite of overload. Richard Swenson in his book “Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives” defines margin this way:
“Margin is the space between our load and our limits. It is the amount allowed beyond that which is needed. It is something held in reserve for contingencies or unanticipated situations. Margin is the gap between rest and exhaustion, the space between breathing freely and suffocating.” (pg. 69)
If we are overloaded we have no margin.
According to Swenson the formula for margin is straightforward:
Power – Load = Margin.
Power is made up of factors such as energy, skills, time, training, emotional and physical strength, faith, finances and social supports.
Load is made up of such factors as work, problems, obligations and commitments, expectations (internal and external), debt, deadlines and interpersonal conflicts.
When our load is greater than our power we are overloaded.
When our power if greater than the load we have margin.
According to Swenson, to increase margin we need to “simply increase power or decrease load – or both” pg. 70.
What are you doing to increase power or decrease load?