As many of you know, in recent months my husband and I bought a new home, built an addition on it, and moved our household and my business. Any one of these is a significant undertaking, and in experiencing them all within a few months' time, I've learned again about the importance living with margins.

Margins are the white space in our lives without which all the wonderful content becomes too garbled to register. Margins help define the difference between headlines (priorities) and filler. They make the space that allows truly important things to stand out in sharp relief, and that helps organize all the little extras in a pleasing and informative whole.

Because they are "empty," it is easy to overlook margins or to underestimate their importance. We tend to fill them with late breaking news (last minute commitments, extra activities, a little more of this and a little more of that). Bit by bit, too many otherwise good ideas and healthy activities eat away at the white space of our lives.

I fell into this pattern when we moved. I focused more on what I could fit in than on what would create a balanced whole. As a result, my life started to feel like work-and not the rewarding kind.

Fortunately, my tolerance for struggle and strain is very low these days, so it didn't take me too long to switch tactics. I'm leaving bigger margins again and an interesting thing has happened as a result. I am doing less and not only enjoying it more, but I'm more productive.

I've re-experienced the importance of margins. When I work too close to the edge, I loose momentum, enthusiasm, and enjoyment. When I leave more room than I think I need (even, sometimes, more than I think I can afford) things fall into place and the energy I put out gets replenished as if by magic.

This week, shift your focus from all that you have to squeeze in to the white space. Not finding any? Then make a powerful choice and create some. You'll be surprised at how much more you get done and how much more fun you have doing it.

(PS: I'm living my commitment to bigger margins by taking time off at the end of next week. How will you create more margin in your life?)

Author's Bio: 

Molly Gordon is a Certified Professional Coach.. Visit her Web
site at for hundreds of articles, exercises, book reviews and quotes and to subscribe to her free email newsletter, The New Leaf.