Tomorrow, the majority of our staff is heading down to Atlanta for the Drive Conference. I’m not going. What does that mean? Quiet office, less meetings, more margin. How am I going to take advantage of all this margin? Great question. Here’s the problem, I have all these ideas of how I could use the margin; but when it comes time to take advantage I blow it. Why?
Lack Of Preparation
Lack Of Awareness
Free time is a gift, not spent for Googling, it’s a time to refocus and readjust, especially in these areas:
- Calendar: While you might want to take time to look at dates down the road, you should be constantly tweaking your weekly calendar. Extra time means a shift in activity and you might want to examine how your Mondays are going, whether or not you are doing too much meeting on Wednesdays, just take the time to tweak the overall flow of your week.
- Dreaming: This is something that should be in our regular schedule, but just in case it isn’t be prepared to do it when extra time arrives. How do you dream? Prayer, network, meet with a minister over coffee, just think big picture and you’ll find that it can change your strategy for the better.
- Investments: There have been days when I found an extra hour that I’ve used to go to a soccer game of one of my students, meet with a team member for lunch or just write some thank you cards. Margin can be extra time to love on the people around you.
- Systems: Inbox overflowed? Stack of papers on the desk? Office a mess? When margin presents itself we can take opportunity of broken systems in our personal work life. A chance to really look at the small things that can increase into major headaches.
For some reason free time is a trigger for us to throw our plans out the door. Just because you have 30 more minutes than you thought you did doesn’t mean you should waste it checking your Facebook status (though this could be an area to take advantage of if your ministry has a Facebook page). Instead see if you can expand on an area where margin was lacking before. I get it, margin sometimes surprises us; however, if you are aware that dreaming, investments, systems and calendars sometimes need extra attention you’ll know what it is you need to do with those extra free moments.
But, probably the best thing to do when free time arises is to breathe.
What do you do with free time?