I'm learning more and more about the value of good time management. I have kept a schedule for years, but recently it has been quite full. As a schedule gets full, it becomes more and more necessary to schedule in margin times.
Margin times are blocks of time on the schedule that are purposely kept free. Why is this important? There are several reasons. First of all, life is seldom tidy. This is even more so the case when one lives in a second culture. Things happen, or need to happen that we don’t expect. Without free space in a schedule there is no buffer for these inevitable life events.
Second, I find I need margin because of the reality of ministry. I'm here to work in the lives of people. If I'm too busy to spend time with people then I might as well not be here. I plan out my schedule because without a schedule I am at the mercy of serendipity and happenstance. I would be leading a life of unintentionally. It would be like eating by taking a handful of crumbs, tossing them up in the air, and letting whatever lands in your mouth be your lunch. That being said, if I do not allow for margin then I will have to turn down opportunities to be with people in need. Needs rarely fit into a schedule.
There are, of course, several other reasons to keep margin. Our bodies and minds need breaks, and sometimes an activity takes longer then we expect. The value of margin is self-evident to the busy man.
Currently, I am finding every week that my margin time is shrinking. There is just too much work to be done here, and Sasha and I need teammates. Please pray that the Lord would call people to join us here in Bulgaria. We can't do this alone.