Give Yourself the Gift of Margin This Holiday Season - Amber Hurdle | Globally Recognized Leadership & Personal Branding Expert

Give Yourself the Gift of Margin This Holiday Season

November 19, 2018

During the holiday season, we add many obligations and tasks to complete in a short period of time.  Life doesn’t care that you have parties, shopping, entertaining and decorating to do. Life still demands the same attention.  We take our time and budget and push it to it’s limit…often going into the red. How can we choose something different this Holiday season?

Greg McKeon’s book Essentialism outlines the importance and benefits of doing less, but better. Can I get an amen? I don’t know about you, but during the holiday season, I find myself busy but not necessarily productive.  I make small movements in a thousand directions, instead of making huge progress on a few essential areas.

There is something about the holidays that blinds me to the importance margin.  If you start the day with a “to do list” and find that it grows throughout the day you are what Greg McKeon calls a “non-essentialist”. If you would like to hop off the hamster wheel and shift from busy to productive, here are a few gems from Essentialism.

Journal what is important  

Keep a notebook out where you will see it and use it. Ask Yourself OFTEN:

  • What is essential?
  • What really matters?
  • Am I on track?

Utilize the Awkward Pause

Take 3 or 4 seconds before responding to any request.  If I say “yes” to this, what am I saying “no” to? Sometimes the “yes” feels automatic or like we don’t have a choice.  If you say “yes” to your child starting another sport are you saying “no” to family dinner? If you say “yes” to decorating your house, can you say “no” to deep cleaning the fridge and dusting the blinds? Take some time before you commit to make sure it is a priority. 

Heck Yeah! or No

If sending out a Holiday card isn’t a “Heck yes”…dump it. If the office party isn’t an “absolutely” then don’t go.  If making cookies to give to the neighbors is a “YES!” then look for something to say “no” to. An essentialist makes time and space for the most important things.

You can’t do it all.  Thinking you can fit one more thing into a packed schedule is self-deception.  Perpetually saying “yes” without counting the costs will only leave you drained, busy, and stuck in the cycle of surviving.  Sometimes what you don’t do is just as important as what you do.

Schedule in 15-minute time blocks throughout your day to “Play”

Play isn’t just goofing off or playing a sport.  It can be as simple as listening to music, having time to do breathe or even to get bored.  If a task will take 30 minutes, give yourself 45 minutes. If you have 10 things to get done, pick 2 to push to another day.  At the end of the day, you can still have some gas in the tank to spend on connecting with the most important people in your life.  Why shouldn’t my husband and children get the best version of me? When I overcommit, I offer the leftover scraps to the most important people in my life.   


As Greg puts it, “protect the asset”.  You, my friend, are the asset. We have all been there..burning the midnight oil..rereading the same sentence.  Walking into a room and wondering why did I come in here? Looking around for our sunglasses only to discover they are on our head.  

If you are wearing your lack of sleep as a badge of honor, you have grossly underestimated the importance of sleep.  If you are getting less than 7 hours of sleep more than a night or 2 a week, chances are you are running at a sleep deficit.   Studies have shown that your productivity increases when you are rested. Protect the asset.

This holiday season, don’t lose sight of your ability to choose.  Saying “no” to the unessential is vital in creating margin in our lives.   The short-term discomfort of saying “no” to the good is a worthwhile trade-off for the greatness of margin.  Give yourself the gift of margin this holiday season. It’s a gift that everyone around you will get to enjoy.

Want to talk more? Find me in the Bombshell Business app!


About the Author

Jaime Gordon

Jaime Gordon

Jaime Gordon Life Coaching

Transformational Coaching/Life Coaching

Jaime Gordon is a transformational life coach who partners with individuals to clarify their vision, break through barriers, and achieve the longings of their hearts in life, relationships and business. In addition to being a wife and mother of 3, she truly believes in the power of standing with her clients as they do the work of transformation.

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