Are you feeling overwhelmed?  I am.  I’m cutting everything too close.  My life has too little “margin”.  Richard A. Swenson, M.D., wrote a book about this…called, naturally, MarginHe talks about emotional and time margin, as well as financial margin. If someone or something comes up that you need or want to address…do you have the resources?

In January at the AHR show, John Siegenthaler P.E. dedicated his new book, Heating with Renewable Energy to my husband, Hot Rod, The Plumber.  There was to be a press conference and presentation…all a surprise for Hot Rod.  (John, thank you…so cool!)  

As it turned out, by the time I got wind of the event, I couldn’t make it work with my schedule.  Our son Max was there to celebrate with him. Max also got an award at the convention. Max and Hot Rod were surrounded by friends and supportive colleagues. Just not me. Sigh.

So, back to basics for me (and maybe you, too?) Let’s review our “to dos” and our calendars and make some decisions.

  1. Dump it.  What can just…go?  Look for appointments where the “juice ain’t worth the squeeze” and cancel them.  Look for projects that aren’t inspiring or may have stalled out.  Delete month-old or older emails.  The sky won’t fall.  Sometimes relationships have outlived their mutual benefit.  I don’t mean to sound cold, but when you spend time with people who suck the life out of you, you are short-changing the relationships that really matter.
  2. Delegate it.  May Kay Ash wisely advised, “Don’t spend dollar time on penny tasks.”  Find a housecleaning service.  Hire a super part-time admin assistant or bookkeeper.  Don’t even try to do your own taxes.  If you do what only you can do, you can afford to hire those who do well what you can’t or don’t want to do.  And, just to be sure, raise your prices 10-20% to cover the additional expenses.
  3. Do it. The other day, as I was stating that I didn’t have time to write some website copy, my pal Jeremy Bartley offered, “Well, you could be writing it in the time you’re spending right now, telling me you don’t have any time.”  Ha!  Busted.  Do what you must do…faster.  Talk to text on your phone and get texts, emails and social media done while you wait in shopping lines, or walk through the airport.  Instead of writing down a book or item you want to order, go to and buy it.  Now.  You can also contribute a portion of your purchase to the good cause of your choice!  (Thanks, Howard Partridge, for that productiv