Margin for meaning-sake...
Creating space between meetings. Making room for variables. Planning for the unplanned. This is all-important.
I can often pencil in back to back appointments and almost always they turn out to be back-to-back disappointments. In a perfect word I would be able to shift seamlessly from one table to the next, changing hats and shifting gears on the fly, but most of the time I'm rushing the first meeting to a conclusion and still showing up 6 minutes late for the next.
The damage isn't just in your organizational credibility, that may be the least of your worries honestly. The real breakdown is what this kid of cramped and frantic life does to your own psyche. An uptight hard makes it hard to lead and it's a very difficult heart to follow.
This kind of heart always feels behind or overwhelmed with what they are forgetting. They aren't all that present either when you're hanging with them, they are elsewhere either nursing either a post-partem depression of their last obligation or a pre-imposed depression of the one yet to come. These people check off things on their list, a task that has turned into an almost sick enjoyment. The more tasks they check off in a given 8 hour period, the more important they feel. And I can't believe how many people would rather feel important than be important. It's a drug.
Recreation is critical to success. The re-creating of brains cells and bloods cells necessary for high performance. The re-creating of positivity and possibility that is necessary to leading humans toward something instead of from something. The re-creating of hope and happiness that gives meaning to the motions. You've heard of "going through the motions". This is almost always describing a person who has had their soul vacuumed out of their body. Recreation makes honest toil seem purposeful, dare I say, enjoyable. It gives you the often overlooked feeling of true significance instead of stale success. Success, you come to find out, isn't all that hard to achieve with heavier lifting and longer days and guttier leadership...but significance (def - meaningful and generative life) is a much harder greased pig to apprehend.
Without margin...it's hard to feel meaning. Without space to do so, you can't smell the roses or absorb the moment. All your senses are deadened by duty and what was once a soul with a body, becomes a body with a soul. And it might not seem like a perspective shift that makes a hill-of-beans difference, but it is. When you think you're a human being having a spiritual experience as opposed to a spirit being having a human experience, it frames your life differently. The fallout is subtle, but brutal.
So, yeah, margin. That's what I'm after today.