Margin reduces stress and increases productivity

I recently came across this article showing how stress rises when you’re in back-to-back-to-back meetings. But the thing that really stood out to me was how individual productivity doubled as meetings were reduced.

If you’re in too many meetings, it may be a symptom of a bigger issue. When there are too many meetings it means there is a lack of clarity and focus. And so meetings end up becoming a short-term, band-aid solution for trying to develop vision and strategy and get things done.

  • Make a decision about something
  • Make progress on a specific work task / project that requires real-time collaboration
  • Celebrate and connect as a team

P.S. Speaking of Margin… in a few weeks we will be kicking off our Margin Reset booster for the 300 members inside the new Focus Accelerator membership. ?

Margin reduces stress and increases productivity

Six Principles for Focus and Simplicity

In his book, Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster lists several principles for the outward expression of simplicity. These are things which someone could use or do in their attempt to flesh out the meaning of simplicity in the modern life.

Here are six of Foster’s suggestions:

  • Develop a deeper appreciation for nature.
  • Learn to enjoy things without owning them.
  • Reject anything that is producing an addiction in you.
  • Develop a habit of giving things away; de-accumulate.
  • Shun whatever would distract you from your main goal.
  • Buy things for their usefulness rather than their status.
Six Principles for Focus and Simplicity

The definition of overwhelm

The definition of “overwhelm” is pretty intense, actually. It means:

  • bury or drown beneath a huge mass
  • defeat completely
  • give too much of a thing to someone

When you’re feeling buried under a mass of so much stuff, and you feel as if you’ve been given too much of a thing, it can feel as if you’re responsible for everything in the whole world. But it is liberating when you step back and get clarity about the things that ONLY YOU can do.

Here is the process and framework I use to get clear on what only I can do and make sense of things when I’m feeling overwhelmed.

The definition of overwhelm

Habit Trackers are vastly underrated. Why? Because results come from consistency over time. Any singular, small action that is done once will not produce any meaningful results in your life. This is true for good actions as well as bad actions. Using a habit tracker is one of the best ways to stay focused and on track with the small actions that drive meaningful results in your life. (If you’re not a Notion user, we also have a habit tracker built in to our 2023 Planner.)

The TSS Notion Habit Tracker

How to show up every day (for a workout, writing, or whatever)

Twyla Tharp’s morning workout routine is an inspiration.

Few people enjoy hopping out of bed and going directly to a workout. So, Twyla “cheated” by making it easier to get started.

In her book, The Creative Habit, Twyla shares that her morning routine was NOT to go to the gym. Instead, it was far more simple: wake up, put on sweats, go outside, hail a cab to the gym.

The thing she is actually trying to do — exercise — was not the thing she committed to do each day. Instead, she focused on getting herself out of her apartment and into a cab. Once she was in the cab and on her way to the gym, the inertia took it from there.

If you focus on the very first steps of the starting line, it can be much easier to just get started.

How to show up every day (for a workout, writing, or whatever)