Leadership Blog

Nov 13, 2023

Your Leadership Link by Cullen S. Gibson, Vice President


Monday Margin

The Monday morning wakeup call (for most of us it is an alarm) is often pre-empted by anxiety, angst, apprehension, and ambivalence. These feelings usually begin on Sunday night and for some of us it begins on Friday at 5PM! We often share that the “weekend was too short” and “I just didn’t get enough time to finish that project…”

a life without margin will soon crumbleI believe it is safe to say that most of us look forward to our weekends for the purpose of socializing, celebrating, resting, and worship. Oftentimes, it is a time to re-energize, finish projects, spend time with family… and some of us take the time to develop work plans into the new week and beyond.

As you begin this week, I want to share with you seven (7) margin tips to prepare you for those Monday’s in our lives. Someone has said that margin is “the gap between rest and exhaustion…it is the opposite of overload. Since we are all over-achievers, margin is not something that just happens…we have to fight for it. Everyone wants a piece of you.” And no one seems to appreciate the fact that you are a finite resource in a busy health care setting.

  • Monday is actually the second day of the week in America. So make sure your first day of the week is spent re-energizing, reflecting, and re-committing.
  • Successful leaders “plan” their workweek and even have a weekly personal planner and monthly work planner. This is something that you do…it is not done for you.
  • Avoid being overcommitted. Life is not a sprint. It is a marathon…pace yourself.
  • Don’t fear “missing something” if you begin to create some margin. Keep good people around you…they will let you know what you need to jump into…then you can choose.
  • Creating margin actually creates a contingency reserve for you…it prepares you for the unanticipated. It gives you room to breathe and plan.
  • When you enter your building, grab a cup of coffee, and begin walking around greeting your staff and residents. This will help you to emotionally connect for the day and you can even find out the “news” before morning meetings even begin. You will feel like you have a “grasp” of the day. As health care leaders in a twenty-four (24) hour business, my personal practice as an Administrator was to start the day early (no later than 8AM).
  • And…take a lunch…inside the building and outside. Lunch is an excellent time to meet with your leadership team individually or even meet with leaders in the community. It may even be a good time to connect with family if that works for you.

Look for the “Monday Margin” next week in your email.