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Simple Manifesto #70: Leave space around things in your day


This is part of our series on Leo Babauta’s Simple Living Manifesto. We invite you to join us on the journey.

The 70th idea in the manifesto is:

Leave space around things in your day. Whether they’re appointments, or things you need to do, don’t stack them back-to-back. Leave a little space between things you need to do, so you will have room for contingencies, and you’ll go through your day much more relaxed.


Otário | Photo by elbragon

This idea seems so logical, but sometimes it’s so much harder to actually put into practice.

Our schedules are so crammed as it is that we barely have time to walk from one meeting to another.

And for whatever reason, we always plan for “the best case scenario” rather than the worst.

We’ll have a meeting at our office from 9-11:30 in one part of town and then schedule a meeting for 11:45-1 in another part of town, thinking “it’s only 15 miles away.”

Of course we leave ourselves no time for restroom or drink breaks, traffic issues or our first meeting running over time.

Then we arrive to the next meeting late and frazzled because we had to rush to get there.

Then it’s off from there, back to our office with only 30 minutes before our next meeting — and we’re expecting to eat lunch during that time as well.

No wonder we’re all running around frazzled and worn out from the stress.


Stop scheduling things so close together.

Or, better yet, learn to say “No.”

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to every client or every meeting every day. Don’t feel bad if you have to ask someone to meet with you 30 minutes later than they suggested.

If it doesn’t work — reschedule for later.

Leave yourself a buffer of time around everything.

Depending on what your schedule looks like, 15-30 minutes is always a good buffer.

Plan for the worst and you’ll end up pleasantly surprised.

You’ll be able to transition from meeting to meeting and event to event with ease and stress free — and perhaps begin to be known as the person who shows up early for things, rather than 20 minutes late.

BTW, be sure and check in on how Chris Stroud and Steve Burleson are doing as they blog through the Simple Living Manifesto as well.

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