Monday, September 04, 2006

As the margin shrinks, the tempo increases


Howard McClusky says that margin can be thought of as surplus power. It is the power available to a person over and beyond that required to handle his load.

"Margin is a function of the relationship of load to power. By load we mean the self and social demands required by a person to maintain a minimal level of autonomy. By power we mean the resources, i.e., abilities, possessions, position, allies, etc., which a person can command in coping with load." (McClusky, 1970, p. 27) (See also

My margin, of late, seems to have decreased, but I have intentionally prioritized (see Covey-related post) and I am focusing on (mostly) the Important-Urgent and Important-Not-Urgent.

That boils down to a focus (after God and family) on advanced education. Surprisingly, I have felt nothing reminiscent of the frontal-lobe throbbing that accompanies an "ice-cream headache."

I have learned that my self-actualization (Maslow), Flow (Csikszentmihalyi), and Voice (Covey) is best found in scholarly endeavors. Consequently, I am endeavoring on both sides of the podium, both in the face-to-face and virtual classrooms.

There's nothing quite like having to stop at the intersection of thought to ensure you are thinking about the topic about which you intend to be writing.


It appears that the tempo of our lives seems to increase when the Not-Important-Urgent and the Not-Important-Not-Urgent things take priority. The current challenge is to keep the minutiae away (unless a diversion is needed for a brief period). Shy of tossing out the potential distractions (how numerous they van be), I have yet to come up with a useful solution.

McClusky, H. Y. A dynamic approach to participation in community development. Journal of Community Development Society, 1970, 1, 25-32.