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Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives Paperback – October 11, 2004


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Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives + In Search of Balance: Keys to a Stable Life + Contentment: The Secret to a Lasting Calm
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: NavPress; English Language edition (October 11, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576836827
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576836828
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

RX: FROM THE DESK OF RICHARD A. SWENSON, M.D. Overload is not having time to finish the book you are reading on stress. Margin is having time to read it twice. Overload is fatigue. Margin is energy. Overload is red ink. Margin is black ink. Overload is hurry. Margin is calm. Overload is anxiety. Margin is security. Overload is the disease of our time. Margin is the cure. Margin is the space that once existed between ourselves and our limits. It is something held in reserve for contingencies or unanticipated situations. In Margin, Dr. Richard Swenson provides a prescription against the danger of overloaded lives. Focusing on margin in four key areas-emotional energy, physical energy, time, and finances-he offers an overall picture of health that employs contentment, simplicity, balance, and rest. If you yearn for relief from the pain and pressure of overload, take a lifelong dose of Margin. The benefits of good health, financial stability, fulfilling relationships, and availability for Gods purposes will follow you all your days.

About the Author

Richard A. Swenson, M.D. is a physician, a futurist, and the author of The Overload Syndrome, Hurtling Toward Oblivion, More Than Meets the Eye, and A Minute of Margin. Dr. Swenson and his wife, Linda, live in Menomonie, Wisconsin. They are the parents of two sons, Adam and Matthew.

Customer Reviews

Very informative and helpful.
sawlumber
Dr. Swenson poignantly points to society's obsession with progress as a culprit to marginless living.
Erin Leckington
The book is particularly attractive because of its message.
Christos Dimoulis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Brian G Hedges on March 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
I recently realized that every time I see someone on television sleeping in a hammock, I'm envious. It just looks so appealing! Well, I think I know why. It's because people who have time to nap in a hammock, have margin. Today I finished Dr. Richard Swenson's book of that title, which rates as one of the most important books on life-management that I've read. Swenson is convinced (and I think he's right) that we live in an unprecedented age where the pace and complexity of life conspire to produce exponential levels of stress and overload. Margin is the space in various areas of our lives - physical, emotional, time, financial - that can protect us from overload. When margin decreases, stress increases and burn-out is the end result.

Swenson spends the first part of the book discussing the cultural changes and societal reasons that account for the pain of stress and overload. This is his diagnosis of our pain. Much of this material reads like a sociology textbook and might even be boring to some people, but that should not put one off from reading the book.

The second section, discussing the presription for overloaded lives is really the heart of the book, and easily make the book worth reading. The prescription is margin - margin in physical energy, emotional energy, time, and finances. We don't have margin because we overwork, overcommit, overspend and overeat. We spend too many hours at the office, accumulate too much debt, spend too little time in silence and solitude, neglect nutrition and exercise and rest, and fail to nurture important relationships. What we need is a strict regimen of lifestyle changes which will help us cultivate margin in our bodies, our souls, our calendars, and our budgets. This calls for discipline and intentionality.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Too much to do in Kansas City on September 23, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The topic of this book is timely and the concepts are important. I recommend the book because it has some very helpful observations about our overly busy society and it has a number of good suggestions on how to live life with greater sanity and satisfaction. I give the book only three stars because the author's writing is tedious. He either had a great book idea and the publisher told him the book needed to be thicker, or the publisher failed to edit with sufficient vigilance or both. The first five chapters could have been cut in size dramatically. It doesn't take 5 chapters for anyone living in the United States to realize that there is a problem with "margin." I wish the author had respected how time starved we are and starting discussing the solutions quite a bit earlier.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Fiona McLeod on September 24, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is something that everyone over the age of 21 should read carefully and think about for a long time. Then, make steps to create margin in your life. This book explains why you need margin, how it can change your life, and how to find/create it. Our society is careening towards self-destruction... here is a way one person at a time to change that. Read it like a college text... underline it... then implement it.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mary E. DeMuth on June 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'd skip the first half of the book as it is a bit tedious and statistic-y, but the latter half is revolutionary. Dr. Swenson gave me permission to slow down, to live simply, to enjoy people

more than things. He proposes a radical way to slow down life. He made me long for relationships, frugality, giving hilariously, and contentment.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By David R. Bess VINE VOICE on June 23, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Richard Swenson serves as a "prophetic physician" with the insights he provides in this title and its follow-up book "Overcoming Overload." Although he is a medical practitioner, his thoughts here transcend medicine and offer Divine refreshment for the exhausted spirit of individuals in the 21st century. As the title suggests, the key idea presented is "margin." The author defines margin, then describes its vital nature for various areas of human life.

I strongly and highly recommend this book to all busy Christians, which means just about every believer. Even non-Christians will find a great deal of helpful information. For me, this one is a keeper!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Colin Craggs on August 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book makes sense. It is very well written, easy to understand and incredibly practical for today's world. It is a must read for anyone who wants their life back! It will challenge the way you live, your priorities, your relationships and what living is all about.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By William L. Bishop Jr. on February 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
What Swenson writes makes so much sense. This book is changing the way I approach work and life in general. I am even giving a talk to young adult ministry leaders this weekend incorporating many of the principles from the book. This is a much read to ask you to take a close look at your life and what you are living for.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Christos Dimoulis on May 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
How many times have we wished there were more hours in a day? How many times have we asked ourselves, "Where did the time go?" How many times have we felt guilty for not spending enough time with our friends, family, and loved ones? Many people find themselves surrounded by responsibilities and overwhelmed by their to-do lists. As a result, they bring irrevocable physical, emotional, relational, monetary, and spiritual damage upon themselves. How can we eliminate such overload and all the negative side-effects associated with it?

Dr. Richard Swenson has the answer. In his book entitled, Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives, Dr. Swenson takes an in-depth look at the consequences and solutions to the overload that plagues the lives of so many people in our modern society.

Living without free time, according to Dr. Swenson, would be like trying to read a piece of paper with the words written from one end to the other, top-to-bottom, with no room in between. Dr. Swenson makes it very clear that lack of margin in our lives is responsible for the many struggles we face. Progress has indisputably made our lives easier but has adversely given us more to do, which results in a decrease of free time and margin in everyday living. The author includes a variety of suggestions by which we can add margin to our lives.
The author often speaks out of personal experience as a physician, adding credibility to his words. He uses colorful illustrations and engaging stories. The book is particularly attractive because of its message. Margin-less living is something that we all have experienced, and while some feel the strain more than others, anyone can benefit from the suggestions the author recommends.
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