Ep 66. Why Margin in Your Calendar is Crucial to Self-Care

I'm Ashley!

My mission at The Purpose Gathering is to help driven momtogs like you level up, so you can build a sustainable business AND a fulfilling family life. I do that through authentic brand photography for mompreneurs and my signature program for mom photographers: Side Hustler to CEO.

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Hey there mama! Welcome back to the blog. I am so excited that you’ve decided to visit again. So for those of you that might have landed on this blog for the first time, welcome! My name is Ashley Freehan, and I am the founder of The Purpose Gathering, which is an online community that is designed to support and educate mompreneurs  Over the next few weeks, I am embarking on a new adventure with The Purpose Gathering as I am going to be combining it with my photography business to offer group coaching for mom photographers.

If you are a photographer that is looking for a support system and a group that can help you get to that next level, I would love to chat more with you. For those of you mamas that aren’t photographers, but have friends within the photography space that are ready to  go to the next level, please share this waitlist with them. You can join the waitlist for that program over at

Today, I’m sharing reasons why it is important to have margin within your schedule and how crucial it is to your self-care. If we don’t intentionally set aside white space into our calendar, we are going to be constantly in a state of overwhelm.  It’s time to leave blank space in your schedule so that you can be the mom, wife, friend, family member, business owner that you want to become.

Reasons to Have Margin in your Schedule

1. Eliminates Future Overwhelm

If we are constantly jam packing our schedule with back-to-back tasks or back-to-back obligations, there’s no room for anything to run late. It’s allowing yourself time in between to just ‘be’. And I promise you, as you start to work margin into your schedule, it becomes more of a habit and you start to enjoy the margin. You’ll even want to add more of it into your schedule. You have to be the one to advocate for this, and be the one that says, “No, I am not going to clutter my schedule. I’m going to leave white space so that I have time to breathe.”

2. Allows for Interruptions

These interruptions I’m talking about are a deeper interruption. This is like your friend calls you and she’s crying because she’s having the worst day of her life. That is a deep interruption that you want to be able to have time for. You want to be able to stop whatever you’re doing and tend to her needs. These deep interruptions are things like a loved one in your family passing away. Those are things that you do not have scheduled in or you cannot prepare for.

Deep interruptions can drastically affect your mood and productivity when you have your schedule completely filled to the brim. You will still feel overwhelm, and you will still feel that weight on your shoulders to show up and deliver for your clients. In order to help eliminate that future overwhelm, you have to allow your schedule breathing room.

3. Creates Room for Rest and Growth

When you’re not rushed all the time, you can actually think about your future. You can actually take a shower and enjoy it, or read a book from start to finish. It’s really nice to be able to set-up your schedule in a way with your business with pockets of ‘catch-up time’. Have some space blocked out in your calendar where if things go late or take longer than normal, it’s okay because you have a catch-up work block that you can actually utilize.

Implementing White Space in your Schedule

1. Consider the cost of ‘Yes

Now, of course, if you already have a whole bunch of obligations on your calendar, it’s going to be extremely hard for you to eliminate those. So if you are unable to eliminate any of the things that are currently on your schedule, think about the future and consider the cost of saying yes. Remember, anytime you say yes to something on your calendar, you’re saying no to something else. And so I want you to get more comfortable and more familiar with saying no more often, and not booking yourself back-to-back-to-back. Just because you have the time or space to do something, doesn’t mean that you should fill it.

2. Time Blocking

You need to literally block off time in your calendar. So when you’re planning out your work blocks, when you’re planning out your days, your day-by-day, however you like to plan for your day or week, actually block off time in your calendar for nothing. Just have space in your calendar where you literally have nothing going on. And this allows for those interruptions, this allows for the distractions.

I love the term of having a structured yet flexible calendar, because as a mama, we need the flexibility. Of course, it’s great to have the structure, but we cannot be so rigid in our calendaring that we can’t allow a little bit of freedom here and there or  some fun once in a while.  So start to physically write in the white space in your calendar, you will feel so much better knowing that you have more space when things don’t go as planned.

3. Review and Consider all the Things on Your Plate

And my final tip for you is that if you feel like there’s no way you can eliminate anything and you just feel like you have way too much on your plate, ask yourself, “Does this need to be on my plate?” Maybe there is someone else out there who could take things off your plate so you can take a step back and pour into your self-care for a while.

I have created a playlist of other podcast episodes that talk about self-care and innovative self-care ideas below. I encourage you to go and check them out for future listening.

If you enjoyed today’s post, I would love for you share it with other mamas and share it on Instagram and tag me @thepurposegathering. I cannot wait to connect with you more.

As always mama. I am here rooting for you and you are not alone on this journey.


Self-Care Playlist

  • Episode 34: Plan, Prep, and Protect your Nutrition with Krista Moreland
  • Episode 37: It’s Not About the Bubble-Bath and Other Self-Care Myths
  • Episode 38: 5 Steps to Make Self-Care a Priority
  • Episode 63: Routines that Energize Moms with Ashley Brown
  • Episode 65: Creative Unconventional Self-Care Ideas

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My mission is to help fellow momtogs (mama photographers!) experience success in business and in motherhood. As an Arizona brand photographer for mompreneurs, I’m passionate about capturing authentic images that show off my clients’ unique personalities so they can connect with their ideal clients. And as an online business coach for momtogs, I LIVE for helping mamas experience incredible transformations that help them build a business they love, without sacrificing their precious time with their littles.

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