Margin, not to be confused with the delicious butter substitute, is crucial for producing your best work.
Think of it as making room for the unexpected.
Everything takes 3x longer than you expect. You know it's true.
Where do you need margin?
This is the most obvious and applicable place to start. When you are planning out a new project, give yourself the time (margin) you need to do your best work on a project.
Related to projects, your schedule is everything throughout your days, weeks and months. Give your schedule margin for unexpected events. I like having a full schedule, but I get in the most trouble when I haven't given myself wiggle room and end up having more to do than there is time to do it.
When you are giving a quote for a freelance project ($ cost, and time to deliver), you have to account for unexpected delays. Give yourself the margin to exceed expectations.
This may seem less motion design related, but personal finances effects nearly every aspect of your life. If you can spend less than you make, put some money into an emergency savings fund, invest in retirement and live off last months paycheck, you will be living in a much more ideal mental state which will allow you to create more freely. Yes, that sentence was way too long, but it's got some good stuff in there. With extra money in the bank, you can say no to less than ideal clients and wait for the best kind (the ones that will pay you and trust you to deliver a valuable solution).
What happens when you don't have margin
Without margin, your projects begin to pile up because you didn't leave room for the 3x problem.
When your projects pile up, you miss deadlines which isn't good for your reputation.
Over drafted checking account
That's no fun.
Stress won't leave you alone
The worst thing about not having margin is that stress comes often and doesn't leave quickly. This won't lend to your best work.
What margin looks like
When you intentionally build margin into your projects, schedule, and bank account, you'll be less stressed and have the time and energy to do your best work.
Giving your life margin is one tool you can use to make amazing motion design work and have more fun doing it.