Create the whitespace in your day

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It’s often not till we have a real break that we appreciate the frenetic pace that we live our lives at. Normal is high paced, stress-laden and tension filled. We bounce from meeting to teaching to email to reporting and everything else in between. Time as a resource is stretched to capacity and there is never enough time in our day to do our bare minimum, let alone make a dent in the monolithic, never-ending to-do list. When we are in the mix, it is just how we roll.

When we stop…and breathe…and look around…it just seems stupid.

There is no way we can achieve all we want in a day. There is no point in inbox zero or a completed to-do list that’s longer than 3-4 items. It serves only as a constant reminder of what we haven’t done. It is more stress-inducing than stress-reducing. Last week, I had eight days away with my family and it felt like I limped over the line to the start of the holiday. By the end, the tension in my back was gone, my ties to my phone were severed and I relaxed. Having whitespace in my day allowed great time to think and I felt the flow of creative thought running through my veins. The writer’s block went away and I just felt free. Free to think and let my thoughts percolate. Free to surrender to life…to surrender to the moment. I spent so much great time with my family and it just recalibrated me. I even read three books in a week…in a week!

Space is a beautiful thing

Giving thought and conversations room to breathe allows for greater depth. It allows for pondering about what ifs. Coming back to work I’m mindful of the space I create in my day. The morning is mine for creative, high-level thinking tasks. Meetings need decent transition time to allow for closure, conversation and for a mental break. Like many of you, I want to be the best version of myself at work but I don’t want the cost to be my health and sanity. It starts with saying no more, doing less but better. It starts by designing the day with space in mind. Walks, fresh air, conversations and genuine breaks. It ends by bringing closure to the day and leaving work at work. Creating room for thinking allows me to be the best version of myself. Creating room for conversation allows me to the best version of myself. There is so much within our day that is mandated, locked down but there also is so much that we have control over. We set the precedent and we set the tone. Don’t let the cost be your health, happiness or sanity.

Create the whitespace in your day.


3 thoughts on “Create the whitespace in your day

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  1. Sometimes I think you must read my mind Steve. In the last few weeks of this term I felt like I bounced from one meeting or task to another; constantly switching hats and wondering why I felt like a constant fog seemed to live around my head.

    After some reading and reflection, I realised that I needed time to transition from task to task; time for brain to switch and to get my head back into the game.

    I’m taking time over the break to think about what I do, what I can realistically do in a day and develop some boundaries around my work day. (May even find time for a blog post!)

    I’m really enjoying reading your work in this area. I’ll be keen to read more about how you go about creating the white space in your working day.

    1. Thanks for commenting Scott, great minds think alike eh!! I do hope you get a post out, I always enjoy your writing. Transition is an under-utilised strategy. We book end ourselves so much and there just is no way to allow the dust to settle. It in my opinion makes us dumber and less productive. We spend time just trying to keep our heads above water. I look forward to seeing where your thoughts take you. Talk soon.

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