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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.