As I embraced my commitment to return to intentionally designing more White Space back into my Life I was reminded of the true power of this white space.
The white space is that space that separates what you are intentionally doing. Like the margins around a document, they surround what a person wants to draw attention to. That which matters most.
Every great teacher on time management will tell us to fill in the BIG ROCKS first because they are what matter most to you and if you don’t put them in first we don’t fit them in. The place I regressed to for a few weeks.
The part I am hear to challenge is the thinking the smaller rocks go next and then all the rest fills with the sand. Wala, your entire schedule is now filled efficiently. Maybe Efficient, not always effective for me.
When I think of my most successful seasons I recalled my whole life working as I desired, I didn’t rush from point A to point B. I didn’t just show up, I showed up filled up with ideas, my best, and I was fully present. I didn’t miss appointments, I laughed, had fun, and full of energy.
What was in place then that I can’t seem to keep in place as I shift into new seasons of life or perhaps for you new seasons at work, the responsibilities change or the “How TO DO something changes and now the ground shakes a bit.
What had consistently worked when I am humming, in the zone?
I remembered the first time I noticed a tiny picture that had a huge white mat around it. It was four times bigger than the object. From a distance it looked out of balance, it looked like someone wanted to make it appear big when indeed it wasn’t.
Then something interesting happened. I became curious about this tiny picture that was worthy of such a large frame, such a large mat. What treasure was buried in it? It drew me in and before I knew it I was fully absorbed in its detail. I wondered how so much could be present in so little of a space.
The wider the white space the more our eye draws to the object.
Now I am not suggesting all of you or that I am going to go out and block our entire day, KEEPING IT TRULY WHITE, except for a single 30 minute meeting.
I asking your to consider looking at your day that way.
Each day is a new day it starts out pure WHITE, 100% WHITE and you are given free will to segment the day and do with it as you desire.
I know your probably saying, “you don’t understand I don’t start out with WHITE SPACE. It is already booked for me. I have to be at work by 7:30, finish a large project before I leave to coach my son’s soccer, then I’m off to a board meeting….. I HAVE TO? “
AND YOUR ARE RIGHT !!! After you chose to be employed, your white space shrunk and after you hit ‘accept’ on the meeting invitation it shrunk again and after you signed your son up for soccer and agreed to coach his team, it shrunk again. We, you and I choose to eliminate white space from our life. Some is perfect. All is NO BUENO !!!.
I would like you to enter into the consideration of putting white space around your BIG ROCKS ( and not everything can be a BIG ROCK) Even within work intentionally put white space around the meetings you accept. DON’T bring in the ‘sand’ and the gravel so quickly. There is more of it where that came from.
Keep the BIG ROCKS BIG by using WHITE SPACE.
“Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing. “ Thomas A. Edison
I have found and am continually being reminded how this white space really helps me be fully present in what matters most to me. I hope it does the same for you.
5 Steps to Bring Power into Your White Space
- Select one thing you are willing to intentionally do to move you closer to having what matters most to you?
- Define how much white space you ideally need to enter into this activity fully present, excited to bring your best? Think of it like scheduling travel time to a critical meeting arriving on time fully prepared.
- Plan your white space time. Begin with a moment of gratitude. Be purposeful about what you are getting ready to do and envision being fully present, being your best you. What picture comes to mind? What feelings are you experiencing. Describe who you are and what you are doing as you interact with others. GO ahead do it in full 3D HD detail.
- NOW DO #1. BEing the person as you fully envisioned in step 3.
- Put white space after the ‘DOing’. Remember white space surrounds an object it doesn’t just precede it. Take a few moments to reflect.
- What did you learn?
- What will you do different next time?
- What treasures came from this?
- What it worth swapping your life for?
- What or who was missing?
- Would those who love and respect you most agree?