I wrote a post last week regarding the need for White Space in our lives. I was in a class today discussing training and I realized during the discussion that many reasons why we don’t have white space is because we do not plan for it. If you are going to have effective white space and reap the benefits of what white space can provide for you—planning that space is a must.
Planning for white space comes in two forms. The first of these forms is to plan to have white space. Many times, we want white space but we do not have it to take advantage of because we do not factor it into our schedule. Before long, even the idea of having white space evaporates. The rule is true: “If you don’t plan your schedule, somebody else will.” White space must be scheduled. Make an appointment to have white space and keep it.
The second form of planning is to plan what to do during the white space. One obstacle to white space is the fear of “staring at the wall.” This is a genuine fear because nothing happens during those times, especially if they have not been properly prepared for. In order to plan for the white space, have an objective in mind. Are you thinking through a problem? Are you developing a creative skill? Or are you reading a book? Whatever you hope to accomplish during the white put this on the calendar. You are less likely to keep the white space appointment if the notation simply says “white space”. While the act of taking a break has its benefits, it sometimes feels unproductive when you look at a calendar. So, name the appointment “read book” or “think through strategy”. Naming of the objective for the white space will give you the permission to spend this time doing something very productive.
It is important that we plan for white space. We must schedule these times and we must plan what to do with this time and name it appropriately.
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