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White Space

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

A clear vase has two branches of green leaves in it, on a white table with a completely white background. The vase is to the left of the picture. There is a lot of white space.

Photo by Tim Chow on Unsplash

We are headed into the fourth quarter of 2021. It seems to me that 2021 has been extraordinarily long and short at the same time. I still, even though I know better, overestimate my ability to finish tasks and get things done, which causes me anxiety and lessens my productivity. As I went into my July leave, I had been good about scheduling one day a week as a rest day, doing what I wanted to do and not working. But as I launched into August, I immediately forgot that I needed rest. I over-scheduled myself in September and haven’t provided enough white space on my calendar for rest, surprises, or emergencies.

As leaders, we are required to see the issues and problems within our organizations and small businesses. And when we see these problems, if we’re not careful, we can make our schedules open to the detriment of our well-being. Keeping the white space on our calendars can feel like an exercise of sheer willpower. We (I) can get caught in the trap that we’re indispensable or that every problem needs to be solved immediately. And our clients and employees don’t help this either. Through no fault of their own, they believe that their emergency needs to be our emergency, which is rarely true.

I challenge you to block time on your calendar that can’t be touched. Create the white space to give yourself moments to breathe, to pay attention to what’s your most important task and get it done, to take fifteen minutes during each day to walk and get fresh air.

This white space provides time to regroup, tap into our creativity, and regain equilibrium. It makes us better leaders, for ourselves and the world.

Stay curious friends!

Make sure you’re listening to season one of the Dream Big Authentic Leadership podcast, found on Apple, Google, Spotify, and Stitcher.

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