Embrace the White Space

Career Blog

b8df13d4-4d3a-436c-8e37-34735c5f45f6People love newness — be it a new year, a new day, or even the promise of a new you; we are each susceptible to the call of the page yet written.

Newness brings hope and, with it, a collection of salespeople peddling everything from fad diets and fitness gear to goal strategies and productivity apps, each promising to transform buyers into an upgraded version of themselves. 

The urgency is only natural. Transforming into the new, the improved, the unstoppable sounds fantastic, and we all want it right now. But change is tricky. It can’t be rushed, faked, or circumvented. Sorry folks, you simply can’t life-hack your way to long-term success.

Achieving Change

True change takes thoughtful, deliberate action. Success in any endeavor starts with acquiring skills, developing healthy habits, and simultaneously releasing limiting behaviors that stifle your potential. In essence, success depends on consistent positive action.

Techniques for obtaining success in work and life are both abundant and learnable. Doing something is the easy part. It’s the opposite action — hitting the pause button, that most motivated people find challenging.

The Magic of Slowing Down

If you want to increase your effectiveness at work and home, DO NOTHING…not all day, of course, but allow yourself at least two or three 15-minute bursts of pure white space.

In an age when employees are beholden to both their inboxes and social feeds, there is hardly time to think. The trouble is, thinking…clear, uninterrupted, creative thinking is exactly what’s required to dream up the next big product idea, design an innovative service offering, or solve a productivity problem that’s been plaguing the office for years.

Give Yourself the Gift of Time

Of course, giving yourself the gift of white space is difficult. “Life noise” is incredibly pervasive. Even when we slow down and go for a resolution-inspired run, we stuff our heads with podcast-blaring earbuds, hyper-focus on our fitness trackers, or rattle off voice notes to our smartphones. It’s as if we’re literally chasing productivity. But you can’t catch perfection. And noise is noise, even if we’re the ones making the racket.

The Brutal Truth

Resolutions kick-start ambition. Ambition sparks demand. You may never shake the endless shakedown of the #bestlife hawksters. And maybe that’s not so bad. Resolutions and outrageous goals are fun to make and easy to break. We’ve all been there.

But real change takes investment, specifically the investment of both time working and time doing nothing at all. The truth is we all need space to grow. Ten minutes of meditation, a hot shower, or a phone-free run isn’t too much to ask. You’ll be amazed at what comes your way when you allow space for it. So slow down and you’ll speed up

Need a career coach? Contact me via www.PlotlineLeadership.com.

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