Whitespace

I just returned from an all-expenses-paid, not work-related three days in Palm Springs, CA at a resort that involved lots of swimming, drinking and eating. (Go ahead, hate me…it was awesome! And, yes, my friend Ellen is the best, and no, you can’t have her.) Though to be fair, I suppose it wasn’t all play, I did have to attend two hours-worth of general session wisdom. One of which was Juliet Funt (daughter of Alan Funt, founder of TV’s Candid Camera) – she was awesome: smart, funny and poignant.

The theme of her talk was “whitespace” – figuring out ways to turn off the hub and the bub of daily, connected life and find time to reconnect with your own brain. She has data about how this increases productivity and makes us feel saner – it’s kind of a “duh” thing, but it’s also really difficult to do. I found her message really inspiring and am already thinking of ways to reinstall whitespace wherever I can: not checking work emails on the weekend or after ten pm on weekdays (I do have a wacky schedule), turning my phone off while spending QT with my son and husband, spending time just thinking about a work problem instead of jumping in to solving it. These are little ways to regain focus and make the time I am working more effective and efficient. I haven’t really implemented them yet, but am hopeful it may also give me a boost of renewed energy…who doesn’t need that? What do you do to reclaim whitespace in your world? Have you noticed any changes?

– Libby Bingham

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