We all need clarity and room to breathe.
Today’s lifestyle is so fast-paced. The clock for so many begins early in the mornings and is punctuated by dings and bells of notifications. The daily grind begins.
This daily grind can wear on us quickly if we don’t pause, breathe and give place to white spaces in our lives.
Recently, I heard someone suggest we use our white spaces to become more productive – to add more to our to-do list. This was said to me because I added one more thing on my list of responsibilities and wasn’t sure just how I would or could manage it.
I shared that I have priorities and boundaries. I realized too that I have choices. What’s most important to me?
Clarity and White Spaces are important to me.
What are white spaces?
The term has various meanings. In print it’s that space between words and paragraphs to make it easier for us to read.
In design, it’s that space in between objects of decor to give our eyes a rest.
In poetry it’s that place where we know to pause to give rhythm to what we’re reading.
In our calendars, it’s those spaces in time where we don’t have appointments or activities listed.
In essence it is stillness, clarity and peace of mind.
I am all for using our time to the best of our ability, but I am not for filling every drop of time with things. I need quiet. I need to pause, I need to breathe and I need white spaces.
How do we find white spaces?
First of all, I think we can find white spaces by making better use of our time.
This might mean disconnecting from our phones, laptops, desktops, watches, headphones…all those electronic things that keep us notified of the latest activity of one person or another or the latest news.
We need to prioritize.
The most important thing to do today? What is that? Where does it start?
It starts first thing in the morning. It starts with setting aside time to devote to the one who created and loves us the most. It starts with seeking His guidance and His will for the day.
We can so easily and quickly fill our days thinking we’re being productive and thinking we’re about doing all the right things…But, if those things don’t fall in line with His plan and will, believe me, He has a plan, will, and purpose for you…If you pursue all other things other than His plan, it will all be in vain.
It starts with planning.
Plan your work, work your plan. I’ve heard that so long ago and so often. But, it’s core principle is true. Know what your work is all about. Plan your calendar around the important tasks and focus on them in your plan. That’s the key.
Don’t get distracted by other’s needs and wants. Don’t get distracted by your very busy brain that will tell you that you should be doing this or that. If this or that is important, write it down and come back to it. Add your this or that to your calendar of things to do and get back to being focused on the task at hand.
Don’t put things off. The part of a task that takes the longest is the time we allow for procrastination. The task itself probably can be done quickly and efficiently. Putting off tasks thinking we don’t have time for them is the biggest waste of time. Plan it and get it done. Move on.
When beautiful moments come to your life as your day progresses – embrace them. Now this may seem contradictory to what I’ve just shared. Bear with me a moment.
When you are going about your day and you see that it is a beautiful day – pause and take notice.
When you hear the beautiful song of a bird, pause and enjoy.
When you take in the fragrance of a flower in the heat of the day or the beginning of the evening – pause, breathe it in and enjoy.
These are brief and important moments. These are little white spaces sprinkled throughout your day. Because we’re not automatons or machines. We’re humans with the capacity to notice and appreciate the gift of beauty in our day. Pausing to notice them adds and doesn’t detract from our days.
When you have true white spaces, when all things you should do have been done, enjoy the peace and quiet of those times. We need white spaces. We need the stillness of these times. I’m thinking of a time when we as a family went to my husband’s family pond. The others were enjoying themselves fishing. I enjoyed sitting back, listening to music alternating reading, and watching them. This was one of my white spaces.
White Space Brings Balance to Your Life
Life is more than the work or the tasks that we do. Life is enjoying the gift of a day, the gift of loved ones, the gift of changing seasons, the gift of a breeze…life is filled with so many wonderful things for us to enjoy. These things balance out the to-do lists in our lives.
In the midst of our daily life let’s inject laughter. Engage your loved ones, friends, co-workers with moments of laughter. Your days will be richer for it…this is a pause in the day…this is a valuable, ‘white space’.
Where there is so much competition for your attention and time, look for opportunity in your time and in your days. If your schedule truly is so full that you cannot imagine allowing white space, schedule it in. When you do honor that scheduling and don’t let anything interfere. Even if it is for just a brief five or ten minutes – honor that dedicated white space time.
Will you pursue and honor your white space? Will you take the time to enjoy quiet moments in your life. Guess what? These are the times where you will make memories. These are the times you’ll reflect upon and be thankful for. Cherish your white spaces. Protect your white spaces. Choose your white spaces.
You’ll be all the richer for it.