The Level Up Your Business Podcast

Show Notes

Episode 18 of Season 2

Clickable Show Highlights:

[00:57] Topic of today’s episode
[01:48] Why white space is important 
[02:27]  Three reasons why creating white space in your day is important
[04:07] Ryan’s struggles with white space
[04:45] Four ways on how to create white space
[04:51] #1: Be purposeful about your whitespace
[05:30] #2: Schedule your white space during the peak of your productivity cycle
[05:55] #3: Try using that time to do something completely out of routine
[06:14] #4: Start saying “no” more than you say “yes
[06:43]  Action steps
 

Quotes:

  • "High-quality work requires long stretches of high-quality thinking."
  • "If EVERYTHING is important, then NOTHING is important." 
  • "Your power to innovate is the whitespace you create."

Resources:

THE LEVEL UP YOUR BUSINESS BLOG

 WHITESPACE: 
YOUR KEY TO INNOVATION, 
CLARITY AND HITTING YOUR GOALS


In today's post I'm going to talk about something that we often take for granted in our businesses and our lives… 

...WHITESPACE. 

I'm not talking about the space in the margins of your website, or the blank space on the edges your business cards.

I'm referring to gaps that you purposely create in your calendar between meetings, or other activities. It's the time that you consciously allot in your schedule to think, distraction-free.

If you feel like you've hit a plateau in your business or you're stuck in a rut professionally, financially, or even personally - adding more white space to your life might actually be your answer. 

I know it sounds counter-intuitive that making time in your day to do less will help you be more successful. But, by the end of this post you'll understand why.  

Today on the Level Up Your Business Podcast you’ll learn how creating more WHITESPACE in your business is the key to greater innovation, clarity, and hitting your goals.

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Why is whitespace Important?

So, why the heck is whitespace important? Shouldn’t we be trying to fill our schedules with important things to do?  

Well, It’s been revealed by some of the most successful business owners that actually taking time to be alone and creating whitespace is necessary if you're looking to be more creative or innovative. 

Don't make the mistake of thinking whitespace is only for "artsy" people. It's also critical if you're a leader or entrepreneur, because it helps you become more focused and clear about your goals. 

It's so easy to get inundated with the day to day of our businesses, that we get stuck in a routine of just "getting things done." .

But, having whitespace helps you recenter to ensure that you're not just getting things done - but instead you're getting the right things done that are aligned with your goals.

Here's three reasons why creating whitespace in your day is important: 

  1. White space allows you to get away from the chaos of your daily grind in order to reflect and redirect your efforts towards your initiatives that will yield the greatest impact.

  2. The more time you give yourself to stop and take a breath, instead of scheduling something for yourself every minute of your day, the more focused and clear you'll be when you have to be "on" in meetings - or when you’re dealing with critical projects that require your greatest focus.

    You have to remember that your brain is a muscle. And just like you'd have to give your biceps a rest after an intense arm workout, your brain works the same way. That’s why you have to give it time to recharge. Otherwise, you'll get burned out and it’ll take a toll on your business.

  3. The alone time you create from whitespace boosts your meta-cognition. Scientist state that this is one of the most powerful abilities that the human brain has. Not to mention, meta-cognition is prevalent in geniuses and visionaries. So, if you're looking to move toward genius or visionary status, then increase your whitespace!

The bottom line is high-quality work requires long stretches of high-quality thinking. Whitespace is needed in order to have fresh, creative thinking. You need some time where you have nothing scheduled so you can empty your mind, and refill it with new thought.

How I Handle Whitespace

I'm not going to pretend like I’m a pro at creating whitespace in my schedule. Just like many Type-A personalities, I'm a get-it-done entrepreneur - so, I also struggle sometimes with making time for whitespace.  

However, one of the things I've done is set aside certain days of the week where my assistant knows not to schedule any meetings for me. And, on those days I avoid having any major projects that I need to get done.   

Sometimes I'll use the time I reserve for whitespace to read, brainstorm, or just sit and be still.

But, some weeks my efforts to create whitespace fall short. I think instead of us beating yourself up about how you’ve fallen short, it's better to focus on practical solutions that’ll help you create the whitespace you need to level-up your businesses and your life.   

How To Create Whitespace

Here's four ways you can go about creating whitespace, and how to get the most out of that time:

1. Be purposeful about scheduling your whitespace. Decide in advance how much time you want to invest in whitespace each week, then make sure it happens.

The fact is there never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done that we need to do. That's even more reason why it's imperative to schedule white space.

If you consistently take a look at your calendar on a weekly basis, you can pinpoint those days and time frames that are close together- which will allow you to make better scheduling decisions.

You can’t always control your white space, but you can NEVER control it if you aren’t being purposeful about scheduling your calendar so that you have control of your day.

2. Schedule your whitespace during what you consider the peak of your productivity cycle. In other words, you want to schedule whitespace during the time of the day you feel most energized and creative - whether that be in the morning or night. 

Giving whitespace the best part of your day, rather than giving it to your leftovers, is going to allow your thoughts to be much fresher, inspiring and innovative. 

3. When scheduling whitespace, try using that time to do something completely out of routine. Doing this allows you to shake up your otherwise predictable schedule and sets the stage for creativity. So, if you're use to being in front of a computer all day, try scheduling your white space outside at a park.

4. Start saying "no" more than you say "yes." Obviously if you have a significant other, this rule doesn't apply - unless you want to be single. But in business, saying "yes" to everything is a surefire way to make you lose focus on the activities that have the greatest impact on your business.   

Remember, whitespace doesn't just happen - you have to create and schedule it. But, that's not possible when you fill your schedule with a lot of "yes" obligations.

It’s Time To Take Action


Here's my challenge to you: schedule at least three hours of whitespace in your calendar in the next week. It doesn't have to be three straight hours, but at the very least give yourself 30 minute sessions of whitespace.


Those few hours that you set aside will make a world of difference - because without whitespace, your personal growth is limited. So, if you're looking to level-up your business - or, even if you're just trying to get out of a rut - you have to be wise about how you use your time.


Which also means letting go of the feeling that you have to get EVERYTHING done right now. If EVERYTHING is important, then NOTHING is important.


Remember this: Your power to innovate is in the whitespace you create!









Next Up In Season 2

We're coming close to the end of Season 2 of the Level Up Your Business Podcast, which has focused on productivity hacks for busy real estate entrepreneurs. 

So, I think the perfect way to end this season is to recap and highlight some of the most valuable lessons, strategies and tips from Season 2 that you can put into action to level up your business. 

Look out for the podcast and blog post next week!