Whether you are completely back "out there," still virtual, or some hybrid schedule, it seems like very few of us are intentionally adding space to our days.
If you are amazing at this, I hope you'll consider adding a comment or private messaging me - I'd love to hear what's working for you!
Of course we all have days where we are go, go, go from the moment we get up to the moment we call it a day...but is that your norm?
Most days, we should probably be more mindful and purposeful about building in some "down" time. This added space in our days could eliminate stress when meetings run long, would allow for 1:1 conversations that are sometimes needed between the group meetings, and might offer buffer time to transition from one location to another. Another incredible benefit of holding time in our days is the much needed space for deep reflection and problem solving. The benefits are numerous and plentiful.
Ways to Intentionally Add Time & Space To Your Day
Build in Daily Reflection Time
Whether it's only five minutes or something much longer and meaningful, sitting in prayer, reflection or meditation before your day gets going can be really powerful. Some people read. Some people journal. Some people sit quietly with their thoughts.
Me personally, I am not good at doing this habitually, but have made small changes to try and make it easier. My favorite daily devotional sits next to a coaster next to one of my favorite chairs. If I actually sit down for one of my (many) cups of coffee, my go-to book is in arm's reach.
Are you spending enough time outside, regardless of temperature or weather conditions? I'm going to assume I'm in the minority when I say that I'm seriously intentional about this.
On sunny days, I do whatever I can to spend at least a few minutes (if not hours) outside. Our bodies need the fresh air and the sunlight.
My porch set up includes seating in the shade, seating in the sun, and this time of year both a portable heater and a basket of blankets so it's easy to have a morning coffee outside, or visit with a neighbor stopping by. I even had a handyman build me a small stand up desk on my front porch. Fits my laptop perfectly.
And, whether I'm walking by myself or with a dog or two in tow, getting a 10-minute walk in before or after my first video call has done wonders for the pace and outlook of my day.
There are a few things that keep me inside, regardless of how hard I try to solve for them. It's nearly impossible to take or make phone calls on horribly windy days, or on days my neighbors have loud lawn equipment going full blast. Bitterly cold days are also nearly impossible for me to handle.
Schedule Shorter Meetings
It takes a few extra clicks in Outlook, but you can schedule a meeting for 45 or 50 minutes instead of the full hour. Or 15 or 20 minutes instead of a half hour. And, sometimes, a quick email to the potential attendees asking if they prefer a meeting or some other forum to share thoughts might give you the time back altogether.
Almost two years ago now, my team decided to only schedule #50minutemeetings in most situations. Game changer. Guaranteed 10-minute break on days the team meets, because we don't let ourselves run long.
Plan for Your Week
On Saturday or Sunday, consider looking at your entire week ahead. Mark holds in your calendar where appropriate - even 15 or 30 minutes before or after a big meeting will give you some much-needed room.
And what would it look like if you blocked at least one 2 - 4 hour block at least once a week? To think, to create, to catch up on things, or to simply sit and be.
Trying something new in these last two months of the year could prove solid testing ground for things you want to make habitual in 2023.
What will you try? Remember, you've got this!