How’s your white space management?
There is more than one definition for white space. Some think of it as gaps in their calendars. Some view it as places where no computer code sits; it’s the absence of code. Others still identify white space more strategically—an opening in the market and a place for you to maneuver into and claim.
You get the idea. White space is otherwise unoccupied space, and what one does with it can be an opportunity or a missed opportunity. I’ll focus on the calendar for today because a calendar attempts to categorize or reserve how we spend the most important resource executives have at their disposal.
White Space Management: Time Cannot Be Replaced
I know all the team leaders and empaths will say, “Oh no, people are our most important resource.” They are important, but—unlike time—people can actually be replaced, and they are every day. That hour-long conference call you just endured? That time can’t be replaced. The time spent re-working the poorly-conceived plan? That too cannot be replaced.
So, are you really doing the most value-oriented things with your time when it comes to business? It doesn’t matter your role—be it president, business developer, sales lead, or technical expert. The question should be visited periodically. How would you know if your time is focused on things of real value?
How to Know if Your Time Is Focused on Things of Real Value
Here is one simple idea. Set 30 minutes aside and grab an old-school legal pad. Now, for just 10 minutes, write down everything you have accomplished in the past six months. This blog is focused on business, but you can extend this to your personal life as well. Think and just write out phrases. What have you accomplished?
You will be stunned at how robust this list of accomplishments will be. If you are not stunned, give yourself two more minutes and really stretch. Think. What have you accomplished?The most successful executives have masterful white space management. Click To Tweet
Now, look at your calendar of the current month. Can you see a correlation of the activities of your calendar with the accomplishments you value? If you are like most, there are loose or even weak correlations. There may even be some very clear connections of direct cause and effect.
Now, with the remaining 20 minutes, do two things. First, see if any of what’s on your plate in the current month is not related to the accomplishments you value. Are there items you can delegate, delete, or simply not participate in? Even if you remove two hours per month of what is becoming clutter, you will be making a positive change.
Write a List of What You Need to Work On
The last thing I’d like you to do is take the remaining few minutes and write a list of what you need to work on to produce more of those most valued accomplishments within the next 6 months. If you are like me, you may find that you’ll want to set aside a little more time for this part of the exercise. Write what comes to mind for now. But schedule 20 minutes the next day to hit this concept with a fresh perspective.
You’ll find going into the thinking time exercise with a bit more purpose will prove helpful. The most successful executives have masterful white space management. They know how to set time aside and set conditions to let their mind work. Thinking time needs to be nurtured.
On Wednesday, June 29, 2022 at 1PM EDT, I will be conducting a FREE webinar on My Top Five Strategies for excelling in federal sales. Click here to register and for more details.