“I’m going for a walk.”
“Want me to go with you?”
“No, I just need a little space.”
“Space for what?”
“You know, some time by myself to do a little thinking…to get my thoughts together before the big meeting.”
Jim voices a common need for many of us. He knows the value of a reflective pause.
Juliet Funt, CEO of White Space at Work, calls this pause for restoration—this brief period of reflection, this pause between activities—White Space.
As authors, we may need White Space many times throughout our work day. I often head for the refrigerator to refill my glass with ice, sit on the concrete bench in my backyard, or drive to the dry cleaners. Others may go for a walk or a swim.
It doesn’t really matter where we go or what we do, the fact is we need to let go of thoughts that rob us of productive time at work.
It may happen at specific times of the day or it may be quite unexpected. It may be caused by overwork or fatigue.
The point is we often need White Space to redirect our attention back to the task at hand, so that productivity climbs and creativity is restored.
So, take that nap, or walk the dog.
White Space is “a break with a lofty purpose.”