What do you do with SPACE?

When you have a free spot in your day or a sudden appointment cancellation, do you keep it free?

If you see an empty space in your suitcase, you seem to fill it up. Right? (or am I alone here?)

We live in a society that rewards this behaviour. The busier we are, the more efficient and productive we are. Right? In fact, the more we take on, the less we simply ‘be’ and the more stressed we feel. This mindset only compromises our productivity. We often can’t sustain this ‘crammed full’ lifestyle, only stopping when we become sick or injured.

We are creatures of habit and often automatically see an empty spot in our calendar or an unexpected meeting cancellation as an opportunity to tackle another task. However, consider that in letting the gap remain empty, we are allowing ourselves to simply ‘be’. The stillness that results is enabling us time to reflect, nurture ourselves and ultimately be more productive.

For me, this way of being has definitely become habitual. Since acquiring my stroke commencing my own business and trying to adopt a routine, being mindful of my fatigue, pain levels, ongoing rehab etc is difficult. Stopping to rest often leads to feelings of boredom, frustration and unease.

Being simply aware of this tendency to ‘jam pack’ my life is quite confronting. Space. Free-time. Nothing. It’s assumed that busyness leads to productivity. However, are we just setting ourselves up for burnout? Over the last week, my schedule has become quieter and I’ve been inclined to generate more work to keep myself distracted and feel more productive. However, I have forced myself to sit with that ‘free’ time. Stopping and having time to think often affords the opportunity to reflect on ourselves. It’s amazing how much more present I feel, how much more productive I am.

So, when you suddenly have some ‘unexpected’ time in your day, consider how you respond to this space. Do you automatically fill it up? Choose to be aware of this reaction and suppress the urge to DO something. Choose to sit with it!