Blog

"If you would create
something, first you must
be something.”
Johann Wolfgang
von Goethe

How I Knew I Created the Habit of Rushing and That I Needed to Create Space in My Life
(Thursday, May 29th, 2014)

How I Knew I Created the Habit of Rushing and That I Needed to Create Space in My Life

How do you know you’ve been moving too fast? For me it happened this past week when 40 people were sitting at an off-site meeting location waiting for me to facilitate a seminar and I was nowhere to be found.

Why? Because I had the wrong date on my calendar. Yes, stuff happens and yes the client and I had juggled the dates a bit, but in over 17 years of giving workshops and seminars for a living, this never happened before. I was always on top of my game. I am known for being the “Master Organizer” or the “Time Management Queen” and the woman who balances work and play effortlessly. I took pride in it, and people looked up to me for it. What happened?

I got caught up in the speed of things, rushing and checking things off my list. I could hear myself complaining and sometimes bragging about the number of emails I answered, appointments set, and travel in my life. Had I actually created the habit of rushing? I actually did. Too many days in a row of repeated rushing had created rushing as my normal habit. Even when I didn’t need to be rushing, I was.

I knew I needed to create more space, but I kept putting it off. I just published a book. I was juggling travel for work, travel for my book and a new husband living on another continent. I kept telling myself that I could do it all. I was wrong. I needed to create space.

What do I mean by space?
Space in your day. Where you have nothing specific to do.
Space in your calendar. White spaces where there are no appointments.
Space in your brain. Time alone to think, daydream and ponder.
Space in your conversations. Moments of silence.
Space in your actions.
Space period.

Even with my hectic schedule, I still made the time to work out, to read, to visit friends and to do the things that I loved, and so I kidded myself that I was doing fine. What I was missing was space between appointments, between travel and between events. All the rushing and running from one thing to the next was wearing me out.

Some people have to fall ill to actually slow down, others will just hit a wall of exhaustion. For me it was missing this class. The good news was that I didn’t actually miss it completely. I arrived in a flurry, but I was two hours late for my own Time Management class. Believe me, the painful irony of this did not go unnoticed by me or anyone else. This just goes to prove my other theory, that just because you know something doesn’t mean you use it. I knew this stuff, but I wasn’t applying it.

When your calendar is cluttered and filled with one thing to do after another, you leave yourself no space and you begin to disconnect from the essence of who you are. You leave yourself no room for creativity or spontaneity and you suffer physically, mentally and emotionally. On the other hand, when you create space in your life, your mind and body relaxes, resets and connect with your natural essence and state of balance.

Here are some of my tips for creating space:

LEAVE SPACE BETWEEN APPOINTMENTS
When you are scheduling your calendar leave white space between each calendar appointment. Don’t book things back to back. You need time to take inventory and re-prioritize your day even if it is only 15-20 minutes.

TAKE SHORT 5 MINUTE INTENTIONAL RECOVERY BREAKS DURING YOUR DAY
If the thought of creating space seems so daunting to you, start small. Take short 5 minute breaks throughout your day. Get up and move to a new location for 5 minutes and then return to your desk or work station.

GO OUTSIDE AND LEAVE YOUR TECHNOLOGY BEHIND
Nature is one of the best ways I know to slow down your heart rate, relax and reconnect. The key is to leave your technology behind and give yourself the gift of breathing in the fresh air, gazing at the clouds or walking barefoot in the grass. Just 5-10 minutes will do you wonders. Take longer if you can.

BLOCK OFF ONE DAY A WEEK WITH NO APPOINTMENTS
If you are really feeling ambitious, block out a full day on your calendar where you make no appointments. No meetings, no conference calls, no anything that needs to be scheduled. Give yourself the gift of working with less distractions and interruptions. If you decide to stay home on this day, just stay home and let the day unfold. I call these days getting re-aquainted with yourself days.

LEARN TO SAY NO
Be aware of your schedule and your ability to say no. Say no to things that take your space away and take you off track.

We are an over-scheduled culture who is teaching our children to be the same way. You alone are in control of your schedule and if you are anything like me, you can benefit tremendously from adding some space to your life. I know I did.

Love & Light,

Michele