13th July, 2023
When was the last time you had ‘free time’ in your diary?
Most of the time we end up with a bit of free space by accident when an appointment is cancelled.
And how good does that feel?
One of my coaching clients identified these rare moments as ‘purple patches’.
For him they were a space to stop, think and breathe. I encouraged him to block out these patches so he could take advantage of them any time he liked!
He colour-coded the time — in purple — in his calendar.
We are all living in an epidemic of urgency and busyness. Unless we are flat out, working ridiculous hours, we are judged, and we often judge ourselves, as lazy or unproductive.
Urgency is the new black. ‘Busy’ is the natural response to ‘How’s work?’ The effect is cultures that pride themselves on ‘fast-moving’ or ‘adaptive’ workplaces.
But they are often white-collar sweat shops, pushing people beyond their limits, and the result is burnout.
For years researchers have proved time and time again the positive impact of time away from work related activities:
Being less busy isn’t the issue. The real opportunity here is to take time out. To stop and take stock of where you are at and make some decisions about how you want to work. In other words, space to think.
To access our creativity, innovation, and intuition, (our smarter selves) we need to be in the right state of consciousness. Brainwaves play a crucial role in our ability to think creatively and solve problems.
By intentionally taking time out for pausing and thinking we give ourselves access to all of these brainwave states, improving our cognitive performance and tapping into our creativity and intuition.
So, how can we make thinking space a regular part of our lives in 2023? It starts with making time to decelerate, decompress and decide, we are clearing thinking space, which will enable us to make better choices.
By prioritising time to think and accessing the right brainwave states, we can improve our cognitive performance, tap into our creativity and intuition, and ultimately have a greater impact on the world.
So, let’s take a step back from the culture of busyness and urgency and embrace the power of thinking space.
Donna McGeorge is a global authority on productivity, and best-selling author of the “It’s About Time” book series. Her latest book, “Join the ChatGPT Revolution,” is available now.