Creating space when there isn’t any

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I talk and write a lot about creating space for the things that matter. But what do you do when there is just too much going on and it’s really hard to get the space that you need?

This is where I’m at right now. Between all the good stuff of running my businesses, speaking gigs, clients, upcoming launches, overseas client travel, new creative projects and the hum of the day to day, creating the massive chunk of space that I need to finish (cough, write) my third book is pretty challenging.

It would have been nice to carve out three-six full months and immerse myself completely in it, but in the real world, at this present time at least, it just hasn’t been possible. And yet, the book needed to get written, and my soul was craving the container in which to do it.

Whatever space crunch you find yourself in right now, here are some simple things that might help you as they are helping me:

Create the space you can

Whilst you may not be able to get all the space you dream about, look at what you can do. Where can you clear some blocks of time for the project you are wanting to work on? Are there days that you can block out, even if there aren’t as many as you would like? I have blocked as many full days that I can between now and when the draft is due, just to write. Yes I would like more of them. But it is what it is, so I am grateful for the days I can get.

Find the gaps

Where are the gaps in your current schedule that you can allocate to your project? It’s quite amazing what we can get done in ten focussed minutes, especially when we plan for it ahead of time. I am looking for the small gaps in my schedule when I can do some work on the book – edit a small chapter, organise my chapters, outline my next piece, think about book marketing. Where are the gaps that you can fill mindfully rather than using those times to scroll through Instagram or whatever other time waster is your vice?

Say no

What do you need to say no to? My guess is a lot. Once you get crystal clear on what you want to get done in your precious time, it becomes much easier to say no to things that won’t help you move forward with whatever it is that you want to be working on. Saying no is a muscle – build that baby like your life depends on it. Your greatest work actually does.

Protect your time and energy

When you actually get the time for what you are working on, protect it! No to-do list creep, no emails, no social, no interruptions, no procrastinating. When you get into your treasured space, stay there.

Right now, before you move on to the next thing on your list, take a look at your calendar for the next month. In fact, look at it all the way to the end of this year (there’s a shockingly small amount of time left). What do you want to get done or be working on? It could be a health goal, to start a blog, get an exciting new project done at work, or perhaps a house project. How much time can you block so you can focus on it? Where are the gaps in your schedule and what can you get done in that time (hint:write a list)? What can you say no to to help clear some space?

Your time is yours. Sometimes it’s really hard to create the space we need for the things we love – that’s just life. But you can make the most of the time and space you have, to make progress toward what you really want. You can do it. I know you can.


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Saying no is a muscle – build that baby like your life depends on it. Your greatest work actually does.

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Photo Credit : Qi Bin

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