The Power of White Space in Your Day

Studies show that incorporating “white space” in your day can lead to increased productivity, better job satisfaction, improved emotional health, and a stronger desire to go above and beyond. 

Just like feeling thirsty is your body’s way of letting you know it needs water, your body is begging for a break when it is exhausted and having difficulty focusing.

Large words: White Space. Left half of image black desktop with coffee, notebooks, pen, phone and laptop. Right half of image all white. The word White in white, the word Space in black. 
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In advertising, “white space” is when an ad has just a few words with a lot of space around the words, allowing the eyes to focus on the text and read it- which is the purpose.  The same is true of “white space” in your day.  The more time you have to pause and take a breath, the more focus and clarity you will have for the task(s) at hand.

“White space” can be a one thing, or a few simple things like:

  • looking away from your computer screen
  • taking several deep breaths
  • standing up
  • taking a quick walk
  • going to the restroom
  • getting a drink of water
  • stepping out for some fresh air
  • eating

White space often doesn’t just happen, here are some ways to help create more white space in your day….

1. Reflect and Adjust

Take a long honest look at how much time you allow between meetings, phone calls, appointments, and tasks. If you find your schedule completely full with no breathing room, consider intentionally scheduling and planning for white space in your day. Set a reminder or alarm if you must.  A few minutes of space, of breathing room can have a big impact on your day and job performance.

2. Just say “no” or “not right now

White space doesn’t just appear out of nowhere – it must be created, scheduled, and prioritized.

It’s ok to say no to things that are not a priority and that get in the way or white space.  Minimally, defer a non-priority item for later or “not right now.”

3. Prioritize

“If everything is important, then nothing is important.” 

Patrick Lencioni

Rushing around trying to do all the things all at once is counterproductive.  Prioritize meetings, appointments, and tasks and schedule them along with your white space to help you be productive and focused.

4. It’s a wrap

Your most important appointment is at the end of the day.  The time you have clearly scheduled and set aside at the end of every day to wrap up events or tasks of the day, clean your desk, finish emails, and get ready and plan for the next day.  Prioritizing this time will help you leave work at work and focus on the important things in your time outside of work.

Being intentional with white space can help increase productivity and refocus the mind, improve creativity, reduce stress, boost engagement with co-workers, and improve mental health.  Now that’s some power!

Linda Wilcox

Linda Wilcox, RDN, LD

Linda is our Registered Dietitian Nutritionist that uses a balanced approach to health and wellness, focusing on nutrition, movement, sleep, and connecting you with other appropriate health resources.

Linda understands and recognizes the courage needed to take the first step in caring for yourself and starting your own health and wellness journey. Learn more about Linda’s services like individual wellness and nutrition consultations, ministry and church wellness consultations, and group presentations here!

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