Been looking forward to getting up, knuckling down, getting that project completed and then with a sigh of relief, relaxing for the rest of the day? But then the day arrives and bomb after bomb goes off (or so it seems) and you’re unable to even look at the project, let alone make headway on it? And then you start beating yourself up – wondering why you ever thought it was possible to complete it in that way in the first place?
Designing our lives
If you’ve experienced this, you’re definitely not alone. Life happens. It’s a guarantee. And in some industries it’s how things are every day. This is why I urge my clients to leave plenty of time between tasks for such interruptions and to allow for flexibility.
Leaving space between everything on your to-do list seems counteractive. It’s very tempting to fill in every slot in your calendar with tasks and to think that by the end of the week it may all be done. But it’s not realistic or helpful for your self-care. Leaving space between meetings and tasks is just as important as the things you do. In Graphic Design this is called “white space/negative space”. It’s not considered “blank” space but is an important element of design which enables parts of the work to exist together. In fact, the balance between positive (or non-white) and the use of negative spaces is key to the aesthetic composition of the whole design.
And this is what we must remember when designing our lives as well. Especially when the desire to achieve seems to take on a life of its own. Most people want to live a life uncluttered by unimportant things so that they have an abundance of space for what’s truly important. By leaving space between the things that we do, life can stop being a constant busyness of rushing and stress, and can instead be a mindful choice of creation and connection with people and projects that bring meaning into our lives.