We All Need a Little Blank Space

Designers have a solution for our crazed and overwhelming work schedules: blank space. In design, “blank space,” or negative space, is the purposeful contrast to the art that’s within the piece. Aimed to balance the color, shapes, or movement in design, blank space creates Intention and order — both elements we could use a little more of in our day-to-day lives. So how might this be applied to our schedules? Adding blank space, or intentional empty periods of time into our schedules, can increase our creativity, happiness, and productivity. The unstructured time can be used to do things such as sitting quietly, sitting outside in nature, drawing, meditating, going for a walk, doing a mini-workout, or taking a power nap. This reset for our brains, while seemingly against our traditional ways of thinking about productivity, allows for flow and balance to guide our week instead of dysfunction and stress.

Consider scheduling a meeting this week, and surprise everyone with one to five minutes of “blank space.” Or put 10 minutes of “blank space” on your team’s calendar. Discuss with team members how they feel when they are suddenly gifted with time to Be.

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