The White Spaces in Your Business Day

It’s scarce and it’s important. It’s one of the most valuable resources a leader has. It’s called “white space,” and it’s the available time between meetings and other tasks. The way you use white space can be the difference between success and failure.

A busy schedule of meetings often means we have 30-minute gaps scattered throughout the day. We don’t usually pay attention to them, but they can have a real toll on our productivity. Four 30-minute gaps in our schedule can add up to 25% of our day. So it pays to think differently about this underused time. It is there for us if we choose to use it.

First, take a few minutes at the start of each day to identify the gaps in your schedule. Write what you want to accomplish in each gap into your calendar — anything from lower-value work (expense reports) to larger tasks you’ve been dreading (outlining your presentation) to creative work you want to reflect on later. And at the end of the day, look back on your 30-minute tasks and note which ones you’ve accomplished.

Every manager has white space in his or her day. Successful managers take advantage of their white space and use it as a time to brainstorm new ideas or work on things outside their normal job scope.

Summing-up: Stop looking at those 30-minute gaps in your day as a waste of time. They may be the key to turbocharging your productivity.

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