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Is your workday weighed down by unproductive busyness, endless emails and unnecessary meetings? Do you move from one project to another with no space for thoughtfulness and reflection? In this episode, productivity expert Juliet Funt discusses her concept of WhiteSpace, the strategic pause between activities that is both recuperative and constructive. She explains why we often feel paralyzed by the pace of our workdays and shares a number of practical tips we can use to reclaim productivity and build WhiteSpace into our days.
- WhiteSpace is a strategic pause between activities. Whitespace is both recuperative and constructive.
- Tolerated Misery: Most workers today feel helpless to attack the problem of unproductive busyness.
- Some people see busyness as a badge of honor.
- Addressing the problem of busyness doesn’t feel urgent.
- Thoughtfulness is an unfamiliar value.
- Most companies waste $1 million for every 50 people in their organization due to unproductive busyness.
- Hallucinated Urgency: People need to learn the difference between true urgency vs. imagined urgency.
- The Time Sensitivity Metric
- 1) Not time sensitive
- 2) Emotionally time sensitive
- 3) Tactically time sensitive
- Senior leaders need to be aware that their communication will often seem urgent to others simply due to their position in the organization.
- How to Create WhiteSpace
- Take time to observe and understand the culture of busyness in your organization.
- Look for a comprehensive solution that addresses both behavior and mindset.
- Know the difference between “2D vs. 3D” communication
- Become aware of “SBH—Shouldn’t Be Here” activities
- Cut down on email by keeping a “Yellow List” of topics that can be covered in a quick meeting
- On a scale of 1-5, how relevant are the topics of “unproductive busyness” and “WhiteSpace” to your current work and home life? 1 = Not at All Relevant, 5 = Extremely Relevant
- Juliet described several WhiteSpace tactics to help us reclaim productive time in our lives. Identify one to try today.
- Time Sensitivity Metric
- 2D vs. 3D Communication
- Identify SBH activities
- Keep a Yellow List