Hey there, this is Julie Bee, and you’re listening to They Don’t Teach THIS in Business School. I’m so glad to have you with me today. Before I forget, please consider becoming a patron through the Buy Me a Coffee site. For $5/month you can support my team’s vision to help one million business owners by 2032.
Alright, today’s episode is about…making space to work on those big-picture items you never seem to get to for your business. But today, I’m not going to talk about creating white space on your calendar. I’m not talking about time here.
I’m going to share ideas around making physical space and energy space that can facilitate that strategic work that’s often pushed aside.
Let’s start with physical space, and look at the physical location where you work. Sometimes changing something about this area is enough to make strategic space. For example, maybe changing the location of your furniture in your office can help you create space. Or, if you’re like me and have a sticky note problem, organizing and systemizing all those notes and clearing off the clutter will help you make some space.
Stepping back a bit, maybe you need a different physical location altogether for strategic or big-picture work. For example, I know that I cannot write a book sitting in my office. I do write well when I’m sitting at my dining room table. I don’t need to rent an office to move to a different physical location. If you work from home, you may find that doing certain kinds of work in specific locations within your own home creates the space you need.
If you do have an office and find it challenging to focus on strategic work at your desk there, you could try moving to a conference room to do the strategic work.
You can try coffee shops, libraries, parks – it’s amazing how changing the actual, physical location of where you do strategic work can help you accomplish it.
Those are just some ideas for making space from a physical location standpoint. Now, let’s talk about energy space – when you are in a flow state. The best way I can illustrate this is through my own examples.
Mornings are my creative time, especially Monday and Tuesday mornings. My creative energy just flows during that time – it’s when I do my best writing. I try to not schedule anything during those times, and I reserve the energy space for content creation. That is me protecting my energy space, but it starts with me recognizing my energy levels and what they’re best used for during certain the times of the day.
Now, I know I said I wouldn’t talk about time, and you may think this is really blocking off time. But here’s why it’s more about energy than the time on a calendar. If I block off 3 hours on Monday morning for content creation, I’ll create some amazing stuff. 3 hours on Monday afternoon? The content that comes out of those times won’t be nearly as good as the morning content.
I often say we all have the same number of hours in a day, but the hours are not the same. This is an illustration of that – let me say it again. We have the same number of hours in a day, but the hours are not the same.
To make energy space, you have to be in tune with when your energy is the best for specific activities.
Energy can also be driven by people and places. For example, I am an extrovert and get a ton of energy from speaking events. If I have a speaking event scheduled, I’ll plan to do some work I’ve been procrastinating on for right after the event. Why? Because I know that the event will give me a lot of energy space, which I’ll use to finally get those tasks completed. Those speaking events fill me up with energy, and I maximize that energy space whenever I can.
It’s equally important to know what takes you out of the flow state – what drains your energy and reduces how much space you have. For example, dealing with a difficult conversation will drain most people’s energy levels, leaving them little space for anything else. If you know this about yourself, you can use this knowledge to plan what you’ll do immediately following a difficult conversation.
I know the term “making space” is overused. It may have induced an eye-roll when you first heard me say it. And yes, while making space does often mean clearing time on your calendar or canceling appointments, there’s so much more to making space that goes beyond time – like physical and energy space.
Most of us could use a little more space in our life, and I firmly believe making space does not mean you have to slow down.
I think making space in all the ways – physical, energy, and yes, time – enables us to continue to move forward at a better prioritized, and more sustainable pace.
I’m Julie Bee, and They Don’t Teach THIS in Business School