Fall is the season of apples and newly sharpened pencils (You’ve Got Mail, anyone?). There is something so fresh about that.
I’ve never been taken with January 1 as the start of a new year, for me, things kick off in September. And as I’ve lived through more and more Septembers, I’m starting to realize it’s exactly during this time of year that I begin biting off more than I can chew. I think everyone’s new project sounds amazing, and I sign up to help out with all of them. Not to mention deciding to tackle half of the ideas swirling around in my own head at any given moment. Things build and build and build, and by October, my calendar is jam packed from morning to night. So much so that when summer rolls around in June I end up in what can only be described as a state of near hibernation.
It can’t be just me.
Luckily, I am also a complete and total planner nerd, which has led me to Whitney English. She wrote a post on white space that I’m still mulling over, three years later. Think about your planner (or your phone calendar). Do you have so much crammed into each little block that there’s no white space? Make some. Say no to something so you can say yes to what’s important.
I’ve been reading a lot, listening to podcasts, and just keeping my eyes and ears open for ways to create even more white space. For me, that means I have to guard myself against over-scheduling every. Single. Day.
But when I make it happen, my life is so much richer. Because, as Whitney says, life isn’t about the tasks and to do’s we work so hard to keep track of. Life is what happens in the white space.
*This idea isn’t unique to Whitney, and it’s one I’ve seen in multiple places, in slightly different ways.
Here are some other resources if you’re into the idea of white space: