We probably have more space now than we once did. When I moved into my current home the kitchen was tiny, there wasn’t enough space to house a cooker and a fridge, so we made the space bigger. The solution to finding space isn’t always this easy though.
I have searched for thinking spaces, creative spaces and learning spaces over the last few years and have found them difficult to come by. I have joined groups which I thought would be creative but I found them constraining because of their boundaries and demands. I have attempted to find thinking spaces but been interrupted by others thoughts and egos as well as my own. Lastly I have sought learning spaces, you may say “every space is a learning space” and I agree, but there are different forms of learning. Learning something new, like a new tip or tool and at a deeper level learning something that impacts how you see and do things from then on.
The space for that deep learning is often elusive, don’t get me wrong, I have attended transformational training programmes and have had transformational conversations but not as frequently as I would like.
It struck me recently that if we want that space we need to create it. This may not sound like a radical idea, but how often do you set an hour aside to think, learn or create? Our time is eaten up by â€œthings to doâ€ or busyness. Emails, texts, phone calls, meetings, reports to write, papers to read, dinner to cook, partner to listen to, family to care for, oh yes and the obligatory few hours sleep.
Because we think the space should be there, we don’t realise the need to create it again, we do not even realise what we’ve lost it.
This week I have worked with two groups, one was a newly formed regional coaching group and the other was a group of mentors in education, I was intrigued to notice that they felt “space” was one of the things that was most appreciated by their clients. The space to think, learn, create and “be”.
- How do you create that space for you, your team, your organisation?
- What are you willing to give up to make space?
- What will be different for you when that space is created?
- What support do you need to create it?
- What does that space look like?
- How do you resist the desire to fill your spaces?
Some suggestions to get you started:
- Streamline meetings – do they really need to take that long or have walk and talk meetings
- Use train journeys and travel creatively – you could listen to an audio book or a new type of music
- Join a network of people very different to you – see how creative you become
- Turn off the TV – notice how much time is created
- Leave space in the meeting agenda for something different to emerge – you may be surprised
- Start meditating
- Try an hour in the bath instead of a 5 minute shower
- Joining an evening class which is totally unrelated to your day job
- Read for pure pleasure
- Go for a walk.
Let me know how you get on.