Monthly Archives: August 2014

Professional Balance and Performance: Make Room for White Space on Your Schedule

In your very busy professional lives, it is easy to become awash in work and related commitments. It is easy to lose the balance between your personal and professional lives. It is easy to be consumed by your vocation while any hopes of enjoying an avocation slip away with the sunset as you leave work. Turn this tide and make room for “white space” on your calendar.

You are driven, successful, and passionate about your work – and tired and burning out. White space is that deliberate patch of calendar or schedule that remains open to your imagination – it remains open to possibility. The white space represents an effort to find more balance in your life.

  • Highly effective organizations recognize and support the idea of workforce wellness and balance. The leadership acknowledges, and models, an ethos that optimizes the professional energy of their team – to support them reaching their full potential – including time to recharge and recommit to a sensible balance between the innumerable demands of work and the other interests that make a full person. These strong organizations make that balance a priority – they allow for white space.

The white space represents that golf outing to catch up with a visiting colleague, that four-day weekend with family or friends, an afternoon baseball game that you have been meaning to catch for the last ten years. That white space represents the full you, as you are not only a driven and talented professional, but also a person of complex interests and aspirations.

To the extent that you can, given your position and organization, try to include some or all of the following actions in your white space schedule and planning:

  • Take your earned leave or vacation time – it’s not a benefit if you don’t use it;
  • Use some of that leave time to sprinkle a couple of “half-days” into your monthly calendar – even a small break from the routine can be exhilarating;
  • Re-ignite your personal interests by ensuring that they are accounted for in your monthly or quarterly scheduling – see the possibilities;
  • Take time to consider what’s important to you – then include those things in your “life planning calendar”. (This important calendar will undoubtedly be dominated by your work, but that too should be something you generally enjoy, even while it may be draining you.)

Remember that as you work, you are earning the privilege and opportunity to succeed in balancing your energy and commitments. Your professional life will be enhanced as you find a stronger equilibrium between all things professional and the other things that make you who you are – family, friends, hobbies, interests, and community activities. You will be more accomplished in all aspects of your life if you are more centered and fresh.

While it is easy to be overcome by the seeming tidal wave of work commitments and professional obligations, you must seek balance for your overall wellness. Turn this tide and make room for “white space” on your calendar.

Steve Wischmann

President/CEO

Horizon Performance Solutions, LLC