Be More Effective – Week 23: Bring a Little Zen into Your Life

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Clean up your workspace

Let’s look at your workspace (office desk, kitchen counter, tool shed). How much stuff is lying around and cluttering your workspace, and your mind as a result?

If you want to be able to focus on your work and come up with creative ideas, you need to remove distractions. Create white spaces.

Create empty spaces. Reduce distractions.

Clean up your workspace. Find a place for everything and preferrable pick a spot that you cannot see. The only things that should be on your workspace are the project that you are working on right now and the tools that you are using right now.

Everything else needs to go and find a place somewhere else. Likewise, everything needs to have its place. And it needs to be there and only there, unless it’s in your hands.

If everything has its place and can always be found there, you will also not need to make a mad dash through your house to find it when you actually need it (think: your keys). I believe the creative chaos is a myth. I trust the empty and creative Zen space instead.

“Order is contagious.”
Willpower, Roy Baumeister, John Tierney

If your workspace is not clean and quiet, your mind won’t be either.

Create your retreat space in which your brain can calm down and your mind can focus.

Create empty space in time

Don’t stop at cleaning and emptying your workspace. Also create free space in time. Free up time on your calendar, for which you plan to do nothing.

No, that’s not the same as not having a concrete plan an instead running random errands. Plan out a time where you do nothing. Create space for your mind and observe what will happen.

It might be scary at first but try it out. Soon it will feel liberating. Give yourself the gift of time without expectations and without things you have to do or achieve.

Give yourself the gift of a little Zen. With emptiness comes focus. With focus come results and inspiration.

Empty spaces ignite your creativity – both empty spaces in space as well as in time (do nothing times).

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