(Here at the Willow Creek GLS trying to learn some leadership tips for Operation Christmas Child)
I have 3 blue-eyed boys. They did ‘toddler looping’ where they said the same phrase over and over—like “mommy red fire truck”. I thought—this person talks all day and I had an aha moment thought that must be what my husband has felt like since the day we met. I went home and sat down my husband and told him this and his eyes got misty and he looked at the ceiling and said, “Thank You, Jesus.” And we are Jewish.
Men tolerate silences in conversation better than women but most of us are getting more intolerant of “the pause” in our day. The pause is becoming a memory. The loss of time without assignment has consequences in our life. The pause is where we introspect and create and it’s the most endangered element of modern work. It’s been squeezed out by the tyranny of the urgent and the presence of constant media.
(crazy funny monologue about our crazy packed days)
It’s a recipe that’s 100% exertion and 0% thoughtfulness. When talented people don’t have time to think business suffers.
This exists because
1. We are too busy to become less busy
2. We don’t examine the cost
Too much busyness costs
--cost to humanity
--busy work as waste is phenomenally expensive ($1,000,000 per 50 workers)
Where are we in the evolution of the age of overload?
--Like Wil E. Coyote falling off the cliff we hang suspended
--We can choose whether to let this happen or find a new, viable solution
Solution is WhiteSpace-
--A strategic pause taken between activities –recuperative or constructive
--Don’t need long stretches of time
--An MRI of the brain during the pause shows much activity during that pause
Great leaders naturally use WhiteSpace
--Jack Welch spent an hour a day in “looking out of the window time”
--Bill Gates locked himself in a cottage for 2 weeks a year
--Alan Funt (her father) never rushed the ‘cooking’ of a great idea
I spend 100% of my time consulting and writing about the strategic pause
--I ended up here because I’m the most driven rat
Three things it is NOT:
--Mindfulness (focusing on one thing)
What it IS:
--No goals or boundaries
--Permission to think the unthunk thought
How to get it:
--Decrapify your workflow
1. Be conscience of the thieves
2. Defeat them with the questions
--Busyness always feels like it’s our fault
--We found 33 unique sources of pressure that cascade onto you—(pressures of economy, etc.)
--Busyness is not simply a personal problem
--Analyzed the 33 sources and found 4 that were positive assets that are common thieves
The Thieves of Productivity
--these operate on the Hedonic treadmill – whatever we have, soon we will want more
--the thieves are also linked to our personality and we will identify with some more than others
--Every one of the thieves has a value and each has a fault
--Next step is to defeat them by asking questions, using language to ‘out’ them
--In the presence of the thieves that WhiteSpace will be filled.
Here are the WhiteSpace Simplification Questions
Is there anything I can let go of?
Where is “good enough”, good enough?
What do I truly need to know?
What deserves my attention?
When we commit to be reductive we commit to strip away the unnecessary. We can’t follow up on every idea or go to every event. We need to learn to let go.
How do you put this into action?
WhiteSpace learning activity – (use phones to do one lesson each week for 3 weeks with your team. www.WhiteSpaceGLS.com )
Time to learn a tactic—this one deals with email
--#1 problem with email is not quantity; it’s the expectation of immediate response
--WhiteSpace NYR codes – go in the subject line
NYR: Need Your Response
NYRT: Need Your Response Today
NYRQ: Need Your Response Quick
NYR-NBD: Need Your Response-Next Business Day
WhiteSpace at Home
--Whatever “It” is for you—rush out there to not miss it
--It’s never too late to miss tomorrow
--The business part of this is important but more important is to build some WhiteSpace into your life