The Global Leadership Summit is a two-day event that is telecast LIVE from Willow’s campus near Chicago every August to more than 600+ locations in North America. Throughout the fall, Summit events take place in an additional 128 countries—translated into 60 languages. This is the 23rd annual Global Leadership Summit being broadcast around the world to more than 400K people.

Below are my notes for Juliet Funt, CEO Whitespace at Work:

In the flow of our days, all of us are getting less and less comfortable with the pause. With the open moments of our life and our work that we allow to remain unfilled and ready for may come. This is because our schedules are over flowing, our minds are buzzing and our connection is constant. And the pause is becoming a memory. This loss of time with no assignment is one that has really hefty cost to our lives, and our minds and our businesses.

  • The pause is a source of formidable business power.
  • The pause has been squeezed out by the tyranny of the urgent.
  • 80% say their staff is overloaded, 8% have a plan to address it.
  • The Pause is most endangered in modern work.
  • The Recipe 100% exertion and 0% thoughtfulness.

2 reasons we have lost The Pause

  • We are too busy to become less busy.
  • We don’t really examine the cost to worship the false-god of business.

What is the cost?

  • The top line suffers.
  • There is a cost to sanity and humanity.
  • Ther is a bottom line cost.
  • Busy work as waste is very expensive.

When we look at busy work as waste it is phenomenally expensive.

Whitespace-a strategic pause taken between activities

  • Whitespace can be recuperative or constructive.
  • It can be time spent on innovation, strategy, or professional reflection.
  • It allows oxygen in that allows things to catch fire.

Professional Examples:

  • Jack Welch spent 1 hour per day with looking out the window time
  • Bill Gates spent two weeks away for thinking time

Great creatives use whitespace

  • Never rush the cooking of a great idea.
  • The pause is becoming a memory, there is no space to be creative if everything is urgent

3 Things Whitespace is not:

  1. Whitespace is not mind wandering. (The mind slips away without your permission)
  2. Whitespace is not meditation. (disciplinary focus on one thing)
  3. Whitespace is not mindfulness. (Ultra Focus)

How do you find whitespace?

  • Whitespace has no rules, no boundaries
  • Gives us permission to think the un-thunk thought
  • You must de-crappify your workflow.

2 Key Steps to Find Whitespace

  1. Be cautious of the thieves of productivity.
    • 4 Thieves of Productivity
      • Drive> becomes Overdrive
      • Excellence> becomes Perfection
      • Information>becomes Overload
      • Activity> becomes Frenzy
    • The thieves lure us into a pace/pressure that reduces our effectiveness.
    • Thieves linked to our personalities
    • Excessive use of any can be a trap
    • Recognize the thief when it appears, use language to out them.
    • Every thief has a value and a fault.
  2. Defeat the thieves with questions.
    1. Drive: Is there anything I can let go of?
    2. Excellence: Where is good enough good enough?
    3. Information: What do I truly need to know?
    4. Activity: What deserves my attention?
  • Busy is not simply a personal problem when talented people don’t have time to think, businesses suffer.
  • If we want more whitespace we have to choose where and how much we apply to drive, excellence, information, and activity.
  • Whatever we have we will adapt and eventually we will want more of it.

Time is a space that will be filled if you don’t have filters.

Reductive Mindset

  • We must be reductive. Life has gotten too full and we must learn to let go.
  • 154% increased improvement if you take learning

Take whitespace home

  • Too often we are too busy and miss the most important rides (moments) in our lives.
  • Never too late to mess tomorrow’s ride.
  • Build white space into your life so you can say yes when the ride comes to your door.
  • We don’t want to miss something important because we are too busy.

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