How do you fill your “White Space”?

In the age of computers, tablets and smart phones, we have access to information instantaneously.  And with this access, the information overload can be addicting.  This is quite evident when you are out to dinner and the table next to you is filled with devices keeping everyone occupied.

A typical American family can be – at the same time – looking at their phone, checking their email, sending a picture, or even watching their favorite cartoon.  And often, everyone is so focused on the electronic device at their fingertips that they are unable to engage in a conversation with those around them. So, how do we survive when the presence of electronics is so prevalent in our society?

The overuse of social media including cell phonesThere are some ways to free up your time and create what is known as “white space”. White Space is the free space between activities that allows you to enjoy the moment without distractions.   This quiet time is essential for us to function at our fullest and  it is necessary for creativity and happiness.

It may be difficult, but the ability to turn off or limit your electronic devices will allow you to take back some of your time.

Here are a four tips to help you get started:

1) Make a Commitment – This is the first step to achieve more time in your life.  Set a specific amount of time in the day to check your email, twitter, Facebook, etc.  Do you sleep with your smart phone next to you on the nightstand?  Do you immediately check your emails when you wake up?  Make a deal with yourself that you will change your habit and limit the number of times a day that you will spend on the computer or smart phone.

2) Be Courageous Creating white space requires leaving the herd.  Going against the grain is never easy.  But you will be more productive if you give yourself some time to think and be creative.

3) Make small changes – Even allowing thirty minutes, ten minutes or five minutes away from your computer, will allow you time to reconnect with your thoughts and will enable you to be more productive.

4) Set a Good Example – By setting limits for yourself, the people around you will follow suit.  Set the rules for no electronics at the dinner table or no electronics in the bedroom.  This will enforce the necessary “white space” for those around you.

The ability to focus on a task can be impeded by the constant stress of being connected to your electronics.  So, relax and enjoy some white space!  It will make you happier!

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About Maureen Crimmins

Maureen Crimmins is co-founder of Crimmins Wealth Management and a fee-only independent financial advisor. Have a financial question? ASK MAUREEN

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