What is whitespace?
Whitespace, as it pertains to interior decorating, is the portion of a room that remains empty. It is the space between sofas, tables, artwork, lamps, chairs and other decorative accessories. Whitespace allows the eye to visually rest and appreciate each element in the room. It is also what I call breathing room the thing that reminds us to appreciate the simplicity of design and not just fill a room with meaningless objects. And from a housekeeping perspective, they create more places to dust anyway…
Using whitespace in design provides a great way to organize each piece of furniture in a room and make it functional, accessible, and user-friendly. In decorating, it helps to ruthlessly edit the range of accessories and leave only the ones that help create the desired atmosphere.
If we know that whitespace in decorating helps us to focus on the important things, then how much more do we need whitespace in our personal lives?
I hope years down the road, we don’t look back on this day and think “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Technology has given us immediate access to everything from getting connected to friends, loved ones, potential clients, bathroom tissue, diapers you name it. It’s so conveniently there when you need it and who can argue with that?
Well, I can.
It’s perfectly fine when things are accessible, but not when you, yourself are always accessible.
I’m inclined to think we all need some whitespace in our lives and not just during the summertime. We need it everyday. I’ve made efforts to reclaim my time in the past, then things got hectic again. And so last week I began again, in small ways, to create whitespace in my life. Here’s what I’ve done:
- Learned how to use the do not disturb function on my iphone. Instead of turning the phone off completely, this function silences notifications, email, and even phone calls while your device is locked.
- Turned off notifications from my computer. I can’t say how many times I’ve had that little email window pop up on my screen as I’m writing a post or attempting to complete an important task. It’s yet another distraction demanding my immediate attention when in truth, it can wait.
- Refrain from making phone calls while driving. I know it sounds a little crazy because we can get so much done while sitting in Atlanta traffic. However, I’ve found that using that window to organize my thoughts or just breathe is better use of that time.
- Take a 20 minute nap everyday. This was a practice I started in my corporate days. My co workers would know what came next after I finished my lunch and disappeared from the table. Even your computer has a sleep function. You should, too.
- Read something inspirational everyday.
This week think about what you can do to create whitespace in your daily life. Until you get into the habit of breaking away, you will have to schedule it like everything else. You’re not a machine, but a human being that needs some downtime in order to be creative.
What will you do to make room for nothingness?
Image Credit: Joanna Kosinska