Have you ever thought about the role your environment plays in your business success?
We get so caught up in the strategies, the content, the clients, the money, etc. but we forget to focus on what immediately surrounds us. Both internal and external clutter can hinder our success, more than you think. This is why white space is so important for a business owner.
When I learned about white space, I honestly didn’t think much of it. Then one day I found myself very overwhelmed and looking for anything and everything I could do to take my mind off of what I actually should have been doing…
I can’t tell you how many times a large to-do list has led me to re-decorate my living room…but that’s a story for another day!
First, let’s define what white space actually is. In the design world, white space is defined by the spacing between text, graphics and elements. White space in life and business is defined as the sense of stillness, clarity, and peace in our minds that is accessed by removing clutter, noise and distractions.
But I can tell you that it is so much more than a clean work space.
How to Create White Space in Your Business
The very first place to create white space is in your business. Choose an area that is designated for a certain task, clear of clutter and distractions. You can choose one, but I have three places, and each one has a specific purpose. The first one is my office where I do client work and client calls. When I'm in my office, I am in full-blown support mode -- supporting my clients, doing design projects, things like that. I do my best to keep it clean and organized so I can focus better, so at the end of every work day, I organize and clean up my office.
My second area is my dining room. This is my favorite place in our home because it has so many windows and makes me feel like I'm sitting outside. It's where I allow my brain to turn off and detach from my clients and work on my business rather than in my business. This is where I do things like team meetings, visionary work, podcast recording, etc., usually with a cup of coffee and my animals all around me.
My third area is my patio. I'm obsessed with my patio! This is where I do growth activities and learning -- things like personal development, watching trainings, or listening to podcasts. Anything that has to do with growing as a person and as a business owner, I do outside on my patio.
Having these three spaces has made all the difference for me and my business. My brain has learned which spaces are for specific tasks, which helps me focus. So when I'm in my office, my brain immediately goes into client-work mode. When I'm in my dining room, same thing. I start thinking about where my business is going, what do we need to do, what does the team need, etc. And when I'm outside, it's like I can breathe and just focus on Cassie.
Now, most of my clients have one space that’s their zone which is totally fine. Whether you have one space or multiple spaces, you just need a space that’s designated to work. It could be your couch, kitchen table, anything. Just make sure you pick a designated area that your brain will eventually recognize is your zone for a specific task.
One thing I've noticed since I've created these “white space areas” is that I am way more productive. I used to struggle clicking in and out of client work and my own business, and so a lot of things would get left on the back-end, like my podcast. I wanted to do a podcast for a long time, but I was so focused on working in my business versus working on my business that it never happened. But when I created separate spaces to work in my business and on my business, I was actually able to get it started.
How To Create White Space in Your Home
So you have white space in your business, now it’s time to create white space in your home.
Our environments, no matter where you are, play a huge role in our mood, focus and productivity. As they say, the inner reflects the outer and vice versa. If we create white space in our homes it enables us to gain the stillness and peace we need to thrive, not just survive.
Creating white space in your home comes down to decluttering and creating blank spaces. It allows you to breathe, and it clears your mind because all that stuff isn't registering in your brain any longer. Similar to how I tidy my office at the end of the workday, every day I take 10 minutes to clean up the house and put things back in place. Try it! I promise, you will feel so much better when you wake up the next day.
Having nighttime and morning routines have also helped me create white space in my home. I'll be completely real with you, I have days where I don’t do them, but I'm a human and it's normal. As long as you follow the 80-20 rule, you'll be fine.
Another way to create white space is getting enough sleep. This actually starts with having a clutter-free bedroom. It may not seem important, but trust me, you will sleep better and you will wake up feeling better.
Taking screen breaks can also create white space. You’ve probably heard this, but don't get on your phone right before bed or right after you wake up. Take little breaks throughout the day where you’re not looking at a screen.
How to Create White Space in Your Life
Creating white space in your life can come up in a variety of ways. It could involve people or responsibilities, just to name a few. For example, I'm a “yes person.” I say yes to a lot of things that I honestly don't want to do. So this past year I’ve really been working on standing up for myself and saying “no” more often.
Another area of life that can cause clutter is toxic people. I’m going to get real with you all, you have to let go of toxic people. With that being said, I've gone through a lot of this and for someone who doesn’t like confrontation it can end up being a long drawn out situation. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Jessica Swag once said on her podcast, “You just need to vibe up and they'll vibe out.” And that's the truth. When you start focusing on the betterment of you and on taking care of yourself more, you will organically vibe up and they will just vibe out because they don’t align with you. So whenever you're creating white space in your life, remember that sometimes people are not healthy for you, and it’s okay to let them go.
As entrepreneurs, taking time off is a huge way we can create white space. We want to work 24/7 either because we love what we do, or we feel like that’s what we have to do to be successful. Listen to your body and your mind when you need to take time off, and then take time off. You won't be productive if you're not in the right mindset in the first place and taking time off can get you back into the right mindset. You have to remember that you're building a life of freedom, not captivity. So give yourself grace to be a human. Just like you schedule everything else in your calendar, schedule in time to not have plans, like when you’re literally going to binge watch Netflix. And I'll be honest, I have to do better at this. My husband tells me all the time, “Why don't you just watch some TV?”. I’m working on it!
The last thing I'm going to leave you with is, it's time for you to un-become who you think you're supposed to be. Doing this will create so much white space, clarity, and peace of mind. Society has sold us this image of the ideal person we feel we should be. However, in the long run, you will see that you end up spending over half of your life trying to un-become everything you thought you should be in the beginning. So why not just save yourself time and quit trying to be and do all the things you feel like you should be?
I read this concept in some book: The first half of your life you're young and impressionable. You see all these people and think you want to be just like them. And then you get older and you realize that you need to be authentic and trying to be someone else doesn't align with you. So you spend the rest of your life trying to be authentically yourself.
I encourage you to wake up every day focused on being who you truly are, and you will have so much peace of mind, clarity, and confidence.
Now I’d love to hear how you are going to create white space in your business, home, and life! DM me on Insta and share your insights and plan of action!