Create White Space in Your Life

One of the mantras of modern resume writing is to not be afraid of white space. Readers do not want to be inundated with text; they want to see highlights that are presented as comfortable to skim and easy to digest. It is as if the ethos of minimalism that rules current home design has found its way to the page.

But what if we looked at white pace as more of a metaphor. Maybe we could see if our lives could use a little more white space.

Just as detailed company descriptions, long lists of courses taken and hobbies are seen as clutter on your resume, there must be things cluttering up your life. What activities, self-imposed responsibilities and time killers are you holding on to but would be better off without? Is it a social media habit? The need to plan your kid’s day? A hobby that has become more of a chore?

To give a personal example, working out has always been a cluttered experience for me. I’m someone who is constantly looking for the next great program, the newest fitness fad. I feel like I often spend more time looking into new variations of workouts more than I do actually exercising. When in reality, as a middle aged man with a sedentary job all I really need to do is a couple basic strength moves and then get outside an move. I’m not going to be entering and bodybuilding contests and I do not need the VO2 Max of a Michael Phelps, I just need to be healthy enough to go hiking with my family and shovel the mini mountains of snow my New England town gets every winter.

To stick with our metaphor, my exercise regimen needs some white space. Imagine all these slightly obsessive activities as unneeded text crowding the page. What does that do to the important information in that document? It crowds it out, makes it harder to make an impact. The same happens with those activities. What would your day be like if you just stopped sometimes and sat? What if you didn’t need to be constantly doing something, constantly productive? You just might let those important parts of your life have some breathing room.