The alarm goes off.
It jolts you awake (for the third time, thanks to the snooze button).
You get out of bed and begin your mindless, autopilot of a day. Let me guess; pee, brush teeth, get in the shower, get dressed, grab some coffee, drag yourself into the car, forget you keys, come back in the house, go back to your car with your keys, forget your bag, go back in the house and get your bag, get back in the car with your bag, pull out of your driveway and begin your mindless, autopilot drive to work.
You are so on autopilot that you get to work without remembering actually driving there, because you were thinking about that meeting at 3:00 today or that thing that someone said yesterday that you need to get back to them on.
We don't have time to be in the present when we have things we can ruminate in the past about of make-up for the future!
Or do we?
You arrive at work, eventually get to your desk, and turn on your computer. You open your calendar to look at your time commitments for the day. You see meetings and conference calls, you see lunch appointments and client calls.
But there is something you also see that you never seem to notice. You see it without seeing it.
Those little tiny blank spaces (if you don't have any of those, you are probably being really inefficient and ineffective - we can cover that in a future blog post!).
Tiny little spaces that have nothing in them; they're just white space in between your scheduled commitments.
You might not see many, and the ones you do see may be very small...but they're there!
And you need to start paying more attention to them.
Because those are your refueling stations.
Throughout your day, I am challenging you to create a new habit; a little habit; an easy habit.
I challenge you to book those times with...nothing.
When you find the "nothing" in your calendar, you find the calm in your calendar.
When you find the calm in your calendar, you get off of mindless autopilot and regain your personal power. It's like plugging in your cell phone to power it up. If you keep using it for too long, it will not work when you need it. However, if you simply charge it every once in a while, it will always be ready to go. It doesn't need to be plugged in for long, but it needs an occasional recharge to be able to operate effectively.
You are no different.
Those blank spaces in your calendar are small for a reason. You don't need much "nothing" to re-charge yourself. Within a couple of minutes, you can sit back and take a few deep breaths or listen to a favorite song or go walk around the building.
It takes just moments of doing nothing (except breathing) to reboot your brain and body.
Don't wait to do this - start right now!
Look at your calendar and find the next blank space.
Now, book it with nothing.
The first few times you do this, you may feel like you are "wasting time." Stop thinking that. Do you find it a "waste of time" to stop at the gas station when your low fuel light comes on? Of course not, that would be ridiculous! NOT stopping to refuel would be the waste of time because you will get stuck on the road and have to walk to a gas station or wait while someone comes to get you.
Put "nothing" in the proper perspective. It is not only necessary for you to be productive, less stressed, and effective, but it is a time saver, simply because you spend more time in the moment (and that's where everything important happens!).
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go. I have nothing to do.