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Space - the final frontier

Space - the final frontier

Nicola Hopes

18 August 2023

I know what you’re thinking – you’re too young to remember that reference.

But if we overlook that fact, there is a summer lesson here to be learned.

Most of my clients tell me the end of July and August tends to be quieter in their diary. Most regular meetings get cancelled because everyone’s away, key workshops are scheduled for September and there are less people around to email you for time to talk about that key project.

They look at their diary (around their own holiday) and see space to breathe.

Ahh, bliss!

But what has me holding my head in my hands is those same clients then listing all the things they will fill that time with – reshaping that regular report; reviewing that key document; writing that paper that’s been on the list for 2 weeks.

I don’t doubt those things are worth doing at some point. They might even feel urgent. But are they really important?

Are they as important as space in the diary for something more generative? More innovative? More exciting?

Something that will challenge your thinking and add to your kit bag of ideas.

Something that can have you leaping forwards with a problem or opportunity – rather than shuffling forwards with a reshaped report.

Look up

So, what can you do with all that space to really inspire you?

  • An injection of ideas: who can you talk to that always gives you a fresh take or challenges the assumptions you’re making about what next?
  • Some disruptive thinking: what are those articles and books in your field that turn existing wisdom on its head? What elements of that could you implement?
  • Big problem solving: what are the common problems your organisation or team faces? What events can you create (why not?) or attend to troubleshoot them?

That space in the diary is precious. It comes once a year. So, only fill it with the things that will really add value to your working life.

Tell me. You don’t want to just reshape that report now, do you?

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