I enjoy spending time with Ingrid. (Just as well, she’s wife! :)) Counting the number of conversations we’ve had would be a futile exercise. A few days ago we spoke briefly about space and things in our home. It was not a long conversation but, for me, turns out to be one that I am still thinking through. Thus, it has earned a space the “conversations to remember” file. We often encounter things that can grow or equip us in more than one area of our lives but miss them because we look at them at face value. Back to the space subject in our home, and how it can help you in more than one area of your life…
Ingrid and I mentioned something we did not have in our home. (We were not complaining; we just realized we did not have one of them that’s all… The truth is while we may not have a lot we have enough for everyday life…). The conversation:
Me: …if we got this, where would we put it? There is not enough space in our house for that. We need more space…
Ingrid: we don’t need more space, we just need less things!
Boom! Now to how the space conversation in our home can change your life!
Capacity is not only enlarged by getting “more space” it can also enlarged by getting rid of some things. This principle applies across the board. Instead of rushing to make renovations to your house to make more space for something, you could achieve the more space by getting rid of some furniture. Instead of crying out for more time in your day, reduce the demand on it by getting rid of some things in your schedule. More space can be realized by going on a less clutter rampage. Growing capacity has a lot to do with getting rid of things not just acquiring.
You feel “crowded” because your space has a lot of things in it. Duh! (Substitute “space” for your work, family or social life etc) Another reason you feel overwhelmed is because you really do have too many things in your space. Take the pressure off yourself. You do not need to attend every conference, volunteer for every project. Make peace with having fewer things in your space for clarity and effectiveness in whatever “space” it relates to. Simplifying your life could be about getting rid of some things you do not need. You may not be able to acquire something to change your life but what you may need to do is get rid of things.
Capacity can also be enlarged by getting more space with fewer things. Fewer things in a larger space will have greater preeminence. It is easy for the small things to stand out if they are in a large space and not crowded. There are small things that matter than can easily be out of our sight because small things easy are to lose in clutter. This could be spending time with your children playing silly, which strengthens your relationship with them. You can take time out to think about the little things that matter in the different areas of your life and leadership.
I’m still doing the “more space – less things tango” in a lot of areas… What areas do you have capacity issues and what things do you think you could get rid off to make more “space”?