The Weekly Review

by Chris Bowler

On the topic of habits, Jocelyn K. Glei makes the case for ensuring your have whitespace in your day (aka margin). She’s drawing from the design principle and applying it to every day life.

We need white space in our daily lives just as much as we need it in our designs because the concept carries over: If our lives are over-cluttered and over-booked, we can’t focus properly on anything. What’s more, this way of working actually shrinks our ability to think creatively.

The older I get, the more of this I find myself needing margin. This is a short post, but I refer to it here because she includes a few good examples of what this can look like.

As Shawn Blanc writes in Day 37 of The Focus Course, boredom is hard to come by these days. And that’s a problem …

It’s not so easy to be bored anymore. You have to choose to be bored. It used to be that boredom chose you — you were somewhere and you were waiting and there was nothing to do and you were bored. Now, you’re never bored. You can see pictures of some stranger surfing on the other side of the world, or get a live video stream of someone’s hike over Tokyo. This stuff is amazing.

But it means we have to be proactive about our boredom and down time. It means we have to be intentional about creating margin for thought. If 100% of our down time is filled with passive entertainment and bits of information, then when does our mind have a chance to be calm? When do we have a moment to think without needing to think?

Amen to that!