On two separate occasions, I’ve heard talks focused on the “in between spaces” of your life. These are the white spaces in your schedule and the off-book moments when nothing is required of you. It’s during these “free” times when we come up with our best ideas, fall into self-discovery or make breakthroughs.
We should seek out and protect these times. But it’s so hard. There are few examples of nature abhorring a vacuum better than the empty calendar. It always fills up.
One trick I’ve started using to steal more of these slices of time is keeping my [HOLD] times.
If there’s a future slot of time I want to make sure stays open for a meeting or something, I’ll usually add it on the calendar with a description like this: [HOLD] Kickoff Meeting. In the past, if the appointment or work time didn’t pan out, I’d delete it so something else could occupy that time.
Now, I leave it as a “hold time” and use it to do nothing (a la Peter Gibbons). Try it for yourself.
Enjoy the spaces between.
Also published on Medium.