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Guest post by by Cass Mullane, Accountability Coach, Right-Brain Business Plan® Licensed Facilitator, Prosper Creatively, LLC

I recently wrapped up a six year stint on my local Women’s Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the last two years serving as the President of the Chamber. While it was full of ups and downs, the experience was wonderful and the results of my hard work and the work of the many, many people who served with me are definitely evident in the growth and progress of the organization.

Now I find myself without the constant work of the Chamber. I equate this to sending my “child” off to college knowing I’ve done my best to set her up to make intelligent choices in her life. Tough to let go, yet exciting to see what blossoms.

So now I can attend chamber luncheons without wearing my “President” name tag, I can interact with my peers as a member without worrying about what’s next up on the event schedule and if everything is running smoothly. Yea!

But the best thing about completing this phase in my professional life is that I’m seeing some delightful white space on my calendar. And I have the delicious choice to either fill it… or NOT!

A huge benefit of white space on the calendar is that I can make sure that my self-care is always honored rather than making that the thing that was most easily given up. I can take time during the “work” day to get massages, get my hair cut, take walks and amble (not race) through the art supply store. I get to have lots more meals with my husband, hang out with friends more often, take a few classes and still have plenty of time left over to just be.

I’ve also noticed a definite correlation between having white space on the calendar and having clear space in my head. I know that’s no big surprise. Heck, I’ve even blogged about how important it is to not overfill our plates. The reality is that all our plates can get overfilled at times. The critical thing is learning to quickly get the overload off our plates and then leaving that spot open. I have to say that I’m enjoying the clear reminder that not having an overloaded plate is a really good thing!

An unexpected benefit of having white space is that I’m being asked to create more classes. But not my normal business type classes, exactly the opposite… ART classes! So now I’m adding bookbinding, art journals, felting, watercolor and ink, metals, textile art 101, and others to my repetoir. Who knew!

The real beauty is, I get to choose to fill the time or to leave it open. I get to choose when I have classes and what kind of classes I teach. I get to choose to join my wonderful husband for an impromptu lunch date and I get to choose to say no to things without any guilt.

So what can you change to ensure that you have some white space on your calendar? What are you choosing to add to your calendar, and what are you choosing to leave off? What will you do with your wonderful, delicious white space?
Here’s to lots of white space in 2016!

Cass Mullane is an artist with an MBA. Cass’ calm, comfortable approach consistently yields positive results for clients. Her business and personal coaching practice, www.ProsperCreatively.com, specializes in delivering solid left brain business skills to right brainers and creatives in a fun, visual way. She’s a best selling author, textile and mixed media artist and creator of the Cool Stuff Jar™ coaching program. You can also visit Cass on Facebook!

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  • Doug Kelley February 19, 2016, 7:32 am

    Way to go, Cass! And great job as President of the Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce. You touched a core nerve for many of us — keeping white space on the calendar when we are used to filling it up, and not feeling guilty about creating time and space for ourselves. We learn by degrees, and sometimes we have to turn up the heat on ourselves to get our own attention. Thanks for sharing, and make it a great day!

  • Greg February 19, 2016, 7:57 am

    You’ve come a long way from when we were in paralegal school in 1981 together. What a great career you have achieved. Keep up the great things you do and good luck in future endeavors.

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