The argument for more space instead of more goals

The argument for more space instead of more goals

Goal setting isn’t necessarily the right solution for small business owners who are feeling overwhelmed, although that’s the advice that’s often given. People say, if you don’t know what you want, you need to set some goals. But how about instead of focusing on goals and things to do, you focus more on space and time to think?

You might be thinking, that sounds great but where am I supposed to find the time to do that when I don’t have time to do everything else I want to do in my business?

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour” ~ Dr. Sukhraj Dhillon

If you don’t have time to create more space, it may be time to adjust your business model. You may need to hire someone, increase your prices or change the way you’re delivering your services.

If you’re a die-hard goal-setter, please continue on with what works for you. I’m not trying to talk you out of goal-setting. I’m trying to talk you into space-setting.

You may even find that by creating space, your goals emerge on their own, naturally. Here are three types of space to consider building into your schedule.

Space for working on your business

You’ve probably heard the distinction between working "in" your business versus working "on" your business made popular by the book, The E-Myth by Michael Gerber. It’s easy to get stuck, overwhelmed, or headed in the wrong direction if you’re working non-stop in your business.

“We must never become too busy sawing to take time to sharpen the saw” ~ Stephen R. Covey

When you create space to work on your business and think more strategically about where you want to go, things become clear. And with clarity, you’re able to make decisions that will move you forward in a productive way.

Consider making one day a week appointment free. And, if possible, one week per month appointment free.

Space for thinking

One of my Master Mind members recently mentioned that he has already scheduled two weeks, one in the spring and one in the fall, for thinking about his business. He got the idea from Bill Gates who has done "think weeks" in a cabin in the woods for years.

If you can’t go away, at least go to an inspiring location during the day. Think about a beautiful hotel lobby, a co-working space or somewhere in nature.

Space for being

It’s also critical to create space to just be, with no agenda. Time to let your mind wander wherever it wants to go. I love to take daily walks in the woods to create space and move my body. If you want to tap into new possibilities, it’s not going to happen by only setting aside time for brainstorming.

Watch this five-minute talk I gave at David Allen’s GTD Summit for more about creating space:

I hope you’re feeling inspired to plan more space into your schedule. Get started with your space-setting by deciding when and how you want to create space and then grab your agenda and set it in stone.

How do you create space for yourself and your business? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.

Stephanie Ward


Stephanie Ward

Stephanie Ward is a Business and Marketing Mentor ( who helps passionate small business owners attract more clients and grow their businesses. She offers a free special report, 7 Steps...

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