‘Space’ and particularly the taking of space in relation to work, has been something which had really come into focus for me this past month. As a result of me delving a little deeper into this, I thought it fitting to then base this blog post on my learnings!

Personal space

With the New Year comes the opportunity to reflect on the year gone by, but more interestingly for me, the chance to plan for the year ahead! I love to plan; I love to set myself a target list of things I would like to achieve over the coming year. I take the time to identify all the places I’d like to visit, bands I’d like to see, new things I’d like to try etc. and I find that coming up with these really captures my imagination, and I will allow myself all the space and time to thoroughly think it through.

And as the year goes on I find that I will be tracking my progress, ticking things off the list as they’re achieved or adding them on if they spontaneously arise! Without this allowance to check in on how I’m progressing with my plans, they would all be meaningless and I’d never be able to measure whether I’ve been doing all the things I really wanted to do. The key point for me though is, that I will always make the time, no matter how busy things are, to give myself the space to regularly to check in on these personal goals.

Does it work?

The same should, and does, apply at work.

At different times of the year I have been setting myself goals, or in our work environment we call them ‘focal points’. I had planned all of my current focal points in detail and was really clear on what I needed to do to achieve them and was excited by the value they would bring. Recently, though, when discussing my function with Linda (our MD) there was a realisation that, after all of the time spent on the planning, I wasn’t now giving myself the space required to ensure all was on track. With a number of projects ongoing and tasks to complete, I had my head down and I forgot to come up for air! Even this recognition in itself was me now checking back in. This was a turning point that highlighted to me that I hadn’t been as in control as I would have liked and this all stemmed from me not allowing myself the space to take a moment and reflect on where I was.

In my role, and in any role for that matter, it is vital to have a clear direction of what needs to be done and achieved. In the work environment, unlike the private, you will no doubt have annual or bi-annual meetings with a manager to review whether targets are being met, but what my recent experience has taught me, is the importance of introducing a level of self responsibility into your day to day life, to ensure your work is conducted in the most focused and efficient way possible. This will allow you to detect early if you’re going ‘off-piste’ and it will help you to refocus and understand why, but also importantly, how to get back on track.

Proof is in the pudding

Setting goals and objectives is pointless unless you have a mechanism of tracking and reflecting regularly. Otherwise, all you are doing is setting an intention without ever realising that intention.

I will leave you with a quote which I found very fitting to my learnings, “Always remember that moving forward is not like maths that comes with a formula. It is more like the theory of general relativity, you need time and space.”