Creating White Space for Your Life

Graphic designers have something of a love affair with white space. We drool over the blank areas within a composition as if they were made of milk chocolate and lightly salted caramel. It’s the white spaces that make the design, really. Of course we love it.

Uh… Megan, what’s a white space?

In case you’re unfamiliar, I’ll give you a brief lesson of design. White space doesn’t necessarily have to be white, but it refers to the negative areas within a design without other elements demanding our attention. It’s the white space that draws our focus towards what’s important. For example, check out all of the beautiful white space in this design:

White space, almost as good as chocolate.

White space, almost as good as chocolate.

Or this design, where the white space isn’t necessarily white:

The white space in this design is actually a pale yellow, but I think you get the idea.

The white space in this design is actually a pale yellow, but I think you get the idea.

Now, watch what happens when we fill up the white space with other elements:

Ew, this looks gross. Plus, the text is hard to read now.

Ew, this looks gross. Plus, the text is hard to read now.

Lesson #1: White space in design helps us focus on the important elements of the design.

Lesson #2: White space in our lives helps us focus on the important parts of our life.

You just knew I was going to get all deep and sentimental on you, didn’t you?

The same white space principal applies in life as it does design. If we are intent on filling up every spare minute of our time with something, we won’t be able to focus on the important things. Instead of always trying to be busy for the sake of being busy, schedule yourself some white space. Leave a few time slots in your daily schedule with nothing filled in. Use this time to meditate, read, think, and focus on what’s important. Use this time to visualize your goals and consider whether or not your daily activities are helping you achieve them. Leave some time for yourself to breathe, to relax, and to recharge.

White space can be a beautiful thing.

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5 thoughts on “Creating White Space for Your Life

  1. Ki'ihele West February 18, 2013 at 12:58 pm Reply

    It’s so good to have a reminder that we don’t have to be ultra-creative every minute of the day. Usually I take a break and dance just to break up the routine. Hula is so relaxing for me…takes me away from my sewing machine, gets my muscles warmed up and the kinks out. Not exactly white space, but at least different space!

  2. Karen Vincer February 18, 2013 at 1:57 pm Reply

    What a nice way to remind us how important ‘quiet’ time is in our lives – to just sit back and listen to what God has in store for us next.

  3. mariakarubin February 18, 2013 at 2:02 pm Reply

    I love this piece. I’ve been thinking a lot about having white space in my house lately. Specifically in my home office. It can be hard to maintain when I get very busy, but it is so needed!

    • MegansBeadedDesigns February 18, 2013 at 2:22 pm Reply

      YES! Particularly where you work, white space can be a great encouragement for creativity!

  4. shanpatt February 28, 2013 at 7:27 pm Reply

    That really spoke to me Megan..
    Loved your message

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