I am a graduate student in the M.S. Information Management program who lives in Vancouver and works full time! So, for all new grads and those of us juggling full time jobs and attending Syracuse University, I found two great articles in my Twitter feed this week that really struck home for me.

Over the past decade, I have prided myself on how busy I am multi-tasking and having a calendar booked solid. My hard work has paid off as I successfully progressed in my career, learned many new things and served my team and customers to the best of my ability. But, with this self imposed hectic and chaotic pace, I have seen my commitment to fitness deteriorate and my personal and family life being compromised for the sake of working harder (not necessarily smarter).

Leadership and WhiteSpace
The first article I came across was retweeted by the American Management Association (@AMAnet): #Leadership & White Space. (RT @mikemyatt) #Management | http://ow.ly/4Rn8i

Mike Myatt (@MikeMyatt) started the article Leadership and Whitespace with a great quote:

“I don’t care how busy you are, but I do care about what you accomplish – the former doesn’t always lead to the latter.”

After reading the article about creating “white space” in my calendar, I took some time to think about how I could go about doing this. It’s not easy when you have grown up in a management culture of “do more with less” and “deliver, deliver, deliver”.  When I started the management role of my team of 22 analysts, I deliberately chose to take a “servant leadership” approach that focused on setting direction, empowering my team and then managing the inevitable roadblocks, politics and priority changes that come along the way. So, do I have an answer today … No, but I am committed to continue working on it.

Learning to Appreciate the White Spaces
The first reader comment on Mike’s post was from Tanveer Naseer (@TanveerNaseer) who wrote a second article about managing your time effectively – Learning to Appreciate the White Spaces.  Tanveer provided four reasons to create white spaces:

  1. Provides opportunities for contemplation and review
  2. Shifts our decision making from reflexive reactions to measured, deliberate responses
  3. Allows you to address those unanticipated issues without penalizing other tasks
  4. Even machines need maintenance/repair

These are great guides and really challenge me to rethink my approach to work.  Thank you @MikeMyatt and @TanveerNaseer, you both have given me new insights on how to be a better leader and manager.

P.S. For the social media naysayers, this is yet another powerful reason that I believe Twitter is an essential part of my professional and personal development! You can connect with me on Twitter: Leo de Sousa (@leodesousa) or on my personal blog: http://leodesousa.ca