I am claiming my space. It is one of my biggest intentions for 2014 and I wanted to offer some tips so that you can do the same.
For me, claiming my space means several things. On the most basic level, it meant claiming a space in my home to set up a professional office. Don’t get me wrong, I had a small desk before but it’s in our dining room. And that flat surface is both small and often covered with various things my family members drop there on our way to and from meals. It’s also the favorite sleeping place of our kitties so it’s often lightly dusted with grit.
I realized that to truly step in to the career I want to have, as an author and speaker, I needed to claim my professional space. So we measured our guest room, folded the guest bed up into a murphy bed, invested in a desk, shelves, and even sitting chairs for writing. It’s fantastic!
I can already feel my mind decluttering as I organize my files, supplies and ideas. I followed the tips of a friend and colleague, Sara Caputo of Radiant Organizing to make sure that my space and systems really support my goals and the way that I work.
What physical space do you need to be your best? How can you tweak what you have to meet your needs better? Purging unwanted items from your home is always great. And for the stuff you need to keep, like holiday decorations, consider purchasing sealable storage bins and a shed for your yard. Often, we give up valuable storage real estate to the wrong priorities.
The second way I am claiming my space is in my thought leadership, as an author and speaker. I am putting my ideas out there in a variety of ways. For example, I recently wrote an article for lynda.com on how women can “lean in” to their careers. This has been turned into a presentation on SlideShare and is getting lots of views.
And of course, I authored 6 online courses on leadership this year, one of which has been translated into French, German and Spanish. You will see lots more blogs and tweets from me from my BrittAndreatta.com website.
How can you create space for your passions and ideas? What is waiting to be expressed through you? And how can you create channels for that expression? It doesn’t always need to be for some official purpose either. You can journal your ideas for yourself—it doesn’t mean you need to blog them to others. Or maybe you need to make art, just for your own play and creativity. It doesn’t mean you have to make a plan for selling it. I find that we often take the fun out of creative expression by finding a “purpose” for it—just do it for the fun of it.
The final way I am claiming my space is through self care. As a working mom who is active in my community, time is a precious asset that I never seem to have enough of. But like most women, I often give away all my time to work and family until I fall down exhausted on the couch at the end of the day with nothing left for myself. So I am claiming space for my self care too.
I am prioritizing my bike riding (my best form of exercise) and for Christmas, I bought myself an indoor trainer so that darkness and bad weather can’t get in my way. And let me tell you, there’s nothing like exercising and watching Orange is the New Black!
And I am finally acknowledging that I need to be in bed by 10. Not 10:30 or 11, but 10. I kept trying to kid myself but the reality is that hour makes a huge difference in both my intelligence and attitude the next day. So I bought some new luxurious sheets, and made our bedroom super spa-like so that it’s a treat to tuck in at 10.
What about you? What does your body really need? It’s been giving you some hints, or maybe even flashing red signs. How can you honor what it needs so that you can be your best? And more importantly, how can you turn self care into something that is fun and nurturing, as opposed to a “to do” list that is uninspiring?
Take a few minutes to identify 3-4 things you can in the next 2 weeks to claim your space. You will be glad that you did!