How many times have you taken your hard day out on your loved ones?
Do you find it hard to walk through the door after a long day at work without bringing with you the disappointment about the client you lost, that frustration that one of your team members missed a deadline or the stress of your over-flowing inbox? Are you truly present with your partner, your kids, your family or your housemates? We know work-life balance is elusive, but the Third Space could be the key to giving you a bit of that balance you crave to become becoming that partner, mum, daughter or friend you want to be.
Dr Adam Fraser is a thought leader in human performance and discovered a common thread after interviewing hundreds of successful people. Those who were able to flourish in life and transition from one role they play to another, did so because they’d mastered the ‘Third Space’.
No idea what the third space is? Let us explain.
“The ‘First Space’ is what you’re doing now. The ‘Second Space’ is what you’re about to do and the ‘Third Space’ is the gap in the middle,” explains Adam. Different environments require different things from each of us. At work, you probably need to be task-driven and efficient, but at home you need to be connected and relaxed – and that’s why, when you find your Third Space, you can transition between those two parts of your life.
Now, your Third Space isn’t physical, and it doesn’t require you to do yoga or mediate for an hour either, “The third space is simply a technique that allows us to compartmentalise. A mindfulness and self-awareness method that helps us to decompress in a matter of minutes.”
We’ve partnered with Toyota to handpick some of Adam’s wisdom around finding your Third Space – shared at our recent Movers and Breakers conference.
Simply incorporate Adam’s three steps below into your journey from work to home and you’ll walk through that door a different person, no longer a ticking time bomb.
“As you move away from your day, reflect on your day. Make sense of it. Now, when you ask a busy set of high achievers to reflect on their day, what will they think about? Everything that went wrong, everything that sucked about their day. What we found was that when people reflected on their day, they have a cynical bias. So what we did instead was to get people to answer these three questions – ‘what went well today? What did I achieve today? How did I get better today?’ What we found was when people at the end of their day look at what they achieved and how they grew, they got an optimistic mindset and they grew in terms of happiness.”
“Use this stage to calm your mind and recompose so you don’t move onto the next task with racing thoughts. Depending on time, take a few deep breaths, do a crossword puzzle on the bus on the way home from work, or go for a quick walk around the block.”
“Align your mindset with what is about to happen. Ask yourself what your intention is. Do you want to enjoy time with your family? Think about how you’re going to show up when you walk through that door. What’s your intention? How do you have to behave to get that intention?”
When you walk through the door at the start of the day, how do you affect the office? When you get home at the end of the day what kind of energy do you bring? “They say there are two types of people in life, those who light up a room when they walk and those who light up a room when they walk out,” Adam says.
Which one are you?