Saturday, 9 March 2013

The third space

Of all the downfalls of commuting to work (of which there were a few), it turns out there was an interesting upshot.  


Two hours each way between work and home to be exact.

Now don't get me wrong, I love my job. Sometimes a little too much. But it can be stressful. And I took for granted how healthy it was to have space and time between work and home.

Now I'm a 10 minute bus trip away from work. It's amazing. But an unsettling side effect has been the return of some old habits, like staying back at work and bringing work home - both literally and in my head.

I think a lot of people struggle with this issue of boundaries. When you enjoy your job or you care a lot about it, it can be consuming and it can be a challenge not to bring it home. Whether it's overt - like talking about it non stop, or less obvious, like finding you're upset, snappy or distracted because of something that occurred during the day.

At a conference I sat through years ago a speaker was talking about this and came up with the idea of the third space - the necessary in-between space between work and home. For some people it's a commute, a long drive home, a song, for one CEO it was actually building a separate entrance to his home where he could shower off his day and change out of his suit before he saw his family.

Without the funds to build myself a new entrance, I have opted for a walk. I have discovered that if I walk home from work, I can give myself 30 minutes to process my day, shake out any stress and worries. By the time I get home I can make a conscious decision to leave my day behind. This allows me the headspace and the energy to be all the other things I want to be and do.

Do you have a third space? Do you need it?

(Image via the chicdepartment )