Dr Adam Fraser’s “Third Space” theory has been around for quite some time now but is more relevant than ever while working from home. The Third Space refers to the space between where we are and where we are going, by taking a few minutes to decompress and remove ourselves from being in a particular headspace can help to elevate our time spent in another. For example, being able to leave your work headspace when you clock off can improve home connections and allow you to genuinely enjoy your downtime.
Why is this important now?
While some people thrive while working from home, others are finding it difficult to leave their desks at 5pm and fully shut off. By answering those emails and picking up those calls after hours we aren’t allowing ourselves to be fully present in what is supposed to be relaxation time.
Dr Fraser has three steps that can assist you to quickly shift mentalities.
Generally, when being asked to reflect on our day we tend to pick out the negatives rather than looking at what went well. Asking ourselves ‘what went well today? What did I achieve today? How did I get better today?’ can assist with taking a positive mindset into our home life.
As clichéd as it is taking a few deep breathes before leaving your desk or going for a short walk can mark a physical shift from work to home and allow you to free refreshed when moving between the two. When not working at home this can be done in the form of meditation on your commute to/from work or a puzzle on your phone while waiting for the bus.
The final step allows you to prepare yourself for entering the next mindset of being at home and not at work and vice versa. In order to fully switch mindsets, Dr Fraser recommends asking yourself what your intention is in switching, is it to enjoy time with family? To be able to enjoy your alone time? To perform well while at work? Fulling understanding why you are going through this third space process and accepting the need to leave your house or work behind can support you to being more present when with family or completing your work.
Being able to utilise the 3rd space during lockdowns and while working from home can help us to live as if we are truly leaving work at 5pm and not as if we've just moved to a different room in the house.
To read more about Dr Adam Fraser’s work click here