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Create Space

How to Manage Time, and Find Focus, Productivity and Success

By Derek Draper
16-minute read
Audio available
Create Space: How to Manage Time, and Find Focus, Productivity and Success by Derek Draper

Create Space (2018) is a collection of the many tools and methods used by Derek Draper in his role as a coach for business leaders around the world. As a practicing psychologist and sought-after consultant, Draper has honed his knowledge and is generous in sharing what he’s learned and observed over the years. Whether you’re a CEO or an intern, or somewhere in between, Draper’s valuable insights help you establish a balanced and successful career.

  • Managers and executives who want to improve their leadership skills
  • Anyone interested in self-help and productivity
  • People who want to improve their relationships

Derek Draper is the cofounder and CEO of CDP Leadership Consultants. A business psychologist with over a decade’s experience in helping clients around the world, he’s coached CEOs and high-ranking executives in some of the world’s biggest corporations. He still runs a small psychotherapy practice in London, where he lives with his wife and two children.

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Create Space

How to Manage Time, and Find Focus, Productivity and Success

By Derek Draper
  • Read in 16 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 10 key ideas
Create Space: How to Manage Time, and Find Focus, Productivity and Success by Derek Draper
Synopsis

Create Space (2018) is a collection of the many tools and methods used by Derek Draper in his role as a coach for business leaders around the world. As a practicing psychologist and sought-after consultant, Draper has honed his knowledge and is generous in sharing what he’s learned and observed over the years. Whether you’re a CEO or an intern, or somewhere in between, Draper’s valuable insights help you establish a balanced and successful career.

Key idea 1 of 10

Reflection is key to doing good work, but it takes space, effort and a willingness to confront unpleasant things.

If you want to be good at what you do, you need self-awareness. Knowing your own strengths and weaknesses is a fantastic advantage, whether you’re an artist, the CFO of a corporation or an administrative assistant. With self-awareness, you’ll be in a better position to avoid potential problems, create more effective plans and make better decisions.

The key to knowing yourself is reflection, or what people sometimes call “having a meaningful conversation with oneself.” Since the days of Confucius and Socrates, great minds have been championing the intellectual benefits of reflection – but it comes with a host of practical benefits, too.

For example, it can greatly boost your decision-making abilities and reduce mistakes. Before taking an action, you should take time to reflect on possible side effects and any alternative options. Then, after taking an action, you should analyze the results and identify what went right or what went wrong. Doing this regularly will guarantee that you’ll make fewer mistakes.

But for deep and meaningful reflection to happen, you need space. In fact, you need four kinds of space: temporal, physical, relational and psychic.

Temporal and physical space are time and location, respectively. Relational space refers to the benefit of having someone else to bounce ideas off of, and psychic space is about being open to improvement and feeding your mind new and enlightening information.

Creating all this space takes effort. According to a study from Harvard University, CEOs typically have less than 15 percent of their workweek available for solitary work. And if CEOs can’t make space for reflection, it’s probably not much easier for the rest of the workforce.

Even if you do find the space to reflect, it's not always an easy thing to do. Shutting out the numerous distractions that fill our days can be tough. More challenging still is the fact that reflection doesn’t always lead to pleasant realizations.

Reflecting on past actions might lead you to discover that you behaved foolishly in the last managers meeting, or that you treated your assistant in an inconsiderate manner. Nevertheless, if you want the benefits of self-awareness, you need to acknowledge these unpleasant realities.

And there are benefits of being more aware.

Just consider a study of commuters in the United Kingdom, in which it was found that commuters who used their ride home to deliberately reflect on how their day went were happier and more productive than those who didn’t. So make the space to reflect!

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