Two subtle, yet distinct ways to approach the same topic, yet with drastically different impact.
The phrase “mind space” is fascinating in how it plays out in my mind. While it is simply another way to say “prioritization,” for me, using the phrase “mind space” is visual. I can see a confined space in my mind where my attention can be focused on. The visual limit that it draws forces me to prioritize more effectively as I see that if a new idea shows up there, one current idea needs to leave to make space. The impact is subtle but powerful.
Recently, I had a chance to catch up with Lei Xu, Desmond Lim, and Max Wang, who are the cofounders of a rapidly growing startup for the undesked (e.g., recruiting/ HR software for hourly employees) called Worksteam. As startup founders, they are dealing with a thousand issues. Most issues seemed important and urgent. At one point, Lei responded to some topics that were brought up and mentioned that while they seemed urgent, focusing on it would take away from their current “mind space” that should be invested elsewhere. I could see from the eyes of the others that they were visualizing the limitation and it impacted their next flow of conversation as they started to prioritize on the spot. If Lei had said that “they should prioritize their activities,” I feel that the impact of the statement would have been less.
Next time when I think of using such words as “prioritize” or “prioritization,” I will take a page from what Lei and the Worksteam team taught me.