Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
A recent article over at Zen Habits, called “Life’s missing white space” caught my eye. There were two things I disliked about the article, though:
- For those unfamiliar with the term, the lack of illustration of white space swept the meaning of the article away; and
- Too much white space is just as bad as too little, and this wasn’t talked about.
What Is White Space?
White space is the amount of space between words and surrounding type in a printed document. It is made up of margins (the spaces around the outside of the page), paragraph spacing (the space between paragraphs), line spacing (the space between consecutive lines of text) and the space between characters, also known as kerning.
I’ve included a picture of some text, the top one being condensed, the middle being “normal” and the third being expanded. Take a look.
As you can see, the top example is really hard to read because the letters and lines are all scrunched together. The middle is better, and our eyes can travel rapidly over the words and lines.
Is Too Much Bad?
But what about the third example? This is almost as hard to read as the first condensed one. The amount of space between the letters of the words is almost as much as the ones between the words themselves, making the text look like a long string of single characters. We will not be able to make sense of the discrete words, nor remember what it was we just read.
The fact holds true in our lives, as well. If we take more than enough time between parts of the tasks, it will blur together into a long string of unrelated tasks. We won’t be able to remember what it is we did on the task before, and the overall meaning of what we were trying to accomplish will be lost.
That’s Not To Say I Think We Don’t Need White Space
I’m just saying, that like everything else, white space in our lives needs to be taken in moderation. We have to walk the balancing line between things running together and having so much space that we lose sight of what we are doing.
What do you think? Am I being too picky? Share below.