Create Space by Derek Draper [Book Summary – Review]


We are fortunate to be alive today. The urge to make space rather than fill it is something we’re seeing for the first time in recorded history. We have been enlarging, filling in, and investigating the immense area around us for more than a millennium. However, the situation has reached a stage where everyone is feeling cramped and overworked and needs to make some room to breathe.

One of the factors that drove the writer to feel obliged to compose Create Space was this recent advancement in recorded existence. Another was the understanding that leaders must create a place for them to evolve and expand, and that doing so is a requirement for progress, innovation, and advancement.

Derek Draper set out to compile all the methods that make space can advance your life and future while keeping these two concepts in mind. The four primary dimensions are thinking, relating, acting, and being. The ability to reflect, be self-aware, be relational, and be productive can be developed through each category.

These pages will provide information on

  • how much time a CEO has each day for focused alone time;
  • why giving advice isn’t the ideal strategy for leadership; and
  • how contemplating death might help you discover your ultimate mission.

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Chapter 1 – To produce quality work, introspection is essential, and it requires time, commitment, and the courage to face uncomfortable realities.


Self-awareness is necessary for success in anything you undertake. No matter what your profession—whether you’re a creative professional, the CEO of a company, or an office worker your talents and shortcomings would be a huge benefit. You will be better able to prevent future issues, develop more useful plans, and decide on the right course of action if you have self-awareness.

Reflecting, or what some refer to as “improving human discussion with ourselves,” is indeed the secret to self-awareness. Brilliant thinkers have promoted the cognitive rewards of introspection since the times of Socrates and Confucius, and that has a wealth of practical advantages.

For instance, it could significantly improve your decision-making skills and decrease errors. You must consider any potential negative consequences as well as any available alternatives before acting. Then, after choosing a course of action, you must evaluate the outcomes and determine what went well or poorly. Making better progress is certain if you do this frequently.

Because you need room for in-depth, meaningful introspection to take place. The four types of rooms you require are chronological, physiological, interpersonal, and emotional.

Time and place are, correspondingly, spatially and temporally bounded. The interpersonal room is the advantage of having someone to come up with new ideas, while the psychological room is available to progress and nourish your mind with fresh, illuminating knowledge.

All of this room required work to create. CEOs tend to have fewer than 15% of their workday open for solo work, as shown in Harvard University research. And the majority of the staff will presumably find it difficult if CEOs can’t carve out time for introspection.

Even if you do manage to carve out some time for reflection, sometimes it is not simple to conduct. It might be challenging to block out the various stimuli that occupy your days. Even more difficult is the reality that not all insights gained from introspection are gratifying.

If you think back on your previous behavior, you may realize that you acted poorly during the most recent executives meeting or that you’ve been rude to your assistant. However, you must accept these painful realities to reap the rewards of self-awareness.

Additionally, becoming more conscious has advantages.

Just take into account British research on passengers, which discovered that many of those who utilized their travel home to consciously reflect on their day were more satisfied and motivated than others who did not. Therefore, create a place for reflection!


Chapter 2 – Making room for knowledge can aid us in overcoming our anxieties.


Having time to consider and remaining open to new ideas go with each other. While self-reflection can be a useful tool for discovering oneself, we need also make room for knowledge by developing a mindset that is open to change and improvement.

Put simply, everyone is among two mental models: either a static mental model, where you think knowledge ceases at a certain point because the brain can indeed store a certain quantity of knowledge or a dynamic mental model, where you think learning never ceases. But the static mindset was already proven false by science. Your brains are all “gentle,” according to neurologist Dr. Michael Merzenich, and each of them is capable of neural plasticity. So, depending on the information you give your brain, it is constantly evolving.

As a result, a healthy mind always seems to be capable of learning and enabling us to develop and evolve to face and conquer our worries. Consider the dread of failing as an instance. Another 2015 analysis has found that one-third of all Americans, particularly millennials, said they were afraid of failing. Even while failure anxiety is pervasive, there exists a simple solution: embrace failure as just a teachable moment and incorporate it into your positive mindset.

Rachel, a customer of the writer, was employed by a major food manufacturer. Because of her ingrained fear of failing, Rachel was susceptible to catastrophic thinking, where she imagined that even the smallest mistake could cause everything to come apart and leave her penniless.

The writer spent weeks working with Rachel, giving her time to consider what caused her anxieties so she might begin to change her perspective. Eventually, they realized that her mom, who was jobless and homeless for a certain time, was the source of her dread of failure. As a consequence, Rachel developed an irrational worry that she would become like her mom if she made a mistake or perhaps even asked for help. Rachel finally changed her way of thinking and realized that requesting assistance isn’t a mistake.

Making a room for knowledge requires effort, just like making a room for introspection. This entails setting aside room for self as well as locating a suitable setting and useful tools, like a tutor.


Chapter 3 – Recognizing our emotions and underlying pathological ideas is the first step in finding room to engage.


Room to engage is the second type of space that is essential to succeed. Naturally, doing this aids in creating powerful partnerships. And unless you create a solid connection with yourself, building such partnerships will not be feasible.

Making a place for oneself to engage is similar to setting up a place for reflection; this time, though, it is about having to check in to find out what is happening including both your body and thoughts.

This entails being aware of your feelings. Powerful feelings are a part of the human experience, but if we are not cautious, they can take control of our behavior and judgment. The only way to regularly check in and ensure that you, and therefore not your feelings, are in charge is to create spaces where you can communicate with yourself.

There seem to be numerous approaches to accomplishing this. To start, check in with your feelings and numbers. This is how to accomplish it:

Ask yourselves, “How do I feel?” when relaxed and securely seated. When you become aware of a feeling, assess its intensity on a range from one to ten. After that, you can rate any physiological arousal you are experiencing, such as tension in your neck or head. If you find yourself having all sorts of conflicting feelings, try to picture yourself as an observer who is above all of that instead of the person who is stuck in between.

Checking in would be a strategy to develop your emotional competence. How effectively someone controls their feelings, maintains connections, and is compassionate are all indicators of how emotionally intelligent they are.

You can develop your emotional stability and improve your overall ability to identify what the writer is referring to as core pathological beliefs (CPBs) by making time for reflection and checking in.

A CPB could be the cause of your professional stagnation. Rachel’s CPB in the last section has been that her world was going to end if she did something wrong or begged for assistance. Some customers have expressed CPBs such as “I am undeserving of affection,” “I am worthless of an idea,” or “Everyone is unreliable, and there is no point in becoming polite.”

Most CPBs are indeed the product of past encounters, frequently ones that occurred as a youngster. To the core of them, there is work to be done, and there must be room to engage and ponder.


Chapter 4 – You could build a lively work atmosphere and solid connections if you provide people with a place to interact and connect.


It’s crucial to establish relationships with individuals as well as your personal feelings. You must create room for talking and engaging to accomplish that. This would enable you to create effective teams and deep connections with everybody in your life.

The writer was a member of a team for a large beverage firm that frequently fell short of its goals. Beata, the team’s head, was upbeat and assured, but it soon emerged what the team’s CPB was: members believed that being kind has always been necessary for successful teamwork. As a consequence, issues, worries, errors, and disputes were covered up and allowed to fester, which hindered the team from having the capacity to advance, improve, and work at its peak.

After this was noticed and fixed, they were able to collaborate as a group in a shared environment. This indicated that they were transparent, allowing issues, worries, and errors to be brought up and fixed without worrying about the consequences. As a result, members felt secure enough to put it into practice and occasionally fail, which is a necessary component of growth and development. The squad quickly returned to its routine with a fresh focus and enthusiasm.

Another approach to engage is to communicate, and doing so is quite beneficial for developing long-lasting bonds with others.

Writers Duane and Catherine O’Kane present the findings of their laboratory research that contend that each of our troubles may be attributed to interpersonal difficulties in their 2016 publication Real: The Value of Authentic Relationships. Whatever the problem, it is usually related to problems you are facing with other colleagues and friends, whether that problem is low growth and enthusiasm, excessive stress rates, worry, or despair.

These kinds of issues can be resolved by creating room for connections and strengthening existing ones. A project charter is a fantastic tool for determining which connections to focus on first. Put all the individuals in your life—including your partner, colleagues, and supervisor at work—in the center of a sheet of parchment. Then make distinctions for each of them. Then, on a range from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most intense and powerful, rank the connections.

Although every connection does not always have to be a 10, this chart can help you identify the ones that do. Even while it may seem like a significant amount of work, the stronger your connections become, the better you will feel and perform as a leader.


Chapter 5 – Planning is essential to efficiency, but it should not prevent the use of adaptability.


While being impulsive might be exhilarating for some individuals, planning comes initially when it relates to efficiency.

Without a plan, one can experience the same fate as Red Technologies. Tom and Darren, two siblings, served as Red’s leaders. Tom has been the technical expert, and the charming Darren took responsibility for the company. The business started well, however as it expanded, it got dirtier and less organized.

Darren played a significant role in the issue. His employees seem to be more confused about what they have been expected to focus on since he resisted establishing clear objectives. Everybody deferred to Darren at talks that had no agendas because he conjured answers out of thin air while going on to the following crisis.

Protracted goals often turn off entrepreneurs, so it’s a good idea to be adaptable in a market that changes quickly. However, there are several types of plans, and you may include adaptability in a one- to four-year plan by scheduling information sessions to reevaluate your objectives and your corporation’s strategy.

Two actions must be taken to plan effectively. Make a clear aim for the work that has to be accomplished initially. Develop a comprehensive plan detailing how you will accomplish that aim.

The writer realized he would have to generate roughly 120,000 words when he decided to publish Create Space. Therefore he made a year-long roadmap to figure out how to achieve this goal. He agreed to write a mean of 10,000 terms monthly, 2,500 terms weekly, and 500 terms daily as part of the arrangement. He occasionally failed since he is only human. Sometimes he achieved his objectives better. What mattered has been that he remained committed to executing the strategy.

Naturally, becoming active and providing value differs from becoming overly busy. Darren preferred to extinguish fires all the time, “keeping the day,” as opposed to making plans and becoming organized. He felt wanted and helpful thanks to this strategy, which also kept him occupied. Yet he was not making the delivery. He was merely responding to the havoc he had personally brought about.


Chapter 6 – To find room for accomplishing, one must put aside interruptions and develop their ability to prioritize.


There has been a lot of discussion about how occupied most individuals are today. CEOs only receive about 29 minutes of undisturbed work time each day, while the typical person only has a focus and concentration of 8 seconds, according to research!

Additionally, it requires ten minutes to regain your prior level of focus after each break. Disruptions obstruct your ability to produce, thus you must stay away from them. However, it is simpler said than achieved.

This is because disruptions are not only bad for productivity; they are indeed a provider of the addicting neurochemistry dopamine, which your brain produces whenever you engage in enjoyable experiences. It makes sense that millennials are inclined to read an arriving email within 2 minutes since getting messages and texts results in small dopamine doses.

You would be better off leaving your cell phone is hidden as well as keeping those pop-up alerts out of view once you are working, though, considering how detrimental an email notice could be to your ability to focus. When you are in the area and concentrated, you can produce your greatest work.

Open-plan workplaces might also make you more susceptible to interruptions, so put on some earphones or find a place in which you can concentrate, like a meeting hall or a café.

Understanding how to prioritize is among the keys to efficiency, and to accomplish this properly, it pays to create an ordered to-do list since attempting to maintain everything in your brain can eventually boomerang.

The 4D Rule—Do, Delay, Deliver, or Drop—is a helpful strategy for setting priorities.

Setting high standards and only including things that are necessary, urgent, and cannot be handled by somebody else can help you decide which chores fall under the Do class. Then, order the most challenging of these tasks so that they are first on your planning and activities, preventing you from avoiding them.

Next, add tasks that cannot be completed right away to the Delay table and any other task that does not require your involvement to the Deliver list. Finally, you can easily Drop anything that is not truly necessary.

Do not neglect to revisit the tasks you have postponed and, as soon as you can, categorize those as Do and maybe even Drop them as you move along. You can also assign them, however, this may be challenging. As you will discover in the following chapter, another of the qualities of a strong leader is recognizing when and how to deliver.


Chapter 7 – Effective leads understand delegation and empowerment.


The area for leading is the following one, and it’s pretty special.

It is distinctive since it includes the phenomenon called “the third room,” which arises when 2 individuals try to collaborate.

Yulia has recently been elevated to the Role of CEO required to oversee other executives when she first saw the writer for mentoring. She was fantastic at jumping into circumstances and taking care of what was required to be done, but she had a habit of treating the third room badly.

In essence, Yulia would monopolize the conversation by offering the resolution, removing any opportunity for another party to participate in finding a solution. Although some individuals prefer it whenever a lead does something like this, it could be demoralizing for individuals who wish to develop professionally because it suggests that their superiors do not have faith in their capacity to perform under pressure.

A successful lead always seeks to motivate and empower those around them, leading them into the third room and allowing them to find their answers. “A lead is greatest when individuals scarcely realize he appears to exist, when his task is accomplished and his purpose is completed, people would tell: We accomplished it alone,” stated the former Chinese thinker Lao Tzu. To put it another way, management is about others, not you. Therefore, instead of approaching an issue with the intent to offer a solution, consider what inquiries will enable the other party to arrive at the appropriate solutions by themselves.

Delegating seems to be another empowering strategy. However, many well-intentioned executives feel bad about assigning duties to others, as if they are piling on extra effort. Some believe that by avoiding delegating, they are being kind, yet it can just as quickly be construed as a lack of confidence in the person’s abilities.

Instead, see delegating as a means of fostering individual skill development and as a statement of your confidence in the quality of their work. Keeping this in mind, what types of assignments will be just difficult enough to test their abilities to their limits? And also what jobs fit best with their professional objectives?

Last, whenever giving someone a task, always be explicit about what is expected of them and what the end design should look like. Don’t instruct them on how to accomplish it. You cannot guess; they might devise a solution that is far superior to yours!


Chapter 8 – By giving ourselves time to be, we might find our meaning again and regain equilibrium.


What did you prefer doing during your time in college? Would you still engage in such activities today?

If otherwise, what took place? Making room for oneself begins with asking those questions.

Once the writer first met Alfred, he was indeed the CEO of a sizable bank, and yet it quickly became obvious why he was unhappy. Farming was something that Alfred genuinely hoped to accomplish with his life. Taking responsibility for the environment and the animals while growing older on his rural property was one of his favorite moments. Regrettably, the property was required to be sold, and Alfred attended college and finally found himself working long hours in an agency.

Alfred swiftly resigned from his position once his tutoring with the writer enabled him to rediscover his genuine love, which led to a little crisis at the bank. But doing it was morally correct. You may build a room to act like Alfred. Consider taking a look inside yourself and being sincere about the reasons for your actions.

Most of us land in occupations that are “reasonable” or satisfy the demands of others. In reality, it is indeed among the most prevalent disappointments expressed on deathbeds. Individuals regret not living their lives as they desired, but as others anticipated them to.

Remembering that dying is a possibility, regardless of how painful, could aid us to prevent feeling this sort of regret. Therefore, consider this: what you’d be doing if you only got six months left to live?

Many individuals believe that working must be a miserable experience. However, that is untrue. While it could be challenging occasionally, employment can generally be enjoyable. If not, you might be working in the wrong field or want to achieve a greater balance between work and life.

Trevone, for instance, believed that working ought to be a burden that caused you to feel demeaning. He had recently been admitted to the health center due to tiredness, increased anxiety, and depression episodes when he saw the writer. He believed that the writer could enable him to get back to the way of life which had already landed him in the health center. But he was required to transfer, get some more rest, and stop wasting eighty percent of his time while working.

Many workaholic individuals will discover that by taking time off more frequently and getting more rest, they can prevent the type of exhaustion Trevone faced and position themselves for long-term success.


Chapter 9 – Although “No. 1 Talks” may assist you to remain on top, benefits can occasionally result in a price.


The area of growth, which is concerned with positioning yourself for your imagined future, is the final area to be investigated. This place can indeed be created, like many others, by looking honestly within and being receptive to certain uncomfortable facts.

Development, like living, is filled with challenging decisions. Additionally, deciding solely on a single thing usually necessitates rejecting another. This is known as an “opportunity cost,” and understanding such expenses is essential to making scope for improvements.

Almantas is a prime example. He had the chance to be nearer to his supervisor and put himself in the best position possible for his ideal job, but moving to a foreign nation would require his spouse and children to adapt to a different cultural background. Opportunity cost seems to be substantial.

Luckily, Almantas was hired for the role he had applied for, and his manager supported him during a challenging transitional period. Afterward, when, he continued to exceed his objectives in much the same way that he had in his previous employment.

Moving, accepting income reductions, and needing to return to college are a few examples of frequent potential costs that might feel like a heavy burden. However, if they help you fulfill your lifelong goal and desire, they are a tiny cost to pay.

Lastly, it’s critical to arrange regular No. 1 Talks, or conferences with yourself, while you are formulating your planning and establishing your personal and professional objectives. No. 1 Talks can greatly aid your development because they offer you the opportunity to assess your progress and think about any required adjustments.

According to the writer, you can regularly hold No. 1 Talks with the goals of developing a strategic plan, developing a healthy mind, and increasing efficiency.

According to the writer, focus your discussion on issues like, “How is my approach going to progress?” Are the objectives reasonable? Are there any tools I can use to keep on track? Are there any obstacles preventing me from achieving my objectives? If so, how should I do better to prevent them?

Keep in mind that life is hardly ideal. You frequently have had to settle for good enough. As a result, be open to making errors and trust that your efforts will be successful.


Create Space: How to Manage Time, and Find Focus, Productivity, and Success by Derek Draper Book Review


Making room for development is necessary if you wish to develop and become the best version of yourself. This situation requires to be centered on self-awareness, openness to learning, social skills, creativity, integrity, and continuous producing top-notch work. It takes effort to create this place since it necessitates an authentic examination of your shortcomings and potentially upsetting events. Your self-improvement, discovering your actual meaning, and achieving use of the restricted amount of time that you have are, if nothing, worth the struggle.

Want to unwind? Aim to breathe in squares.

Yoga enthusiasts, Navy SEALs, and business professionals all employ this method to de-stress and concentrate.

Because it is a four-by-four configuration, it is known as squared inhaling. You take four deep breaths while counting to four, holding each one for four seconds. After exhaling for four seconds, you hold your breaths for four seconds before actually inhaling for four more seconds to continue the process.


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Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

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