Buffers, Backburners, and Breakwaters

These are not, as they say, normal times. And, extra-ordinary times demand extra-ordinary tactics. As I’ve conducted a number of training sessions and speaking events over the past several weeks, I realized that much of the solution to the low-grade anxiety that many of us are feeling at the moment comes down to three things, all of which start with the letter “B”:

Buffers: We need to establish some space “between” our commitments, including space at the beginning, middle, and end of our day, so that we can stay engaged and focused.

Backburners: We need to have some way of engaging creatively beyond our on-demand work. This might look like developing a new skill, establishing a hobby, or finding some way of expressing ourselves and taking creative risks that are relatively actually low-risk because no one is judging our work.

Breakwaters: We need to establish a bit of a sea wall against the onslaught of media and news that can easily overwhelm us and cause us to feel disengaged. This means putting some boundaries in place to help prevent overload.

In this episode, we dive deeper into each of these three areas and offer some practical tips for implementing the three “B’s”.

This episode is sponsored by Skillshare. Explore your creativity at Skillshare.com/accidental and the first 1,000 people to use our link will get a free trial of Skilshare Premium Membership.

This episode is sponsored by Hover. Visit Hover.com/accidentalcreative and get 10% off all new purchases.

Todd Henry

Todd Henry

Positioning himself as an “arms dealer for the creative revolution”, Todd Henry teaches leaders and organizations how to establish practices that lead to everyday brilliance. He is the author of five books (The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, Louder Than Words, Herding Tigers, The Motivation Code) which have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and he speaks and consults across dozens of industries on creativity, leadership, and passion for work.

Be prolific, brilliant, and healthy.

Accidental Creative helps creative pros do the best work of their lives. Our workshopstools, and podcasts will help you have better ideas, collaborate seamlessly, and thrive under pressure.


Since 2005 we've served up weekly podcast episodes to help you stay prolific, brilliant, and healthy. Follow the show in your favorite app: