This morning I was working with an outlining program reviewing some project steps. I have known for some time that I have been resisting using this program, which has many fine features and has served me well. My resistance had to do with focus: the presence of other material above and below what I wanted to focus on was distracting. This morning, I stretched the main outline window out horizontally to about twice its former size, increasing the amount of horizontal white space around each item by a factor of two or more. To my surprise, each item in the outline section I wanted to focus on stood out much more clearly, and my sense of vertical clutter was tremendously diminished by the additional horizontal space. I knew that reducing clutter generally increases focus, but I didn't realize that spaciousness in one direction can reduce the sense of clutter in other directions.
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