In my home office, I have a big, empty space to the left of my desk between a bookcase and the window. The wall is a lovely, pale yellow that I picked out when we bought our home. It is calming and serene, yet energizing.
Over a year ago, when I first created my office for my Internet marketing business, I thought I needed a big whiteboard in that empty space. I could write important tasks on it. Or brainstorm website layouts. But most importantly, it would fill up the space and make me feel official.
I even did my whiteboard research and selected the perfect, earth-friendly, and very expensive whiteboard online.
However, I didn’t want to spend the money until I made some money, so several months went by, and I realized that I functioned quite well without a whiteboard. In fact, at my old job, I had a giant whiteboard and rarely used it!
So after months of staring at it, I took the “buy whiteboard” task off my TODO list and moved on.
A few months ago, I started studying for the ACSM personal trainer certification. I had to learn the names of the primary bones that make up our skeleton and the muscles we use when we move our body.
How wonderful it would be to have a bulletin board to post charts of the skeleton and muscles. Maybe it would even help me learn them faster!
I also signed up with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and started receiving all these wonderful, colorful handouts of “12 Steps to Better Health” and the “Integrative Nutrition Food Pyramid.”
How great it would be to display these handouts on a bulletin board. A big 4′ x 5′ bulletin board that would cover that empty space on my wall.
Then I reread The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and remembered how powerful those agreements are. I didn’t want to forget them (again) after I finished reading the book.
I could post the four agreements on my bulletin board! Print them out in a nice font and maybe mount the paper on a nice background. Then I would never forget to be impeccable with my words or to always do my best.
I started researching bulletin boards online and discovered that The Container Store has a bulletin board that is made from recycled rubber right here in the USA. The biggest size was a bit smaller than I had envisioned, but maybe it would be big enough.
The next time I was in the vicinity of a Container Store, I stopped in to take a look at this marvel. It was pretty awesome. So awesome, in fact, that I bought one! However, as soon as I got home, I realized that one side was bent. I couldn’t put it up. Not a less-than-perfect rectangle.
I returned it for a refund.
In both books, Leo talks about an uncluttered workspace. I was so inspired that I spent a whole day last weekend decluttering my office – including my file cabinet. I recycled an ungodly amount of paper and felt amazing when it was all done.
But there was still an empty space on my wall and a folder of items I’d like to put on my bulletin board.
So a few days ago, I went to an office store. I spent many minutes looking at all of their different bulletin board options. I picked up a 3′ x 4′ bulletin board with black trim and solid packaging, which hopefully meant no dents, scratches, or – worst of all – bent edges, and started walking toward the checkout counter.
As I walked, I started thinking about the price (just shy of $50). And Leo’s words “Clearing your walls, except perhaps for a nice photo or piece of art, is a good idea for creating the perfect environment for focusing.”
Did I really need a bulletin board? Might it even cause distraction?
I turned around and put it back on the shelf. I don’t need a bulletin board. Not today. Not this week. Not this month.