What are you looking at?

What are you looking at?

I moved my office around this weekend and still have items that were taken from the walls waiting to be re-hung – including two bulletin boards. As I began to think about where to put the bulletin boards, I began to wonder if maybe I should just stick them in a closet and forget them. My use of bulletin boards doesn’t amount to much more than a visual junk drawer. 

Sure. Some of the ‘junk’ is super cute pictures and fun memories (I still have a ticket from our ride on Thomas the Train in 2003!), but it takes up a lot of visual real-estate – and if I’m honest I hardly even notice it. I found myself shifting from just shutting the junk drawer mindset (put bulletin boards in a closet) to considering a better use of the ‘visual’ real estate.

Google says there are two primary reasons to use bulletin boards  – employee engagement and goal setting. A third reason that I imagine is to keep my values in front of me. Fourth might be a place and idea incubation space. And a fifth is to do what I’ve been doing for years – a spot for all the things that I hold and wonder ‘where should this go?’

Do you use bulletin boards or white boards? How do you find them working best for you? 

Does your wall space suffer from JunkDrawerItis? 

What would happen if you took everything down from your walls (and computer monitor) and put it in a box or envelope until next Friday?

What would you like to imagine rising up to fill the space? 

What would you do if there was a Post It Plague and you had to find other means for collecting your lists, thoughts, ideas, plans, father-in-law birthday ideas? (Sorry Diane and Todd and other post-it dependent friends.)

Visualization – the word I’ve been playing with this month – has a lot to do with what you are looking at. 

yellow and purple flowers, text "what are you looking at"

When I read poetry, my thinking is different from when I read murder mysteries. When I listen to different genres of music, my energy and focus adjust. When I work at a study desk in a basement with no windows or when I sit where I can stare out at a green-space, I have access to different focus and learning strengths. And when I light a candle or bring in a small vase of fresh flowers, my self and work are connected with each other in yet another way.

I have a theory about bulletin boards and wall space that I am going to test in my work space this year. I will set a reminder for every six weeks to look at what I’m looking at – what I’m really looking at. I’m going to challenge myself to interact with what I’m looking at – beyond the usual collecting of visual clutter. I’m going to adjust and create and play. 

And I’m going to pick up some fresh flowers when I run out for groceries later – just because.