Thursday, April 02, 2009

The White Board

People who work at home must learn to set boundaries, or the “at home” overwhelms the “work.” For years I complained about not having enough time at my desk. I became downright cranky (or worse, if you ask my son and husband) when interrupted, which seemed to be every ten minutes. I tried every way I could think of to set office hours and get my men to cooperate, always with mixed results. When we uncovered a white board in our spare room a few weeks ago, a little light bulb went off over my head. A nite-light sized bulb. “Just put that outside my office door,” I told my hubby.

The white board sat outside my door for a few days. I found its box of accoutrements: markers, eraser, spray cleaner. The light bulb over my head grew larger, perhaps to 25-watt size. I used a brand-new black marker I found to write on the board: “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” –Henry Ford.

Another couple of days passed, and the light bulb had its final growth spurt. The two most common reasons my son and hubby interrupted me were to ask 1) “What are we having for dinner?” or 2) “When are you coming out of your office?” In the top right corner of my white board, I used a purple marker to write the date, then my office hours, and what we were having for dinner. Presto!

Every day, I change the board. The men in my house love my white board. They honor it faithfully, which means I have to honor it faithfully, too. It’s easier to commit to something verbally than on paper, and I found that sticking to my posted schedule accentuated how easy it had been to fudge on my daily commitment of six hours of BIC (butt in chair). Now, I have my white board to answer to.

What about you? How do you enforce your writing time?
Photo courtesy of Mailsparky at

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