Piles of papers, vinyl toys, coffee cups, business cards, bills, headphones, and more piles of papers is the war zone that is my desk. I’ve tried but there is no way I can keep my work area clean. I get that itch once and awhile to clean it up and start fresh but its always back to the mess by the end of the day. There are tons of sites like unclutterer and Zen Habits that talk about saving time by cleaning up your work area and by being more organized. I read these sites every once and awhile and they make me feel guilty for not being totally organized and having a bin and/or file for everything. No more! I have accepted that this is how I work and I’m more productive this way. In the book “A Perfect Mess,” Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman say “Neatness and organization can exact a high price and it’s widely unaccounted for.” They argue that a messy desk can be a product of an effective worker. Einstein purposed the question, “If a cluttered desk signs a cluttered mind, Of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”
I had always heard that a messy desk is a sign of being busy, well if you have seen my desk at Daily Planet ltd. or at home you would wonder if I ever sleep. I’ll admit that in the past I’ve mis-placed things in the chaos but I’m someone that works on several projects at the same time and I like to have my notes for that project along with magazines and books for inspiration at my finger tips. I read that Barack Obama was asked his biggest weakness by a reporter and he said that it would have to be his messy desk. Einstein and Obama both worked with messy desks; at least I am in good company.
100% organization doesn’t work for me, I personally don’t want to have to go to the filing cabinet or bookshelf to find what I need that very moment. There’s also a kind of feeling of freedom about it; I don’t have to make sure things are put away before I can leave the office for the day. I can jump up and rush out of the office or house at a moments notice and not have to think about the mess I left behind. I do tidy up when a project is done, you won’t find information about a project I was working on six months ago. Everything on my desk is relevant and has a purpose. Whether a messy desk is a sign of genius, creativity, or just a busy person, it doesn’t matter so much to me. Even if my desk at times can be not very aesthetically pleasing, its how I’m most productive and that’s the bottom line.