My Messy Desk

Albert Eintein's Desk

Albert Eintein’s Desk

Thank you to Mayumi-H for linking to this article about Why You Should have a Messy Desk.

The article opens with my favorite quote from Albert Einstein:

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

I’ve always been messy. My parents lost hair (sorry Dad) and sleep (sorry Mom) over the unfortunate state of my room when I was young. My college roommate and I had only a few clear spaces on the floor from which we could access our closet and our beds. And my desk at work is proof that some things never change.

It’s one of those topics that comes up in my yearly review.

“Josh, you are a great employee,” says my boss, “but I’m glad that there’s a door on your office so I don’t have to see the mess.”

It’s true. But in my defense, a big part of my job requires that I think outside the box. And if a bit of clutter helps me do that, so be it. But there are times when I have to clean things up. The article that I mentioned earlier states that when it is time to buckle down and focus, a clean desk is best. Perhaps I’ll take a few minutes and move my piles around so I can see the surface of my desk again. I mean, I don’t want to go overboard or anything, but I do want to be productive today.

What does your desk look like? Do you find it helpful to have a bit of clutter about when you are doing creative work?