A messy desk is a sign of creativity and imagination. This is the excuse I gave myself for the mountain of papers, knickknacks, and San Pellegrino bottles normally piled on my desk at work. Truth is, I’m just lazy. When I started wasting more and more time looking for lost items instead of being a brilliant creative person, I knew I had to do something. I got my desk organized, and have been miraculously keeping it clean for the past three months.
Like a lot of good stuff, this article is about more than it first seems, since a tidy desk can be a MacGuffin; this is ultimately about a tidy approach, or, if you prefer, a tidy mind.
It means that you can create a physical workspace that supports your style of thinking and your approach to action, rather than having it be a purely aesthetic artifact of, say, your OCD or your secret fetish to work in an operating theater. Most importantly, you know where stuff goes because you know where your brain will want to look for it at the right time later on, right? And, as you eventually learn, if you can’t immediately grok whether a given piece of paper is trash, actionable, or just for reference, you will be, as Walter Sobchak says, “entering a world of pain.”
I did a little workspace re-org yesterday and changed from a L-shape config to a U-shaped setup, I also placed all my junk within a arms reach so now I can get more stuff done. I work in a pretty much paper less home office and all of my inputs come from either email or web based data bases so my setup reflects how I actually work. The key issue concerning a messy desk is that if you can get things done while sitting in a pile of filth annnddd that so-called mess is supporting how you work annnddd helping you be more productive, then its a none issue, but if it working against you getting things done maybe you should think about changing it…