A Financial Times Deutschland article asks the following question: “If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what does an empty desk say about the quality of your ideas?” I guess the assumption is an empty desk equals an empty mind. I think an empty mind can help you focus on what the task at hand is, while a cluttered mind makes it a bit more difficult to concentrate.
The article continues:
Ian Smalley, creative director of corporate digital communications agency CTN, is a believer in just that sort of messy medium.
The perimeter of his desk is delineated by towers of paper: “I have a relatively big desk so as long as there is elbow room, things tend to pile up, even if some of them do date back to 2004.”
But his main reason for untidiness is lack of time to tidy:
“It is a busy environment and at the end of the day, while all confidential documents are shredded and recycled, I want to leave and see my son, not file bits of paper.” He adds: “I can get a professional-looking desk by doing a ‘five-minute tidy’ where I straighten all the piles of paper up if I need to.”
Keeping a clean workspace isn’t the only key to being successful at your job, but it doesn’t hurt. Yes, there are some people with tidy desks who don’t have the best work ethic and there are people with messy desks who are invaluable to their companies. But, as a rule of thumb, it can be more efficient to have a well organized workspace. An organized workspace allows you to focus on the task at hand rather than losing focus while looking for a misplaced paper or file.
What do you think of the article? Agree or disagree? I’m eager to read your responses to it.