Time management Mondays: Messy desk, messy mind?

Post Comment

I will never win any awards for having a clean desk. But once it gets past a certain level of chaos, I can’t seem to concentrate on anything other than… that mess of papers… the unread mail… all those things I still need to process or put away (oh, and that stuff really belongs in the kitchen, and that magazine’s been on here for weeks because I never got around to reading it).

At that point, I find that it’s usually more time efficient to do a little straightening before sitting back down to work — frankly, I practically have to, or else my productivity plummets and I can barely keep my thoughts straight.

I keep thinking I should train myself to work in less than optimally tidy environments. But probably the easier thing is to train myself to keep my desk tidier. What about you? Can you work when your desk is a disaster?

3 thoughts on “Time management Mondays: Messy desk, messy mind?

  1. I don’t believe that a messy mind denotes a messy mind. I think that many people have what appears to be a messy desk, and yet they know precisely where everything is in those piles!

    I functioned well with that sort of ‘explosion’ desk work that way for years, not because I liked it that way, but because there was no extra room to organize it all all and because there was so much work that I could never keep up.

    At home, my arts table has to have some semblance of order and calm before I can even think about working! If I had more space to organize all of my ‘stuff’ I would prefer a much more minimalist environment.

    This past summer I went through a large purge, 2/3 of my wardrobe, 19 boxes of books, 14 bags of fabric and many more bags of miscellaneous ‘stuff’. This Spring I will be doing more purging, sifting and sorting and it will be on craft and art supplies. I have become a true believe of the less if more philosophy that’s to a book ” get Rid of 50 Things”…

  2. I really try to keep an orderly desk but I have “help” adding to the mess – coworkers and family. My work desk and home desk are equally messy. But I’m not alone and if I need someone to see something important I put it on their chair so they have to pick it up to sit down. Regardless, work gets done.

  3. “Can you work when your desk is a disaster?”

    I have no choice. 🙂

    I would recommend Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman’s A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder (New York: Back Bay Books, 2007).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.