I will always be the type of person with a messy desk; I’ve tried to change in the past, but it’s just not who I am. Whenever I’m feeling pressured, I’ll organize my desk and put everything into drawers or binders, but eventually, it all piles up again. This is simply due to my right-brain dominant creativity.

Many of my co-workers and friends are confounded by how I’m able to stay productive in the face of such a chaotic work environment. If you’re one of the people who value organization and neatness, then having a messy desk is probably very daunting to you. It’s seen as a sign of laziness or lack of productivity. However, if you’re like me and have always been a “messy desk” kind of person, then use these proven tips to help you embrace your messiness.

Don’t Fall Victim to the Haters

If you work better with a messy desk vs clean desk, don’t change your habits to make other people happy. I’ve tried to be neater in the past, but it just leads to me wasting time looking for documents that are filed away neatly. Do whatever is most productive for you.

Know the Clutter

If you want a messy desk, that’s fine, but only if you have a system. If you’re naturally cluttered, find a way to keep yourself organized. I clip some important documents to the wall near my workspace and make piles of papers that only I understand. As long as you can navigate your messy desk, it works for you.

Embrace Your Mess

If being messy works for you, then go ahead and be messy. In my experience, messy workplace breeds creativity, and compartmentalization kills it. So if a little top-of-the-desk clutter gets your creative juices going, don’t be afraid to leave it there.

If you want to know if Emilie Aries likes her desk messy, ask her!

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