I’m a messy desk girl, through and through—always have been, always will be. I’ve tried to change my ways under pressure, organizing my desk and even filling the mounds of papers that sit atop it into binders and drawers, but alas I recently came to terms with the fact that my messy desk is par for the course, given my right brain and creative tendencies.
Co-workers and friends wonder how I can function in a demanding job given my messy workspace. For the extremely neat, a messy desk is daunting—a true stymie of productivity; a sign of a real slob. But for me, a messy desk is a telltale sign of innovation and new projects. Having spent my whole life as a “messy desk” girl, follow a few tried and true tips to embrace your own inner-mess…
Don’t fall victim to the haters
Haters will be haters. If you function better under piles of papers, don’t change your ways to appease co-workers who don’t understand exactly how you function. I’ve tried to “tidy up” under pressure, but I end up spending more time looking for documents in color-coded binders and systematic file folders. Do what works for you.
Know the clutter
Messy desks only work if you know your system. If you are a naturally cluttered person, find a way to keep yourself straight. I clip some of my important documents to the wall by my workspace and make piles of papers that only I understand. If you can navigate your own messy desk, it works for you.
Embrace your mess
Are you messy because it works for you? If living in messy-desk-land makes you more ________ (insert characteristic that is helpful at your work), then it works for you. In my case, I thrive in brainstorming and creative situations, and being compartmentalized kills all of it. So if a little top of the desk clutter gets your creative juices going, don’t be afraid to leave it there.
Ask Emilie Aries if she likes her desk messy!