There are those whose desks look almost pristine. “There’s a place for everything and everything is in its place,” they say, and there’s never a stray piece of paper marring the uncluttered surfaces of their desks.
I am one of those who has never managed to keep my desk free of detritus, no matter how hard I tried. Periodically, tired of hearing derogatory comments from my coworkers (when I was still working) about how my desk looked like a disaster area, I would take a whole day or two to declutter. Yet, within a few days, my desk was a mess once again.
So imagine my delight when I came across an article published by the American Psychological Association titled, “A Messy Desk Encourages a Creative Mind.” Oh snap!
According to that article, a study at the University of Minnesota found that “working in a tidy room encourages people to do socially responsible, normatively ‘good’ things like eat healthfully and give to charity. But working in a messy room seems to help them try new things and come up with creative ideas.”
I came across another article in Inc. magazine titled, “A Messy Desk Is a Sign of Genius.” Booyah!
That article noted that “the notion that a clean desk means a productive worker is an artifact of the mid-20th century.” A study found that “Participants in the messy room generated the same number of ideas for new uses as their clean-room counterparts. But their ideas were rated as more interesting and creative when evaluated by impartial judges.”
And as acknowledged genius Albert Einstein famously pointed out that “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”
So, to all of you who criticized me and my messy desk, you were throwing shade at a creative genius!
Written for today’s one-word prompt, “messy.”