Pour a Little Sugar On It, Baby!
An Unexpected Gift

A Clear Desk is Totally Overrated


(Photo of my early-blooming rhododendron.  Because who really wants to see my desk right now.)

  • My desk always reflects my level of "busy."
  • If things are neat and tidy - if you can actually see the wood-grain of the surface - if means that things are at a lull and I have some extra time on my hands.
  • For the most part, though, there's a bit of chaos going on there on top of my desk.  Piles of paper and materials neatly organized for work or creative projects.  Things I'm considering.  Stuff I need to do. 
  • Not bad.  Certainly manageable.  I am a "visual" person.  I need to "see" what's up and what I need to do.
  • I am not one of those clear-surface kind of desk-people.  Never will be.  Don't care to try.  Finally just accepted it.
  • But.  There are times when . . . my desk gets totally out of control.   Times when my desk starts to look like an avalanche. . . just waiting to happen.  The piles get bigger.  The papers spread out.  The calculator gets buried under paper.  The phone gets buried under paper.  The piles get moved to the floor.  More piles emerge.
  • And then. . . there are the computers.  I use an iMac at home.  I use a Windows 7-based laptop for my work.  When I'm really busy, I have them both set up on my desk.  Side-by-side. 
  • That takes up a lot of desktop real estate.
  • Guess what's going on now?
  • Yeah.  Right now, I'm at "ORANGE" (glowing, nearly exploding "ORANGE") on the "Busy-ness Threat Scale" -- and headed straight to "RED."
  • Which means . . . I can barely get to my desk, let alone sit down to work at it. . . and soon, I'll lose sight of it altogether.
  • Seriously. 
  • I have my "system," though.  It looks bad.  It looks like disaster waiting to happen.  But it seems to work for me.  I know what's in which pile.  I can find things (amazingly) quickly.  I get things accomplished.  It's just. . . well. . . think Pig-Pen, of Charlie Brown fame.
  • Tom, by contrast, is a neat, put-everything-in-its-place kind of guy.  He thrives on efficiency.  He is streamlined.  He is one of those clear-desk people.  He does not understand "piles" as a filing "system."  He can always see the surface of his desk.
  • (But sometimes he is absent-minded and forgets his phone, or a file, or even his entire briefcase.  I love this about him.  But it never happens to me.)
  • Anyway.  He recoils in horror when he sees my desk.
  • I actually think it makes him physically ill.
  • He doesn't make eye-contact with me when he comes into my office when my desk is Like This.  Instead, I can see his eyes dart to the piles on my floor.  I can see the judgment, the absolute wonder, in his eyes.
  • How DOES she function?  I can see those thoughts roll through his mind.
  • So.
  • That's where I am right now.  Hunkered down behind stacks of files, a few piles of books, two computers, about 3 pairs of cheaters, office supplies, and the flotsam and jetsam of my life.
  • Works for me!


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Kim Fath

LOL - I have places for all my technology but the piles just keep getting higher. I need to clear the desk this morning and get back to work.


*waving* Waving to you from behind the stacks. I hope you find time to come out and have some fun!


I hope those piles become more manageable in the coming days. I think we have very similar work/office styles. You'd feel right at home in mine.


I'm halfway between you and Tom! Hoping you're down to yellow soon!


We have piles around here too but eventually I kinda freak and have to figure out a way to get rid of them...at least for awhile! Good luck with lessening yours. :D


I must admit that I'm more like Tom than you when it comes to this. I have the occasional piles on my desk but they drive me crazy until I get them sorted and finished and put away. Dale, on the other hand, is more like you, and his desk is almost always out of control!


I have a really messy desk two (at work and at home). But it's dangerous to tidy it up because they I can't find anything!


Damn, I meant "too."


We have soooooo much in common - stacks on my stacks right now.


finally. a thing we don't have in common - I cannot function at any level of productivity unless I have clean surfaces around me! and how is it that your rhodie blooms before mine. I'd think michigan early would still be later than georgia regular. but oh my, it's gorgeous nonetheless!


I am much more like you than Tom. I had a boss that looked like Tom, but he could never find anything. I had a "messy" system and he had a "neat" non-system.

Hope things get easier soon!

Lori on Little Traverse Bay

TOTALLY. Overrated. ; )

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