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Clean Up That Desk, No Wait, Don’t!

A messy desk at work
Image Source/Getty Images

If you’re like me, you have a messy desk at work. Our cleaning people dust around the piles on my desk.

What’s weird, I have what I consider to be a really clean, orderly looking house. I wonder why that doesn’t translate back to the workplace? Probably because my wife isn’t at my workplace on a daily basis to prevent my desk from turning into the disaster area that it is.

Someone once told me, if your desk isn’t messy, you’re not working all that hard. That’s how I justify it I guess.

Speaking of messy desks, according to a new survey the average workplace desk has 19 useless pieces of paper on it.  And one in three of us have empty wrappers, dirty cups and half-eaten food on our desks.

52% of the people surveyed say they clean up their desk at most once a month. One in ten people haven’t bothered cleaning their desk in the last six months.

I read recently, that researchers in Germany found that having a messy desk can actually lead people to think clearer.

The researchers found in a series of linked studies – using a messy desk and a messy shop front – that people actually thought more clearly when all around was chaos, as they sought to simplify the tasks at hand. Visual and mental clutter forces human beings to focus and think more clearly.


There just might be something to all of this, as famous thinker and writer Albert Einstein was notorious for having an untidy desk.

So the next time a fellow employee or maybe your boss tells you to clean up that mess on your desk. Simply say, sorry! I can’t do that. I’m trying to keep my productivity up.




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