You’re messy. So, what? After all, you generate stellar work for your company. Why should anything else matter? Or better yet why would anyone even care?
I’m sure it has something to do with that old adage we’ve all heard and taken to heart: “Cluttered desk, cluttered mind.” But then, Albert Einstein challenged the veracity of this when he said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”
Are you leaning more toward Einstein’s point of view? The good news is you’re probably creative, which is a much sought after skill in today’s marketplace.
However, if unlike Einstein, who relied on his genius mind as an individual contributor, you intend to rise to the senior ranks of your organization. The bad news is your messy desk could be the unspoken barrier holding you back from marching up the corporate ladder!
Believe it or not: to be or not to be messy is a critical factor in your career future. Let’s pull findings from both sides of the argument to see how it relates to who you are and where your career aspirations are taking you.
The case for a tidy desk:
- 1 in 3 office workers could be losing out on a promotion because of a messy desk;
- 73 percent of managers perceive those with an untidy workspace as being disorganized;
- 41 percent said they believe a tidy workspace makes people more productive.
- Messy desks mess up your career according to nearly one-third of human resource managers nationwide.
The case for a messy desk (research from University of Minnesota):
- Being in a messy room led to something that firms, industries, and societies want more of: Creativity.
- Being in a disorderly environment stimulates a release from conventionality.
- Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights.
- A messy desk may confer its own benefits, promoting creative thinking and stimulating new ideas.
Isn’t it amazing that something as seemingly simple as your desk’s organizational practices are a crucial difference-maker in how your brain generates ideas as well as how your company perceives you?
In reality, it is no small matter. Research attests to the fact that the average executive loses an hour of productivity every single day searching for missing information.
Which side of the debate—clutter or not to clutter or somewhere in between—do you find yourself? Or more pertinent, what does the top of your desk look like right now?
You see each of us has a comfort zone, our productivity versus clutter versus creativity balance, and finding your effectiveness sweet spot may be the most important career decision you can determine.
So, check out your workspace, particularly if you’re an employee who hangs your employment hat on being creative! Even the most innovative employee recognizes, at some level, too much disorder impedes achieving all you could and intend in your career.
Now, ask yourself: Is my desk’s organization or lack of harming my future? If it isn’t supporting your professional progression, then, start taking one small, consistent step after another toward making sure your office space reflects the right balance for your creative genius to emerge.