I am sick and tired of hearing about how cleanliness is next to godliness. That is not in the Bible. And I have fought clutter all of my life. As a journalist, I go through a lot of paper. I read a lot of stuff. Me and the printer are best friends. If I were obsessed with having a spotless desk, I would spend all of my time filing. I don’t have a secretary, and I constantly fight the paper tiger.
I have always questioned the wisdom of organizational gurus who teach the benefits of a neat desk. My experience was that more time spent organizing was a waste. While there is a point where a mess can get in the way, there is also an extreme where organizing can detract from more important activities. I believe there is a balance.
I tend to to be a little more on the messy side. While I know of friends who can’t do anything if their desk is a mess. It’s like their kryptonite.
When I am out of town and call the office to check in on how things are going, my father frequently relays the success of his day based on how neat his desk is. I always want to laugh because I didn’t know that was an important business metric.
Finally, I have found a news article from a reputable source that backs up my theory of disorganization leading to higher productivity. Inc. magazine recently carried, “Go Ahead, Make A Mess.” The article claimed that chaos, clutter, disorganization, and on-the-fly decision-making actually are good for your company–and for you.
I felt liberated. Viva la messy revolution! Unleash the paper tigers. May paper anarchy lead you to greater profitability in 2007. That is until the gurus come up with another theory next year.