The notion that a clean desk means a productive worker is an artifact of the mid-20th century. Historically, geniuses were always pictured with a cluttered desk. I’m not sure where that puts me and the things on my desk.
Things On My Desk
I look around at the things on my desk. There are many of them. A blotter in the center is sort of the no-nonsense zone. That’s where I put my papers of the day, the bills that need attention, and the documents that match the first five things on my priority list for the day.
But beyond that sacred zone, there is room for the stapler, the weighted tape dispenser, and the cup of pens & pencils.
Then somehow, other things drift in – the photos in picture frames, each bringing back special memories. The all-important OUT box that seems to give me a pat on the back every time I place something in it that has been DONE. The Rolodex where the importance of people doesn’t matter. All those personal and professional contacts are mixed in, with no level of honor other than the alphabetic order of their last name. There is a stack of sticky notes that will be greatly reduced by the end of the day. There is the scrap paper. The bowl of stamps and the basket of earrings and rings that I forget to take off before sitting down at my desk. Soon, the morning cup of hot coffee will take its place of honor, always within reach.
What a conglomeration are the things on my desk, each representing another facet of my life. How pleased I am not to have a clear, clean, and joyless desk. This one looks loved, lived in, and happy. I like it that way.
P.S. Albert Einstein once asked, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” Has anyone ever responded?