The photo above is not my desk. I do however, have a like-minded appreciation of the individual who sits at this station. I find that the owner of this desk and I have many common traits. Housekeeping is probably not one of them. Yet our minds are equally everywhere, and attached to everything. There is just no place that we feel we can ever stop learning, growing, and fitting new information into the memory storage blocks in our minds.
Compare and contrast real quickly.
- How organized are you compared to the person next to you?
- Wish the person next to you would relax a little?
- Maybe you would like to see your co-worker drop a crumb on the ground now and again
- Maybe you would like to see your co-worker pick up one crumb from the ground.
It's 180 degrees in either direction when you examine workers and their own personal working habitats.
Some employers/employees like it neat, and by neat, I mean the squeaky clean type of neat. Everything has it's place, and if anything is out of place, organization cannot commence. The day begins with everything having order; a system of organization that a computer would envy. Neat. Very neat. Exact. Precise.
Online I can pull off this semi OCD filing effect pretty easily. Offline, I fall within the range of normal clutter.
On the opposite end of the scale is of course those individuals who live by the code of Einstein.
"If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then is an empty desk a sign?" ~ Albert Einstein
Old Einy has a good argument. I can't say my desk is as cluttered as his may have been, but the drawers and filing cabinets in my home office are a different story. My work files are generally pretty neat, and I understand that Einstein might of had words regarding that.
Like minded people don't mind the clutter so much, at least not if it is their own clutter. There is a method to their madness that some find exacerbating. How can one find anything in all the clutter?
It's not clutter . To the clutters, they know exactly where the information they need is located, as well as why it was put there, the date, and maybe even the time of day.
Clutters take their cluttering habits online too. If you have ever set next to a software or web developer, their online files can be massive. They have a whole agile process of keeping track of that filing, but it is mainly in their heads.
I won't get into Dropbox, Google Drive, and all the other online filing storage places. Clutters have already been there - done that, and they are all full. I would rather focus on the personality traits of those who prefer clutter and those who don't; sprinkled with the traits of those moderate to semi-moderate clutters like myself.
Written with a little satire
We semi-moderate clutters matter too. To find out where you fall in the clutter department and how to move forward, follow the steps given below (disclosure, use at own risk, nonscientific data to follow).
- First you need to take the test : What's Your Clutter Personality ?
- Second you need to read: The 10 organizing tips (humor)
- Third, decide if you need some self help: Getting Organized
- Fourth: Living with Clutter when it isn't yours
- Lastly this is for the neat freaks - because clutterers have you all figured out: The forgetful person
It might interest some to note that the leading photo on this article was from a high school yearbook office. While in the class I suggested the students attempt to help the instructor clean it up. I received the following comments from those students . It is my hopes the instructor will get a chuckle out of his students comments - if not I'm in the dog house again.
1. There are not enough days left in the school year
2. Our grades are in there
3. He would be lost
4. I am not magic
5. Most of the students just stared at me like I had lost my mind
As the name suggests, we semi-moderates live in both worlds. We like our little piles of clutter, but we also like our neat tidy little views.
If I can't escape the clutter, a neat tidy view has a way of re-centering my focus, and makes the world whole again.
Once a week at least, I have to go on a decluttering binge. It also helps me to verify that I've dotted all my I's and crossed my T's.
I can get OCD with the best. Daily I update my calendar months in advance, logging even the most trivial items.
It takes work to get organized. You can't just waltz in the door and expect to know all the answers. You have to plan and prepare to obtain a specific set of goals, dreams, and/or aspirations; whatever they may be. The best we can hope for is that others will appreciate the work we do. Our style of organization, as long as it works, in a productive and timely manner, is no one else's business.
To be really organized, you have to focus on the biggest problem first, the elephant in the room - yourself.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ― Rumi
Yes, the little things surrounding our daily tasks or problems are also at issue. But if you don't address your own intimate flaws, you may have a harder time seeing the bigger picture. An example I like to use is: "Stop worrying about what you will wear to present your cause, and worry more about what you will say".
Organization is a state of mind that we find ourselves in at any given time of day, or night. Our desks may, or may not be, a reflection of that organization. Our working organization is measurable by our output. Organization is not well measured by personal bias - but output.
So be neat, or be a clutterer, or semi-clutterer/middle child. If you can't have clutter in your front office, then give that creative mind their own office. Work together if the output for each of your designs brings synergy to your company and your bottom line.
Too much? Too little? Just enough?
Make it happen!