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Tip of the Week: Leave Your Desk Messy

December 7, 2007
at 12:00 pm PST

Albert Einstein once said, “Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” I knew my desk is messy for a reason. Yesterday, Web Worker Daily (a GigaOM property) wrote on the good psychological effects of having a messy desk. Anne Zelenka writes that “a slavish devotion to perfection can be psychologically unhealthy” quoting a New York Times article this week. Zelenka writes: “Spend too much time worrying about getting your desk perfectly clean and your work perfectly excellent and you might put yourself at risk for psychological problems.”Now, don’t get me wrong I’m all about doing a good job, I just don’t think that having a clean desk necessarily facilitates that. And, to those who have immaculate desks, that’s fine and dandy with me too. My colleagues are constantly giving me grief about my messy desk and maybe it is my not so subconscious way to “mess” with them by refusing to clean it up. I’m not looking for attention, but I also don’t know what the big deal is about having paper and napkins and water bottles and business cards and other shrapnel strewn amongst my workspace. I often say I only need enough desk space for my computer to fit on…and it’s true. And, I’ve never said to someone, “What’s up with your clean, neat, well-organized desk?”Here’s what my desk looks like as I post this blog.JJE Desktop - 2007.jpgClearly, I’m psychologically balanced.More support for messy desks at CNN.com.

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2 Comments.


  1. Ehh, John I get the point you’re making but why did you post this picture of a clean desk? I can still see most of the surface. This one looks clean like a highway at 4AM ;)

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  2. I will let my wife read this blog entry and hope she will understand me after reading it. I am too psychologically balanced like u ;-)

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