Do you have a neat and tidy desk? Or do you have an untidy messy desk?
Which one is right? Which one is wrong?
Whether either one is right or wrong, is irrelevant. It is whether the person who owns the desk is effective or in-effective at what they do.
The argument of the tidy, untidy desk has gone on for centuries, there is an old story relating to Albert Einstein that goes as follows.
A woman once said to Albert Einstein, did you know, a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind. Albert Einstein replied with, if a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is an empty desk the sign off?
Over the years, I have seen many cluttered desks, even offices and when a comment is made about the cluttered desk, I always say, if your desk is cluttered and you can still immediately lay your hand on what you need, there is no problem. If your desk is cluttered and you have to take some time to search for what you need, there is a problem and you need to tidy up your desk.
Personally, I prefer a tidy desk, but other people struggle to perform when their desk is tidy. We are all different.
The key here is, to watch your team members and people around you, if they have an untidy desk and perform well, just let them know their untidy desk should not hinder someone else. If an untidy desk is causing them to work poorly, require them to tidy up their desk.
On the other hand, if their desk is tidy, they need then to demonstrate that they can lay their hands-on material that has been placed somewhere else, quickly. I have seen times when the owner of the tidy desk, could not find what was needed, so they performed poorly at what they were doing.
In the end, whether your desk is cluttered or uncluttered is not the problem. The problem is whether you can access your material quickly and carry out your role at an adequate level of performance. Also, if you have a cluttered desk, it must not hinder anyone around you.
This also applies to work areas no matter what they may be. Workshops, Kitchens, building sites etc. keep in mind, this does not provide a carte blanche approach to our work areas, we need to ensure our work areas are safe.
Have a great week.
Peter Johnson – The Time Retriever