So one morning, my friend in New York sends me a random text. I open it and it’s a picture of a desk with a caption stating “My Desk”. Wouldn’t have been a big deal, however his desk was a hot mess! I laughed, sent him a picture of my very own desk, also stating- “My Desk”! I’m not going to lie, my desk was a hot mess too!
We went back and forth laughing about the state of our desks and what does a messy desk vs a neat desk say about a person? I really don’t consider my desk a mess, I like to think of it as “Controlled Chaos”. I know exactly where everything is, and there is a method to my madness. But we couldn’t help but wonder, how DO most people keep their work spaces? And what does that say about them?
I reached out to friends and family, asking them to send me a picture of their desks. There was no time allowed to clean, prep, and style their pictures. They were instructed to send them as is. I received pictures from students, teachers, IT techs, law enforcement, bankers, just to name a few. Controlled Chaos won the battle! More than 1/2 of the pictures were NOT pretty!
I laughed as I received every picture. The few neat I received, I expected them to be. They were clutterless, organized, you can actually see their desk. I even asked myself “Do they really work in this space?” They almost looked like pages from the latest Ikea catalog.
My group of Controlled Chaos peers were interesting. Most agreed that like myself, they know exactly where everything is. I see us as creative, artistic, and daring. We’re living on the edge. Time is not on our side, and we have to keep things moving. What does your desk, either clean or controlled chaos really say about you?
Ironically, while I was working on this piece, The New York Post wrote an article on this very subject. They quoted Sylvie di Giusto, founder of Executive Image Consulting as saying “If you want to be taken seriously, keep your desk clean.” When people walk by your office desk, they will judge you and your ability to take care of yourself, your work tasks, your projects or their money and investments.”
Ok, I’ll give her that. There is alot of truth to what she says. I’m fortunate enough to have my workspace in my home. So I don’t have people walking by my desk on a daily basis passing judgement on me. There is a flip side to what she says. The Post also mentions a research conducted at the University of Minnesota in 2013, and what were the results? “Subjects that were placed at cluttered desks came up with more creative ideas than those at a neater space.”
Perfect for me and my friends that fall into the controlled chaos! Where do you fall? Is your desk neatly organized? Does everything have a home? Or are you a fellow controlled chaos peer? I say to each their own. Whatever makes you more productive, go for it! Keep scrolling, and you can see for yourself, just how real people are keeping their desks…