Hoorah for the messy desk!

Now, I must admit I have a very messy desk. I know it used to drive one of my mooting partners absolutely wild (she is one of the neatest people I know). Various bosses have taken me to task about it – one used to come in to conduct a three monthly “clean up”, and another used to shout with despair when he looked into my office, “You’re a MESSER!” My mind is actually quite neat, but my desk is not.

I know exactly where I inherited this tendency from, too. One year, I gave my dear mother a card for Mother’s Day, which featured an illustration by Judy Horacek. It pictured a woman sitting at a desk, looking glumly at giant piles of paper. Another woman was walking past and telling the sitting woman: “Don’t worry, one day the filing fairy will come and clean it all up”. That’s what I’m waiting for! The filing fairy. Except if she files things away, I won’t know where they are any more.

That’s why I was very pleased to read about this book. Among other things, it says that Albert Einstein had a notoriously messy desk, messy people do know where they put stuff and that having a messy desk can be a sign of productivity and intelligence. Hoorah for the messy desk!

(But I will have to do something about the fact that the paper is piled up so high next to me that it looks like it’s about to topple. I have some limits, you know.)

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4 Comments

Filed under crazy stuff, messy desks, society

4 responses to “Hoorah for the messy desk!

  1. missv

    I second that hoorah! I’ve always been a piler rather than a filer. I think it’s something to do with actually being able to see the papers, once they’re hidden away in files I forget about them.

  2. Anonymous

    If an untidy desk means an untidy mind, what does an empty desk mean?

  3. Law Student

    Well…the volume of papers an academic gets through might make it hard keeping their desks tidy.

  4. Legal Eagle

    I do have folders to put my papers in, but like missv says, if I put them away I tend to forget about them. That being said, I have reduced the massive pile which used to sit next to me to only a few cms now… And I have a folder for “papers to keep in mind”.

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