Celebrating Clean Off Your Desk Day

National Clean Off Your Desk Day is the second Monday in January each year. It makes perfect sense, new year, fresh starts and a refreshed resolve to work harder, smarter and more efficiently — all of which can be pushed forward (theoretically) by a cleaned desk. While being organized has always been said to help with maintaining a clear mind and increasing productivity, a messy desk is said to be beneficial for boosting creativity. I was inspired to research further after seeing a social post from Huemor, a web design agency. It’s seen below: 

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For starters, multiple scientific experiments, such as the one conducted by psychologists at the University of Minnesota, found that more creative ideas are had in a disorderly setting. This study and numerous similar ones state that the disorder can help find solutions to problems quicker and help to break free from the traditional thinking that complete organization is always better, therefore making workers feel less constrained overall. Here are some other findings I’ve come across: 

  1. Less time spent worrying about the cleanliness of the desk and more time spent on work.
  2. There is a such thing as a “clutter style.”
  3. Inspirational objects on your desk don’t count as clutter.
  4. It’s common for those who work in the design or art industries to have a “disorderly” desk.
  5. Disorder doesn’t mean chaos.
  6. It’s said best by Albert Einstein – “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

It’s not to say that anyone with a messy desk is against the idea of organization, it’s just the way some people get their work done. Also, no desk style fits all — as some may be scattered with notes, coffee cups and personal items, others have only what they’re working on in that moment, and some are in-between. What does your desk look like?

If you’re interested in organizing your desk, even if just a bit, check out this video for some tips: