What Your Desk Secretly Says About You

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By Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH

workdeskAre you the kind of person who needs to keep things in sight so you’ll remember to accomplish them? Or, are you able to file things out of sight and still remember to complete them, or where you put them? Are you a list maker or a post-it freak or are you 100% electronic? Pam Young and Peggy Jones, The Sidetracked Home Executives wrote: “you’re either born organized or you’re born sidetracked;” it’s genetic, they believe, like having blue or brown eyes. Your DNA might very well influence what your desk looks like.

There is also a psychology profile behind how you work. Is your mess preventing you from being your best and most efficient self? Are you hiding behind stacks of work in order to appear like you’re busy and worthwhile? Or, no matter what it looks like to others, are you able to put your hands on exactly what you need with speed and clarity making you appear sleek and efficient?

Every disorganized stack on your desk requires space in your head to remember what it is and where pieces of information are located. If you file things in an orderly fashion, you free up memory cells and psychic space which, in turn, leaves more room for creativity. If you’re always looking for paperwork, reports, or “stuff” then you’re wasting valuable time backtracking instead of moving ahead.

Here are five tips to solve your desk clutter:

1. Take everything off your desk and put it on the floor. (Yes, the floor.)

2. Sort through the stuff. Find two wastebaskets and throw out everything that isn’t essential to your work.

3. Think of your desk as a pilot sees a cock pit: keep only those things in front of you that you frequently use.

4. Buy a two-tiered tray for your paperwork and create a to-do list in a spiral note book or electronically. Label each tier: 1) ACTIVE paperwork; 2) COMPLETED paperwork (ready to send on or file). Follow the to-do list to accomplish Active tasks.

5. Calendar a time to file once a week. Put your favorite music on, turn off the phone and file for 15 minutes. Don’t put this off.

These five actions will keep you organized so you can be more efficient and creative.

On the other hand, Albert Einstein had a very messy desk, as did Mark Twain and Steve Jobs. Does that mean that if your desk is messy, you’re a genius? You can certainly try to promote that concept, but you’re the only one who knows if this is true or not for you. Consider this quote from Albert Einstein, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?” You’ll have to really give that some thought. In the meantime, unless your IQ is over 160, clear your clutter!

– Kac Young has a PhD in Natural Health, a Doctorate in Naturopathy and a Doctorate in Clinical Hypnotherapy. She is a former television producer/director, a licensed Religious Science Minister, a spiritual counselor and the author of 11 books. Please visit kacyoung.com