Having a messy workspace? Maybe it's because you're a genius

Having a messy workspace? Maybe it's because you're a genius

Do people compare your workplace to a dump? Remind them of what Einstein once said: "If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?" There's one thing he had in common with Mark Twain, codebraker Alan Turing, discoverer of penicillin Alexander Fleming, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckeberg. A very messy workspace.

The environment is always a major factor in how productive we are. If you're constantly being disturbed or simply don't feel well at where you work from, you obviously won't deliver a good performance. And the other way around an inspiring workplace will boost our mind. In other words: the key to more creativity can be found right at our desks.

A recent study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that people with a messy desk rather tend to be creative and take risks, while people with emptier and more strictly organized desks incline to follow rules, being less likely to try new things or take risks. As the study concludes, "disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights."

Thus when you need to generate ideas and concepts, it may help to have a messier desk. Yet to just outline the terms properly: there are two types of messy environments, one is chaotic and one is dirty. And the lesser is not helpful in any way. After all, who wants to work between empty coke bottles and dirty dishes. What we talk about is a workplace that's clean but filled with books, papers and stuff.

It's true though that most of your colleagues may judge you based on how your desk looks like. If it appears in a messy state, they will think that you must be unfocused, unreliable or even incompetent. But as long as you know which kind of stuff is to be found where, you may defend yourself by another Einstein quote: "Everybody can handle order, but only a genius can master chaos."

Image source: Tipheret

Recent Posts