I’m one of those people who tends to function perfectly well with a desk that looks like the aftermath of some kind of paperwork Vesuvius. In the past, I have astounded some of my more tidy-natured colleagues with my ability to successfully direct someone to where an item is amongst the debacles that is my desk; to lay my hands directly on a requested piece of paperwork from weeks ago; or by the fact that I can “ever get anything done in that mess”.
Of course, functional chaos is functional only up to a point where it becomes, quite simply, chaos. The tipping point for my desk occurred towards the end of last year but despite being aware that “we have a problem”, I put it off until the Xmas/New Year period. I took stock over New Years (isn’t that what it’s for?) and I embarked on a desk-cleaning rampage.
The exercise (and I mean that in the sense of ‘military exercise’) lasted for a number of days and both sides sustained substantial losses. The process required purchases of shelves, folders, bulldog clips, and other items of stationery not directly related to the task but surely a tidy desk requires new pens, pencils, notebooks… (But my stationery obsession is another post entirely!)
Despite my best efforts, there remains a small (but growing) pile of notepads, print outs, envelopes and folders that have resisted my tidying-attack. These are the rebel fighters of my desk who will undermine any real and lasting change in levels of organisation. And like any good dictator, I will ignore them until their rowdy little riots push their stronghold into the workable space of my desk and I have to lead a charge to crush them once again.
This truly seems to be the story of my desk’s life.
Is there any way out? Any tips for getting organised and making it stick would be very much appreciated.