Messy desks – do they bother you or not?

There are two types of people in this world – those who can work on a messy desk and those who can’t.

I’m one of those who can’t.

I’m very affected by my environment (I can’t even concentrate very well if I’m cold) and I like to have things in order.

The interesting thing is that my desk gets very messy WHILE I’m working but to start working, I need things clear and nicely sorted.


This is a picture of my desk after an office move.

Need I tell you I was very annoyed that they came to move me outside of the time period I’d booked?!

Because what did that mean? I had to take an hour or so to position all my files and sort out my desk.

Over to you.

Can you work on a messy desk?

PS I spent some time yesterday taking a few pics of my desk at home. Would you like to see it? I thought it might be interesting to three of you to see how I do things for maximum productivity at home.

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  1. I am by no means a neat freak but I really can’t work on a messy desk. Mine gets messy while I’m working too but I will actually stop what I’m doing and put something away if I’m done with it and clear the space.
    I am also affected by my environment. At the moment I’m struggling in my workplace. Because there is glare from the windows (no one wants the blinds closed) which is affecting my eyes and the aircon is always on high. I sit here wearing my hoodie even though it is 34 degrees.

    • Marcia Francois says:

      I may or may not tidy up during the day – that depends on time and meetings but I do push my things into a neater pile if I’m going to be away for longer than 5 minutes.

  2. I love working with a messy desk. The clutter keeps me motivated to finish whatever I am working on and have a clear desk by Friday, when I should be doing filing. However I noticed people are grossed out by the cluttered desk, so I try to keep it as neat as possible.
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  3. Melanie says:

    I cannot work with a messy desk! I’ve recently had to move my in/out boxes, and just put everything in the desk drawers – it was taking up too much space, and it just wasn’t working for me anymore.

    Now, the only things on my desk when I leave work are my computer, phone, and a box of tissues. It also helps when I get in, since anything else on the desk is something that I need to deal with immediately.

    My computer is dreadfully cluttered, though – I usually have to leave it on pretty much all week, or I will lose the links I’m reading, and the files I’m working on in the mess of e-clutter!

  4. I also have a hard time concentrating un a messy environement, but it gets messier when I’m most busy. It’s hard to take the time to tidy things up even though I know that’s the most efficient thing to do…

  5. I usually start at with a clean desk as I need that to think but once I start working I realise it gets messy. I take stock during the day and clear up a bit as things get done and like you if I’m going to be away for more than 5 mins I try to put things away as we have a clean desk policy at work
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