This idiom has been circulating around office workplaces since the dawn
of clutter; as the tidy elite cast their judgements over the 'organised
chaos' of office mess harbourers. So what exactly does it mean? The
phrase refers to the claim by the 'superior' tidy people, that their
organisation provides them in good stead for the working day, that
tidiness prevails when it comes to productivity, allowing them to think
straight, work efficiently and basically run rings around those workers
with desks piled high with disorganised mounds of papers and rubbish.
Deskitis- As it has come to be known refers to the mantra of the
clutterers: 'Dump Everything Seldom Keep It Tidy' and is a problem said
to be affecting more and more workplaces...
So does a tidy desk really = a tidy mind? I put
on my intrepid reporter hat and went to find out. After much stealthy
detective work around the FreeMyCV office I finally found my subject: A
serial mess junkie with an overdue date with a recycling bin. Here's
what he had to say about his mess-making and its effect on
Me: Hi there, I can't help but notice the
spectacular array of objects on your desk; it truly is an amazing feat,
if you don't mind me saying.
Subject A: I don't know what you mean?! (The caginess and his
frowny demeanour suggests that he is in one of the more advanced stages of
deskitis, the defensive, protective-over-the-mess stage; this means it
may be too late to save him...)
Me: I am conducting an office survey about the workplace and whether you
are satisfied with your surroundings. Would you say that you can
happily exist in the chaotic environment you have created from all of your rubbish, papers etc?
Subject A: Look, I don't know what you are getting at here, my desk isn't
that untidy, there's only one piece of rubbish which was created about half an hour ago.
Me: Have you ever heard the phrase 'A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind?'
Subject A: Alright, that's it, I'm trying to work and now you're insulting my
intelligence because I have a few wrappers on my desk?? And anyway an
empty desk surely equals an empty mind. (The subject is beginning to become irate by my line of questioning; he clearly feels threatened by my tidy vibes...)
Me: Hmm that is an interesting twist on the old idiom, however
incorrect. Would you mind if I tidied your desk up for you at lunch
time? It wouldn't take me very long...
Subject A: Ok that's it... Are you serious? Sarah, I think you have a problem... (He's starting to get up, I think that's my cue to leg it...)
So there you have it, the scary world of the infected. But never fear, it isn't too late to stop deskitis in its tracks!
Top Tips for a tidy desk
the paper scraps!- If you constantly find yourself scribbling notes on
bits of paper, which you then later lose, or have so many different
doodled-on post its and paper scraps that you cannot function- put down
the pen! Invest in a notepad to keep all of your notes nice and organised in one place. Mine has a monster on the front with googly eyes- it's great!
2) Too much paperwork. If you find yourself
drowning under a mountain of papers on your desk, then this probably
makes it tough to find what you are looking for. Find out who looks
after the office supplies and request a folder or desk tidy- or if you
have these things already, use them! Take the time to see what needs
filing; what needs binning; what still needs your attention, so that
you can be sure that nothing is being overlooked because you've
lost it in some mound somewhere.
3) What a load of rubbish. If
you look at your desk and see empty coke cans, 7 dirty mugs, and that
Kit Kat wrapper from last week, then don't fret! There is still hope.
Some clever person invented a bin that allows you to store all of your
unwanted rubbish, which gets magically taken away by bin fairies.
Pretty neat huh?
NEWSFLASH: DESKITIS has been known to spread from workers to jobseekers: you too, could be at risk!
So what can you do, before the clutter takes hold?!
1) Organise your workspace so you have a clear, tidy area to work in.
Make sure that if you have printed copies of your CV that they are all
filed somewhere safe and that they are not dog-eared or crumpled.
3) Use a notepad to write down any addresses, company names, or information you need for job interviews.
Have a calendar handy so that you can mark on it the dates of any
interviews, job application hand in dates, etc, so that you don't miss
any important deadlines.
5) When job searching online, many jobs
websites give you the opportunity to save your favourite jobs to a
shortlist, that way they are all in one place for you to view and apply
for whenever you get the time. So your computer can be super organised
tidy freak views and opinions expressed in this blog are not a
reflection on the company as a whole, as many employees choose to live
happily with their deskitis. If you would like to comment on this blog
or any other, feel free to do so in the comments boxes below.