If your desk looks anything like mine, you have got to wonder at times where all that stuff came from. Throw in a bookshelf teaming with books both read and ones in waiting and a phone chirping away non stop and a pile of files perched closely to edge of the desk preparing to leap to their death, and you got a mess! I have a friend that says his office went paperless two years ago. Is it possible? Or is he shuffling papers into corners on a daily basis with one eye on the window ready to close if he sees me coming?
Messy desks as we have all been taught mean messy lives. And a messy life means disorganization and of course disorganization means is the precursor to less productivity and that of course leads to a life of despair and disappointment. Yeah right I get that, but you know, I don’t care, and I must admit this desk of mine cluttered and over flowing with paperwork at times seems more like home to me than that big green lazy boy chair I find solace in from time to time in my family room. Because it’s my mess, and believe it or not I know where everything is. But there is always that nagging feeling that if I could get it cleaned up, then yes life would be right. The wife would appreciate all I do and the kids would all come to me knowing I have all the right answers; yeah right again.
It should come as no surprise we Americans spend millions getting ourselves organized. We dream of working for companies who seem to have it all together. They have an exercise at lunch program for their employees, child and adult day care for employees, and great Scott they even have a latte’ machine in the break room. And this all comes from getting yourself organized. In their most recent book, A Perfect Mess, Abrahamson and Freedman assure me, there is nothing wrong with being messy. In fact, they encourage it and their arguments are pretty sound. Did you know Bach loved to improvise? Much like a modern day Jazz player, he purposively left written music parts out for various orchestra members so they could take the tune and go with it. Of course we have no recordings of it, and history has sanitized all that improvisation out of existence, but it’s true. History is written by the winners, and obviously winners are organizers.
I took a whole course in grad school on how to develop a strategic plan. Great ideas. We would be lost without the planning, but the reality is that most plans that ever do get developed are usually by staff that don’t know the company; are never around to implement them and thus the plans are never used anyway. So why do em?
The mess-siahs as the authors of, “A Perfect Mess,” call them can’t wait for us to get our lives together; and they are willing to let us pay them to help. It’s a business. So keep that in mind as you head out to buy the newest computer program, file cabinet, or sign up for that organization, “101” class being offered next Saturday. I mean after all its your free time, and just think if you were more organized how much more of that you would have.