"If a Cluttered Desk is a Sign of a Cluttered Mind, What's an Empty Desk a Sign Of?" -Albert Einstein
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November 26, 2007

"If a Cluttered Desk is a Sign of a Cluttered Mind, What's an Empty Desk a Sign Of?" -Albert Einstein

Al_gores_desk_2 “Mess is complete, in that it embraces all sorts of random elements. Mess tells a story: you can learn a lot about people from their detritus, whereas neat—well, neat is a closed book. Neat has no narrative and no personality.”

It's a shame that authors Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman didn't use Al Gore's office (image credit: Time Inc) as examples in their book A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder. While Abrahamson and Freedman concede an office must have enough space for the occupant to actually work, they also contend that people who tend toward a cluttered desk also tend to get loads accomplished -the piles are a re traceable trail of work flow:

“When things are carefully arranged and kept in their ‘proper’ time and place and done in precisely the ‘right’ way every time, you lock out some highly useful qualities—such as improvisation, adaptability, and serendipity.”

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Comments

YAY. I just knew my cluttered office was meaningful somehow.

An excessively clutterded desk is the the sign of an Overactive Imagination!

Well, I certainly feel better. And here I thought I was a pack rat!

Gore has 3 monitors and a TV in his office?

Isn't 3 a little excessive?

Obviously Gore is ADD. That explains the mess, and perhaps his charm, and also his ability to be way "out" on a serious issue, and yet ignore the flack coming from scientists and laypersons who would advise caution.

The mess, the charm, the imagination, the hyper focus, and the ability to ignore social commentary are all consistent with Attention Deficit Disorder.

. . .and I'm showing this to my wife and everybody I know. . .my messes are trivial by comparison.

Way to go, Al!!!

Mess is an infrastructure within which you can work. Having said that, there are dangers - Loss of time, not being able to retrieve data quickly, and free thinking affected (not that Albert E. suffered much, if at all, from the last one noted.

The headline comment is a question and, as such, is valid. However the question sounds rather like a retaliation from someone who has been accused of having a cluttered desk.

Albert E. - A brilliant man and a favourite of mine and of most people.

You certainly need to apply relativity, though, if you are to answer Albert E's question. The opposite of a cluttered desk is an uncluttered desk, not an empty desk!

Superb post and additionally simple to make sure you figure out description. Exactly how can Document keep performing obtaining authorization to make sure you publish element for the document into my approaching e-newsletter?

I completely disagree. I'm a very neat and organized person, but I am also an artist. I have plenty of creativity and improvisation skills. I think this is just a way of justifying mental laziness. You can keep things neat and still be creative and resourceful and productive.


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