Is a Messy Desk a Sign of Creativity or Laziness?

Is a Messy Desk a Sign of Creativity or Laziness?


What a Messy Desk Says About You: Creative or Lazy?

There are conflicting ideas about what a messy desk says about you. Does it mean you’re creative, or does it mean you’re lazy? How do we find out the ultimate truth on what a messy desk means? In this blog, we’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a messy desk and come to a conclusion.

Why Do Certain People Have a Messy Desk?

There could be many reasons why certain people have a messy desk. Perhaps they like everything being out and close to hand, or they might have a creative temperament and having everything messy matches that. It could also be that they don’t value having things tidy, despite this value being expressed as a virtue in our society.

Is a Messy Desk Linked to Intelligence?

Many famous people throughout history have had messy desks, including Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison. People often say messy desk, messy mind, but to this Einstein replied, "If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?" Furthermore, a study by the University of Minnesota showed that the ideas of participants in a messy room showed more creativity compared to those in a tidy room, when evaluated by impartial judges. So, does that make messiness a sign of genius or intelligence? The study maintained that there were different advantages to both mess and tidiness. “Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights,” psychological scientist Kathleen Vohs concludes. “Orderly environments, in contrast, encourage convention and playing it safe.”

Messy desk vs Clean Desk

So, if you believe that there can be an objective truth behind a messy desk such as genius or a creative mind at work, perhaps you’re happy with that answer. But things go even deeper, as you may not need to be in creative mode every day. Perhaps sometimes you need to be in a more conventional mood to get things done. In that case, a tidy desk might suit you better. It’s best not to take it too personally when you think about what it says about you that you have a messy or tidy desk. Maybe all it means it that you have a personality that prefers a certain way of doing things. The important thing is that you’re happy with the way you keep your desk. You’ve got to ask, is it for everyone? Rarely are all things for all people, so do what suits you best when it comes to a messy desk! Whether it’s for school or work, don’t take on labels such as lazy or unorganised – go with your gut and rock the desk that helps you think best.

Need a Desk That Inspires You?

Whether you like to keep yours tidy or messy, we’ve got a great range of desks here at Office Choice. Browse our selection online or contact us with any questions at

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