Lead with your Messy Self

My desk is a mess! No really, it’s pretty bad. I normally am a neat and organized person. I hate it when my house is not clean, but my desk (and office where I spend most of my work day) have become different animals and exceptions to all my life rules. About twice a year, I can normally see all of my desk clearly. But on days like today when I have spent nearly four months traveling off and on (which I think is my new normal), things just pile up.

This is the long side of my L shaped desk.

Messy desk

I’m almost embarrassed to share it with you. Believe it or not, there is some method to this madness. There is a book pile at the far end of the desk (two actually) of books that I have started but haven’t yet finished or books I plan to begin soon. Then there is a small stack of books that I have read that I want to review, write a summary, or take notes from. On top of that, there is some mail and pictures I need to sort through or file away. This is low hanging fruit but most days it’s not a priority because I can barely get through my email after work.

The three or four stacks following are all important work and various projects I’m working on. This includes my daily planner, daily task lists, a Bible study, an upcoming book project, and my summer leadership program for girls.

I will get some of this organized before the fall fully kicks in, but I’ve stop kicking myself because my desk does not look as neat as I would like or things are not as organized as they should be. I like order and structure, and my desk has not been compliant (and that is totally my fault). Clearly, I can’t blame my desk!

I’m starting to feel a little better after watching this video about messy people and their desks. It begins by asking the question, “Are messy people really geniuses?” Apparently studies from the University of Minnesota show that a messy desk is a sign that I am a creative genius, meaning that I may have more creativity and be quicker at solving problems. Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, and Mark Zuckerberg all focused on their work at hand without worrying about what their desks look like. Einstein is even quoted as saying, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think about an empty desk?”

My mind is definitely not empty so I guess, I’ll stop worrying about my desk for now, and just keep getting on with the work at hand. How about you? What are some or your habits—that you thought were detrimental—that might actually be the very fuel that drives you, your work, and your leadership forward?

Blessings, Natasha Robinson

© Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2016

Published by Natasha Sistrunk Robinson

Servant of Jesus. Truth-teller. Leader. Mentor. Author of Books.

3 thoughts on “Lead with your Messy Self

  1. Natasha, your desk looks so much like mine… and yes, every now and then I see a glimpse of the amber of the desk. But yes, I have an idea where to find things, and yes, I think quickly. One day, a friend of mine was praying for me to be more organised and God interrupted her and told her to stop praying for that because He wants me like this. I wish He’d let her finish praying … !

    1. Love that comment! Both God interrupting her & your reaction… I so relate but I’d love it if God has a purpose for my, let’s say, *creative* sense of organization!

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