Neatly stacked piles of paper, empty desks, desert desktops, I hate them with a vengeance. It simply never works out for me. I will try, organizing my desk, filing documents, doing creative things with Post-It’s, lining up my pencils. It will make me sneeze. It will give me a headache. It will not work. I will be setting there in that oasis of clean, ordered efficiency, helplessly fishing for inspiration. Organization, it gives me the creepiest nausea just thinking about it.
But, until now, they always made me do it, these goddesses of efficiency, these marvels of organized workspaces. Frowning from under perfectly groomed corporate hair, they will point out, slightly patronizing, how inefficient my cozy, dusty desk is, and that I would be better, faster and smarter if I just could keep it neatly organized.
Until now that is. No more. I have a new hero: Michael Schrage, a research fellow at MIT Sloan School’s Center for Digital Business . In a recent HBR report he said: “How much time do you spend each day getting better organized? Cut it in half. When it comes to investing time, thought and effort into productively organizing oneself, less is more. In fact, not only is less more, research suggests it may be faster, better and cheaper.”
Sounds like music to my ears! But it gets better: “IBM researchers observed that email users who “searched” rather than set up files and folders for their correspondence typically found what they were looking for faster and with fewer errors. Time and overhead associated with creating and managing email folders were, effectively, a waste.”
I’m faster, better, cheaper. Schrage said it. So, get out of my office, stop frowning over my desk, and yes… I DO love my bookcase exactly as it is. I DIGG the icons on my desktop. Go get your stuff in disorder, try to keep up.