Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Science of Desk Clutter

May 18, 2011

I like to stay up-to-date on things. Every day, the current news stories the homepage of my browser selects for me keep me in touch with the real world.

Okay. Maybe not the real world, but some world outside my own four walls.

Somehow, and I don’t remember the actual series of clicks my little mouse took to get me there, I landed on a page with this headline: “Computer Desktop Clutter Reveals Your Personality.”

Say…what? That’s a scary headline. Why in the world would I want to know what my clutter says about me? I wouldn’t, but it was too late. I was sucked in – snared by my own curiosity into reading the article. Imagine my relief when I got to the part that says their survey, based on 80 million answers, is not scientific because it’s not based on a representative sample of the population.

I wondered, too, at this point, why Live Science was wasting web space, but I read on, unable to stop myself.

It seems that men are more likely than women to have a neat desktop. That led me straight to the burning question of why can’t men get their dirty clothes in the hamper, but I digress. They did say the survey wasn’t scientific.

Moving on, messy desktop users are more likely to have completed some sort of higher education. Uh-huh.

I’ll keep my mouth shut and my fingers off the keyboard on that one.

People who live in crowded cities are more inclined to keep a messy desk as compared to those in rural areas.

Messy deskers say work is often more important than their personal life. Messy deskers often have messy closets. (This was a surprise…why?)

Neat deskers who are more tech-savvy are more likely to place their personal life first and responded they work simply to pay the bills.

So where am I in all that? I’m female (cluttered), I live in a very rural area (uncluttered), didn’t go to graduate school (cluttered), I work because it pays the bills and provides health insurance (uncluttered).

My desk? It falls between “can’t find a freakin’ thing” and “a clean desk is a sign of a sick mind.”

And I like it that way.

KC Kendricks
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