Antiquarian Anabaptist

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Cluttered desk = genius?

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” – Albert Einstein

I have been finding comfort in this quote from Einstein for a whole lot of years.  A clean desk is something to which I have never been able to attain, thus I grasp at straws to reassure myself that a messy office is the normal environment of highly productive people.

Right now, for instance, there are various books scattered on my desk, the filing cabinet and the floor.  Most will be used as references sometime for one project or another.  There are baskets of papers belonging to my bookkeeping clients that need to be filed.  There is a bottom layer of papers that need to be put away or recycled.   On top of this is a layer of receipts belonging to another bookkeeping client that are waiting to be entered on the computer. 

That layer has been there for a week, it doesn’t really need to be done until month end.  In the meantime I have spent ten or twelve hours checking the proofs of a book for errors in hyphenation.  This is a 438 page book that I translated into French for the publishing house of our denomination.  Then I spent an equal number of hours entering data for other bookkeeping clients.

Monday morning I discovered that my glasses needed repair.  That meant a trip to the city, so we invited Tami, our nine year old grand-daughter to come along.  Part of the reason for that was to have her help pick out a gift for her sister who will be seven on Sunday.  For coffee and snack break, we went to the Christian book store where we bought a book for the birthday girl, a book for Tami and a book for Grandma.

Yesterday I needed to drop something off at one client, make a bank deposit for another, plus my doctor wanted me to go for another blood test of my potassium level.  A man at the Seniors’ home wanted me to buy a replacement for his thermal fax machine.  When I phoned the store they assured me that they had three in stock of the model that was on sale.  When I got to the store, their computer still showed  three in stock, but they could not find them.  That might explain why there is also a blood pressure monitor on my desk. 

Several years ago, I started doing research into the history of a congregation that once existed 120 km north of where I live.  I have several other writing projects on the go, as well as this blog.

All of that begs the question of whether or not I am highly productive.  I’m afraid the truthful answer would be no, and part of the problem is this messy office.  My aspiration is to have a clean, neat and orderly office, or at least as much as such a thing might be possible when said office is periodically invaded by one of our grandchildren or one of our cats.

Cleaning the office has been on my to-do list every day for quite a while already.  Problem is, it looks like such a formidable task that it always get pushed to the bottom of the list.  But tomorrow will be different, I’ll get started first thing in the morning and get it all cleaned up.

Except. . . tomorrow is the day I am scheduled to go and do bookkeeping at the veterinary clinic.

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3 responses to “Cluttered desk = genius?

  1. Men of One Accord August 24, 2013 at 05:04

    Lord Bless this Mess! Bob’s and mine too! Amen!

  2. Bob Goodnough August 24, 2013 at 07:47

    Thank you. I take comfort from all the others who are in a mess similar to mine. Maybe that’s not a good thing?

  3. Christine Goodnough August 26, 2013 at 19:10

    A cluttered desk is the sign of a person who can’t find something when he/she needs to put his/her hands on it, like right now. 🙂

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