A clean desk: Is that what we aspire to? Really?

A clean desk: Is that what we aspire to? Really?

Happy National Clean Off Your Desk Day.

OK, I admit that may be one of the least-elegant national days of recognition possible (right up there with National Talk Like a Pirate Day). But it is a day that spurs us to action.

I’ve gone on a lot about clean desks here and here, so notice that there is a national day in its honor came as quite a surprise. Never heard of it? Well, it’s out there on the internets, so it must be true. Read more about it here.

The day came to my attention via a communication by fellow State Bar of Arizona staffer Heather King. She alerted me and all staff to the tidy event, when she invited desk photos for an employee competition. (Heather was also kind enough to point to my own blog post as she urged involvement.)

A photo of your desk could win you this book of poetry!

A photo of your desk could win you this book of poetry!

On this special day, I point you to a separate competition, one I wrote about in my January editor’s column for Arizona Attorney.

As I say in my column, I invite you to send a photo of your own work space, and you may include a caption describing why your own desk is a welcome work home for you (or why not, I suppose).

You can read the whole column here.

One person selected by me in a nonscientific method will be rewarded with a book of legal poetry, called Poetic Justice, which I reviewed here. It makes excellent reading and/or re-gifting—your choice!

Send your photo to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org. And yes, I may publish the photos I get, so be ready for that!

He calls that messy? A submission from @jwswrites of his messy desk (on http://spjdesklove.tumblr.com/).

He calls that messy? A submission from @jwswrites of his messy desk (on http://spjdesklove.tumblr.com/).

I’d wager the following: Anyone who has a cluttered workspace will claim that they really really really do have a system, and that it works for them. They may even go so far as to say that clutter is the sign of an active mind.

Residing among my own stacks in the cluttered category, I’ve tried floating those old canards myself. The truth is, of course, that efficient and effective people land all up and down that continuum from “hoarder” to “frighteningly neat.” Whatever works for you, works.

This month, the Society of Professional Journalists launched a fun contest in which people could send in photos of their workspace clutter. They then posted those pics on their own Tumblr page (which is worth bookmarking), and some lucky (and cluttered) person won a prize (office supplies, I think). Here’s how they put it:

“Featuring your stellar work space, courtesy of the Society of Professional Journalists. Post a picture to Twitter with the hashtag #spjdesklove and we will give your desk some Tumblr love.”

I did not submit my space for consideration, but on Change of Venue Friday, I thought I’d share it with you (see below). The image in this post represents a relatively neat period in my own pendulum swing. Don’t judge.

And how about you? Are your stacks and your clutter an ongoing challenge? Have you tamed them? If so, how? (And I really mean it: HOW? I want to know!).

Have a great weekend.

messy desk my work space

A portion of my own work area: I’m actually kind of surprised how neat my “messy desk” looks on this Friday. Things are looking up! (Full disclosure: I’ve omitted my overflowing bookshelves and various other flat surfaces.)