We had the inaugural episode of The Hot Seat Webinar this last Friday (replay available here). I am not going to say much about it other than it appears to have been a tremendous success. I believe David Langham will be writing about it in short order, and for now I will leave the details to him.

However, there were a few comments in the webinar “chat area” near the end of the presentation that caught my eye during a post-production review. It seems that people were curious about a sign that was only partially visible over my right shoulder during the entire hour long session. The only words visible were “an empty desk a sign?” Some people, on close up shots of me when the screen wasn’t in a quadrant view for the four presenters, might have also noticed the name “Albert Einstein” in smaller print at the bottom. One person postulated that the sign was an excuse for my messy desk.

That person was largely right, in that it did have to do with my cluttered desk. However, it wasn’t making an excuse for it. Far from it. The sign was instead celebrating it.

The full sign they were questioning was this one.

My wife purchased that for me last year. It fits perfectly into my office. 

You see, for me, a cluttered desk isn’t merely a saying. It is a way of life. Actually, with the success of this blog it is not just a way of life, it has become a brand within its own right. Numerous times I have met people in conferences, and when they are told I write a blog, they look at me with uncertainty and say, “Are you that Cluttered Desk guy?” They are clueless to my name or who I am, but the Cluttered Desk is an accidental brand that seems to have worked.

And it is based on fact. I proudly maintain a wildly cluttered and disorganized desk. Strangely I usually know where things are when I need them – unless some bugger has attempted to help me by committing a neatness. It is a source of pride, as many brilliant people have had famously messy desks. 

I am not saying I am brilliant in any form, but brilliant people have been known to be extremely messy office keepers. I will happily saddle up to that reputation and glom whatever aura rubs off it for me. (See Inc. Magazines “A Messy Desk is a Sign of Genius, According to Science”, and a few famous people’s messy desks here)

For a more raucous ride, go to Google images and search for “famously messy desks”. After all, Einstein might have been right. If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then, is an empty desk a sign of?

Umm, maybe we just shouldn’t go there…..





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