The idiom says, “Tidy desk, tidy mind”. In that case, my head is something akin to messy play at a pre-school.
As I look across my desk, I can see (in no particular order as that would be too organised): a catalogue for a national chain of tool suppliers; a pirate island made from a cardboard box, polystyrene and coloured paper; a Euro 2016 wall chart; a colouring book for grown ups; minutes from a recent school governor meeting; a note pad full of content ideas and two empty mugs.
You might ask yourself how I manage to work in such chaos. To be honest, surveying the carnage, it has crossed my mind too. My desk is looking more like a Tracy Emin installation than a place of work!
But in my defence, if you look a little closer, there are some clues that will hopefully reflect more favourably on me than the first impressions may give:
- The table demonstrates my ability to juggle several different roles – employee, parent, school governor and soccer mum. A key skill when working for a busy team.
- There is clear evidence of creativity – the list of content ideas, the colouring book and the hand-crafted pirate island. Sometimes, when resources, time or money are tight, you need to think about alternative ways to achieve your goals. And that is when a creative mind can come into its own.
- Empty mugs – tenuous, but I am going to argue that this demonstrates commitment (as opposed to lax domestic skills). Instead of nipping out for a leisurely lunch, I sit at my desk swigging caffeine and scoffing a hasty sandwich so I can get my jobs completed.
- My catalogue of tools reflects my practical nature. Never one to shy away from getting stuck in and get my hands dirty, I will give, and have given, most things a go both at home and work. The fact that I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with power tools will be glossed over for these purposes.
- Everything I need is to hand. A bit like a girl scout, I am prepared for whatever gets thrown at me.
So now I have convinced myself that it is okay to have a messy desk, I will congratulate myself that I am a model employee, pull out my ‘to-do list’ and discreetly add ‘Tidy desk’.
This blog was written by Fiona Prior – employee, mother, Governor, PTA impresario and chief maker of bacon butties for the local, under-10’s football team.