Matt Baier on the Benefits of Keeping an Organized Desk


Every few weeks or so, all of the little bits and pieces on my desk- from sticky notes to knick-knacks, tend stack up like pancakes, topple over, and muddle up my work flow. There are a couple of reasons as to why disorganized desks are detrimental to the serenity of one’s work zen- and professional organizer Matt Baier articulates these reasons far better than I can! This week’s edition of “Advice from Organizing Pro Matt Baier” seeks to encourage our messy desk mice to clear up their nooks for a happier, more productive work day.   

2) What are the benefits to keeping an organized desk?

If you think that keeping an organized desk is an unimportant superficial effort, think again. Here are three reasons why.

1. Focus. Studies show that multi-tasking is actually not effective.  You can achieve more in a focused 10 minute segment than an unfocused hour. A clear organized desk allows for that focus.  If non-essential items can be put away in places where they can be found reliably, you can free up your vital desk surface for processing and focus.

2. Flexibility. The temptation to multi-task is understandable, today more than ever. No one has the luxury to spend the morning focusing on one project. You must be ready to shift gears from one priority to the next.  Keeping an organized desk, means you can put one project away safely, have a clear work surface for the new priority, then be able to return to the deferred project reliably.

3. Control.  When you have an organized desk, you have a clear work surface.  That not only provides a sense of calm, but control.  Clear openness is just more peaceful and it shows that you are in control of your environment.  As a further bonus, you are not the only one who is aware of this.  According to a Business Arizona Republic study of 138 business people, 73% said their impressions of colleagues were influenced by the way their desks were organized. Nearly 70% believed that workers with messy desks were perceived as less career driven than their fastidious counterparts.

In my experience in the corporate world, I have enjoyed all three benefits of an organized desk, but none more than the last one.  I was promoted to management over a far more experienced and qualified colleague, because of my organizing skills.  By the way, I did a great job. An organized desk matters.


Like this post? Check out Matt Baier’s insight on the question of organized clutter here!

A brief bio on Mr. Baier: After his promotion to Head of Design Services at the Jim Henson Company, home of the Muppets, Matt was responsible for managing half the staff and working in half the space, with 25% more work in demand.  To combat the challenge ahead, Matt engaged his organizing expertise, increasing the company’s production rate tenfold.

Today, Matt owns and heads Matt Baier Organization, where his organizing team uses the Matt Baier Organizing approach to declutter and organize homes & offices all across the Fairfield County and Westchester County areas.

  • Rebecca Francis

    Being organized is important to me because I tend to collect a lot of what I like, like pens. I’m creative and can get out of control with gathering the things that I enjoy. It is easy to forget or overlook some things and by being organized I can find what i’m looking for or want to try easily.

    • Diana

      We can completely sympathize, Rebecca! It’s definitely hard to not let things overwhelm you at times; but, when things are orderly, the bad stuff recedes just enough to make us all feel a bit better :)