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Messy desks and the myth of the perfect workspace

Alex Dobrenko critiques the unrealistic portrayal of perfect workspaces often seen online. He argues that such pristine setups don't reflect reality, as most people's desks are messy, including his own. Dobrenko suggests that the obsession with cleanliness and order is linked to our cultural fixation on productivity tools, which promise but fail to deliver true order. He encourages embracing the chaos, as creativity often thrives in messy environments. Highlighting Anna Brones' essay "The Mess of a Creative Space," Dobrenko questions the societal judgment of messy vs. clean spaces and the concept of authenticity. The newsletter includes a moodboard of messy desks, reflecting the idea that the best work happens amidst disorder. Readers are invited to share photos of their own messy workspaces, contributing to the "Messy Space Extended Universe" (MSEU). The newsletter also features a segment on Sublime, a personal knowledge management tool, and its development philosophy centered on creating soulful, connected user experiences.

Discussion (2)

lefty profile image

My desk goes back and forth between very clean and extreme chaos. Usually when im doing my most creative work, a clean desk inspires me to think clearly and as time goes on I see myself making it messier and messier until the project is done or on hold. Then I clean it and the cycle continues again.

brandysousa profile image
Brandy Sousa

I feel the same way about my software tools. For example, my notes, calendar, etc are not always the cleanest, but I feel like that's indication of being used regularly. The bounds of the software doesn't always fit life perfectly, and I've let go of the notion of perfect software and productivity apps.