Albert Einstein Was Wrong

Albert Einstein once asked, “if a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?

It’s a valid point. However, new research suggests clutter affects more than just our minds. It can be a significant contributing factor to stress. Stress affects us all differently, whether physically, psychologically or emotionally, but all our bodies release hormones when we’re under stress. And those hormones can wreak havoc on even the most fit and healthy of beings. Let’s face it, no one has ever celebrated stress as a good thing.

I recently read a blog that linked to an article in Psychology Today about how clutter affects our stress levels:

Both writings got me thinking about Mr. Einstein’s quote. He suggests that the opposite of clutter is empty. I would argue that the opposite of clutter is clean or clear, and isn’t a clean, clear mind really what we’re all after?

A clean, clear, uncluttered mind allows us all to be more creative, more productive and more present to our daily lives, tasks and challenges. It allows us to focus on deeper, more meaningful relationships with our friends, family, children and colleagues. It frees us from perceived obligations and burdens and allows us to follow our dreams and passions.

I am not a scholar of Dr. Einstein. I don’t really know much about his life other than two things: 1. He is the scientist who came up with E=mc2, and 2. All renderings of him show him with longer, unkempt white hair and a full, bushy white mustache. Was Mr. Einstein’s desk a mess? We all know he was a brilliant, revered genius, but was he also a twitchy, stressed-out crazy person? Who knows. But I’d take a clean, empty desk over a piled-high cluttered one any day of the week. And for me, along with that empty desk comes a clean, clear mind.

How about you? Do you thrive in a mess? Or do you seek calm in a clean, orderly environment?

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