Meet the Spreader: You’ll recognize them in one of two ways. They will have what almost appears like an organized space but when you open a drawer, a door, look under their desk, behind the door. Yikes!!!! Complete chaos. The other way you will recognize them is because literally, everything will be in no particular order – if it fits, put it there. Their work is spread all over their desk, spilling out of drawers, cupboards. Nothing seemingly organized. Spreaders are innovators. Their mind is full of ideas and thoughts. They are fast thinkers and tend to be the creative type.
Of all the Organizational Personality Types, the Spreader will potentially look the most disorganized. The clutter that surrounds a Spreader is “work in progress”. And while they work, they also eat, open the mail, reference books, follow up with people, make notes, read reports, install new software and technology, and work on their computer or laptop. Everything collects around them as they focus on what they are working on. The problem arises with putting everything away. A Spreader is most productive, most creative when they start with a blank canvas – and that means a cleared desk. This is why you will often notice that they just shove everything that is on their desk into a box, or into a cupboard – out of sight – so that they can begin work.
Because they are more conceptual in their thinking, they tend not to notice the clutter building up around them and why they have a hard time putting things away. It is not that they don’t want to – they don’t know how other people do it. Their challenge is understanding CATEGORIES.
The particular challenge of The Spreader is knowing where to put things away and creating a specific space for everything they need.
Keep office supplies in one place and one place only. And don’t have any more than you need and use. And that goes for files, books – everything. You need to assign a single purpose use to areas so that nothing bleeds. Your desk is where you work; it’s not where you store. Horizontal surfaces do not have to be covered with notes, schedules, and pictures – they should be clear. Your drawers are for the storage of stationery and supplies.
Spreaders need order. Having a place to put everything away after the flurry of creating and planning is the key.
You have to make a habit of putting things back and doing it. Put things back when you are finished. At the end of the day, take ten minutes to quickly tidy up your desk and environment. It won’t happen on its own. And when you come in in the morning, it’s just a great feeling to have a clear desk to start the day.