Some of us are visual. We need to see our stuff to know it’s there. If we archive it, it’s lost to us forever.
I thought I was the only one like this – for instance, keeping my desktop full of files to work on rather than filing them neatly into the folder, also on my desktop, that says “Active” – until I read a great study that said that we’re not messy, we’re simply “divergent processors.”
Here’s how Dr. Ann McGee-Cooper explained it:
About one-half the population (those with right-hemisphere dominance) remembers and processes in a visual/spatial way. In other words, they remember leaving a certain file folder “under the green cup,” or “half-way down in the stack next to the phone.” But, if the same file folder gets “filed properly,” it may as well be lost forever. It’s not that we visual/spatial processors can’t decide on a file name or, label a folder and jam it in a drawer between other crowded folders. That’s easy enough, though boring at best. But, due to our divergent nature, we might file this article under “T” for Time Management, “F” for Fluid Power, and “0” for Organization. Then, when we need to get back to it, we might search under “B” for Bad Habits or even “R” for Reforming Bad Habits. You can see in this that our brain processes DIVERGENTLY, in all directions at once, rather than CONVERGENTLY to a single place, thriving on consistency.
Divergers love variety! Convergers thrive on consistency!
The very trait which contributes to our abundant creativity, sabotages our use of a commonly-touted organizing system, the file drawer.
I remembered this brilliant research when I saw this amazing new service that allows us to snooze our emails; we email our email to them and HitMeLater sends it back 1, 2, 12, 500 hours or days later so that it appears at the top of our inbox pile! (I love this. I’m doing a happy dance.) Check this free baby out, fellow divergers, because our new mantra is A messy desk is a sign of a messy desk.