Some folks (usually the messy ones) claim that a cluttered and discombobulated workspace is a sign of creativity and intelligence. That could be, but a tidy and sleek work area is a pleasure to sit down in when all files and supplies are in order and there's no chance of finding a week-old, half-eaten tuna sandwich under a stack of manila envelopes.

Whether you're a pack rat or a neat freak, it would benefit you to learn the perks of a decluttered workspace. Giving neatness a chance can confirm that you're just as creative and smart while still being able to maintain a neat office. Tidy up and reap the rewards!

No Mess, No Stress

A big mess can lead to major stress. Missing papers, an exploded pen, and the constant shuffling of junk is unnerving and raises stress levels. As per Online Career Tips, "Just looking at a messy, unkempt workspace first thing in the morning can raise your stress levels."

TriNet concurs, "In a disorganized office, it's easy to misplace documents. That can be very stressful, especially when your boss or client is waiting for you to produce said documents." When things are in place and tidy, you'll never worry where your important files and docs are hiding. No one wants a frustrated boss breathing down your neck as you rifle through stacks of disorganized paperwork.

While some declare they "have a system" to explain away their mounds of who knows what, these are the very folks who are often wasting time and resources, and causing unnecessary chaos. While this may seem like an employee's personal choice, it creates a snowball effect when others need to help them out in a bind or start to feel the collective blood pressure rising. Time is money for business. There's enough to stress over at work. Why make your sloppy workspace part of the problem?

A Wealth of Health

Crumbs, dirt, germs, you name it. A messy area is not only unpleasant to look at, but it can actually make you sick. Many of us eat at our desks to save time and money. If the desk is clean, we can see where food has fallen and drinks have dripped and swiftly wipe it clean. Not so for a messy desk. A wayward piece of fried chicken and a glop of Dijon mustard swiftly disappear in a pile of files and scribbled-on Post-Its.

As Online Career Tips puts it, "Your office may have a cleaning service that comes through once a week, but many are not allowed to move items on desks. That could leave many surfaces untouched for weeks." That's going to make for one funky chicken.

"Your desk could be harboring germs or mold from viruses or crumbs. Make a point of cleaning your desk and computer keyboard with the proper cleaners on a regular basis for the sake of your health," notes Online Career Tips. If your desk's a mess, it's simply too difficult to really get in there and clean properly. Papers may cover up the grime, but bacteria will grow and you can get sick.

Do you really want to miss days of work and potential money because your desk was too sloppy to wipe down and you contracted a cold or virus? It's lazy and some may say crazy!

Enhanced Efficiency

A clear workspace can help promote a clear mind. Unclutterer says it best, "When you know where things are, what your goals are, and take care of the piddley busy work as it appears, you've got significantly more time and energy for the big goals in life."

Professional organizer, Seana Turner told Monster, "Knowing where things are keeps you on top of your game. People who pile paperwork often obscure items underneath the stacks, resulting in wasted time trying to find what they are looking for. Filing things where they belong creates less surface clutter — and ensures you know where they're at when you need them."

Plus, it's hard to prioritize when everything's in a jumble. You may even forget to do something because it went missing amidst the clutter. And when you do finally remember, will you be able to find the needed paperwork to get to work?

Along with personal efficiency, a clear area is beneficial to the company at large. As per TriNet, "Your office is a reflection of you and your company. And first impressions count. What do your clients, vendors, colleagues, prospective employees and other visitors see? A dirty break room, cluttered desk or messy reception area does not inspire confidence in your professionalism or ability to manage the finer details." If that's not reason enough to tidy up, what is?

It's time to declutter and re-focus. Your time will be more productive and you'll have more room to make a difference personally and for your business. Why be a mess when you can be a success?

PayPath
Follow Us on

Afghan women

NBC

Over the past month, both Haiti and Afghanistan have been pummeled by tragic disasters that left devastation in their wake.

In Haiti, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake erupted, leading over to 2,189 deaths and counting. A few hours later, in Afghanistan, Kabul fell to the Taliban just after U.S. troops had pulled out after 20 years of war.

In many ways, these disasters are both chillingly connected to US interference. The United States invaded Haiti in 1915, ostensibly promising to restore order after a presidential assassination but really intending to preserve the route to the Panama Canal and to defend US creditors, among other reasons.

But the US forces soon realized that they were not able to control the country alone, and so formed an army of Haitian enlistees, powered by US air power and intended to quell Haitian insurrection against US controls. Then, in 1934, the US pulled out on its own, disappointed with how slow progress was going. Haiti's institutions were never really able to rebuild themselves, leaving them immensely vulnerable to natural disasters.

Something similar happened in Afghanistan, where the US sent troops and supported an insurgent Afghan army – only to pull out, abandoning the country they left in ruins, with many Afghans supporting the Taliban.

In both cases, defense contractors benefited by far the most from the conflict, making billions in profits while civilians faced fallout and devastation. While the conflicts and circumstances are extremely different and while the US is obviously not solely to blame for either crisis, it's hard not to see the US-based roots of these disasters.

Today, in Haiti and Afghanistan, civilians are facing unimaginable tragedy.

Here are charities offering support in Afghanistan:

1. The International Rescue Committee is looking to raise $10 million to deliver aid directly to Afghanistan

2. CARE is matching donations for an Afghanistan relief fund. They are providing food, shelter, and water to families in need; a donation of $89.50 covers 1 family's emergency needs for a month.

3. Women for Women International is matching donations up to 500,000 for Afghan women, who will be facing unimaginable horrors under Taliban control.


4. AfghanAid offers support for people living in remote regions of Afghanistan.

5. VitalVoices supports female leaders and changemakers and survivors of gender-based violence around the world.

Here are charities offering support in Haiti:

1. Partners in Health has been working with Haiti for a long time, and they work with the Department of Health rather than around them, which is extremely important in a charity.

2. Health Equity International helps run Saint Boniface Hospital, a hospital in Haiti close to the earthquake's epicenter.

3. SOIL is an organization based Haiti, "a local organization with a track record of supporting after natural disasters." They are distributing hygiene kits and provisions on the ground to hospitals and to victims of the earthquake.

4. Hope for Haiti has been working in emergency response in Haiti for three decades, and their team is comprised of people who live and work in Haiti. They focus on supporting children and people in need across Haiti.

via Tiffany & Co.

When the new Tiffany's campaign was unveiled, reactions were mixed.

Tiffany's, the iconic jewelry brand which does not (despite what some might be misled to believe) in fact serve breakfast, featured Jay Z, Beyoncé, and a rare Basquiat painting in their recent campaign.

Keep reading Show less

Stacker

Road trips can be a lot of fun — but they can also drain your wallet quickly if you aren't careful.

From high gas costs and park admission fares to lodging and the price of eating out every night, the expenses can add up quickly. But at the same time, it's very possible to do road trips cheaply and efficiently. Without the headache of worrying about how much money you're leaking, you can enjoy the open road a whole lot more. Here's how to save money on a road trip.

1. Prepare Your Budget, Route, and Packing List in Advance

If you want to save money on a road trip, be sure you're ready to go. Try to count up all your expenses before you hit the road and create a budget. It's also a good idea to plan your route in advance so you don't end up taking unnecessary, gas-guzzling detours. And finally, be sure to pack in advance so you don't find yourself having to buy tons of things you forgot along the way.

2. Book Cheap Accommodations — Or Try Camping

All those motel rooms can add up surprisingly quick, but camping is often cheap or free, and it's a great way to get intimate with the place you're visiting. You can check the Bureau of Land Management's website for free campsites. Freecampsite.com also provides great information on If you don't have a tent or don't want to camp every night, try booking cheap Airbnbs or booking hotels in advance, making sure to compare prices.

Camping camping road tripConde Nast Traveler

If you're planning on sleeping in your car, a few tips: WalMart allows all-night parking, as do many 24-hour gyms. (Buying a membership to Planet Fitness or something like it also gives you a great place to stop, shower, and recharge while on the road).

3. Bring Food From Home

Don't go on a road trip expecting to subsist on fast food alone. You'll wind up feeling like shit, and it'll drain your pocketbook stunningly quickly. Instead, be sure to bring food from home. Consider buying a gas stove and a coffee pot for easy on-the-go meals, and make sure you bring substantial snacks to satiate midday or late night cravings so you can avoid getting those late night Mickey D's expeditions.

Try bringing your own cooler, filling it with easy stuff for breakfast and lunch — some bread and peanut butter and jelly will go a long way. Bring your own utensils, plates, and napkins, and avoid buying bottled water by packing some big water jugs and a reusable water bottle. Alternatively, try staying at hotels or Airbnbs with kitchens so you can cook there.

4. Avoid Tolls

Apps like Google Maps and Waze point out toll locations, so be sure to avoid those to save those pennies. (If it takes you too far off route, you might have to bite the bullet and drive across that expensive bridge).

You can also save on parking fees by using sites like Parkopedia.

Road Trip Road TripThe Orange Backpack


5. Save on Gas

Gas can get pricy incredibly fast, so be sure that you're stopping at cheap gas stations. Free apps like GasBuddy help you find the most affordable gas prices in the area. Also, try going the speed limit on the highways — anything faster will burn through your tank. Be sure that you don't wait till you arrive at touristy locations or big cities to fill up.

6. Get a National Park Pass

All those parks can get really expensive really fast. If you're planning on visiting three or more parks, it's a great idea to get an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass. For $80 you can get into every National Park for one year.