Word of the Week: Zettelwirtschaft
Enlarge image A Zettelwirtschaft at the German Embassy in Washington. (© www.Germany.info) Take a look at your desk. Is it organized and clean? Or is every square inch of space covered in files, notes and papers?
If your desk is a mess, there's a good chance it's a Zettelwirtschaft.
The German term comes from the words Zettel ("note/paper") and Wirtschaft, which usually means "economy" but in this context comes from wirtschaften - taking care of chores at home. What this term defines is a mess comprised of all sorts of paper materials. If your desk is covered in to-do lists, notes, bills, letters, bank statements and any other paper materials, you're working in the midst of a Zettelwirtschaft!
A Zettelwirtschaft consists of many papers on a desk.
(© picture alliance / prisma)
The word Zettelwirtschaft is not necessarily good or bad. Some might find comfort in having all their papers around them. Others might lose their minds, unable to concentrate until their desk is clean. It might be difficult to find what you need in a Zettelwirtschaft, so it's not a bad idea to start organizing those papers a little bit.
By Nicole Glass, Editor of The Week in Germany