Advertising
Advertising

Messy People Have More Creative And Productive Minds, Science Says

Messy People Have More Creative And Productive Minds, Science Says

Many of us follow the ideology that seemingly chaotic or unorganized individuals do not perform well. Thus, we are encouraged to keep our workplace or desk organized, with an expectation of delivering better results. However, we shouldn’t be so quick to judge an unmanaged desk or workplace when it comes to creativity or productivity.

In fact, there are various studies and claims that those with messier desks can often be more productive, more creative, and more inspired than others. In this article, we will cover a number of points that support this controversial concept.

They Have Mastered The Art Of Prioritization

Messy people may appear careless or unorganized but they are often masters in the art of prioritization. They often place the most important things first while lesser aspects are temporarily left behind.

While it may appear beneficial to keep everything perfectly organized, for messy people it’s merely a hindrance when dealing with the task at hand.

Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman, authors of A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder, summarize this notion perfectly:

Advertising

“Mess isn’t necessarily the absence of order. A messy desk can be a highly effective prioritizing and accessing system.

On a messy desk, the more important, urgent work tends to stay close by and near the top of the clutter, while the safely ignorable stuff tends to get buried to the bottom or near the back, which makes perfect sense.”

They Can Find Inspiration In The “Chaos”

0*48hUSe4O4cVWNCkP

    Mark Twain was great creative mind known for his messy but highly productive workspaces. His desk was always piled with books, papers, and a seeming lack of organization. For him and many others, a cluttered desk can become a source of divine inspiration.

    A study conducted by a Kathleen Vohs from the University of Minnesota at Carlson School of Management suggests that a cluttered environment helps in increasing creativity. She said:

    Advertising

    “The creative people feel free from the limitations in messy and disorderly environments. It helps them to break the traditions and produce new insights. On the opposite side, orderly environments which resemble safe and conventional zones encourage more routine and safe work practices.”

    They Are Often Braver And Faster Decision Makers

    Zuckerbergjp-jumbo-v2

      Mark Zuckerberg is a particularly big dreamer and a fast mover, also known for his slightly chaotic and less-than-conventional workspaces.

      Haltiwanger clears another misconception about messier individuals. He reports they are faster decision makers and can better deal with stressful situations. When they are facing tense situations, they are more likely to step up rather than go for the backdoor strategy.

      This is due to the fact they are less concerned with micro details as they focus on the larger picture before making informed decisions. They have even been shown to be more adventurous and fast moving than organized people.

      Advertising

      They Have Proved To Be Highly Innovative Thinkers

      einstein_desk

        “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” — Albert Einstein

        Did you know that the famous scientific genius Albert Einstein was actually quite messy a messy person? His desk was always full of seemingly disorganized papers, articles, and scrawls, yet no one could dare challenge him in the field of science. While he managed things in his own seemingly messy way, he was always able to find everything he needed.

        0*OsK4HRGASMmhlx8w

          Steve Jobs would most certainly be considered a creative genius, revolutionizing the mobile technology industry from a messy desk!

          Advertising

          They Devote Time And Energy More Carefully

          art-1478831_1280

            Messy people naturally save precious time and mental energy by ignoring clutter-related issues. These people understand the cost of opportunity and don’t get caught up in routine distractions that can absorb clean freaks. Sometimes, workspace tidying can even become a form of procrastination!

            For those fully focused on achieving goals or striving to reach a target, keeping a workspace tidy is often the last thing on the priority list. Like many famous painters, Francis Bacon‘s workplace may have resembled a chaotic messy, but he was merely channeling all his creative energy into making great paintings.

            More by this author

            How to Make Learning Fun for Adults 3 Home Exercises To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders In One Month When You Drink Water On An Empty Stomach After Waking Up, These 8 Amazing Things Will Happen 20 Rules to Live by for Those Who Want to Lose 10 Pounds in 3 Weeks 7 Reasons You Should Thank The Second Language You Learned

            Trending in Productivity

            1 What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time 2 5 Key Traits of a Charismatic Leadership 3 How Do I Change for the Better? 11 Little Things to Start Doing 4 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2020 5 How to Make a Positive Change for a Fulfilling Life

            Read Next

            Advertising
            Advertising
            Advertising

            Last Updated on March 30, 2020

            What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

            What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

            If you’ve got a big block of free time, the best way to put that to use is to relax, have fun, decompress from a stressful day, or spend time with a loved one. But if you’ve just got a little chunk — say 5 or 10 minutes — there’s no time to do any of the fun stuff.

            So, what to do in free time?

            Put those little chunks of time to their most productive use.

            Everyone works differently, so the best use of your free time really depends on you, your working style, and what’s on your to-do list. But it’s handy to have a list like this in order to quickly find a way to put that little spare time to work instantly, without any thought. Use the following list as a way to spark ideas for what you can do in a short amount of time.

            1. Reading Files

            Clip magazine articles or print out good articles or reports for reading later, and keep them in a folder marked “Reading File”. Take this wherever you go, and any time you have a little chunk of time, you can knock off items in your Reading File.

            Keep a reading file on your computer (or in your bookmarks), for quick reading while at your desk (or on the road if you’ve got a laptop).

            2. Clear out Inbox

            Got a meeting in 5 minutes? Use it to get your physical or email inbox to empty.

            If you’ve got a lot in your inbox, you’ll have to work quickly, and you may not get everything done; but reducing your pile can be a big help. And having an empty inbox is a wonderful feeling.

            Advertising

            3. Phone Calls

            Keep a list of phone calls you need to make, with phone numbers, and carry it everywhere.

            Whether you’re at your desk or on the road, you can knock a few calls off your list in a short amount of time.

            4. Make Money

            This is my favorite productive use of free time. I have a list of articles I need to write, and when I get some spare minutes, I’ll knock off half an article real quick.

            If you get 5 to 10 chunks of free time a day, you can make a decent side income. Figure out how you can freelance your skills, and have work lined up that you can knock out quickly — break it up into little chunks, so those chunks can be done in short bursts.

            5. File

            No one likes to do this. If you’re on top of your game, you’re filing stuff immediately, so it doesn’t pile up.

            But if you’ve just come off a really busy spurt, you may have a bunch of documents or files laying around.

            Or maybe you have a big stack of stuff to file. Cut into that stack with every little bit of spare time you get, and soon you’ll be in filing Nirvana.

            6. Network

            Only have 2 minutes? Shoot off a quick email to a colleague. Even just a “touching bases” or follow-up email can do wonders for your working relationship. Or shoot off a quick question, and put it on your follow-up list for later.

            Advertising

            7. Clear out Feeds

            If my email inbox is empty, and I have some spare time, I like to go to my Google Reader and clear out my feed inbox.

            8. Goal Time

            Take 10 minutes to think about your goals — personal and professional.

            If you don’t have a list of goals, start on one. If you’ve got a list of goals, review them.

            Write down a list of action steps you can take over the next couple of weeks to make these goals a reality. What action step can you do today? The more you focus on these goals, and review them, the more likely they will come true.

            9. Update Finances

            Many people fall behind with their finances, either in paying bills (they don’t have time), or entering transactions in their financial software, or clearing their checkbook, or reviewing their budget.

            Take a few minutes to update these things. It just takes 10 to 15 minutes every now and then.

            10. Brainstorm Ideas

            Another favorite of mine if I just have 5 minutes — I’ll break out my pocket notebook, and start a brainstorming list for a project or article. Whatever you’ve got coming up in your work or personal life, it can benefit from a brainstorm. And that doesn’t take long.

            11. Clear off Desk

            Similar to the filing tip above, but this applies to whatever junk you’ve got cluttering up your desk. Or on the floor around your desk.

            Advertising

            Trash stuff, file stuff, put it in its place. A clear desk makes for a more productive you. And it’s oddly satisfying.

            12. Exercise

            Never have time to exercise? 10 minutes is enough to get off some pushups and crunches. Do that 2 to 3 times a day, and you’ve got a fit new you.

            13. Take a Walk

            This is another form of exercise that doesn’t take long, and you can do it anywhere. Even more important, it’s a good way to stretch your legs from sitting at your desk too long.

            It also gets your creative juices flowing. If you’re ever stuck for ideas, taking a walk is a good way to get unstuck.

            14. Follow up

            Keep a follow-up list for everything you’re waiting on. Return calls, emails, memos — anything that someone owes you, put on the list.

            When you’ve got a spare 10 minutes, do some follow-up calls or emails.

            15. Meditate

            You don’t need a yoga mat to do this. Just do it at your desk. Focus on your breathing. A quick 5 to 10 minutes of meditation (or even a nap) can be tremendously refreshing.

            Take a look at this 5-Minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime

            Advertising

            16. Research

            This is a daunting task for me. So I do it in little spurts.

            If I’ve only got a few minutes, I’ll do some quick research and take some notes. Do this a few times, and I’m done!

            17. Outline

            Similar to brainstorming, but more formal. I like to do an outline of a complicated article, report or project, and it helps speed things along when I get to the actual writing. And it only takes a few minutes.

            18. Get Prepped

            Outlining is one way to prep for longer work, but there’s a lot of other ways you can prep for the next task on your list.

            You may not have time to actually start on the task right now, but when you come back from your meeting or lunch, you’ll be all prepped and ready to go.

            19. Be Early

            Got some spare time before a meeting? Show up for the meeting early.

            Sure, you might feel like a chump sitting there alone, but actually people respect those who show up early. It’s better than being late (unless you’re trying to play a power trip or something, but that’s not appreciated in many circles).

            20. Log

            If you keep a log of anything, a few spare minutes is the perfect time to update the log.

            Actually, the perfect time to update the log is right after you do the activity (exercise, eat, crank a widget), but if you didn’t have time to do it before, your 5-minute break is as good a time as any.

            More Inspirations on What To Do During Free Time

            Featured photo credit: Lauren Mancke via unsplash.com

            Read Next