All our lives have told us to be organized. The organization has always been cataloged as the direct key to success and is something that has been inculcated from birth. On the other hand, being disordered would condemn us to a quick path to failure, so: what good is it to be messy? More than what you believe. Studies conducted by the University of Minnesota last year give us a new point of view on this issue.
There has always been this kind of urban legend that considers people with messy desks (to give an example) with a high affinity for creative reasoning. To be frank, I thought from the beginning that people with messy desks had to be creative to survive outside the boundaries of the organization.
A lot of papers here and there, books without accommodation, mountains of objects of dubious origin scattered without rhyme or reason all over the place make space a kind of battlefield.
Seeing that mess on the desk you would not think of that person as someone has everything under control. Many times when someone is practically incapable of putting things in their place and is also creative, look for (and find) the way to do everything -I do not know how- in form. While it may seem completely illogical to many, many times the disorder of a person is a kind of unconscious creative method.
Psychologist Kathleen Vohs of the University of Minnesota, who set out to discredit this urban legend, did not limit her study to the desk alone, but, being herself of creative mind, chose to think outside the desk.
Working with the disordered room paradigm, he worked with one in disorder and another ordered. After a series of essays, Vohs concluded that disordered rooms caused more creative thinking, and showed scientific evidence. The next question is: what exactly constitutes creative thinking and how does a space go from being a pigsty to one of help?
Creative thinking, in its purest form, is to think outside the lines of conventional reasoning. In considering this, it should not be a big shock that messy rooms containing misplaced items promote creativity.
I suppose if you prefer to put your clothes on the floor of your room when the empty closet is only a few steps away, you are certainly thinking outside the lines of conventional reasoning, and that same concept can be applied to the more abstract conception.
Obviously Einstein's desk looked as if a disgruntled bride had the mission to destroy her workplace and had executed it with great success. However, there is no doubt about Einstein's creativity.
The scientist of German origin was not alone: Mark Twain also had a messy desk, perhaps even more so than the Einstein, and Twain was one of the most imaginative minds of his generation.
If Einstein and Twain do not get the attention of Generation Y, let's mention Steve Jobs. No wonder he invented the iBook, as he had problems maintaining his affections. And his desk and his office were great disasters.
What does all this mean to you? Trastadas accumulated, garbage and dirty clothes in the bedrooms, papers everywhere in the workplace with the hope of a touch of genius? Not necessarily. The relationship between disorder and creativity is by no means causal. Being messy will not wake you up a more creative tomorrow. However, the two are related.
If you're messy by nature, maybe finding a healthy mid-point between the usual mess and the urge to clean up is optimal. Take into account that if you put a stop to your desk and your careless world you could also stop some of your creative tendencies.
On the other hand, the only way to evaluate the efficiency of your induced creative disaster is to go out and experiment for yourself. So go ahead: make important papers and files rain down; throw your clean clothes in the room; It causes an explosion. You'll see what happens next.