Do your parents, coworkers, dorm mates, or house mates complain about your messy work space? It’s strange at times, but the prevailing school of thought calls for order and organization in order to achieve success. Modern psychology is beginning to paint a different picture.
What does your desk look like right now? Maybe a little garbage, a little bit of homework, empty cups, half finished projects, maybe a magazine and an empty tea cup. So it’s a mess to say the very least. Or at least it looks that way to strangers looking at it. But often times, a person’s mess is methodical.
University of Miennesota Psychologist Kathleen Vohs took it upon herself to debunk the idea that organization was equivalent to success. She used a paradigm consisting of a messy room and a tidy room and a series of trials. Her conclusion? That messy rooms promoted creative thinking. But what exactly is creative thinking and how will a messy room help?
For starters, creative thinking is any kind of thinking outside of the lines of conventional reasoning. It’s a loosely defined term to say the very least.
“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?” -Albert Einstein
Einstein, clearly a creative man, had no problem with a cluttered desk. He wasn’t alone either. Mark Twain attributed his imaginative characteristics to his cluttered work space. Steve Jobs, the massively successful inventor of numerous Apple products also had a messy desk. According to Vohs, it likely contributed to all of their geniuses.
But what does all that mean for you? Should you just trash your desk and house and call it good? Probably not. Messiness isn’t necessarily disorder. Simply let your things end up where they do. Oh, and hope your housemates, dorm mates, coworkers and parents don’t mind.