Ever since childhood, people have drilled in our heads that we need to be organized, have everything put neatly into place. This trait is considered, after all, one of the main keys towards success. Being messy, on the other hand, has always been discouraged. How many times have our parents nagged us about having messy rooms or cluttered desks? The University of Minnesota researchers, however, tell us that sometimes our parents are wrong. Their studies show that creative people actually thrive in cluttered environments.
The study made by the University of Minnesota showed that a messy environment actually makes creative people flourish. The mess around them forced them to think out of the box and come up with new, unconventional ideas. Psychological scientist Kathleen Vohs proved this fact by taking a messy room and a tidy one, then coming up with scientific proof that the cluttered one encouraged creativity.
We can also look at history and see proof of this idea. Albert Einstein himself once asked: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?” He is well know for having had a desk where clutter was quite at home. The famous author, Mark Twain, created his literary masterpieces on a desk that might have been even more cluttered than Einstein’s. A more recent example is also Steve Jobs who had both a messy desk and a messy workplace.
However, all this does not mean that trashing your workplace or room will improve creativity. If you are a neat person from the start, then this will only add a sense of frustration. Also, if you are messy by nature, but try to curb this trait by forcing yourself to be neat, you might also be curbing your creative tendencies.
Each person is different and whereas some studies such as the one by Kathleen Vohs show that clutter enhances creativity, others show that an organized space improves life conditions. The best way is to find the perfect balance for yourself. However, it is doubtless that environment affects our choice. The choice we make, though, is up to us.
Do you think messy people are more creative or are you of the opinion that they best way to be is organized?
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