Finally, we have an excuse to all the paper piles, clutter and cobwebs. There is a creative mind behind all of that chaos.
It is a whole industry that helps people organize. Even television shows feature hoarders in extreme clutter. Is it possible that these chaotic people are too busy creating, jumping from one idea to another–with little time to clean between?
Let’s examine what really happens inside creative people’s minds. Is it chaotic or mastermind-like? First, Albert Einstein’s quote: A cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered brain. What do we think about an empty desk?
Amazing Ideas for Messy Rooms
Elite Daily’s article has debunked the notion that messy people are simply unorganized paths to failure. Although the article does not encourage people to create a mess, it does quote a University of Minnesota study that showed messy rooms can actually lead to more creative thinking.
Study also revealed that people are more likely to think outside the box and come up with innovative ideas in a chaotic environment. We all desire to be innovative and invent the next big thing. Maybe you should just toss some papers around and see what happens.
Well, it’s doubtful that making a mess on purpose will result in anything but frustration–especially if you are a natural neat-freak. There is an explanation for the person at your desk who makes it look like a maze. Those coworkers with messy desks may actually be your greatest career rival, and not the underdog they seem to be.
What about interior designers and architects who are creative? They need a well-organized workspace. What does this tell us about them? We don’t know, but we will tell you.
Great Genius Hides Beneath Clutter
A Beautiful Mind is a movie that you may have seen. The movie is about a man who is a genius, but has schizophrenia. He spends most of his time solving encrypted codes and writing mathematical equations on chalkboards. This is all while being surrounded by piles of books, papers, and messy piles of books. This guy is a bit chaotic, but he actually has a creative mind and can think of ideas and thoughts that few others are able to.
You may have heard the expression, “Madness is next to genius.” Contrary to this is the saying that Cleanliness is next in Godliness. Which side are you on? Is your creative side surrounded by chaos? Are you the organised one who wears a halo around your head?
These two personalities can bring out great results. The creatives may be busy creating the next big thing while the organized ones run the world. They are the ones who make sure that everything gets done. You don’t have to be convinced that creativity and chaos go hand in hand. Just Google images of the desks at Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Mark Twain. The mess speaks for itself.
The Creative Process is Messy
Creative people can be messy! Did you ever paint a picture and not make a mess? Have you ever written a thesis and not let the rest of your day go to sham (including washing dishes, laundry, etc.)
Nature is messy and creativity is messy. Ask your child for help. Give them glue, scissors and paint. It’s a beautiful, original creation that makes a big mess.
When studying creative minds, Graham Wallas’ study The Art of Thought is often cited. This study attempts to organize the creative mind and determine what makes it tick. It assigns 4 stages to the creative process, and then combines it with 3 super-factors that make up the personality. The study, while it is lengthy and meticulous, is funny because it’s messy. After all, it was created by a creative. No matter how creative we are, it seems we always get dirty.
Do We Need To Clean Up Our Acts?
Let’s ask the hard question: can we keep going in this mess or should we get clean?
There is no easy answer. Kathleen Vohs, a researcher, has shown that messiness can lead to creative and out-of-the box thinking. However, this is a major but: The study found that people in the clean rooms were more likely than others to donate to charity, eat healthy snacks (over junk food), or make more traditional choices.
Our environment has a direct impact on our decisions. It’s possible to make a change and get organized. This could help you live a healthier and more charitable life. You might be concerned that a cleanroom could kill your creativity. Instead, keep your workspace messy and tidy the rest of your home.
Maybe we should stop using the negative word “mischievous” and instead use the word “creative”. Next time you see a mess in a room, remind yourself that it is an area where creativity has been encouraged!
Are you a creative genius? Are you a creative genius?