Myth: intelligent people are well-organized, tidy, and decluttered. Fact: intelligent people are never organized, messy, and cluttered. Believe it or not, that’s the life of a true genius. Doubt our word? The photograph below was taken on the day he passed away in Princeton, New Jersey in 1955. Turns out, there’s a link between being messy and intelligence.
Who’s office desk was that? Yours, of course. Spoiler, you’re not Albert Einstein, are you? One would easily imagine that a thinker with such intellectual prowess would have a well-organized office to match up with his achievements. Spoiler again: Mr. Relativity was too intelligent than you are, and equally cluttered than you are, too. The catch: your messy desk might be an awesome sign of superintelligence.
Related media: Intelligent People Tend To Be Messy
Clutter Vs Intelligence
How on Earth in the brilliant name of intelligence do intelligent people live cluttered lives but are more smarter and creative than the average person? Short answer: life is unfair. Einstein’s desk was about cluttered as it gets, the kind of mess you’d expect from any busy artist. And Einstein isn’t the only big brain thinking ape to have excelled with a cluttered lifestyle. Mark Twain, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg are a few examples of creatives who kept cluttered desks.
Now, here’s the question you’re waiting to ask: does being messy actually make you creative? Or, does it depend on your personality? Here’s what science has to say.
Organization Against Creativity
In a … study published in the journal of Psychological Science led by Kathleen Vohs at the University of Minnesota, she and her team found that the messier you are the smarter you are. In a series of experiments, participants were seated at either a tidy desk or a cluttered one, then were later asked to answer surveys and make decisions.
Those who worked in a cluttered environment brainstormed more creative ideas than those who worked in a tidy environment. By contrast, those who worked at a tidy desk behaved more conventionally and did as was expected of them. Counterintuitively, participants who worked at a tidy desk also chose more neatly made snacks more frequently than their cluttered counterparts. Being creative isn’t inspired by how you organize your work together.
Ask yourself, do I work best when everything is perfectly organized? Or do I work best whenever I feel like it? You know exactly what works best for you. Work with that vibe.
Feel Like Tidying Up? Mess Up!
Creativity is one of the most valued and must-have skills for every startup entrepreneur. Here are a few tips on how to tap into your inner genius.
Focus on passion: Of course, passion drives success. Focus more on what inspires you to work, that’s your muse. Instead of doing whatever needs to be done, do whatever you feel you want to do. That’s being creative.
Stay informed: Learn. Period! You don’t know what you don’t know yet until you learn it. This could be a new skill, technology, or an update. Learning about new things every day keeps your creative skills flowing.
Consider non-verbal brainstorming: To-do lists feel like chores, and often make you feel stressed. Instead of organizing your thoughts with words, try stress-relieving methods such as doodling or sketching. This is even creative.
Finally, your working environment doesn’t have to be perfect. Work when and as you feel free to focus your mind. This lets you ignore daunting obstacles and feel at ease as you brainstorm ideas. Who knows where your next idea might come from? On a messed-up bed.
Let us know if you work cluttered or tidy.
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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Mon, Mar 28, 2022.