Creative Genius at Work?

This weekend, I had a go at tidying my desk. My desk is always a total mess. However, apparently, that’s not such a bad thing. Albert Einstein asked the question “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” To find out whether the messiness trait’s relation to creativity is simply an “urban legend” or not, Kathleen Vohs (a researcher at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management) and her colleagues conducted a series of experiments in both tidy and unruly spaces with 188 adults given tasks to choose from. Vohs describes her findings in the New York Times, concluding that messiness and creativity are at least very strongly correlated, and that “while cleaning up certainly has its benefits, clean spaces might be too conventional to let inspiration flow.” Here is my desk prior to the weekend cleaning efforts…. and you cannot actually see my floor-based, randomized filing system in this shot….or the coffee stains. I rest my case. (Well, it makes me feel better).

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