Think Tidy or Think Unconventional


This is a sign of an active mind. Lincoln, Einstein, Freud, all geniuses who drew inspiration from chaos in their environs. Without Andrew Fleming’s reluctance to wash petrie dishes, the world wouldn’t have penicillin, would it?

Sherlock Holmes, in the television series Elementary, on the state of his apartment.

For his part, Albert Einstein is quoted as saying,

If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?

Now there’s a study to confirm this thinking: “Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights,” the researchers concluded. “Orderly environments, in contrast, encourage convention and playing it safe.”

Personally, I take comfort from these findings when I survey the state of my desk and the office in which it sits.