Being Messy Can Contribute to Success


Tim Harford, the author of ‘Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives’ explains how being messy can help bring success.

While a lot of people expect organization in their work environment, a little disorder can actually help make employees better at their job, explained author and Financial Times columnist Tim Harford during an interview with Knowledge@Wharton.

In his new book Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives, Harford takes on the old assumptions and presents a case for bringing some messiness into our lives.

Talking to Knowledge@Wharton host, Harford explained that in today’s busy environment being tidy comes with a cost of time that can be used in much better ways.

“It costs time and energy to get things straight,” he explained. He went on to add that we have a tendency to underrate how much good being a little messy could be doing us.

“It can be spurring creativity,” he noted.

Harford also emphasized that there can also be a big distinction between theory and practice.

“There is always a gap between how things look very nice and neat and tidy on the spreadsheet, on the PowerPoint presentation, but they’re going to seem very different when you get to ground level,” he said. “What may look messy in theory may actually work very well in practice.”

Listen to the entire interview at Knowledge@Wharton by clicking here.


Top photo credit: asgw Police desk via photopin (license)

Join Our Community

Never miss a Delaware County story!

"*" indicates required fields

DT Yes
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.