According to a University of Minnesota study, a neat and tidy desk is more likely to make workers do what’s expected of them—in this case, donating some money to charity when given the option, and opting to snack on a healthy apple instead of a junky candy bar. You can see this theory in practice among staid, sterile environments like your doctor’s waiting room, or any given Apple Store (a clean, symmetrical environment that psychologically insists you don’t, ironically, “think different”). But a messy desk, the research suggests, is far from useless clutter. When asked to brainstorm new uses for an old product (ping pong balls, in the study), workers in disorderly spaces consistently generated more innovative and creative ideas than their organized counterparts. Simply put: creativity loves chaos. And creativity is a hallmark of most geniuses, according to Arif Dalvi, MD, MBA, of the Palm Beach Neuroscience Institute. Having a messy desk is one of the signs you’re smarter than you think. Read more here.
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