Chaos makes you more productive and creative: the end of order?


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Order is generally considered desirable, especially when it comes to productivity. But what if order does not make you so productive? A plea for the chaos.

Chaos makes you more productive and creative: the end of order? Chaos makes you more productive and creative: the end of order?


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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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More order, more productivity?

We give up Best of HR – Berufebilder.de® for years tips for productivity, organization and order. Structure in the daily work helps to cope better not only the daily chaos on the desk, but perhaps also in our work and our lives.

It is not for nothing that clean-up and muck coaches are booming. In some Company The trend even goes to the desk, which is free of all personal things, so that different employees can share a desk.

Clean up as part of personality development?

For the psychologist Roland Kopp-Wichmann is tidying and mucking even Part of the personality development, He recommends using cleanup to set your own priorities and find out what is really important - and what you should get rid of. So he writes:

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“It is important to find out what condition you want to achieve with the cleanup. A clear atmosphere in your apartment? More time for the essentials? More clarity and clarity in your life? Relaxation and rest? ”

And if chaos were more productive?

Basically, Kopp-Wichmann's conviction is certainly not wrong: I feel throw away meanwhile also liberating than accumulate; Order as pleasant and calming. And yet you should not exaggerate it with his orderly love.

Because maybe the chaotic, untidy workplace is far more productive than the tidy desk? At least that's what the authors Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman claim in their book “The Perfect Chaos: Why Messy People Are Happier and More Efficient”.

Those who keep order are looking for longer

Abrahamson is Professor for Management at Columbia University's School of Business, Freedman is a business and science journalist. In their book, for example, they clean up the myth of the productive order.

According to order-seeking cleaners on average even 36 percent longer for their slips than chaotic. An experience that I can only confirm from my everyday life.

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Chaos as a source of inspiration: When order kills creativity

In addition, systematizing systematization of their organization system takes a lot of time. For who does not know that: One knows, for example, where in their own chaos which things are. But when you have cleaned up, suddenly you will not find anything again.

But that's not all: some psychologists even think that order is dangerous. For the Architectural psychologist Rotraud Walden For example, too much order and a small, impersonal desk are even poison for creativity.

The boundaries between genius and madness

“Only fools clean up, a genius rules chaos,” they say. This could be the thesis Research findings by psychologist Shelley H. Carson from Harvard University.

She examined the relationship between orderliness and creativity by comparing the brain function of various subjects and found that creatives are more distracted than less creative, because they have the filtering functions in the brain less pronounced. From this wealth of information many new ideas emerge.

Conclusion: chaos - but with measure and goal

Nevertheless - and the research results have also shown - the danger of sinking unproductively in chaos is, of course, much greater.

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"Genius and madness are close together" is also sometimes said. In plain language, this means: chaos is good, but too much of it is poison. Everyone has to draw the line themselves.


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