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Untidy workers rejoice. Tidiness can stifle creativity and flexibility.

Are you the type of person with piles of papers and files strewn across your desk? Or someone with a perfectly organised workspace – your desktop free of anything other than the one item you are currently working on, files stowed away and email messages organised into an intricate series of folders and subfolders?

According to well-known economist Tim Harford, an untidy life may be the true path to success. He turns the virtues of tidiness and order upside down in his well-researched book, Messy: How to be Creative and Resilient in a Tidy-Minded World.

Harford looked into the traits and habits that are linked to creativity, flexibility and responsiveness – key requirements in our new economy. What he found was that randomness, messiness and even chaos all lead to positive outcomes.

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