The Messy Formula to be Creative

I start 2017 with this TedTalks video that I often share with my writing students. I try to convince them that constraint isn’t always detrimental to creativity. Rather, right type of constraints can inspire a person and propel him/her to find a creative solution. The speaker of this TedTalk, Tim Harford, shares several examples where constraints (“mess” as per him) led to creative solutions despite reservations from the persons struggling with constraints. If you’re a teacher struggling to convince your students of the ambitious writing projects, share this video.

To take the notion of “mess” further (from abstract to a concrete level), Harford in this article talks about how a messy desk is not necessarily a sign of sloppiness and inefficiency. Being superorganised and an obsessive planner can suck up too much time and, in fact, can heighten stress. Pay attention to the “filer” and “piler” categories that this article talks about. It’s not always the case that organized people are more productive or that they stay on top of their workload. Being messy and disorganized have their own advantages.