Why People Who Are Scatterbrained Are Actually More Intelligent

You’ve always been a little, well, unorganized, even if you’re not quite ready to declare yourself a complete disaster — at least not yet. Furthermore, your entire mental disarray is the cause of your life’s appearance of chaos.

There are so many unorganized bits of paper on your desk. You have trouble remembering where you put some things, particularly credit cards and chapstick tubes. Even when you clean your room, it generally only manages to stay that way for one or two days at most.
You’ve been advised to improve this aspect of your life all your life. Instead, they emphasize that cleanliness is a necessary for success and assert that sloppiness leads to inaccuracy.

But you’ve never really been concerned by this. You’ve always been able to function just well despite your disorganized and unfocused habits.

Even though it may seem difficult to an outsider, you appear to know where everything is, despite the fact that your room may be messy and you may be mentally and physically disorganized.

Even while you might occasionally lose stuff, it never has a negative impact on your life as a whole. Your mind is everywhere, but you’re not unaware of it; it simply sort of works for you.

Eric Barker for Time Magazine claims that your tendency to be disorganized may truly indicate how intelligent you are.

Barker advances a view that messes are signs of intelligence, using Steven Johnson’s book “Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History Of Innovation.”

The theory’s premise is that more dense, crowded ideas will potentially result in more breakthroughs.

Barker contrasts the levels of innovation in large cities and rural towns to show this. According to him, a city that was 17 times more innovative than its neighbor was one that was 10 times larger. A city that was 130 times more inventive than a town was 50 times larger.

The reason for this, in Barker’s opinion, is that the more “ideas bouncing about” there are in the populous cities and metropolises, the more creativity there is in general.

Therefore, just as a congested city or metropolis will produce more original ideas than a town with fewer people, so too will a crowded, disorganized mind.

Johnson also claims that having numerous activities, as many disorganized people do, maintains your brain functioning at its best.

He illustrates how juggling several projects at once can inspire fresh, abstract ways of thinking and reasoning.

Serial tasking, also known as multitasking, forces you to switch between mental processes rather than focusing on just one, and it motivates your brain to “approach intellectual roadblocks from new angles or to borrow tools from one discipline to solve problems in another.”

If you enjoy painting and playing the piano, for instance, you may play some music as you paint and let the song influence your artistic approach. On the other hand, what you select to paint that day can give you the idea for a new piano piece.

You want your ideas to be confused with one another at the end of the day. Despite what it may seem like, you want your ideas to “fight,” as Barker puts it.

Barker makes reference to the writings of Jonah Lehrer on his personal blog. Lehrer contends in his book “Imagine: How Creativity Works” that this alleged idea-debating process is what promotes productivity.

The author claims that “debate and criticism do not inhibit ideas but, rather, stimulate them relative to every other condition.” This finding can be controversial when it comes to disorganized persons.

Lehrer seems to believe that such mess could inspire a person creatively, despite the fact that it is simple to argue that someone’s cluttered desk or room floor may make it difficult for that person to think properly.

It seems as though chaotic, disorganized individuals are taught to flourish in disorder.

In the end, your own disarray will teach you to approach problems differently, possibly in a way that equips you to deal with life’s inherent chaos.

The most successful people are those who have the ability to respond to challenges while simultaneously maintaining attention on their goals.

Even while the difficulties that most disorganized people may encounter often take the shape of physical challenges, such as when they unintentionally tip over a stack of books on their desk, the capacity to achieve in the face of chaos is always beneficial.

And even though you may only be able to keep your room tidy for a few hours at a time, this practice just might be the secret to your success.


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