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Publisher's Summary

From the award-winning columnist and author of the national best-seller The Undercover Economist comes a provocative big-idea book about the genuine benefits of being messy: at home, at work, in the classroom, and beyond.
Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives celebrates the benefits that messiness has in our lives: why it's important, why we resist it, and why we should embrace it instead. Using research from neuroscience, psychology, and social science as well as captivating examples of real people doing extraordinary things, Tim Harford explains that the human qualities we value - creativity, responsiveness, resilience - are integral to the disorder, confusion, and disarray that produce them.
From the music studio of Brian Eno to the Lincoln Memorial with Martin Luther King Jr., from the boardroom to the classroom, messiness lies at the core of how we innovate, how we achieve, how we reach each other - in short, how we succeed.
In Messy, you'll learn about the unexpected connections between creativity and mess; understand why unexpected changes of plans, unfamiliar people, and unforeseen events can help generate new ideas and opportunities as they make you anxious and angry; and come to appreciate that the human inclination for tidiness - in our personal and professional lives, online, even in children's play - can mask deep and debilitating fragility that keeps us from innovation.
Stimulating and listenable as it points exciting ways forward, Messy is an insightful exploration of the real advantages of mess in our lives.
©2016 Tim Harford (P)2016 Random House Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Amazon Customer on 12-13-16

I'm a neat freak with three kids...

Would you consider the audio edition of Messy to be better than the print version?

Yes, listening to the British accent of the narrator is soothing for considering the idea of thinking different to accept that sometimes Messy is just the right challenge to make us excel.

Which scene was your favorite?

Chapter 7 & 8 discussing the AirFrance flight 447 tragedy. It was an interesting and overwhelming doing a step by step of the final moments wishing you could help them.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

To consider that when I've been confronted with a mess, the best choices I've ever made were to take a deep breath and get to work.

Any additional comments?

As a mom of twin toddlers, I've had to give up my neatness, and it's not been easy to accept the 'mess' this helped me understand the positive side of that, and how I've thrived in the chaos.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Scott on 12-12-16

There is hope

Tim wrote a great book that put me at ease about messiness.
Tim references several pop culture reference making it easy to relate stories I knew to his argument.
Nick 'the nice' Guy Smith narrates perfectly making X1 speed a comfortable pace.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who has ever pooh-poohed another's messy workspace.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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