No need to be a neat freak

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Here’s a story that should warm the hearts of the chronically disorganized: a new book by Eric Abrahamson and David Freedman argues that argues neatness is overrated. The goal of total organization is futile, say the authors, and pursuing it costs money, wastes time, and quashes creativity. Those of us who haven’t seen the surface of our desks in several years are probably tempted to agree. After all, we know roughly where everything is.

Of course, Barry Izsak, the head of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), feels differently about it. For the average person, disorganization and chaos simply doesn’t feel good, he told Reuters. But even an organizer will admit that you’ve got to tailor your time management approach to your own work style and personality (there are no cookie cutter’ solutions, says the NAPO website).

It’s surely too convenient for the messy to conclude that there’s no room for improvement although plenty of brilliant people live in cluttered homes, a disorganized desk is hardly definitive proof of intelligence or creativity. All the same, Abrahamson and Freedman make an important point about being neat: there’s no need to freak out about it.

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