£16.00
  • RRP: £20.00
  • You Save: £4.00 (20%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Messy: How to Be Creative... has been added to your Basket

Dispatch to:
To see addresses, please
Or
Please enter a valid UK postcode.
Or
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Messy: How to Be Creative and Resilient in a Tidy-Minded World Hardcover – 27 Oct 2016

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£16.00
£8.22 £11.85
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£16.00 FREE Delivery in the UK. In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently bought together

  • Messy: How to Be Creative and Resilient in a Tidy-Minded World
  • +
  • Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World
Total price: £28.61
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (27 Oct. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408706768
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408706763
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.1 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Product description

Review

Ranging expertly across business, politics and the arts, Tim Harford makes a compelling case for the creative benefits of disorganization, improvisation and confusion. His liberating message: you'll be more successful if you stop struggling so hard to plan or control your success. Messy is a deeply researched, endlessly eye-opening adventure in the life-changing magic of not tidying up (Oliver Burkeman)

[Harford's] best and deepest book (Tyler Cowen)

Messy masterfully weaves together anecdote and academic work (The Economist)

Harford urges us to recapture our autonomy . . . fascinating . . . Harford's argument goes beyond aesthetics, resurfacing over and over in his engrossing narrative (Maria Konnikova, author of The Confidence Game New York Times)

A profoundly stimulating canter through why we should all allow a little mess - but not chaos - in our lives, on our desks, and in our minds. A powerful expansion of Harford's previous excellent work, from a fascinating and contrasting viewpoint (David Halpern)

It's a very very good book, full of wise counterintuitions and clever insights (Brian Eno)

A charismatic book . . . Few writers are better qualified to champion disorder and particularity . . . Harford is an elegant and dizzyingly catholic thinker . . . entertaining and insightful (The Times)

Tim Harford's brilliant new book (Viv Groskop The Pool)

Messy is a book filled with instructive stories in the manner of Malcolm Gladwell (New Statesman)

Messy is an intelligent self-help book designed to cultivate greater tolerance for spontaneity, uncertainty, dissonance and diversity. Harford's evidence-based account transcends the cliches endemic to the genre - or refashions them anew (Times Literary Supplement)

Book Description

The new book from the author of The Undercover Economist shows us how we can lead messier lives - and why we should.

See all Product description

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A fascinating collection of stories and studies about the benefits of being messy and fighting the urge for tidiness and order. As a creative person, I especially enjoyed reading about how messiness contributes to creativity and how tidiness can, up to a point, benefit too, but at a certain stage results in stale thinking.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is another interesting read from Tim Hartford. Typically for a book by an economist it shows how much of what you know is wrong.
It is written in an accessible way so you don't need to be an economist to enjoy it.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book.
Easy and fun to read.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Re-heated food sometimes tastes better than freshly cooked food: the flavours can have more depth to them. That’s how I feel about this book. Its anecdotal style is reminiscent of Tom Peter’s “Liberation Management: Necessary disorganisation for the nanosecond nineties” and its message isn’t too different. Harford has added extra depth whilst still covering subjects of interest to all managers such as Collaboration, Incentives and Automation. The stories come thick and fast in what I found was an exhausting read. The repetitive nature of his message about mess and disorganisation became wearying.
And lurking behind the book is the nagging subject of tidiness which the author doesn’t properly deal with. Mostly Harford is over anxious to prove his point by selective anecdotes, making only occasional grudging acceptance of the value of tidiness. He skilfully avoids the “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying” by Marie Kondo - perhaps intimidated by its huge sales figures - until a section at the end. Even there he misses the point that by using the simple heuristic of asking the question “Does it spark joy?” the effort of tidying and filing produces a result that is not overwhelming; rather it is a spur to further action. It is a major weakness of Harford’s book not to place tidiness and messiness together. They are both key strategies in life. The most shocking image I’ve seen on the internet in recent years is the picture of Mark Zuckerberg’s wardrobe: only grey t-shirts nicely arranged on hangers. This very tidy solution to simplify getting dressed in the morning is presumably important for someone who is very busy. Tidy strategies are effective even for someone who has followed a disruptive business strategy.
Read more ›
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantastic. Like an English Malcolm Gladwell book, it's an extremely well-done synthesis of papers that normal folks don't get around to reading. Some of it you know, some you don't. I bought it because of the title, hoping to find vindication, but found it's message was much wider. Essentially, "life is more complicated than we think". It challenges you to think differently about a number of things. Tidy offices, parenting, the creative process, for a start. I finished it and immediately sent copies to all my family, and recommended it to everyone I know. This is not normal behaviour for me, but I loved this book.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This is a a great book. It is well researched, informative and great fun to read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
From time to time I get a yen to live in an orderly world. Suddenly aghast at the junkheap of notes, papers, post-its and books that my desk has become, I tidy it up, binning some things and carefully sorting other items into files. Then I survey the neatly arranged pens and single new notepad with satisfaction, only to discover that I can no longer find the things that were previously there at my fingertips.

The problem is not that our minds are messy, but that we don't accept that messy thinking can often be a good thing. So we try to impose order on our working environment and in doing so risk stifling the creativity that can come from serendipitous connections. In Messy, Tim Harford shows how disorder takes many forms and can be stimulating and productive, whether in life, the workplace, the battlefield, or the mind. Every book of Mr Harford's is filled with insight, humour, erudition, intellectual delight, and refreshingly laser-focus logic, and this is no exception.
Comment 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
In this engagingly written book, Tim Harford does battle with the ideas that organisation and tidiness are universally desirable qualities. Chapters take us through. Starting with creativity, Harford tells us the story of how Keith Jarrett came to record The Koln Concert (poor piano required adjustments in what he played) and the circumstances surround Kind of Blue, and the structured chance elements Brian Eno habitually works with. Then there's workplaces (including jury room) where diverse teams do better, even if they are less cosy to be part of. And the need to bring strings in to promote new thinking as well as critical thinking. And the fate of mathematics in Nazi Germany where outstanding professors lost their jobs and migrated overseas. There's the 'sow the wind and reap the whirlwhind" tactics of Rommell and Donald Trump. There are the by-products of governments' public service delivery targets. There are the problems of living with automated systems, such as driverless cars or driverless airplanes and the disadvantages of monocultures in forestry and urban planning. A final chapter on 'life' takes in personal filing systems and dating programmes (the answer in both cases: keep it simple - though I'm not sure they are really linked!).

This books is entertaining and consistently thought-provoking. I've learned much from it - part of it being a rationale for my personal filing system. However, I think I'd have valued a bit more of 'on the one hand, on the other hand'. So while Harford is persuasive on the behavioural consequences of the target for GPs to offer appointments within 48 hours, on the other hand the target for hospitals to see and deal with patients in A and E departments transformed the service they offered.
Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse