- 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)
Messy: How to Be Creative and Resilient in a Tidy-Minded World Hardcover – 27 Oct 2016
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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)
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
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Top Customer Reviews
It is written in an accessible way so you don't need to be an economist to enjoy it.
Easy and fun to read.
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 ›
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.
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is not only an entertaining read, but contains so many useful and inspiring ideas, you'll probably want to read it over again and again. Read morePublished 3 months ago by T. Newton
Tim is insightful as ever in this book and has an engaging style.
Highly recommend this if you enjoy his other work.
Chaos is more useful than I previously thought. Tim's book has demonstrated that being perfect often has the opposite effect. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Todd Wade
An idea that fits so much.
Tidy minds are often stuffed with tired schemas.