Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives Hardcover – 4 October 2016

4.4 out of 5 stars 172 ratings

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Hardcover, 4 October 2016

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"Harford's argument goes beyond aesthetics, resurfacing over and over in his engrossing narrative." --The New York Times Book Review

"Utterly fascinating. Tim Harford shows that if you want to be creative and resilient, you need a little more disorder in your world. It's a masterful case for the life-changing magic of cluttering up." --Adam Grant, New York Times-bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take

"[Messy] goes beyond the well-worn discussion over messy desks as a sign of creativity. . . Rather, he tackles the notion more conceptually, examining why rigid targets can wreak havoc, how unpredictable leaders get ahead, and when flexibility and improvisation matter more." --The Washington Post

"Masterful." --The Economist

"Messy is neither a broadside at Marie Kondo and her cult of minimalism nor a case for the hidden virtues of hoarding. Harford, an acclaimed economics journalist, isn't so much extolling squalor as questioning the notion that order is inherently preferable for creative endeavors." --Time

"[Messy] plays to Harford's prodigious strengths: the ability to tell engrossing human stories, and the ability to use those stories to convey complex, statistical ideas that make your life better." --Boing Boing

"It's a very, very good book, full of wise counter-intuitions and clever insights." --Brian Eno, musician and record producer

"A book that presents itself as an impossibly simple account of the virtues of a messy workspace, then builds to something extraordinary." --The Age

"This absorbing book offers a different approach from instructional decluttering manuals by celebrating the successes derived from the unplanned, unscripted, and unknown." --Library Journal

"Weaving together lessons from history, art, technology, and social and scientific research, Harford's theories have many potential benefits for individuals and businesses seeking to remain on the creative cutting edge, as well as profound implications for society." --Publishers Weekly

"Harford presents the strategies of disorganization as unique and enlightening and convincingly offers reinforced encouragement to those who may find themselves 'tempted by tidiness' to instead 'embrace some mess instead.'" --Kirkus

"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." --Oliver Burkeman, author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking

"Tim's best and deepest book." --Tyler Cowen, New York Times-bestselling author of Average Is Over

Praise for Tim Harford

"Every Tim Harford book is a cause for celebration." --Malcolm Gladwell

"One of the best writers who also happens to be an economist." --Stephen Dubner

About the Author

Tim Harford is an award-winning journalist, economist and broadcaster. He's the author of the bestselling The Undercover Economist, The Undercover Economist Strikes Back, Adapt, and The Logic of Life. Harford is currently a senior columnist at the Financial Times and host of the BBC Radio 4 program More or Less. He has been named Economics Commentator of the Year (2014), won the Rybczynski Prize (2014-15) for the best business-relevant economics writing, and won the Bastiat Prize for economic journalism (2006). He's a visiting fellow of Nuffield College at Oxford University and lives in Oxford with his family.
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Product details

  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1594634793
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1594634796
  • Customer reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 172 ratings

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Devere Wolfe
4.0 out of 5 stars Athoughtful read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 April 2019
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3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly overspun.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 September 2018
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Dr Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars Untidy desk - tidy mind.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 September 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fun well written book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 November 2019
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T. Newton
5.0 out of 5 stars One to reread many times
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 February 2017
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