A Perfect Mess

Have you ever had one of those moments when you realize something that’s been staring you in the face but haven’t realized till that moment and you want to smack yourself and say, How come I didn’t notice that? That’s kind of how I felt after I started reading A Perfect Mess by Abrahamson Eric & David Freedman.

Consider this: Conventional wisdom tells us that organized is good, order is good, we must put things in their proper places, clutter is bad, etc. But, have you ever stopped to wonder why we tend to, in varying degrees, be messy with our homes and our offices or workspaces. Yes, it’s easy to be messy but is there something more to it?

That’s the subject that the authors of A Perfect Mess explore. And it’s stuff worth thinking about: how much time do you spend organizing files (real or virtual), keeping things a certain way, etc. If you like to organize stuff and keep things “clean”, you’ll be surprised at how much time and energy — physical and mental — you may be throwing at the mess problem. (The authors take a dig at David Allen (GTD) and Steven Covey (Seven Habits) for their productivity principles which lean towards the organizing side.)

It’s not like the authors are telling you to be untidy and throw things around but that there can be some good to having things, for lack of a better word, messy. And, if you think about it, we’ve been told to be neat, clean, tidy, organized, but never to be messy. The core idea of the book is that there’s a certain level of mess that we can tolerate in our lives and it won’t hold us back – in fact sometimes it can be helpful.

If you’re one of those people who like to read about productivity or about personal organization or clutter or has OCD, this is a book that you must not miss. You will look at mess in a different light and it won’t be negative.

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3 thoughts on “A Perfect Mess

  1. Thanks for the review. I would most certainly love to read the book especially since I am inherently a person who is fairly comfortable with ‘mess’. I totally agree that lowering our standards of ‘neatness’ frees up a lot of time and energy for other fun things in life :)

  2. Just want to tell you I appreciate your blog and read it a couple of times a week. So even if I never post a comment, I want you to be aware that I am reading your blog and enjoy it.

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