How To Create Order Out Of Chaos

May 24, 2016

Desk 1

I have what I call “Messy desk Syndrome.” It occurs when I’m in my creative mode. My creativity allows me to block out disorder for a time. This is possible when I am so focused on a writing project that I have tunnel vision. The books stacked upon my desk, and scattered pens, pencils, and paper do not disturb me. My mind is busy, generating new ideas.

Does chaos in the midst of creativity bother you?


Isaac Newton once said, “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”


Once the final draft of my project is complete, you might ask “Is it finished?”

No. It’s the same as mixing ingredients for a cake. The cake is not done until it’s baked, cooled then finally iced and decorated. So it is in writing. The editing process begins, and I have to clean up my writing project. But why is it that suddenly I am bothered by the chaos around me?

My theory is this. Editing is a cleanup process that takes place before a writing project is complete. This would apply to other creative activities such as baking, cooking, art work and more. If I clean up before editing will it help make the revision easier?

The right hemisphere of the brain is where creativity comes from. The sense of order comes from the frontal lobe.  A study done by Vohs, Redden, and Rhinel from The University of Minnesota said, “The human mind likes order, rules, and tradition. Yet, disorder, unruliness, and unconventionality also hold appeal.”


According to Genesis in the Bible, God’s method of creating the world was systematic. I love to read this account of creation. It reminds me that we do need order.



 Genesis 1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

In my quest to cure Messy Desk syndrome, I took an entire weekend and cleaned up the clutter. I can now appreciate my spacious desk. I can find my pencils and pens. My reference books sit neatly in the hutch and my papers are organized in file folders. I breathe a happy sigh when I begin a new blog post. I’ve come up with a new slogan “Mess Is Stress.”

Are you stressed by mess during times of creativity? What are your solutions?

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