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Download A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Eric Abrahamson
3.43 out of 53.43 out of 53.43 out of 53.43 out of 53.43 out of 5 3.43 (30 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Eric Abrahamson Narrator: Scott Brick Publisher: Books on Tape Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2006 ISBN:
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Ever since Einstein's study of Brownian Motion, scientists have understood that a little disorder can actually make systems more effective. Yet most people still shun disorder or suffer guilt over the mess they can't avoid.

With a spectacular array of true stories and case studies of the hidden benefits of mess, A Perfect Mess overturns the accepted wisdom that tight schedules, organization, neatness, and consistency are the keys to success. Drawing on examples from business, parenting, cooking, the war on terrorism, retail, and even the career of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abrahamson and Freedman demonstrate that moderately messy systems use resources more efficiently, yield better solutions, and are harder to break than neat ones.

Applying this idea on scales both large (government, society) and small (desktops, garages), A Perfect Mess uncovers the ways messiness can trump neatness, and will help you assess the right amount of disorder for any system.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 2/15/2014

    " If you are messy and disorganized, this book will make you feel justified in your piles and clutter. If you're organized, the cover is a soothing Real-Simple shade of blue. This book has something for everyone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 2/13/2014

    " This book was written by a Columbia professor I'll have for my Organizational Behavior class. It explores the idea that being clean can be costly because of the time you spend cleaning, filing things in the wrong place, not being inspired by other ideas from other piles of stuff, etc. It's anecdotal (and not terribly scientific in its claims) but a fun read, and recommended. (full disclaimer: I'm a messy person myself, and this book is a lovely justification of my habits....) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eileen | 2/12/2014

    " Definitely interesting and great examples. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mahala Helf | 2/12/2014

    " This book has footnotes for newspaper profiles (obvious sources for extended profiles) but no tips on how to find "a promising study" that was used to prove a dubious assertion. Overgeneralization abounds. This book reads like a series of magazine articles. I wanted to love it... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 2/11/2014

    " I listened to the audio edition of this remarkable book. When my wife checked out the book on CD from our local library I was afraid and apprehensive she was going to forgo any attempts to slow or limit entropy. She assured me she had no such motivation and encouraged me to listen to the book. A reasoned approach to acknowledging the up side of disorder and dealing with the spreading obsessiveness on 'organization' for it's own sake or appearances. The author explores entropy on several levels beyond household and work place organizing. I'll listen to it at least twice and probably find a paper copy to read as well. Wide ranging and thought provoking. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michael | 1/16/2014

    " The book has an interesting thesis, namely, that interesting things happen in messy places. Unfortunately, by attempting to inject a sense of order into seemingly arbitrary Malcolm Gladwell-esque musings, the book's vista of the realm of mess is portrayed as a less-than-interesting place. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 1/14/2014

    " This was very good, lots of little stories like Freakonomics. It referred me to a lot of other books I would like to read and further convinced me that I am probably ADD. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 bookme4life | 1/9/2014

    " The book makes some good points on things such as the connection between clutter and creativity, and the excesses of time wasted putting everything in order, but then wanders out of its depth. Neatniks won't like this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rica | 12/28/2013

    " An unusual, thought-provoking take on the clutter issue. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dayle | 12/27/2013

    " Not everything needs to be nor should be organized and authors give some excellent examples. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin Saldanha | 11/2/2013

    " I'm on the right track !!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela | 9/29/2013

    " A refreshing approach to the over-booked, over -scheduled type-A life...that is mine. This book expresses how creativity flourishes in a less ordered lifestyle. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 9/5/2013

    " A not-especially groundbreaking explanation of how organization is actually a big waste of time. I mean crazy, OCD organization. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laurie | 8/9/2013

    " I tried. I really tried. But I just couldn't get on board. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 7/9/2013

    " I liked this one so much, I wrote a whole entry inspired by it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sarah | 3/5/2013

    " wow. terribly boring. rambling and disjointed. this book is all over the place, and the links to disorder are such a stretch. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 2/11/2013

    " Makes me feel better about myself... ;-) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Flaneurette | 12/21/2012

    " A life-saver! Convincing on how mess can be good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy | 12/21/2012

    " Got clutter? That could be a good thing. As a person who's decided to minimize time spent battling the mess -- I love this book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann-marie | 12/24/2011

    " It's not literature, but it's not an talk-show, self-help book either. It's well written,intelligent fun. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Haverly | 5/4/2011

    " Another one I read years ago but loved! Super entertaining and interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susie | 10/26/2010

    " I didn't need vindication for my orderly disorder, but if you do. . . this is it. I love the Marine motto, plan early, plan twice! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dayle | 8/9/2010

    " Not everything needs to be nor should be organized and authors give some excellent examples. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eileen | 7/26/2010

    " Definitely interesting and great examples. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Coral | 7/8/2010

    " The sub title says it all. Fascinating book about order and mess and disorder in our lives, our businesses and homes. It actually made me feel better about a few elements in my own little world. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michael | 6/10/2010

    " The book has an interesting thesis, namely, that interesting things happen in messy places. Unfortunately, by attempting to inject a sense of order into seemingly arbitrary Malcolm Gladwell-esque musings, the book's vista of the realm of mess is portrayed as a less-than-interesting place. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laurie | 6/7/2010

    " I tried. I really tried. But I just couldn't get on board. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alaa | 6/2/2010

    " am not fond of self help books i find them very useless and this one proves me right. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 1/27/2010

    " An interesting assessment of how a little clutter may be good for you, while a lot of clutter may be paralyzing, and how the organization industry is actually rather rigid and not very helpful to the average person. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 1/24/2010

    " A string of interesting anecdotes, mostly on the theme that a little unstructured disorder fosters creativity and innovation. And then the book just stops, as though the authors had run out of things to say. "

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About the Author

Eric Abrahamson is professor of management at Columbia Business School. He is internationally recognized for his research on managing change and on management fads and fashions.

About the Narrator

Scott Brick, actor, narrator, and writer, attended UCLA and spent ten years in a traveling Shakespeare company. Passionate about the spoken word, he has narrated a wide variety of audiobooks, from thrillers and science fiction to classics and nonfiction. He has recorded more than eight hundred audiobooks and won over fifty AudioFile Earphones Awards and several of the prestigious Audie Awards. He was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine and the Voice of Choice for 2016 by Booklist magazine.