Why Chaos Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

By Samantha Allan

Organized people are great. They plan events well and often have a lot of focus on their day-to-day activities. Most people know that one person who is super organized. This guy or girl probably runs a tight ship full of written notes and scheduled activities. Super organized people often keep an impressive amount of notes and inner checklists that could push a Rubik’s cube to solve itself. This person probably is prepared for almost anything in a way that many of us are not.

I am one of those people who is not organized in the traditional sense of the word. I often refer to my life as a sort of controlled chaos in which every responsibility and task swirls around my existence. While it may seem like nothing will ever get done, I always manage to get through it. This type of lifestyle has been integrated in my life for so long, I’m not sure if I could be comfortable becoming something else.

Is it bad to live in a state of controlled chaos? From my perspective, I do not think it is. I often am pretty open to frequent schedule changes, altered deadlines and any other surprise that may come up. My car, backpack and room may appear as a whirlwind of objects and notes to some, but it makes perfect sense to me. I often think it pushes me to work harder and juggle all of the tasks that get thrown at me each day.

While I may have a pretty solid rationale for myself, I was curious to know if others felt the same way. In “The Benefits of Intermittent Stress and Chaos,” Justin Kompf talks about how bits of stress and chaos can push us to challenge ourselves and grow. He explains that “for someone who hasn’t expanded their mind in years, reading a single research paper or book could come across as a different language whereas mental resources might not be drained for a person who stresses their mind on a daily basis.”

This point gives an interesting perspective to a life of chaos. The rationale here is that a little chaos every day can actually prepare us for any big changes or challenges in life. Now, it’s probably not the best idea to have a bunch of chaos every day. Too much going on at once can often leave you with more stress and less productivity.

Organization is great if it works for you. Plans and structure can make life go a lot smoother than it may have otherwise. However, I think I manage chaos just fine. Sometimes it will add some extra stress, but it all seems to work out in the end. Fear not if you are on more of the chaotic side of the spectrum. I am here to say that your system can work just as well as anyone else’s.