Intelligent people are messy, go to bed late, and curse

February 23, 2024

Intelligent people tend to be messier

What do messy desks, late nights, and profanity have in common? According to recent research, they are all surprisingly connected to intelligence. Specifically, studies have shown correlations between messiness and IQ, late bedtimes and IQ, and cursing and vocabulary size.

This research challenges common stereotypes about what constitutes genius-level intelligence.
That picture usually shows a focused person, a person whose creativity is beyond the average, has a photographic memory, is an eloquent communicator, never swears, is a neat person, and much more.

However, now it’s safe to say that these are stereotypes and more or less since most geniuses are actually messy.

Messy people are smarter – backed by science

When you were a child your parents constantly nagged you to clean your room. Sometimes, when they threatened to ground you, you did clean it. However, almost all of the time you left it messy.

Well, scientists discovered that this was a sign that you probably have a higher IQ than the average Joe. We are not kidding. This claim is backed by the findings of scientists from the University of Minnesota. It turns out, to your mother’s disappointment, that a messy desk is a sign of a brilliant mind.

The study conducted by the University of Minnesota goes on to state that geniuses leave their desk messy because they invest the time needed to clean and organize the more important stuff. It suggests that geniuses are willing to tolerate external disorder in exchange for the mental clarity and creative freedom necessary for solving complex problems and pushing the boundaries of their intellectual capabilities. This perspective challenges traditional notions of workspace organization and sheds light on the intentional nature of the messiness associated with highly intelligent individuals.

So if you don’t have a spruced-up desk or office, the next time your colleagues or employees ask you how you find your way around, just tell them that messy people are smarter.

Smarter people are night owls

You may have heard that successful entrepreneurs and people, in general, go to bed early and wake up at 5 am, but that’s just fairytales for grownups. And there’s a study to debunk that.

As the sky goes dark, and all your obligations are done for the day, you lay on your bed, your body starts to ease up and your mind follows. Actually, that’s the moment when the most groundbreaking ideas come to you and also, that’s why sleep is one of the many things successful people sacrifice to achieve greatness. This is because during working hours your mind is too busy processing miscellaneous information. The last revenue report; an employee’s resignation letter; next quarter predictions – all of this weighs heavy on your brain…

If you’re a night owl, you’re in good company – Barack Obama, Elvis Presley, Winston Churchill, and Charles Darwin are some prominent all-night thinkers. And look where they got.

The more you curse, the smarter you are?

Society and etiquette norms generally frown upon the use of profanity. People who frequently use curse words are often unfairly associated with lower intelligence. However, this stereotype does not hold. Intelligent individuals, in addition to being messy, often use curse words.

There are two aspects to consider regarding the connection between intelligence and the use of curse words. Firstly, not knowing any curse words may limit your vocabulary. Secondly, when intelligent people use profanities, it serves as a means to release negative energy, aiding them in regaining focus.

For instance, imagine a scenario where a supplier fails to deliver on time. Instead of pretending to remain calm, it might be beneficial to express frustration by using a few choice curse words.

Subsequently, they can redirect their energy toward finding a solution, such as exploring alternative suppliers on an online marketplace. The idea is that the expression of frustration through cursing can be a constructive outlet for intelligent individuals to manage challenges and maintain focus on problem-solving.


While it’s intriguing to explore the characteristics shared by some highly intelligent individuals, it’s essential to remember that these are general trends and not strict rules. Next time you encounter a disorganized genius burning the midnight oil and swearing like a sailor, recognize that their seeming eccentricities may be signs of a brilliant mind at work.

However, while it’s intriguing to explore the characteristics shared by some highly intelligent individuals, it’s essential to remember that these are general trends and not strict rules.

Generally, nobody likes a messy person, so make sure to clean up after yourself once in a while. And if you feel like cursing, do so, but remember that keeping a cool demeanor might be the best for you and others in some situations.

More must-read stories from Enterprise League:

  • 5 tips on how to wake up your business mind and skyrocket to success.

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