A Summary Of The Book “the Organized Mind: Thinking In The Age Of Information Overload”

In this book, Daniel Levitin talks about how to structure the information and to organize your life, and “to organize” in this case equates to “tidy”. As in all great books of this kind, there is the theory, links to research and examples from the life and practice of the author, which confirm the submitted information. First, the author tells how the necessity of preserving and transmitting information. One of the first linguistic concepts was the separation of “here” and “there”, when primitive hunters painted animals on cave walls.

Entry information and a letter appeared in order that people could trade. Organization and storage of information can greatly simplify life, because our brain has a tendency to conserve energy and forget. The system and following strict rules can not only save energy, but also to better remember information. If you always forget where are the keys — you need to have for them a special place (in this case the author refers to “the big Bang Theory”).

For retrieving information from the same part of the brain that and for orientation in space — the hippocampus. Therefore, the search objects on a map and orienteering help to improve memory. In the work of the 2010 Vinod Menon showed that shifting attention between objects meets the Insula, and the process control of noradrenalin and cortisol.

Thus, increased dopamine levels in this and adjacent areas improves creativity. In the same paper said that switching between different objects requires additional brain energy, which once again proves that multitasking is a bad thing. Clifford ness also carefully studied this issue and found that switching between tasks negatively influence the performance of each of them. Another evolutionary feature is the presence of “attention filter”, which meet the sensory cortex and frontal lobe. These parts of the brain evolutionarily trained to notice the danger, even if a person thinks about something.

The filter of attention we owe the fact that our brain can function in two modes. Focused work and “thinking” when we soar in thought, worried, happy or just live. It seemed that this mode should consume less energy, but it turns out that the difference is negligible. At this time, working various areas, also controlling what is happening around.

The funny thing is that they periodically turn off and rest. This is why we can forget, for example, where I put my glasses or phone. The brain at this point partially “asleep” and didnt accept new information. For optimal performance and concentration in the brain must strike a balance of noradrenaline and dopamine (also it was written in the “Maximum concentration”).

The alcohol and lack of sleep significantly reduces your ability to concentrate. Another fact about the brain. The prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for the ability to stay focused, not get distracted and put off the reward until later fully developed by 20 years (we all remember the experiment with the children who could wait 15 minutes and get twice as much candy). Therefore, adults are better able to control myself and make informed decisions.

I have, it seems, the prefrontal cortex is still under development. Exactly the same harmful to the performance was the opportunity to escape. In a special experiment, the subjects in the presence of the distraction showed the worst performance and the ability to solve problems. Therefore it is necessary to turn off the mail client and instant messengers and close tabs with social networks when they sit down at work.

Another interesting experiment showed that people who did not respond to a letter works like you slept twice as less. Should do what you cant postpone, to clear my head. A separate part of the book focuses on how to better organize work and life. Some of these tips are banal and refers to diet or sleep, but the most interesting are given below.

Work should be planned so that at the end of a small plot to receive a reward — albeit moral, but the brain must receive dopamine as a result of intense period of concentration — and any results. In addition, the task should be neither too complex (then the brain will start to reflect and think about self-esteem) nor too simple. The brain will start to get bored and distracted, switching to other tasks. In a state of flux never think that “this is not good enough,” see only an opportunity to become better.

Shutdown in this state gives a wonderful feeling of a completed task, because nobody wants to live life and say. “Oh, I was distracted by chat messages or Facebook”. The best way to make a person fall off the bike — ask him not to fall, or ask him how he managed to go and not fall.

Negative results important positive. They show the areas that were previously ignored. The reason many do not complete their diploma or a large project. They compare your unfinished work with a finished.

Also prevents excessive perfectionism. Failures teach what you dont know everything and you have a way to go — it helps the brain cope with the loss of dopamine. Criticism is the enemy of creativity.

A separate Chapter is devoted to how to decide. In this Chapter the author raises well-deserved praise of Bayes theorem (now all mathematicians who have read to this point, stood up and clapped) and explains how to make decisions based on it. A book worth reading if not because of a large amount of interesting and useful information, at least for this Chapter. She makes sure that sometimes you have longer to ponder the making of any decision, given the a priori probabilities.

This time map was generated semi-automatically on the basis of the notes in iBooks, so it came out more than usual. Download it in original format in a repository on GitHub. To view will need any version of the Simple Mind.

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