What’s in it for me? Learn to organize your life!
The Organized Mind Daniel Levitin Summary – The way our brain manages information often seems mysterious. Daniel Levitin lifts the veil and reveals the systems that are at work every time we drive a car, learn something new, or try to remember where we put something.
With a greater understanding of these processes, you’ll be better equipped to take charge in organizing your life. You’ll also discover how to apply simple techniques, learn the best way to remain productive at work and even how to cope with situations that are out of your control.
In the following Article, you’ll also learn:
- how the brain of a taxi driver looks different to your brain;
- how to be more effective by working less; and
- why Google confronts potential employees with an unsolvable question.
The brain can only focus on a limited number of stimuli at a time.
Have you ever told yourself that you’d like to “get organized?” It’s an easy promise to make, but difficult to put into action. So where can you get started?
Well, before we even approach this challenge, we must first understand in greater detail the way our mind works, more specifically, our attentional system. This is the way our brain handles and categorizes information. The times we live in pose a great challenge to this system, because our brains aren’t equipped to cope with the flood of new facts and sights that we face everyday. Instead, brains work best when concentrating on one thing at a time.
This was vital for our ancestors, who hunted successfully by staying highly focused. Their thoughts would only be disrupted by important events, such as an approaching predator.
Nowadays, we’re constantly attempting to do many things at once. Driving a car, listening to the radio, thinking about an upcoming business meeting – it’s not unusual that all these things happen simultaneously. This is something that our brain has not evolved to do successfully, which means that multitasking comes at a price.
When we switch our attention between different activities, our brain is unable to function effectively. This in turn causes us to make thoughtless mistakes, or forget and misplace things.
In order to better understand our attentional system, we also need to consider how our brain decides how to divide its attention. It’s all to do with the brain’s remarkable ability to detect changes.
Our brains are more likely to pay attention to changes than constants. For example, imagine you’re driving your car. You suddenly notice that the road feels bumpy. Prior to this, you didn’t even consider how even the street was, simply because this was not useful information.
But that realization could be vital, because it alerts you to a treacherous change in surface or a problem with your car.
Changing circumstances can pose a threat to our survival.
Because we’re surrounded by more and more information, we’re forced to make more and more decisions.
Decisions are part of everyday life: Should we opt for the cheaper internet plan, or pay more and get unlimited data? Should we respond to this email now, or read these texts first? We confront decisions like these nearly every minute. But how can our brain cope with this non-stop flow of decisions when it originally evolved to process one idea at a time?…………………..