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What to Read: The Organized Mind – Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

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March 01, 2017
What to Read
Larry Hall

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What's On the Bookshelf
Over the years, we’ve had numerous conversations with industry leaders and often one of the topics that we discuss is the latest book read. We thought it would be fun to share some of these booklover conversations with our readers. Here are what our industry leaders are reading.

The Organized Mind – Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload
by Daniel J. Levitin

[Review by Larry Hall, Trillium Services Group, LLC]

The subtitle of this book caught my eye and I felt it must include an answer to a perplexing problem that, it seems, everyone in business faces today; feeling overwhelmed by information overload. And while I freely describe myself as a highly organized individual, I consider the information overload problem so daunting that I found myself in search of new techniques. This book did not disappoint.

While Levitin offers a number of tried and true techniques to better organize one’s life and information, the gem in this book concerns the how and why of our minds – how our brains work and why we should conduct our lives a certain way. Our brains have not evolved fast enough to accommodate today’s flow of information because our brains grew out of solutions to problems that our ancestors faced, like remembering our route home or deciding what new information represents a threat or an opportunity. Our brain has not adapted to the age of the internet.

Levitin states that our mind has a daily processing limit, so why waste it on cat photos? He explains further why daydreaming represents the brain’s most productive time, and in spite of claims to the contrary, nobody can multitask well because our brains do not support it.

Throughout the book, Levitin takes the reader deep inside the brain, its chemical reactions and neural synapses, then brings it back to real life examples where one can apply this insight. For example, one should push as much information as possible to the external world to free up the mind to focus on the present. U.S. President Jimmy Carter mastered this technique, according to Levitin.

If you enjoy the science of the mind and feel your life could benefit from greater organization, you will enjoy this book. 

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