This summer, Levitin is moving in a new and exciting direction with The organized mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload. As our lives become swamped with endless amounts of information from the internet, our emails, and our smartphones, understanding the way our brains organize information is more important than ever before. Our brains evolved to take on the challenges of life in the Stone Age, and haven’t caught up to handling today’s avalanche of input. With the detailed research and witty style that readers loved in his previous bestsellers, Levitin provides a captivating look at the new ways to train your brain amid an influx of information in our modern world.
Attention is the most essential mental resource for any organism. In the first part of The organized mind, Levitin explains how our brain’s attentional system works: it determines which aspects of the environment we will deal with, and what gets passed through to our conscious awareness. The attentional awareness system is the reason you can safely drive or walk to work without noticing most of the buildings you pass by, unless there’s a reason to—say, if one of the buildings is on fire. Additionally, Levitin reveals that the phrase “paying attention” is scientifically true. Multitasking comes at an actual metabolic cost: switching back and forth between tasks burns a lot more oxygenated glucose (the fuel the brain runs on) than focusing on one task does, and can lead quickly to mental exhaustion.
The second and third parts of The organized mind show how we can all use our attentional and memory systems for better organization, from the classroom to the boardroom, from our home lives to the interactions we have with friends, doctors, and business associates. Entertaining and informative, The organized mind is an indispensable guide that will help us all to keep better track of our lives, and to be efficient, productive, happy, and less stressed in a wired world that is increasingly filled with distractions.
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