The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

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New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin shifts his keen insights from your brain on music to your brain in a sea of details.

The information age is drowning us with an unprecedented deluge of data. At the same time, we’re expected to make more—and faster—decisions about our lives than ever before. No wonder, then, that the average American reports frequently losing car keys or reading glasses, missing appointments, and feeling worn out by the effort required just to keep up.

But somehow some people become quite accomplished at managing information flow. In The Organized Mind, Daniel J. Levitin, PhD, uses the latest brain science to demonstrate how those people excel—and how readers can use their methods to regain a sense of mastery over the way they organize their homes, workplaces, and time.

With lively, entertaining chapters on everything from the kitchen junk drawer to health care to executive office workflow, Levitin reveals how new research into the cognitive neuroscience of attention and memory can be applied to the challenges of our daily lives. This Is Your Brain on Music showed how to better play and appreciate music through an understanding of how the brain works. The Organized Mind shows how to navigate the churning flood of information in the twenty-first century with the same neuroscientific perspective.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Aug 19, 2014
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Pages
528
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ISBN
9780698157224
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Skills
Business & Economics / Time Management
Psychology / Cognitive Psychology & Cognition
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Make work simple by using the tools and tactics that are right for you

Your time is under attack. You just can’t get enough done. You find yourself wondering where the hours go. You’ve tried every time-management system you can get your hands on—and they’ve only succeeded in making your work more complicated.

Sound familiar?

If you sometimes feel you spend more time managing your productivity than doing actual work, it’s time for a change. In Work Simply, renowned productivity expert Carson Tate offers a step-by-step guide to making work simple again by using the style that works best for you.

Tate has helped thousands of men and women better manage their time and become more productive. Her success owes partly to the realization that most of us fit into one of four distinct productivity styles: Arrangers, who think about their projects in terms of the people involved; Prioritizers, who are the definition of “goal-oriented”; Visualizers, who possess a unique ability to comprehend the big picture; and Planners, who live for the details.

In this book, you’ll learnHow to identify your own productivity style as well as the styles of those around you—bosses, coworkers, staff, and family.How to select your “tools of the trade” to maximize your effectiveness, from the style of pen you use to the way you decorate your office.When face-to-face conversations are more effective than e-mails—and vice versa.What it takes to lead the perfect meeting.Why a messy desk is right for some, but a disaster for others—and how to tell.
After reading Work Simply, you’ll come away with a productivity system that truly and fundamentally fits you—and you’ll never feel overwhelmed again.
Multitasking is all around us: the office worker interrupted by a phone call, the teenager texting while driving, the salesperson chatting while entering an order. When multitasking, the mind juggles all the many tasks we're doing this second, this hour, this week, and tries to perform them together-sometimes with great ease, sometimes with great difficulty. We don't often stop to think about how exactly we accomplish these feats of multitasking great and small. How do we switch from one task to another? What types of multitasking are disruptive, and when are they most disruptive? And ultimately, how can we take advantage of the benefits of multitasking while alleviating its negative effects in our daily lives? This book presents the theory of threaded cognition, a theory that aims to explain the multitasking mind. The theory states that multitasking behavior can be expressed as cognitive threads-independent streams of thought that weave through the mind's processing resources to produce multitasking behavior, and sometimes experience conflicts to produce multitasking interference. Grounded in the ACT-R cognitive architecture, threaded cognition incorporates computational representations and mechanisms used to simulate and predict multitasking behavior and performance. The book describes the implications of threaded cognition theory across three traditionally disparate domains: concurrent multitasking (doing multiple tasks at once), sequential multitasking (interrupting and resuming tasks), and multitask skill acquisition (learning and practicing multiple tasks). The work stresses the importance of unifying basic and applied research by alternating between in-depth descriptions of basic research phenomena and broader treatments of phenomena in applied domains, such as driver distraction and human-computer interaction. The book also includes practical guidelines for designers of interactive systems intended for multitasking contexts.
Read the Wall Street Journal Bestseller for "cultivating intense focus" for fast, powerful performance results for achieving success and true meaning in one's professional life (Adam Grant, author of Give and Take).
Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It's a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep-spending their days instead in a frantic blur of e-mail and social media, not even realizing there's a better way.
In DEEP WORK, author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four "rules," for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill.
1. Work Deeply2. Embrace Boredom 3. Quit Social Media4. Drain the Shallows
A mix of cultural criticism and actionable advice, DEEP WORK takes the reader on a journey through memorable stories-from Carl Jung building a stone tower in the woods to focus his mind, to a social media pioneer buying a round-trip business class ticket to Tokyo to write a book free from distraction in the air-and no-nonsense advice, such as the claim that most serious professionals should quit social media and that you should practice being bored. DEEP WORK is an indispensable guide to anyone seeking focused success in a distracted world.
An Amazon Best Book of 2016 Pick in Business & LeadershipWall Street Journal Business BestsellerA Business Book of the Week at 800-CEO-READ
Previously Published as A Field Guide to Lies

We’re surrounded by fringe theories, fake news, and pseudo-facts. These lies are getting repeated. New York Times bestselling author Daniel Levitin shows how to disarm these socially devastating inventions and get the American mind back on track. Here are the fundamental lessons in critical thinking that we need to know and share now.

Investigating numerical misinformation, Daniel Levitin shows how mishandled statistics and graphs can give a grossly distorted perspective and lead us to terrible decisions. Wordy arguments on the other hand can easily be persuasive as they drift away from the facts in an appealing yet misguided way. The steps we can take to better evaluate news, advertisements, and reports are clearly detailed. Ultimately, Levitin turns to what underlies our ability to determine if something is true or false: the scientific method. He grapples with the limits of what we can and cannot know. Case studies are offered to demonstrate the applications of logical thinking to quite varied settings, spanning courtroom testimony, medical decision making, magic, modern physics, and conspiracy theories.

This urgently needed book enables us to avoid the extremes of passive gullibility and cynical rejection. As Levitin attests: Truth matters. A post-truth era is an era of willful irrationality, reversing all the great advances humankind has made. Euphemisms like “fringe theories,” “extreme views,” “alt truth,” and even “fake news” can literally be dangerous. Let's call lies what they are and catch those making them in the act.
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