Daily Archives: November 17, 2014

**The Organized Mind by Daniel Levitin


The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload presents an unusual and occasionally baffling mix of science and how-to recommendations. For instance, we learn about the Val158Met version of the COMT gene that modulates task-switching, but we also get a checklist to organize a portable office. I did say baffling! The Organized Mind may be more The Organized Attic, but an attic with labels on the boxes.

The strongest part of the book, for me, was the idea that more “stuff” (things, activities, even clutter, apparently, at least for women!) means more cognitive demand, hence poorer performance. Hence the idea of “handlers” for rich people, who essentially screen out unwanted stimuli, hence the reality that traveling makes us lost things, hence the folly of trying to block out time for a huge project since small things on our to-do list will consume more cycles by worrying us than would getting them done in the first place.

Enjoyable, if messy…

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Filed under Non fiction