On My Nightstand: The Organized Mind

When I’m super busy I read books about organization.  It’s nice to have something to aspire to.  So when I saw this book about organizing your *mind* I was immediately intrigued.  I’m about a chapter into it and I’m totally hooked so far, so I thought I’d share.  The Organized Mind is written by Daniel J. Levitin, a psychologist, who delves into the way our brains have evolved to process information and ways that we can train ourselves to better think straight “in the age of information overload.”  Since I am half of an internet business (ok, ok, that’s an excuse – I’m online way too much anyway), I thought I’d see what he had to say.

Some interesting things I’ve learned so far:

* The more choices you make during the course of the day (from what to wear, to whether to check your email before or after you have coffee, to how much money to deposit in your 401k) the more likely you are to make worse choices as the day goes on because of decision overload.  (p. 5)

* The amount of information each person processes during the course of a day is astonishing.  “We have created a world with 300 exabytes (300,000,000,000,000,000,000 pieces) of human-made information.  If each of those pieces of information were written on a 3 x 5 index card and then spread out side by side, just one person’s share – your share of this information – would cover every square inch of Massachusetts and Connecticut combined.”  (p. 6)

Isn’t that nuts?  I’m pretty fascinated by this stuff.  What are you reading this weekend?

-Elizabeth

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