Nadav Spiegelman

The Organized Mind

Daniel J. Levitin
My last highlight
Number of highlights

My Highlights

satisficing is a tool for not wasting time on things that are not your highest priority. For your high-priority endeavors, the old-fashioned pursuit of excellence remains the right strategy. Do
A critical point that bears repeating is that attention is a limited-capacity resource—there are definite limits to the number of things we can attend to at once.
Productivity and efficiency depend on systems that help us organize through categorization.
we often categorize based on conceptual similarities rather than perceptual ones. If the phone rings in the kitchen and you need to take a message, you might walk over to the junk drawer and grab the first thing that looks like it will write. Even
Creative people often arrange their lives to maximize the possibility that flow periods will occur, and to be able to stay in flow once they arrive there.
As an illustration of how fundamental categorization is, consider what life would be like if we failed to put things into categories. When we stared at a plate of black beans, each bean would be entirely unrelated to the others, not interchangeable, not of the same “kind.” The idea that one bean is as good as any other for eating would not be obvious. When you went out to mow the lawn, the different blades of grass would be overwhelmingly distinct, not seen as part of a collective.
A gay man or lesbian who helps in the raising and care of a family member’s child is able to devote considerable time and financial resources to propagating the family’s genes.
[Nadav’s note: wake slumber rest dream tired sound pillow ]
[Nadav’s note: lol]
The most fundamental principle of the organized mind, the one most critical to keeping us from forgetting or losing things, is to shift the burden of organizing from our brains to the external world.
Externalizing memory is an idea that goes back to the Greeks, and its effectiveness has been confirmed many times over by contemporary neuroscience.
Evolutionarily, it makes sense for us to remember unique or distinctive events because they represent a potential change in the world around us or a change in our understanding of it—we need to register these in order to maximize our chances for success in a changing environment.
(Arguably, a close friend is someone with whom we can allow ourselves to enter the daydreaming attentional mode, with whom we can switch in and out of different modes of attention without feeling awkward.)
There have been dozens of demonstrations of people making incorrect predictions, overweighting the influence of traits and undervaluing the power of the situation when attempting to explain people’s behavior. This cognitive illusion is so powerful it has a name: the fundamental attribution error.
Organizing our mental resources efficiently means providing slots in our schedules where we can maintain an attentional set for an extended period.
It takes Herculean amounts of discipline to overcome the brain’s bias against self-generated motivational systems.
Flow states occur more regularly for those who are experts or who have invested a great deal of time to train in a given domain.
A large part of efficient time management revolves around avoiding distractions. An
The greatest life satisfaction comes from completing projects that required sustained focus and energy. It seems unlikely that anyone will look back at their lives with pride and say with satisfaction that they managed to send an extra thousand text messages or check social network updates a few hundred extra times while they were working.
Artists recontextualize reality and offer visions that were previously invisible. Creativity engages the brain’s daydreaming mode directly and stimulates the free flow and association of ideas, forging links between concepts and neural nodes that might not otherwise be made. In this way, engagement in art as either a creator or consumer helps us by hitting the reset button in our brains. Time stops. We contemplate. We reimagine our relationship to the world.
Employee productivity is directly related to job satisfaction, and job satisfaction in turn is related to whether employees experience that they are doing a good job in terms of both quality and quantity of output.
We function best when we are under some constraints and are allowed to exercise individual creativity within those constraints.
A successful system is one that requires the minimum amount of searching time, and that is transparent to anyone who walks in the room. It will be a system that can be easily described.
The twenty-first century’s information problem is one of selection.