The Organized Mind by Daniel Levitin Book Summary


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Picture the mind as a house. Not a decent perfect new house, however a creaky old house that has been revamped consistently.

Your brain is brimming with data like a major house: recollections, plans, thoughts, and so on. In any case, dislike that data is conveniently recorded. To enable you to endure, the human mind created complex frameworks and procedures to organize, store, and recover all the data you go over.

Some of the time these frameworks get entangled. At the point when that occurs, the house ends up appalling, wouldn’t pass a wellbeing review. In any case, clearly, you can’t move out of your mind. Rather, you lose your keys. You overlook what you were going to state, directly amidst a sentence. Also, you’re less beneficial in light of the fact that you can’t keep your needs straight.



Your deepest desires, all that you have arranged, are unimaginable with a disarranged personality.

Yet, for what reason is that?

The appropriate response is in that old creaky house. You need to realize how each floor was constructed – you know, which dividers are load-bearing, where the water channels are – on the off chance that you need to, state, include focal warming, or fabricate another porch.

The Organized Mind clarifies how the house was assembled so you can assume responsibility for the basic data in your cerebrum.


The brain can just concentrate on a set number of upgrades at once.


The brain forms and arranges data through different frameworks. One of those frameworks is the attentional framework, which decides the manner in which your mind handles and sorts out data – anything your cerebrum focuses on, as it were.

The attentional system is one of the columns that holds everything together in that old house which is your brain.

More than a huge number of years, advancement built up a more nuanced framework that can be flawlessly summed up in one little sentence: our mind developed to concentrate on one thing at any given moment. This thing was dependably the most significant thing.

Simply picture our progenitors, a huge number of years prior, on the chase. They’re stowing away in a shrubbery, grasping their lances. It involved life and demise for them to have the option to put aside any conceivable diversion and concentrate each ounce of their consideration on the wooly mammoth – or whatever they were chasing. Just the most significant things (like moving toward predator) upset their musings and grabbed their eye.



These days, we put our attentional framework under pressure, in light of the fact that our minds aren’t furnished to adapt to the surge of new certainties and sights that we face each day. Nowadays, we’re always endeavoring to do numerous things on the double. Driving a vehicle, tuning in to the radio, considering an up and coming conference – it’s not surprising that every one of these things happens at the same time.

The mind can just concentrate on a predetermined number of upgrades at once.

One way we can perceive how our mind is better at concentrating on fewer things is that our cerebrums are more keen on change than constants.

There’s a simple method to indicate what that implies, all things considered. Simply envision you’re driving, and all of a sudden, you see the street is rough. The insane thing is, a couple of minutes prior, you weren’t intentionally considering how level and smooth the road was! That is not helpful data.


It is helpful to notice and consider the road on the off chance that it abruptly feels uneven. You could be in risk: the street could be deceptive, or you may have popped a tire.

The fact of the matter is, the cerebrum sees the uneven street since it’s unique and perilous, and doesn’t see the innocuous level street since it’s normal and innocuous.

Once more, your mind centers around what’s generally significant.


We’re encompassed by increasingly more data, and subsequently, we’re compelled to settle on an ever-increasing number of choices.


Choices are a piece of the regular day: Should we pick the less expensive web plan, or pay more and get boundless information? Would it be a good idea for us to react to this email now, or read these writings first?

These days, we go up against choices like these consistently.

We’re encompassed by increasingly more data, and therefore, we’re compelled to settle on an ever-increasing number of choices.

So by what means can, our minds adapt to this constant progression of choices when it initially advanced to process one thought at any given moment?

It’s basic: we can deal with the surge of data by concentrating. In any case, how, precisely?

As we learned in the past section, our minds intuitively focus on the most significant data.

Here’s a precedent: Let’s say you’re on a bustling road, and your pooch, Fifi, slips her chain. As you urgently scan for her, your mind consequently becomes dull every single pointless detail – the general population, vehicles, structures and transports – and just spotlights on things that are about a similar size and shading as your canine.

So except if there are a lot of different things on this road that is about knee-tallness, soft and darker, your cerebrum’s capacity to concentrate on what’s most significant makes it simpler to locate your dearest, Fifi.

So as should be obvious, your mind is in split second organizing and centering, and – this is critical – doing whatever it takes not to parse through all the data in the city.



Be that as it may, when you neutralize the cerebrum, when you besiege it with data and choices, when you’re always exchanging your consideration between various assignments, your mind sputters and falls flat, and there’s a cost to pay. Keep in mind the principal purpose of the book? Your cerebrum is best when it can concentrate on only a couple of things.

This programmed procedure of sharpening our concentration down to what’s important ought to likewise be reflected in our basic leadership. As it were, you shouldn’t invest an excess of energy in less significant regular decisions. Rather, you should discover alternate routes and approaches to streamline your basic leadership.


Here’s a precedent: One sort of troublesome choice is tied in with burning through cash on things that can make your life simpler. A decent method to dissect these choices is by considering the money related estimation of your own time since it enables you to contrast it with the advantage the item or administration guarantees.

Suppose you’re contemplating procuring somebody to clean your home as opposed to doing it without anyone else’s help. Simply ask yourself: Would you be happy to pay $50 for two additional long stretches of extra time? In the event that the appropriate response is true, at that point simply let it all out! You don’t need to invest hours attempting to settle on this choice.


Discover an assigned spot for each and every article.


The taxi is lingering outside. It will be a tight flight. The agenda is finished. You have a lot of money. Your favorite shirt is certainly stuffed. Your accomplice and children are stacking the packs, you complete one fast check to ensure you have the travel papers and – gracious shoot! My keys! Where are they? They were in my jeans!

Keys, glasses, telephone, your preferred pen – it’s frustrating to the point that the items we need with all of us the time are additionally the ones that appear to disappear frequently.

Be that as it may, there’s no riddle to this. We lose these articles just in light of the fact that we beat them with us. Items that we just use in one spot, similar to a toothbrush. We once in a while lose these.

The uplifting news is, there’s a flawless and clear arrangement:

Discover an assigned spot for each and every item.

Simply set up assigned spots for the things you bear with you: a bowl alongside the entryway for your keys, a specific cabinet at your work area for your glasses. Or on the other hand, obviously, you can simply purchase copies.



With the goal that’s the manner by which we come to lose and overlook things. However, we haven’t discussed why our cerebrums sputter and bomb along these lines.

There is, truth be told, a unique piece of our mind committed to recollecting the area of things. It’s known as the hippocampus, and it was vital for our predecessors. They had to know where a watering opening was, for instance, or the territories where risky creatures like to meander.


So as to become familiar with our hippocampi, scientists considered the cerebrums of London cab drivers, as they’re required to remember the city’s road plan. They have to review numerous areas in exact detail, and, beyond any doubt enough, tests uncovered that the drivers’ hippocampi were bigger than those of other individuals of comparable instruction and age.

As amazing as it sounds, the hippocampus can just furnish us with data about items that have a fixed area. That is OK for a cab driver endeavoring to recollect where the Natural History Museum is, however it’s an issue for us when we attempt to recall where our infuriatingly versatile keys are.


Compose your thoughts outside your head.


We’ve taken a gander at a couple of the frameworks in the creaky old place of the mind, and how they impact our memory and our core interest up until now. So here’s the place the extremely amazing part comes in. Since now we’ll discuss what you can do to make your mind as productively as could be allowed.

For instance, say you have doled out an undertaking at work and you begin contemplating such huge numbers of thoughts and musings about how to kick it off and they’re all simply skimming around inside your head. What’s the most ideal approach to manage that?

Basically, it returns to the attentional framework: Our cerebrums developed to concentrate on just a couple of things at any given moment. Keeping such a great amount of data inside will undoubtedly overpower you.

Sort out your thoughts outside your head.

This may sound entirely digest, so here’s a simpler method to consider it: Write it down!

Great out-dated cheat sheets are a simple and compelling approach to record and compose your thoughts when you consider them.



For instance, you may be on the transport and all of a sudden recollect that regardless you need to purchase a birthday present for your grandmother. You could spend the remainder of the day persistently reminding yourself or squandering vitality stressing that you’ll overlook.

In any case, why put yourself through all that? Simply record it and you’ll never again have the weight of endeavoring to recall it throughout the day.

Then again, on the off chance that you consider something that you could do immediately – like calling your grandmother to state upbeat birthday – at that point don’t reconsider, do it right away.

You can think about this as far as the two-minute principle: If the errand takes longer than two minutes to finish, record it. Something else, do it immediately.


Another powerful method to alleviate your psychological burden is to compose your composed considerations into classes.

For instance, say you see a flying item with plumes. Your mind before long remembers it as a major aspect of the class “feathered creature.” It may be a bird of prey or a hawk, yet it’s simpler for our cerebrum to put it in this more extensive classification as opposed to distinguishing it explicitly.

The equivalent goes for cheat sheets or your preferred note-taking application on your telephone. Now and again, gather your notes together and sort them into various classes, similar to, “Individual Life,” “Work” or “Children.”

Along these lines, you’ll have the option to keep your musings and thoughts sorted out and open.


Garbage drawers for random things are unfathomably powerful – use them consistently.


Along these lines, It is fundamental to make classifications in sorting out our musings and our lives. Be that as it may, what would it be advisable for us to do with the articles and thoughts that don’t appear to have a place in any classification?

We have to make another class: consider them garbage drawers.

Garbage drawers for different things are inconceivably compelling – use them consistently.

The human cerebrum truly wants to classify, and this can be found in the manner that we compose our living spaces. In our homes, there’s for the most part at any rate one spot where arbitrary articles like single lights, paper clasps or vehicle cleaning items go. Why?

Since it wouldn’t bode well to have a unique cabinet only for lights on the off chance that you just had a couple – consolidating them with other extra items is a significantly more proficient utilization of room.



You could even utilize a garbage cabinet at work. A different envelope, perhaps, with reports that don’t have a place in some other organizers but on the other hand are too imperative to even think about throwing out.

Simply recollect that garbage drawers are just powerful in the event that they’re minded every once in a while. This won’t just assistance you to monitor what’s in there, it’s likewise a chance to wipe them out. So in case you’re dealing with items that you haven’t yet expected to utilize, it’s improbable that you’ll require them later on. Simply toss them out!


What’s more, on the off chance that you see a few things that all of a sudden have developed in number, possibly it’s a great opportunity to give them their very own cabinet or box elsewhere.

At long last, a light box!

You may likewise find that things in garbage drawers can be moved to different places later. For instance, say you’ve built up an enthusiasm for scrapbooking. In the event that you experience your garbage cabinet, you’ll most likely discover objects that could locate another home in the scrapbooking cabinet – that additional pair of scissors, possibly, or the twofold sided sticky tape.


Put aside time to refuel so you can build your profitability later.


These are a couple of approaches to do what the cerebrum truly cherishes: recording things, sorting, garbage drawers. They lessen the number of things it’s taking a shot at some random minute. Yet, there are different things the cerebrum additionally cherishes – and needs, truly – to remain fit. Allows simply talk around one of those, ostensibly the most significant one. We’re talking, obviously, about rest.

Everybody realizes that we’re unquestionably increasingly profitable following a decent night’s rest. But then we’re frequently enticed to keep awake until a couple is, simply to crush in a couple of more messages or watch “only one more scene.”

This is a mix-up. Rest is the place the consideration and support of the extraordinary creaky house occurs. Regardless of whether you’re not mindful, it’s the point at which your home fixes its very own rooftop, applies a new layer of paint and moves boxes out to the carport.



While we rest, our cerebrums are working diligently, handling new data from the day and coordinating it into our current learning. Recollections, issues and thoughts regularly show up in our fantasies, which is halfway for what reason we’re frequently bound to take care of an issue subsequent to “thinking about it.”

Put aside time to refuel so you can build your efficiency later.

This marvel is upheld by research that discovered that understudies taking a shot at an issue performed better following a night of rest than they did dealing with it for a similar length of waking time.

Truth be told, the examination demonstrates that you’re quite as liable to take care of an issue after you’ve considered it. At the end of the day, you’re route happier resting and beginning again in the first part of the day than chugging a caffeinated drink and endeavoring to take care of that insights issue or consuming another 10 messages before midnight.


Also, opportune rest, numerous organizations – like Microsoft, where workers utilize an in-house spa – have understood that representative efficiency really goes up when they’re urged to energize their batteries. At Ernst and Young, 10 additional long stretches of get-away expanded profitability by 8%.

Once more, everything returns to that house – that is, the cerebrum as a house. Give it some adoration, treat it pleasantly, fix it up occasionally, and it can deal with all that you toss at it.


The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin Book Review


The brain advanced to deal with just a couple of things at once, so be pleasant to it. That implies, get more rest, record things, and don’t assault your mind with beyond what it can deal with. Pursue that one rule and your cerebrum will be allowed to work through the issues you allocate it.


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