Book notes - The Organized Mind

  • The author talks about how frequent attention switch (i.e. multitasking) is really inefficient and at the same time, consumes significant energy. He mentions 2 attentional systems in the book. These modes operate in a seasaw relationship - if you’re in one mode, you’re not in the other.
    • Daydreaming mode - creative people are at their most innovative during the daydreaming mode
    • Central executive mode
  • I always knew that writing down the tasks on a physical paper is better than remembering, but I didn’t know why. This topic is discussed at length in the book. Turns out the act of writing down the item on a paper releases the mind from the urge to constantly remember that item. When we keep these things in mind, it needs to focus on those items constantly out of fear that we will forget them. That’s the reason writing things down enables us to better focus on the real tasks. Another benefit is that, the process of writing down streamlines and concretizes the vague/latent idea floating around in mind.
  • Most of the PFC’s functions are inhibitory. For example, impulse control is developed during adolescence. PFC helps delay gratification.
  • We are inherently not good at statistics. Prostate cancer side effect example.
  • Importance of developing the bayesian mindset. Most people ignore the base rate when evaluating the probabilities. This is also one of the first things highlighted in the “Thinking Fast and Slow” book.
  • Good behaviors are just a contagious as the bad ones. So, the companies that promote good ethical culture from the start pass on this behavior to new employees and vice versa.
  • Locus of control - if a person attributes the successes and failures to herself, she has an internal locus of control. Locus of control doesn’t seem to change over the years, despite new experiences of successes and failures. Internals are higher achievers. Externals are more prone to depression. Internals tend to learn better, seek more information and take more initiatives. Externals make for better followers and easier to supervise.