The Organized Mind
The Organized Mind

The Organized Mind

Table of Contents

Memory is fallible, of course, but not because of storage limitations so much as retrieval limitations. Some neuroscientists believe that nearly every conscious experience is stored somewhere in your brain; the hard part is finding it and pulling it out again. Sometimes the information that comes out is incomplete, distorted, or misleading. (Location 63)

Tags: memory

Note: .memory memory is fallible because of retrieval limitations

Cognitive psychologists have provided mountains of evidence over the last twenty years that memory is unreliable. And to make matters worse, we show staggering overconfidence in many recollections that are false. It’s not just that we remember things wrongly (which would be bad enough), but we don’t even know we’re remembering them wrongly, doggedly insisting that the inaccuracies are in fact true. (Location 74)

Tags: favorite, memory

Note: memory is unreliable. We frequently remember things incorrectly but dont realise we are mistaken

The first humans who figured out how to write things down around 5,000 years ago were in essence trying to increase the capacity of their hippocampus, part of the brain’s memory system. They effectively extended the natural limits of human memory by preserving some of their memories on clay tablets and cave walls, and later, papyrus and parchment. (Location 77)

Tags: writing, memory, brain

Note: .brain extend the capabilities of your brain by writing things down

richness and associative access. Richness refers to the theory that a large number of the things you’ve ever thought or experienced are still in there, somewhere. Associative access means that your thoughts can be accessed in a number of different ways by semantic or perceptual associations—memories can be triggered by related words, by category names, by a smell, an old song or photograph, or even seemingly random neural firings that bring them up to consciousness. (Location 94)

Tags: brain

Note: .brain associative acces - you can access memories from multiple angles

Satisficing is one of the foundations of productive human behavior; it prevails when we don’t waste time on decisions that don’t matter, or more accurately, when we don’t waste time trying to find improvements that are not going to make a significant difference in our happiness or satisfaction. (Location 309)

Tags: focus

Note: .focus dont waste time on minor things which have little impact on the bigger picture

Recent research in social psychology has shown that happy people are not people who have more; rather, they are people who are happy with what they already have. (Location 315)

Tags: content, happy

Note: .happy be happy with what you already have

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. (Location 320)

Tags: prioritise

Note: .prioritise always focus on the highest priorities

It’s as though our brains are configured to make a certain number of decisions per day and once we reach that limit, we can’t make any more, regardless of how important they are. One of the most useful findings in recent neuroscience could be summed up as: The decision-making network in our brain doesn’t prioritize. (Location 335)

Tags: choices, decisions

Note: .decisions each decision we make reduces our ability to make good decisions

Attention is the most essential mental resource for any organism. It determines which aspects of the environment we deal with, and most of the time, various automatic, subconscious processes make the correct choice about what gets passed through to our conscious awareness. (Location 370)

Tags: attention

Note: .attention

millions of neurons are constantly monitoring the environment to select the most important things for us to focus on. These neurons are collectively the attentional filter. They work largely in the background, outside of our conscious awareness. This is why most of the perceptual detritus of our daily lives doesn’t register, or why, when you’ve been driving on the freeway for several hours at a stretch, you don’t remember much of the scenery that has whizzed by: Your attentional system “protects” you from registering it because it isn’t deemed important. (Location 372)

Tags: brain

Note: .brain your brain filters out what it deems to be unimportant

Two of the most crucial principles used by the attentional filter are change and importance. (Location 416)

Tags: brain

Note: .brain your brain detects changes and things of importance

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. (Location 439)

Tags: attention

Note: .attention attention is a limited resource

Your job is to count how many times the players wearing the white T-shirts pass the basketball, while ignoring the players in the black T-shirts. (Location 452)

Tags: towatch

Note: .towatch

Humans have been around for 200,000 years. For the first 99% of our history, we didn’t do much of anything but procreate and survive. This was largely due to harsh global climatic conditions, which stabilized sometime around 10,000 years ago. (Location 473)

Tags: humans

Note: .humans humans have been around for about 200000 years

The first forms of writing emerged not for art, literature, or love, not for spiritual or liturgical purposes, but for business—all literature could be said to originate from sales receipts (sorry). (Location 483)

Tags: writing

Note: .writing writing was created to record sales

A steady flow of complaints about the proliferation of books reverberated into the late 1600s. Intellectuals warned that people would stop talking to each other, burying themselves in books, polluting their minds with useless, fatuous ideas. (Location 508)

Tags: books

Note: .books people complained about books when they forst came out, assuming people would talk to each other less

The amount of scientific information we’ve discovered in the last twenty years is more than all the discoveries up to that point, from the beginning of language. (Location 523)

Tags: favorite, information

Note: .information weve learned more about science in the last 70 years than all time before then

Multitasking is the enemy of a focused attentional system. Increasingly, we demand that our attentional system try to focus on several things at once, something that it was not evolved to do. (Location 535)

Tags: focus, multitasking

Note: .multitasking we are not built to multitask

To pay attention to one thing means that we don’t pay attention to something else. Attention is a limited-capacity resource. (Location 540)

Tags: attention

Note: .attention attention is a limited capacity resource

From a strictly logical point of view, the colleague is being irrational. The brother-in-law’s bad Volvo experience is a single data point swamped by tens of thousands of good experiences—it’s an unusual outlier. But we are social creatures. We are easily swayed by first-person stories and vivid accounts of a single experience. Although this is statistically wrong and we should learn to overcome the bias, most of us don’t. Advertisers know this, and this is why we see so many first-person testimonial advertisements on TV. “I lost twenty pounds in two weeks by eating this new yogurt—and it was delicious, too!” Or “I had a headache that wouldn’t go away. I was barking at the dog and snapping at my loved ones. Then I took this new medication and I was back to my normal self.” Our brains focus on vivid, social accounts more than dry, boring, statistical accounts. (Location 622)

Tags: reviews

Note: Our brains focus on vivid social accounts

Cognitive psychology is the scientific study of how humans (and animals and, in some cases, computers) process information. Traditionally, cognitive psychologists have made a distinction among different areas of study: memory, attention, categorization, language acquisition and use, decision-making, and one or two other topics.

Many believe that attention and memory are closely related, that you can’t remember things that you didn’t pay attention to in the first place.

There has been relatively less attention paid to the important interrelationship among categorization, attention, and memory. (Location 637)

Tags: categorisation, attention, memory, favorite, toexplore, cognitivepsychology

Note: .cognitivepsychology cognitive psychology is the study of how we process information

events during prehistory, by definition, left no historical record, (Location 656)

Tags: history

Note: .history

Early humans organized their minds and thoughts around basic distinctions that we still make and find useful. One of the earliest distinctions made was between now and not-now; these things are happening in the moment, these other things happened in the past and are now in my memory. No other species makes this self-conscious distinction among past, present, and future. No other species lives with regret over past events, or makes deliberate plans for future ones. Of course many species respond to time by building nests, flying south, hibernating, mating—but these are preprogrammed, instinctive behaviors and these actions are not the result of conscious decision, meditation, or planning. (Location 666)

Tags: humans

Note: .humans humans are the only species with the concept of past,present, future. Animals respond to time, however this is preprogrammed

Successful people are expert at categorizing useful versus distracting knowledge. (Location 820)

Tags: categorisation

Note: .categorisation .mail

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. (Location 850)

Tags: sharing, favorite, external brain

Note: .externalbrain save everything in an external brain

Our brains come preconfigured to create categories and classifications of things automatically and without our conscious intervention. (Location 886)

Tags: categorisation, brain

Note: .brain our brains are programmed to categorise

The discovery of the mind-wandering mode also explains why paying attention to something takes effort. The phrase paying attention is well-worn figurative language, and there is some useful meaning in this cliché. Attention has a cost. It is a this-or-that, zero-sum game. We pay attention to one thing, either through conscious decision or because our attentional filter deemed it important enough to push it to the forefront of attentional focus. When we pay attention to one thing, we are necessarily taking attention away from something else. (Location 918)

Tags: attention

Note: .attention we can only paay attention to a limit number of thing simultaneously

little bit of focus goes a long way in training the brain (specifically the hippocampus) to remember where we put things, because we’re invoking the central executive to help with encoding the moment. Having systems like key hooks, cell phone trays, and a special hook or drawer for sunglasses externalizes the effort so that we don’t have to keep everything in our heads. (Location 1090)

Note: Having systems like key hooks removes the need for us to keep everything in our head

As Patrick Jane of The Mentalist described it, rather eloquently, “Memory is unreliable because the untrained brain has a crappy filing system. It takes everything that happens to you and throws it all willy-nilly into a big dark closet—when you go in there looking for something, all you can find are the big obvious things, like when your mom died, or stuff that you don’t really need. Stuff that you’re not looking for, like the words to ‘Copacabana.’ You can’t find what you need, but don’t panic, because it’s still there.” (Location 1100)

Tags: brain, memory

Note: .memory our memory has a crappy filing system

Memory is fiction. It may present itself to us as fact, but it is highly susceptible to distortion. Memory is not just a replaying, but a rewriting. (Location 1117)

Tags: memory

Note: .memory memory is fiction. It is not just a replaying but a rewriting

many of our experiences share similarities with one another, and so when trying to re-create them in memory, the brain can get fooled by competing items. Thus, our memory tends to be poor most of the time, not because of the limited capacity of our brains to store the information but because of the nature of memory retrieval, which can easily become distracted or confounded by other, similar items. (Location 1118)

Tags: memory

Note: .memory memory retrieval is hindered by the fact we have many similar experiences

Perhaps the biggest problem with human memory is that we don’t always know when we’re recalling things inaccurately. Many times, we have a strong feeling of certainty that accompanies an incorrect, distorted memory. This faulty confidence is widespread, and difficult to extinguish. The relevance to organizational systems is that the more we can externalize memory through physical records out-there-in-the-world, the less we must rely on our overconfident, underprecise memory. (Location 1125)

Tags: favorite, memory

Note: .memory we dont always know when we are recalling things incorrectly

The second principle of memory concerns emotions. If something made us incredibly frightened, elated, sad, or angry—four of the primary human emotions—we’re more likely to remember it. This is because the brain creates neurochemical tags, or markers, that accompany the experience and cause it to become labeled as important. It’s as though the brain took a yellow fluorescent highlighter to the text of our day, and selectively marked up the important parts of the day’s experiences. This makes evolutionary sense—the emotionally important events are probably the ones that we need to remember in order to survive, things like the growl of a predator, the location of a new freshwater spring, the smell of rancid food, the friend who broke a promise. (Location 1153)

Tags: memory, emotion

Note: .emotion we can retrieve memories of events better when they are associated with a strong emotion

Unfortunately, the existence of such emotional tags, while making memory retrieval quicker and easier, does not guarantee that the memory retrieval will be more accurate. Here is an example. If you are like most Americans, you remember right where you were when you first learned that the World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York City had been attacked on September 11, 2001. You probably remember the room you were in, roughly the time of day (morning, afternoon, evening), and perhaps even who you were with or who you spoke to that day. You probably also remember watching the horrifying television images of an airplane crashing into the first tower (the North Tower), and then, about twenty minutes later, the image of a second plane crashing into the second tower (the South Tower). Indeed, according to a recent survey, 80% of Americans share this memory. But it turns out this memory is completely false. The television networks broadcasted real-time video of the South Tower collision on September 11, but video of the North Tower collision wasn’t available and didn’t appear on broadcast television until the following day, on September 12. (Location 1165)

Tags: favorite, sharing, emotion, memory

Note: .memory memory is unreliable.

Eighty-five percent of people write down rest. Rest is the first word you saw, and this is consistent with the primacy effect of memory: We tend to remember best the first entry on a list. Seventy percent of people remember the word night. It was the last word you saw, and is consistent with the recency effect: We tend to remember the most recent items we encountered on a list, but not as well as the first item. For lists of items, scientists have documented a serial position curve, a graph showing how likely it is that an item will be remembered as a function of its position in a list. (Location 1184)

Tags: memory

Note: .memory we remember the first and last items on a list best

“We know today that, just like when you open a Microsoft Word file on your computer, when you retrieve a memory from where it is stored in the brain, you automatically open it to ‘edit.’ You may not be aware that your current mood and environment can influence the emotional tone of your recall, your interpretation of events, and even your beliefs about which events actually took place. But when you ‘save’ the memory again and place it back into storage, you can inadvertently modify it. … [This] can bias how and what you recall the next time you pull up that ‘file.’ (Location 1207)

Tags: favorite, memory

Note: .memory your mood n environment can cause you to edit a memry when recalling a memory

Why is it that when you think of hash browns, your brain doesn’t automatically deliver up every single time you’ve ever had hash browns? It’s because the brain organizes similar memories into categorical bundles. (Location 1215)

Tags: categorisation, brain

Note: .brain the brain orgnises similar memories in categories

A painter needs to see the individual brushstroke or point she is painting but be able to cycle back and forth between that laserlike focus and the painting-as-a-whole. (Location 1240)

Note: We must be able to jump between the detail and the broader picture

Historically, the ultimate brain extenders were books, keeping track of centuries’ worth of collected knowledge that we can access when we need it. Perhaps they still are. (Location 1398)

Tags: external brain, books

Note: .books books were the most common brain extenders

In her autobiography, Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg reluctantly admits to carrying a notebook and pen around to keep track of her To Do list, and confesses that at Facebook, where she is the COO, this is “like carrying around a stone tablet and chisel.” Yet she and many others like her persist in this ancient technology. There must be something to it. (Location 1407)

Tags: notes, favorite

Note: Carrying a pen and notepad is like carrying stone an chisel

Writing them down gives both implicit and explicit permission to the rehearsal loop to let them go, to relax its neural circuits so that we can focus on something else. “If an obligation remained recorded only mentally,” Allen says, “some part of me constantly kept thinking that it should be attended to, creating a situation that was inherently stressful and unproductive.” (Location 1428)

Tags: gtd, notes

Note: .notes writing things down gives your mind freedom to remove it from reminders

David Allen recommends this mnemonic for fine sorting your To Do list into four actionable categories: Do it Delegate it Defer it Drop it Allen suggests the two-minute rule: If you can attend to one of the things on your list in less than two minutes, do it now (he recommends setting aside a block of time every day, thirty minutes for example, just to deal with these little tasks, because they can accumulate quickly to the point of overload). If a task can be done by someone else, delegate it. Anything that takes more than two minutes to deal with, you defer. (Location 1462)

Tags: gtd

3 Organizing Our Homes Where Things Can Start to Get Better

Some foods that we consider haute cuisine today, such as lobster, were so plentiful in the 1800s that they were fed to prisoners and orphans, and ground up into fertilizer; servants requested written assurance that they would not be fed lobster more than twice a week. (Location 1539)

Tags: favorite, lobster

Note: .lobster lobster was plentiful and fed to prisoners

One of the big rules in not losing things is the rule of the designated place. A tray or shelf that is designated for a smartphone encourages you to put your phone there and not somewhere else. (Location 1649)

Tags: systems, losing

Note: .losing have a designated space for items which are likely to be lost

you have letters to mail, put them near your car keys or house keys so that when you leave the house, they’re right there. The principle underlying all these is off-loading the information from your brain and into the environment; use the environment itself to remind you of what needs to be done. (Location 1664)

Tags: systems, losing

Note: .losing use your environment to remind you what to do

When organized people find themselves running between the kitchen and the home office all the time to get a pair of scissors, they buy an extra pair. It might seem like cluttering rather than organizing, but buying duplicates of things that you use frequently and in different locations helps to prevent you from losing them. (Location 1678)

Tags: losing

Note: .losing buy duplicates if things which you use in numerous locations to reduce risk of losing

I don’t want to waste energy looking for things,” she says. “What good is that? I can be more efficient, productive and in a better mood if I don’t spend those frustrating extra minutes searching for something.” Thus, in fact, many creative people find the time to be creative precisely because of such systems unburdening and uncluttering their minds. (Location 1698)

Tags: systems

The key to creating useful categories in our homes is to limit the number of types of things they contain to one or at most four types of things (respecting the capacity limitations of working memory). This is usually easy to do. If you’ve got a kitchen drawer that contains cocktail napkins, shish kebab skewers, matches, candles, and coasters, you can conceptualize it as “things for a party.” Conceptualizing it that way ties together all these disparate objects at a higher level. (Location 1717)

Tags: losing

Note: .losing store miscellaneous items in clever categories

Although we think we’re doing several things at once, multitasking, this has been shown to be a powerful and diabolical illusion. Our brains are “not wired to multi-task well. … When people think they’re multi-tasking, they’re actually just switching from one task to another very rapidly. And every time they do, there’s a cognitive cost in doing so.” (Location 1886)

Tags: favorite, multitasking

Note: .multitasking we are not wired to multitask

In the old days, if the phone rang and we were busy, we either didn’t answer or we turned the ringer off. When all phones were wired to a wall, there was no expectation of being able to reach us at all times—one might have gone out for a walk or be between places, and so if someone couldn’t reach you (or you didn’t feel like being reached), that was considered normal. Now more people have cell phones than have toilets. This has created an implicit expectation that you should be able to reach someone when it is convenient for you, regardless of whether it is convenient for them. This expectation is so ingrained that people in meetings routinely answer their cell phones to say, “I’m sorry, I can’t talk now, I’m in a meeting.” Just a decade or two ago, those same people would have let a landline on their desk go unanswered during a meeting, so different were the expectations for reachability. (Location 1901)

Tags: favorite, phones

Note: .phones when phones were on walls we didnt always expect people to pick up. Since mobiles we do

some people set up an automatic reply that gets sent in response to any incoming e-mail message. The reply might say something along the lines of “I will try to get to your e-mail within the next week. If this is something that requires immediate action, please telephone me. If it still requires my reply and you haven’t heard from me in a week, please resend your message with ‘2nd attempt’ in the subject line.” (Location 2011)

Tags: email

Note: .email set an auto responder given an expectation of when youll respond and advise to call if urgent

two strategies for remembering routine activities. One is to try to reclaim that sense of newness in everything we do. Easier said than done of course. But if we can acquire a Zen-like mental clarity and pay attention to what we’re doing, letting go of thoughts of the future and past, we will remember each moment because each moment will be special. ... The second, more mundane way to remember these little moments is much less romantic, and perhaps less spiritually satisfying, but no less effective (you’ve heard it before): Off-load the memory functions into the physical world rather than into your crowded mental world. In other words, write it down on a piece of paper, or if you prefer, get a system. (Location 2111)

Tags: memory

Note: .memory focus on mindfully undertaking tasks ... get it onto an external system

4 Organizing Our Social World How Humans Connect Now

Empathy requires the ability to switch between different perspectives on the same situation or interaction. (Location 2292)

Tags: empathy

Note: .empathy empathy requires you to switch perspective. Use 'flip' to jump from one side of the argument to the other.

a sign of maturity is the ability to think independently and come to one’s own conclusions. (Location 2489)

Tags: maturity

Note: .maturity

The biggest change in dating between 2004 and 2014 was that one-third of all marriages in America began with online relationships, compared to a fraction of that in the decade before. Half of these marriages began on dating sites, the rest via social media, chat rooms, instant messages, and the like. In 1995, it was still so rare for a marriage to have begun online that newspapers would report it, breathlessly, as something weirdly futuristic and kind of freakish. (Location 2503)

Note: In us in 2014 one third of marriages started online

the more cognitive load one is experiencing, the more likely one is to make errors in judgment about the causes of an individual’s behavior. (Location 2859)

Humans gossip for many reasons: It can help us feel superior to others when we are otherwise feeling insecure about ourselves. It can help us to forge bonds with others to test their allegiance—if Tiffany is willing to join in the gossip with me against Britney, I can perhaps count on Tiffany as an ally. The problem with gossip is that it can be false. This is especially the case when the gossip is passed through the ears and mouths of several people, each of whom embellishes it. Due to belief perseverance, faulty social information, based on an outright lie or a distortion of the facts, can be very difficult to eradicate. (Location 2907)

Tags: gossip

Note: .gossip

After establishing common fate by the coin toss—one group would win a small prize and the other would not—students in an experiment were then asked to judge how similar or different members of each group were. There was a robust in-group/out-group effect even in this ad hoc grouping. Members of the in-group reported that people in their group—people they had just met—had more desirable qualities, and that they’d rather spend time with them. Other studies showed that similar flimsy manipulations lead in-group members to rate themselves as more different from one another than out-group members. ... When we think about organizing our social world, the implication of in-group/out-group bias is clear. We have a stubborn tendency to misjudge outsiders and hence diminish our abilities to forge new, cooperative, and potentially valuable social relations. Racism is a form of negative social judgment that arises from a combination of belief perseverance, out-group bias, categorization error, and faulty inductive reasoning. We hear about a particular undesirable trait or act on the part of an individual, and jump to the false conclusion that this is something completely predictable for someone of that ethnic or national background. (Location 2943)

Tags: outsiders

Note: .outsiders ... .outsiders

The three most familiar divisions of time we make today continue to be based on the motions of heavenly bodies, though now we call this astrophysics. The length of a year is determined by the time it takes the earth to circle the sun; the length of a month is (more or less) the time it takes the moon to circle the earth; the length of a day is the time it takes the earth to rotate on its axis (and observed by us as the span between two successive sunrises or sunsets). But further divisions are not based on any physical laws and tend to be based on historical factors that are largely arbitrary. There is nothing inherent in any biological or astrophysical cycle that would lead to the division of a day into twenty-four equal segments. (Location 3112)

Tags: societal norms, favorite, time

Note: .time year,month,day are based on earths rotations, asteophyeics Dividing the day into 24 hours is arbitrary

what we call hours, minutes, and days are arbitrary: There is nothing physically or biologically critical about the day being divided into twenty-four parts, or the hour and minute being divided into sixty parts. (Location 3134)

Tags: societal norms, time

Note: .time

Because the prefrontal cortex doesn’t fully develop in humans until after age twenty, impulse control isn’t fully developed in adolescents (as many parents of teenagers have observed). It’s also why children and adolescents are not especially good at planning or delaying gratification. (Location 3182)

Tags: parenting

Note: The brain functions for impulse control dont fully form until after the age of 20

The entire brain weighs three pounds (1.4 kg) and so is only a small percentage of an adult’s total body weight, typically 2%. But it consumes 20% of all the energy the body uses. Why? The perhaps oversimplified answer is that time is energy. (Location 3222)

Tags: energy, brain

Note: .brain our brains use 20% of our bodies energies

In multitasking, we unknowingly enter an addiction loop as the brain’s novelty centers become rewarded for processing shiny new stimuli, to the detriment of our prefrontal cortex, which wants to stay on task and gain the rewards of sustained effort and attention. We need to train ourselves to go for the long reward, and forgo the short one. Don’t forget that the awareness of an unread e-mail sitting in your inbox can effectively reduce your IQ by 10 points, (Location 3267)

Tags: multitasking

Note: multitasking steals your attention and reduces your IQ

There are individual differences in cognitive style, and the trade-off present in multitasking often comes down to focus versus creativity. When we say that someone is focused, we usually mean they’re attending to what is right in front of them and avoiding distraction, either internal or external. On the other hand, creativity often implies being able to make connections between disparate things. We consider a discovery to be creative if it explores new ideas through analogy, metaphor, or tying together things that we didn’t realize were connected. (Location 3271)

Tags: focus

Note: .focus focus involves attending to what is right in front of you, creativity involves making Connections with other things

The research says that if you have chores to do, put similar chores together. If you’ve collected a bunch of bills to pay, just pay the bills—don’t use that time to make big decisions about whether to move to a smaller house or buy a new car. If you’ve set aside time to clean the house, don’t also use that time to repair your front steps or reorganize your closet. Stay focused and maintain a single attentional set through to completion of a job. Organizing our mental resources efficiently means providing slots in our schedules where we can maintain an attentional set for an extended period. This allows us to get more done and finish up with more energy. (Location 3366)

Tags: batching, execution

Note: .execution batch complete similar jobs to avoid multitasking

it could be said that what distinguishes experts from novices is that they know what to pay attention to and what to ignore. If you don’t know anything at all about cars and you’re trying to diagnose a problem, every screech, sputter, and knock in the engine is potential information and you try to attend to them all. If you’re an expert mechanic, you home in on the one noise that is relevant and ignore the others. (Location 3400)

Tags: experts

Note: .experts experts know what to focus on and what to ignore

levels of processing: Items that are processed at a deeper level, with more active involvement by us, tend to become more strongly encoded in memory. This is why passive learning through textbooks and lectures is not nearly as effective a way to learn new material as is figuring it out for yourself, a method called peer instruction that is being introduced into classrooms with great success (Location 3490)

Tags: learning

Note: .learning we retain more knowledge when there is more active involvement in the info processed

sleep plays a vital role in the consolidation of events of the previous few days, and therefore in the formation and protection of memories. (Location 3497)

Tags: memory, sleep

Note: Sleep plays a vital role in memory

Newly acquired memories are initially unstable and require a process of neural strengthening or consolidation to become resistant to interference, and to become accessible to us for retrieval. For a memory to be accessible means that we can retrieve it using a variety of different cues. (Location 3498)

Tags: memory

Note: .memory we need to consolidate memories soon after they occur so we can retrieve at a later date

Disrupted sleep even two or three days after an experience can disrupt your memory of it months or years later. (Location 3517)

Tags: sleep

Note: .sleep disrupted sleep a few days after an event can hinder your consolidation of the memory

Perhaps the most important principle of memory is that we tend to remember best those things we care about the most. At a biological level, neurochemical tags are created and attached to experiences that are emotionally important; and those appear to be the ones that our dreams grab hold of. (Location 3552)

Tags: memory

Note: .memory we best remember things we care about

Most of the memory consolidation occurs in the first two hours of slow-wave, NREM sleep, and during the last 90 minutes of REM sleep in the morning. This is why drinking and drugs (including sleep medications) can interfere with memory, because that crucial first sleep cycle is compromised by intoxication. And this is why sleep deprivation leads to memory loss—because the crucial 90 minutes of sleep at the end is either interrupted or never occurs. And you can’t make up for lost sleep time. Sleep deprivation after a day of learning prevents sleep-related improvement, even three days later following two nights of good sleep (Location 3582)

Tags: sleep

Note: .sleep sleep deprivation effects memory considation for a few days.

Sleep is among the most critical factors for peak performance, memory, productivity, immune function, and mood regulation. Even a mild sleep reduction or a departure from a set sleep routine (for example, going to bed late one night, sleeping in the next morning) can produce detrimental effects on cognitive performance for many days afterward. When professional basketball players got ten hours of sleep a night, their performance improved dramatically: Free-throw and three-point shooting each improved by 9%. (Location 3609)

Tags: sleep

Note: .sleep altering your sleep pattern can effect cohnitive performance for days

Millions of people report difficulty sleeping straight through the night. Because uninterrupted sleep appears to be our cultural norm, they experience great distress and ask their doctors for medication to help them stay asleep. Many sleep medications are addictive, have side effects, and leave people feeling drowsy the next morning. They also interfere with memory consolidation. It may be that a simple change in our expectations about sleep and a change to our schedules can go a long way. (Location 3625)

Tags: sleep

Note: .sleep sleep medication effects memory consolidation

Sleepiness was responsible for 250,000 traffic accidents in 2009, (Location 3647)

Tags: traffic, sleep

Note: .sleep sleepiness Responsible for 250,000 accidents on the road each year

Too much sleep is also detrimental, but perhaps the most important factor in achieving peak alertness is consistency, so that the body’s circadian rhythms can lock into a consistent cycle. Going to bed just one hour late one night, or sleeping in for an hour or two just one morning, can affect your productivity, immune function, and mood significantly for several days after the irregularity. (Location 3658)

Tags: sleep

Note: .sleep consistency is most important to maintain cognitive performance

the quality of sleep with sleeping pills is poor, disrupting the normal brain waves of sleep, and there is usually a sleeping pill hangover of dulled alertness the next morning. Because medication-induced sleep quality is poor, memory consolidation is affected, so we experience short-term memory loss—we don’t remember that we didn’t get a good night’s sleep, and we don’t remember how groggy we were upon waking (Location 3672)

Tags: sleep

Note: .sleep sleeping pills effect memory consolidation

Here are some guidelines for a good night’s sleep: Go to bed at the same time every night. Wake up at the same time every morning. Set an alarm clock if necessary. If you have to stay up late one night, still get up at your fixed time the next morning—in the short run, the consistency of your cycle is more important than the amount of sleep. Sleep in a cool, dark room. Cover your windows if necessary to keep out light. (Location 3678)

Tags: sleep

Note: .sleep consistency is key to sleep and if you lose one hour at night its better to get up at the same time in the morning

Naps longer than about forty minutes can be counterproductive, though, causing sleep inertia. For many people, five or ten minutes is enough. (Location 3684)

Tags: nap, sleep

Note: .sleep do not nap for longer than 40 minutes

It’s been only in the past 150 years that we’ve been able to jump across time zones, and we haven’t evolved a way to adapt yet. Eastward travel is more difficult than westward because our body clock prefers a twenty-five-hour day. Therefore, we can more easily stay awake an extra hour than fall asleep an hour early. Westward travel finds us having to delay our bedtime, which is not so difficult to do. Eastward travel finds us arriving in a city where it’s bedtime and we’re not yet tired. Traveling east is difficult even for people who do it all the time. One study of nineteen Major League Baseball teams found a significant effect: Teams that had just traveled eastward gave up more than one run on average in every game. (Location 3710)

Tags: jet lag, time

Note: .time travelling east brings worse jet lag because it is more difficult to go to bed one hour earlier than one hour later

Aligning your body clock to the new environment requires a phase shift. It takes one day per time zone to shift. Advance or retard your body clock as many days before your trip as the number of time zones you’ll be crossing. Before traveling east, get into sunlight early in the day. Before traveling west, avoid sunlight early by keeping the curtains drawn, and instead expose yourself to bright light in the evening, to simulate what would be late afternoon sun in your destination. (Location 3719)

Tags: jet lag, time

Note: .time prepare for jet lag

Following Mark Twain, Jake called it eating the frog: Do the most unpleasant task first thing in the morning when gumption is highest, because willpower depletes as the day moves on. (Location 3741)

Tags: procrastination, execution

Note: .execution do the most difficult task first

of the power of the situation being underappreciated in favor of an attribution about stable traits, and it shows up as well in the workplace. The supervisor’s role virtually guarantees that she will appear smarter and more competent than the supervisee. The supervisor can choose to show the worker her own work when it is finished and polished. The worker has no opportunity for such self-serving displays and is often required to show work at draft and interim stages, effectively guaranteeing that the worker’s product won’t measure up, thus leaving many underlings with the feeling they aren’t good enough. (Location 3817)

The unsuccessful person interprets the failure or setback as a career breaker and concludes, “I’m no good at this.”

The successful person sees each setback as an opportunity to gain whatever additional knowledge is necessary to accomplish her goals. The internal dialogue of a successful (or eventually successful) person is more along the lines of “I thought I knew everything I needed to know to achieve my goals, but this has taught me that I don’t. Once I learn this, I can get back on track.” (Location 3828)

Tags: challenges

Note: .challenges successful people view challenges as learning opportunities

Donald Trump has had as many high-profile failures as successes: dead-end business ventures like Trump Vodka, Trump magazine, Trump Airlines, and Trump Mortgage, four bankruptcies, and a failed presidential bid. (Location 3845)

Tags: trump

Note: .twitter

trying to think about what you’re doing can quickly interfere, ending the automaticity and high performance level you’ve enjoyed. The easiest way to get someone to fall off a bicycle is to ask him to concentrate on how he’s staying up, or to describe what he’s doing. The great tennis player John McEnroe used this to his advantage on the courts. When an opponent was performing especially well, for example by using a particularly good backhand, McEnroe would compliment him on it. McEnroe knew this would cause the opponent to think about his backhand, and this thinking disrupted the automatic application of it. (Location 3950)

Tags: flow

Note: .flow thinking about flow can disrupt it

The best time-management technique is to ensure you have captured every single thing that has your attention, or should have your attention, by writing it down. The goal is to get projects and situations off your mind but not to lose any potentially useful ideas—externalizing your frontal lobes. Then you can step back and look at your list from an observer standpoint and not let yourself be driven by what’s the latest and loudest in your head (Location 4019)

Tags: external brain

Note: .externalbrain

Older adults (fifty-five to eighty) who walked for forty minutes three days a week showed significant increases in the size of their hippocampus, enhancing memory. Exercise has also been shown to prevent age-related cognitive decline by increasing blood flow to the brain, causing increases in the size of the prefrontal cortex and improvements in executive control, memory, and critical thinking (Location 4030)

Tags: retirement, memory

Note: .memory exercise in old age enhances your memory

A good tip is to set aside some time each day to deal with such things—whether it’s picking up clothes off the floor, making an unpleasant phone call, or giving a quick response to an e-mail. If this seems to contradict the discussion above, about not allowing yourself to get distracted by unimportant tasks, note the critical distinction: I’m proposing here that you set aside a designated block of time to deal with all these little things; don’t intersperse them within a block of time you’ve set aside to focus on a single, large project. (Location 4042)

Tags: timemanagement

Note: .timemanagement set aside a block of time to complete small tasks

One thing that many successful people do for time management is to calculate how much their time is subjectively worth to them. This is not necessarily what it is worth in the marketplace, or what their hourly pay works out to, although it might be informed by these—this is how much they feel their time is worth to them. When deciding, for example, whether to steam clean your carpets or hire someone to do it, you might take into account what else you could be doing with your time. If a free weekend day is rare, and you are really looking forward to spending it bicycling with friends, or going to a party, you may well decide that it’s worth it to pay someone else to do it. (Location 4046)

Tags: newsletter19, favorite, hourly cost, time

Note: .time calculate the value of your hour, outsource work where appropriate

Steve Wynn, the CEO of Wynn Resorts, in Chapter 3. About decision-making, he says, “In any sufficiently large organization, with an effective management system in place, there is going to be a pyramid shape with decision makers at every level. The only time I am brought in is when the only known solutions have a downside, like someone losing their job, or the company losing large sums of money. And usually the decision is already framed for me as two negatives. I’m the one who has to choose which of those two negatives we can live with.” (Location 4180)

Tags: pyramid, ceo

Note: .ceo the toughest decisions which have two negative outcomes are usually brought to the ceo

It’s important to recognize, both in lotteries and medicine, you can do things that change a probability by a large amount but with no real-world, practical significance. You can increase the odds of winning that state lottery by a factor of 100 by buying 100 lottery tickets. But the chance of winning remains so incredibly low, 1 in 100,000, that it hardly seems like a reasonable investment. You might read that the probability of getting a disease is reduced by 50% if you accept a particular treatment. But if you only had a 1 in 10,000 chance of getting it anyway, it may not be worth the expense, or the potential side effects, to lower the risk. (Location 4242)

Tags: favorite, probability

Note: .probability when you hear of probabilities increasing or decreasing always query the initial value

Observed probabilities tend to get closer and closer to theoretical ones when you have larger and larger samples. (Location 4252)

Tags: probabilities

Note: .probabilities observed probabilities are less reliable in small numbers

When we hear things like “There is a sixty percent chance that the conflict between these two countries will escalate to war” or “There is a ten percent probability that a rogue nation will detonate an atomic device in the next ten years,” these are not calculated probabilities of the first kind; they are subjective expressions of the second kind, about how confident the speaker is that the event will occur. Events of this second kind are not replicable like the events of the first kind. And they’re not calculable or countable like playing cards or fires on Elm Street. We don’t have a bunch of identical rogue nations with identical atomic devices to observe to establish a count. In these cases, a pundit or educated observer is making a guess when they talk about “probability,” but it is not a probability in the mathematical sense. Competent observers may well disagree about this kind of probability, which speaks to their subjectivity. (Location 4267)

Tags: probability

Note: probability can be objective or subjective. Subjective probability is based on the opinion of the observer. Objective probablity is based on mathematical formula

If you toss a coin three times in a row, it is true that there is only a 1/8 chance that you’ll get three heads in a row. But this is confounded by the fact that you’re looking at a short sequence. On average, only 14 flips are required to get three heads in a row, and in 100 flips, there’s a greater than 99.9% chance there will be three heads in a row at least once. (Location 4323)

Tags: probability

Note: .probability

The cliché in medical diagnostics is “When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.” In other words, don’t ignore the base rate of what is most likely, given the symptoms. (Location 4340)

Tags: sharing, favorite, quotes

Note: .quotes consider the most common cause

Internals tend to be higher achievers, and externals tend to experience more stress and are prone to depression. Internals, as you might expect, exert greater effort to influence their environment (because, unlike externals, they believe their efforts will amount to something). Internals tend to learn better, seek new information more actively, and use that information more effectively, and they are better at problem solving. (Location 5430)

Tags: circle of influence

As of this writing, there were thirteen hundred apps for mobile devices being released every day. (Location 5750)

Tags: apps

Note: .apps 1300 apps released every day

Information theory came up in Chapter 1 in discussing the number of simultaneous conversations that a person can follow, and the information processing limits of human attention being estimated at around 120 bits per second. It is a way to quantify the amount of information contained in any transmission, instruction, or sensory stimulus. It can apply to music, speech, paintings, and military orders. The application of information theory generates a number that allows us to compare the amount of information contained in one transmission with that contained in another. (Location 5842)

Tags: brain

Note: The quantity of data we can progress per second is capped. We can process up to 120 bits per second.

Based on your shopping habits, you might know that 90% of the time a typical bag of groceries at your regular market costs between $35 and $45; you’d be surprised if the total was $15 or if it was $75. So we would say that the boundary conditions for your bag of groceries are $35–$45. Scientists would describe this as your 90% confidence interval—that is, you are 90% sure that the register total should fall within this interval. The closer together your boundary conditions are, the more helpful your approximation is of course. (Location 6538)

Another test that gets at both creativity and flexible thinking without relying on quantitative skills is the “name as many uses” test. (Location 6731)

Tags: parenting

Note: .parenting name the uses for this - try with matthew

“When you make a mistake say to yourself ‘how interesting!’ A mistake is an opportunity to learn!” (Location 6755)

Tags: learning

Note: .learning a mistake is an opportunity to learn

As the old saying goes, a man with one watch always knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never sure. (Location 6830)

Instead, you learn a set of rules that applies to all the numbers, and then the highway numbers themselves tell you how they run: One- and two-digit highway numbers less than 100 identify major routes (e.g., 1, 5, 70, 93) that cross state lines. Even numbers are east-west routes, odd numbers are north-south. Even numbers increase as they move from south to north; odd numbers increase as they move from west to east. Route numbers that are multiples of 5 are major arteries that extend over long distances. For example, I-5 is the westernmost major artery carrying north-south traffic between Canada and Mexico; I-95 is the easternmost major artery carrying north-south traffic between Canada and Florida. I-10 is the southernmost major artery carrying west-east traffic from California to Florida, and I-90 is the northernmost, carrying west-east traffic from Washington State to New York State. Three-digit numbers identify loops, or auxiliary, supplementary routes in or around a city. If the first digit is even, it is a route through or around a city that breaks off of and eventually rejoins the main route. If the first digit is odd, it is a spur into or out of a city and does not rejoin the main route (if you’re afraid of getting lost, the auxiliary highways with an even-numbered first digit are thus always a safer bet). Generally, the second and third digits refer to the principal interstate served by the three-digit route. For example, if you are in Northern California and you find yourself on something called I-580, you can deduce the following: (Location 6854)

Tags: america, roads

Note: .roads us roads guide

Another thing that has been lost with digitization and free information is an appreciation for the objects in a collection. A person’s music library was once, not so long ago, a collection to admire, possibly envy, and a way to learn something about its owner. Because record albums had to be purchased one by one, because they were relatively expensive and took up space, music lovers compiled such libraries deliberately, with thought and planning. We educated ourselves about musical artists so that we could become more careful consumers. The costs of making a mistake encouraged us to think carefully before adding a clunker to the collection. High school and college students would look at a new friend’s record collection and wander through it, allowing themselves a glimpse of their new friend’s musical tastes and the musical paths that he or she presumably crossed to acquire this particular collection of music. (Location 6989)

Tags: wallreads, digitisation

Note: .digitisation

When the sum total of every song ever recorded is available—every version, every outtake, every subtle variation—the problem of acquisition becomes irrelevant, but the problem of selection becomes impossible. How will I decide what to listen to? And of course this is a global information problem not confined to music. How do I decide what film to watch, what book to read, what news to keep up with? The twenty-first century’s information problem is one of selection. (Location 6997)

Tags: selection, information

Note: .information when we have access to so much data,selection is key