How Information Overload Encourages Organization


This Week’s Book = The Organized Mind (by D.J. Levitin)

A consistent pattern that I see with my clients who are experiencing anxiety and/or depression is that they feel disorganized, overwhelmed, and ‘messy.’ They describe memory lapses, an inability to focus, and just a general feeling of being overwhelmed by all the tasks that they have to complete. That pattern, coupled with my previously mentioned interest in neuroscience, led me to pick up this week’s book in the hopes that I will be able to give those clients are greater understanding of why those things may be happening and what can be done to remedy it.

The Organized Mind is a pretty scientific book that looks at how, evolutionarily, our brains are not set up to absorb the onslaught of information that we are exposed to now on a daily basis. Memory and attention are examined throughout, while discussions of organizational systems and strategies comprise a large part of the book. Organization is looked at in the context of home, social world, time, business, and decision making. Research and examples can be found throughout the book alongside rather weighty discussions of neuroscience and the brain.

This is a pretty dense and information-heavy book. I’ll admit that it is highly unlikely that I will recommend this book to my clients in crisis/early in their treatment. For them, I can imagine that it would be overwhelming, confusing, and difficult to focus on. However, I will suggest that professionals take some time to read (at least parts of) this book. Since starting this book, I’ve found myself discussing some of the useful concepts with my clients (albeit in much simpler terms), such as the way that our brain stores information, the need for sleep to aid with cognitive processing and memory, and the idea that externalizing information can help with memory, sleep and organization. If you like science and its application to the world, then this book will likely be interesting to you. If you’re looking for ways to feel more organized in your daily life, then this book could be interesting and helpful for you…if you’re able to weed through the academic language and filter out the sections that are not applicable to you.

Interested in the book?  Click here!

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