“A lot of gainfully employed people on Planet Earth have a very strange working life. It’s now considered normal to check your Twitter feed 10 or 20 times a day, fire-fight work emails popping up through the afternoon, keep on top of Facebook communication, all the while texting, Instagramming, Snapchatting, finding time to read that really important piece on how the government is spying on you, and watch the YouTube video of the kitten meowing to Katy Perry.”
Sound like anyone you might know? As I write this, I’ve already broken twice to check email and Facebook, and once to place a phone call.
These thoughts, shared by accomplished neuroscientist, musician, and author, Dr. Daniel J. Levitin, highlight the reality of living and working in today’s digital era of information overload. While we may trick ourselves into believing we are simply proficient multi-taskers, Levitin cautions otherwise.
Each time we switch the directional track our brain is travelling down, we become less focused and effective. In short, we are wearing our brains out.
Conversely, he says that when listening to music, our brains are lulled into one of their healthiest waking states, that of the daydreaming mode. While we have been largely conditioned to avoid this perceived unproductive territory, Levitin says that “five-minute breaks in which the brain just meanders are exactly what we need to replenish and restore brain functioning. It’s the state we get in when we really relax – when we listen to music or go for walks in nature.”
In his new book, “The Organized Mind,” Levitin expands on this notion, and introduces other helpful ways we can navigate the daily informational clutter, based on cutting edge neuroscientific research.
Offering practical solutions for streamlining information every place from the classroom to the boardroom, “The Organized Mind” has been hailed as essential for anyone who wants to regain control of their home, business, and mind.
Retired Army General, Stanley A, McChrystal says the book is, “a must-read for leaders at every level…A fascinating contribution to understanding how to deal with big data, complex organizations, leadership, and our daily lives.”
Levitin has brought a unique blend of data, in the form of varied life experiences, to the creation of this book. In addition to being a professor of psychology and neuroscience at McGill University, he has also been a musician, record producer, and music label executive, and has been awarded no less than 14 gold and platinum records.
Working with the likes of Bobby McFerrin, Roseanne Cash, and Stevie Wonder led him to study how the brain works in both highly successful people and accomplished musicians, a journey that eventually produced his first bestseller, the widely acclaimed, “This is Your Brain on Music.”
Now, Levitin will visit Newport Beach as the latest presenter in the Newport Beach Public Library’s Witte Lecture Series. Appearing at the Central Library on March 20 and 21, he will discuss the tips in his new book, as well as the scientific findings behind both “The Organized Mind,” and “This is Your Brain on Music.”
The event on Friday, March 20 will begin at 6:30 p.m., with a wine reception, followed at 7 p.m. by a lecture and Q&A. The evening will conclude with coffee and sweets, along with book sales and signing. Tickets are $50 each, or $45 for foundation members.
Patrons can catch a matinee appearance on Saturday, March 21, beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday’s event will include a lecture and Q&A, followed by book sales and signing as well as coffee and dessert. Tickets for Saturday afternoon are $35 per person, or $30 for foundation members.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, nbplfoundation.org, or call 949-548-2411.
Edie Crabtree is an avid reader and the mother of three active boys. She can be reached at [email protected]