This book has been really interesting and it has definitely improved my understanding of many points in the field of organisation and critical thinking however it is a bit of a strange book overall. At 16 hours long it is by far the longest audiobook I have listened to this year yet there doesn't seem to be a unified overall theme other than "understanding the brain". This means that I am left with multiple interesting snippets of information or quotes and it has definitely helped to shift my mindset but I was expecting it to present some kind of system like in getting things done or productivity ninja but that isn't here.
The author actually references David Allen and some of the ideas in getting things done but doesn't really focus on any specific organisational system. At times I even wondered how the book got edited and published into its current form. It can be so meandering that if your concentration slips for just 20 seconds you can find yourself skipping back to work out how the train of thought took this turn. Because of this I don't think I would recommend you read this as your first book in the field of organisation or critical thinking. If you have already read and put into practice some of the ideas from productivity ninja or getting things done then you may like this. But don't read this first and expect to get all those benefits. This book is more for general interest in this field.
It covers things like:
Many books have explained THAT sleep is important but this books nicely explains WHY it is important. It explains what the brain does when we are asleep including unitisation, assimilation and abstraction. As well as the fact that before the invention of artificial light it seems humans generally naturally adopted a bimodal sleep pattern of 2 x four hour blocks with one or two hours of wake rather than our current system of 1 x seven to eight hour block.
Creativity vs Focussed attention
It explains how many creative people find they can be more creative because of organising systems helping them to unburden their mind. Active sorting creates great practical and mental efficiencies. After you have started working on something knowing that it is the most important thing for you to be doing at that moment is surprisingly powerful.
The author teaches advanced statistics at university level so there is a very interesting section about making healthcare decisions. I would strongly suggest you read/listen to this section.
What to teach our children
It explains that the primary role of teachers must shift from the dissemination of raw information to training a cluster of mental skills that revolve around critical thinking. We must teach the next generation of citizens of the world the capability to think clearly, completely, critically and creatively.
Overall I enjoyed this book. As I stated earlier, read something like productivity ninja first but if you have already done so and you want to delve deeper into how the brain works you may like this too. Get a copy here: https://amzn.to/2HnAJdK
Dr Chris Harper