For Andrew Smart, idle is ideal. In a society that stresses overachievement, multitasking, and constant stimulus, Smart uses neuroscientific evidence to argue that the human brain needs rest to function properly. So while we may be preoccupied with being busy, it is actually crucial to embrace our inner sloth in order to increase mental health and well-being. Smart's reasonings are compelling, but it's the ingratiating performance of Kevin Free that makes idleness seem like a credible life choice. Free manages an imploring style that is remarkably gentle, and convinces the listener that laziness can be a virtue.
Andrew Smart wants you to sit and do nothing much more often - and he has the science to explain why.
At every turn we’re pushed to do more, faster, and more efficiently: That drumbeat resounds throughout our wage-slave society. Multitasking is not only a virtue, it’s a necessity. Books such as Getting Things Done, The One Minute Manager, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People regularly top the best seller lists, and have spawned a considerable industry.
But Andrew Smart argues that slackers may have the last laugh. The latest neuroscience shows that the “culture of effectiveness” is not only ineffective, it can be harmful to your well-being. He makes a compelling case - backed by science - that filling life with activity at work and at home actually hurts your brain.
A survivor of corporate-mandated “Six Sigma” training to improve efficiency, Smart has channeled a self-described “loathing” of the time-management industry into a witty, informative, and wide-ranging audiobook that draws on the most recent research into brain power. Use it to explain to bosses, family, and friends why you need to relax - right now.
©2013 Andrew Smart (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Although this is an interesting book giving you a fair amount of scientific data about how the brain thrives on being at rest, the conclusions drawn seem quite week.
The author suggests that idleness, or not working so much, is needed in order to get into the brain states needed for creativity and mental renewal. This is very interesting, and the science is fascinating about how the brain works.
However, the overall argument—that because our brains need down-time, then we should not work so hard, be more idle, etc.—is taken too far. His "solution" to the "problem" seems weak, unsupported and underdeveloped. There is no practical advice given (though it could be as easy as taking more rest, reflecting more, meditating, not being in front of digital devices constantly), rather, the author offers more of just criticisms of working too much and living in a work-driven society.
Overall, not worth it. Though interesting overall.
What to take away: your brain thrives when you are at rest, idle, and chilled out. So don't think it's a bad thing to chill out—it's good for your brain and helps your creativity. That's all you need to know from this book, basically. The rest is jargon, scientific examples, and other filler.
I teach WordPress web design online, focusing on the *design* part - and fun:) I love learning new concepts, hence all these audiobooks;)
I buy quite many audiobooks in the genre of productivity, business, self-improvement and so on. This book is one of those rare few, that really made me listen. It will (already has) changed the way I see, and wanna live, my life.
In it, the author goes into detail about the neuroscience of ADHD, and introduces some quite novel concepts that were new to me. I've never encountered "stochastic resonance" before. Now I have.
It's a well-written book, super well narrated, and a book I can't wait to listen to again, from the beginning. It's like the focused version of Goleman's recent book Focus, which is a mishmash of anecdotes. Meanwhile, this book is clearly written by an individual who really thinks (!) about the stuff he writes about. No fluffy Gladwell / Heath brothers crap here.
In addition, I think the book points out some major problems of our modern society. Everyone should read this book.
Your Brain at Work, which is another really great book that deserves more attention than most other books in the productivity genre.
I was excited to read this book because its premise was one that I intuitively feel is true. I got the validation I wanted in the many examples of scientific findings the author provides on how the brain works optimally when allowed some "white space" from thinking and doing. But, the last couple of chapters the focus was on how awful capitalism is, blaming modern society's focus on productivity and profit for the detriment of humankind's creativity. I wish that the author had offset some of his socialistic idealism with practical examples of how we could apply his findings in our everyday life. It was a missed opportunity.
The first part of the book contained interesting research but later devolved into a defense of Karl Marx and the evils of capitalism (work and exploitation) and the virtues of socialism (doing nothing). His argument that capitalism stifles creativity and socialist utopianism is the way to go is undercut by my not being able to think of any great art or innovation coming from the worker's paradise nations.
Maybe. Parts of the book were good but going from why inactivity is good to political discussions rarely make for great books. For this books the price was right and I can listen to it at high speed.
It was good.
No, but this isn't the type of book that could be made into a movie.
This is not a shock-jock produced antithesis to the currently prevailing success-in-business models.
Scientifically reasoned, this work seeks to reintroduce to the lay person of slave-mentality the condition of the mind that conduces creativity, self-identity, and mindfulness, while exposing the social nostroms that have hitherto led us to subordination of our minds to prescribed algorythms aimed at production of ever-increasing number of identical widgets for maximization of "shareholders' profits."
Ever wondered why time flies by much faster in proportion to the fun we are having?
I got this from Audible's daily deal, and my word... I want my $2 back. the book made me feel abysmal and greatly put off. The abject vacuity of his reasoning, the question begging, leaps of logic, the ludicrous and adolescent diatribe against capitalism, the Protestant work-ethic, business, etc... his childish praise of laziness--it was... it was all more than I could stomach (and sadly I was already feeling sick before starting the book).
If only the author followed his own advice and never under went the laborious and toilsome employment of writing this book and finding a publisher who would mass produce his drivel. Or better yet, If only he was acquainted with the profundity of his ideas earlier in life, and with idealistic fervor dropped out of school and immediately joined the cream of society; those with the healthiest and more vigorous brains, who sit doing nothing all day under the overpass. If it was during times of idleness, that the author's "creativity" and "insights" were sparked for this pathetic excuse for a book, then, my word.... we get to see the fruit of a slothful mind that has sunk a wee too deep into the mire of idiocy. Gee... this book is so ridiculous, bla... I wish I could give it minus 5 stars.
I will say that Kevin Free catches the smarmy tone of Smart's book well--kudos to the reader. I tried to get through this book, since it looked like there was interesting and useful information in it, and would love a good excuse for "doing nothing." I gave up a third of the way through it. The author sets up straw men for his personal bugaboos of the market and time management and then gleefully knocks them down. I couldn't see any reason to trust the science he purports to report on when his argumentative style is flawed to begin with.
A much better approach is taken in Hurry Up and Meditate by David Michie. He's announces his Buddhism right away, but doesn't try to use his book as a proselytizing tool. He just presents the facts and techniques as he understands them and lets us figure out if they have a place in our lives. While the subject matter isn't identical, some of the science does overlap.
This book has changed my life. But was not an easy "read" because it was so bogged down with info. The narrator did a great job, but again, the text is dense and packed with info. Good info, but packed, nonetheless.
This Book really made me wonder why I schedule out my life and beat myself up for not being the busiest person I know. I like the thought to do nothing and allow our brains to work!
While I find this field and the overall concept interesting, I would not recommend this audiobook.
Most of the scientific content in this book is covered in much better detail by The Great Courses and others in this field. When compared to the Great Courses on Psychology, this book sounds like a political rant. I should have been warned when the book description refers to our "wage-slave society," which clearly indicates where this book was headed.
I could not finish this audiobook despite it being one of the shortest I own.
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