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Autopilot: The Art & Science of Doing Nothing

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"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 Effectiv "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 bestseller 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 book 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." --OR Books


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"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 Effectiv "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 bestseller 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 book 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." --OR Books

30 review for Autopilot: The Art & Science of Doing Nothing

  1. 4 out of 5

    nostalgebraist

    Interesting but flawed, this little book (really more like a long essay) argues that we would all be happier, more creative, and maybe even more productive if we spent more time doing absolutely nothing. Except "argues" is kind of the wrong word -- it's really more of a rant, or maybe a manifesto, than a sustained argument. There are some gaping holes between premise and conclusion, and instead of addressing them, Andrew Smart just continues repeating his conclusion louder and louder. There are t Interesting but flawed, this little book (really more like a long essay) argues that we would all be happier, more creative, and maybe even more productive if we spent more time doing absolutely nothing. Except "argues" is kind of the wrong word -- it's really more of a rant, or maybe a manifesto, than a sustained argument. There are some gaping holes between premise and conclusion, and instead of addressing them, Andrew Smart just continues repeating his conclusion louder and louder. There are two reasons this didn't make me dislike the book. The less rational one is that I really want to believe in what he's saying. It's easy to get the sense that the vast strides in productivity we've made over the last 200 years or so haven't been matched by strides in personal well-being. The cynical explanation is simply that people can learn to feel vaguely dissatisfied with anything. But it's tempting to wish that the feeling of dissatisfaction many people have with their roles in modern industrial society is not wholly unfounded. Andrew Smart affirms this hope -- and with the (purported) support of brain science, no less! He's angry, he's passionate, he's scientifically literate, and he's telling us something we want to hear. It's hard not to fall under his spell, at least a bit. The more rational reason I didn't dislike the book was that Smart really does muster some interesting and suggestive evidence, even though he doesn't stitch it together into a single coherent argument. The evidence is of two kinds. First, there is the existence of the "default mode network," a set of brain structures that are more active -- use more oxygen and glucose -- when people are idly thinking or daydreaming rather than performing some task or other. According to Smart, the discovery of this network was a big surprise, because neuroscientists had previously assumed that your brain was essentially "resting" -- using little energy and not doing much work -- when you weren't performing a well-defined physical or mental task. Smart's second main kind of evidence comes from his own work on children with ADHD. His team found that for ADHD kids, some amount of environmental noise was actually more conducive to attention than complete silence. By using the optimal amount of background noise, they were able to boost the kids' performance on a test of working memory to the neurotypical average (!). Smart connects this second line of evidence to a number of conceptual arguments and examples to build a case that the brain is a complex system -- more like a forest or an ant colony than a machine -- which is designed to expect environmental variability. When building a machine, engineers typically assume that external noise is an unwanted source of error and try to minimize it, yet complex biological systems can use it to their advantage. The rigidly repetitive, variability-minimizing conditions in which machines -- or "ideal employees" -- are expected to function may simply be outside the "design specs" of the human brain. (Smart believes that the high suicide rate among employees of Foxconn, the huge Chinese manufacturing firm famous for making our MacBooks and iPhones, is due to the extreme rigidity of the imposed schedule. The central problem isn't how hard the work is, but how little "noise" the employees are allowed to experience.) The "complex system" argument is interesting and (somewhat) convincing, but it takes up surprisingly little of the book. The rest is devoted to talking about the default mode system (often very repetitively -- Smart doesn't seem to believe his lessons about variability apply to his own writing) and to various types of ranting and rambling. In these sections Smart is much further from making anything that seems like a lucid argument. Smart clearly believes that the default mode network is doing very important work when it's active (i.e. when we're not doing anything), and that if we all lazed around more, our default mode networks would have the time to generate all sorts of brilliant ideas that we could later exploit while we're working. Meanwhile, we'd be closer to the "design specs" of our brains, which expect leisure broken by intermittent tough activity (hunting, foraging, running away, etc.) rather than the constant low-level stress of a modern job. The problem is that he doesn't actually provide any evidence that the default mode network really does anything. He says it's more active when we're idle, and he goes through the different brain areas involved in it, which have to do with phenomena like consciousness and self-image. From a layman's perspective, I can't really say this is surprising at all. In my idle moments, I usually find my mind filled with thoughts about my life, my goals, my sense of my place in social life and society, and so forth. Should it be surprising that this mental activity takes energy to perform, and that it involves a specific set of brain areas associated with consciousness and self-image? Not really. What would be surprising would be to learn that this self-centered mental screensaver actually accomplishes something important. But that's exactly what Smart claims without evidence. The most important link in the argumentative chain is missing entirely. (I suppose you could say that since the default mode network consumes valuable energy, it must have a purpose, or else it would have been weeded out by evolution. But Smart doesn't even go that far -- he doesn't even raise the issue -- and that's pure speculation, not science. Besides, how would we know that the function of the network isn't something that's useless or even counterproductive in modern society?) Instead of filling in gaps like this, Smart spends a lot of space telling us about how Isaac Newton and Rainer Maria Rilke came to their famous moments of inspiration by letting their default mode networks run and experiencing the right amount of environmental noise. This is, obviously, not going to sway anyone who wasn't already convinced. The rambling, the gaps in logic, and the hyperbole make this book feel like it was written very hastily, possibly while sleep-deprived, and this impression is bolstered by the writing style: in many cases Smart places two sentences next to each other that seem to have no connection whatsoever, and the reader simply has to muddle forward until the unifying link arrives a paragraph or a page later. (Maybe idleness is a good thing in some cases, but there's no upside to lazily written prose.) I get the sense that the ideas in this book are very important ones, ones that deserve to have a good, tightly argued book written about them. It's too bad this book isn't that one.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emma Sea

    3.5 stars. Pretty good, but I felt the structure let it down. The first 8 chapters are all evidence for the need for humans to have down time, and then in the final chapter suddenly it's "Work is Destroying the Planet," a criticism of GDP as a useful measurement, and the utopia of a world without work. Seriously, this is a whole second book. You can't just throw five pages of that in there and then abruptly finish the book. Either expand on it, or leave it for the followup book. And I would read 3.5 stars. Pretty good, but I felt the structure let it down. The first 8 chapters are all evidence for the need for humans to have down time, and then in the final chapter suddenly it's "Work is Destroying the Planet," a criticism of GDP as a useful measurement, and the utopia of a world without work. Seriously, this is a whole second book. You can't just throw five pages of that in there and then abruptly finish the book. Either expand on it, or leave it for the followup book. And I would read that second book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Found the core subject (neurological benefits of idleness and noise) to be pretty interesting, but rather than expanding the topic by adding suggestions on making these concepts actionable, large portions of the book are spend grinding personal and political axes, which was a bit disappointing.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kaetrin

    It was a $1.95 daily deal from Audible. Also, I like doing nothing and am looking for further justification. I got bored and the big words were putting me to sleep. On a positive note, I did find myself reverting to autopilot quite a bit when I was trying to listen...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bon Tom

    Books like this are trailblazers of new paradigms. I'm certain it will be another 100 years before this becomes common sense, but those who give it a chance will almost certainly enjoy better quality of life. In short, we live in the mad world right now with all those stupid productivity tools and supposedly cool gadgets that enable us to work "on the go" and be "more productive". It's insanity. Stop it. Books like this are trailblazers of new paradigms. I'm certain it will be another 100 years before this becomes common sense, but those who give it a chance will almost certainly enjoy better quality of life. In short, we live in the mad world right now with all those stupid productivity tools and supposedly cool gadgets that enable us to work "on the go" and be "more productive". It's insanity. Stop it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Natasha

    Don't. Just don't. Do not waste any moments of your life picking up this book. You will wish you hadn't. I want my hour back. Great concept, poor execution. The book reads like an essay written by a 6th grader. It may be more accurately titled "Why I hate Six Sigma, and, and, it STINKS! So there!" before kicking productivity gurus in the shins and running away to hide amongst the stacks of pop psychology and business lit. The subtitle could be, "Here's a bunch of pseudoscience, half-ass philosop Don't. Just don't. Do not waste any moments of your life picking up this book. You will wish you hadn't. I want my hour back. Great concept, poor execution. The book reads like an essay written by a 6th grader. It may be more accurately titled "Why I hate Six Sigma, and, and, it STINKS! So there!" before kicking productivity gurus in the shins and running away to hide amongst the stacks of pop psychology and business lit. The subtitle could be, "Here's a bunch of pseudoscience, half-ass philosophy, randomly strung together concepts, and a few big words, so you think I know what I'm talking about as I blather on and on about topics without really making a case for anything other than my clear disdain for Six Sigma, which seems to have bullied me as a child. But now I'll have my revenge because some publisher's assistant with a temporary lack of judgement thought what I threw up on paper was worth printing." Ah, yes. I feel better now that I've retitled this book. Now it seems more accurate.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michael Burnam-Fink

    Show me on this brain where Six Sigma hurt you. Autopilot is a pop-science/manifesto, where Andrew Smart, a machine learning engineer with a background in neuroscience, argues that busyness is a curse, and that idleness is actually a necessary and useful part of being human. The book has a kind of freshman earnest intensity that overwhelms the argument. I'll buy that there is a resting network in the brain, that activates when we aren't thinking about or doing anything in particular, but I'm not Show me on this brain where Six Sigma hurt you. Autopilot is a pop-science/manifesto, where Andrew Smart, a machine learning engineer with a background in neuroscience, argues that busyness is a curse, and that idleness is actually a necessary and useful part of being human. The book has a kind of freshman earnest intensity that overwhelms the argument. I'll buy that there is a resting network in the brain, that activates when we aren't thinking about or doing anything in particular, but I'm not sure that the converse, that activating this network leads to genius, is true. Certainly there's a way in which the managerial jargon of efficiency and always being on task is actually opposed to risk-taking and innovation, but while Smart is persuasive in criticizing Six Sigma in particular, his arguments drawing on Rilke are much less convincing, and the neuroscience comes in a gush of metaphors.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pratik Kothari

    Highly recommend. The line of thought here is diagonally opposite to what we believe in and do, that is to optimise, maximise & rationalise. A good introductory to complex theory and neural science, will require lots of further reading.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mandeep Singh

    Have you ever wondered why even after abundant technological progress , we continue to work so hard and seem to always be short on leisure time . If yes , then this just could be a good book to read . Andrew Smart takes cues from psychology and neuroscience to explain the significance of being idle in a hyper competitive world where overachieving is new normal . A thought provoking analysis , this work of pop science will surely let you enjoy your idling and have those Aha moments of epiphany prob Have you ever wondered why even after abundant technological progress , we continue to work so hard and seem to always be short on leisure time . If yes , then this just could be a good book to read . Andrew Smart takes cues from psychology and neuroscience to explain the significance of being idle in a hyper competitive world where overachieving is new normal . A thought provoking analysis , this work of pop science will surely let you enjoy your idling and have those Aha moments of epiphany probably (of course without the associated guilt ).

  10. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    This book was really good until he decided to turn it into a Six Sigma attack, which I thought hijacked the initial point of the book and tainted a more global understanding of being in "autopilot." There's no wrap up of all the concepts he touched on, the earlier ones being most interesting. This book was really good until he decided to turn it into a Six Sigma attack, which I thought hijacked the initial point of the book and tainted a more global understanding of being in "autopilot." There's no wrap up of all the concepts he touched on, the earlier ones being most interesting.

  11. 4 out of 5

    James

    It’s important to do nothing because science, bitches! That’s all I got. Sorry. I’m too lazy to write a review. Which I trust the author would approve of. This is an interesting treatise on the why of doing nothing. But they don’t actually go into the how.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Russ

    This is a thinly veiled anti-capitalist rant. The first problem is that the author mistakes consumerism for free market capitalism. The next problem is that he raises some important points only to negate them by his freshman year tirade against capitalism. Is the idle mind really the playground of the devil? Do we create busy work for the illusion of productivity? Does the mind work better after some time off? These were good questions that could have used more in-depth coverage. I probably woul This is a thinly veiled anti-capitalist rant. The first problem is that the author mistakes consumerism for free market capitalism. The next problem is that he raises some important points only to negate them by his freshman year tirade against capitalism. Is the idle mind really the playground of the devil? Do we create busy work for the illusion of productivity? Does the mind work better after some time off? These were good questions that could have used more in-depth coverage. I probably would have appreciated it more if I skipped the last few chapters. If you plan on voting for Elizabeth Warren for president in 2016, you'll enjoy this whole book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Howard

    Brilliant book. We are so busy, that we don’t allow our brains to work properly. The is a lot of activity in our brains while we are idle. This book explains why this idle time is important for both creativity and self realization. Very important book to learn from.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bert Heymans

    Very insightful, a great case against over-optimisation and the grossly negative effects of neglecting the human condition in business.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Serdar Mumcu

    This book is really amazing. It changed my world view in a positive manner. I believe most of the people missed the points that the book points out.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Edwina D'souza

    There was less art and more neuroscience behind why the Brain behaves a certain way. Very theoretical and boring.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dale

    I finished reading it last night. It's a quick read being such a short book. I enjoyed the first half of the book when he is dealing with the neuroscience of our bodies' need for rest. The back half of the book takes off into his personal rants against things totally off-topic -- 6 Sigma, the evils of capitalism, banking, and rich people. He also fails to make an elementary distinction between our need for rest ("doing nothing") and those who are always resting (the lazy, slothful, and indolent) I finished reading it last night. It's a quick read being such a short book. I enjoyed the first half of the book when he is dealing with the neuroscience of our bodies' need for rest. The back half of the book takes off into his personal rants against things totally off-topic -- 6 Sigma, the evils of capitalism, banking, and rich people. He also fails to make an elementary distinction between our need for rest ("doing nothing") and those who are always resting (the lazy, slothful, and indolent). If you are going to read it, stick with the first half. As soon as he starts veering off-topic, put it down and get some rest.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Lupton

    What beyond good and evil did to morality, this book does to productivity. Genius with the exception of his blank slate worldview, his talk about ants is unaware of group selection and personality heritability and biology, and his last chapter is left-wing communistic virtue signalling which haidt or rand or bastiat counter (that the socialistic ideal is achieved through capitalism, not by money redistribution as redistributing money does not redistribute wealth, wealth must be created and shared What beyond good and evil did to morality, this book does to productivity. Genius with the exception of his blank slate worldview, his talk about ants is unaware of group selection and personality heritability and biology, and his last chapter is left-wing communistic virtue signalling which haidt or rand or bastiat counter (that the socialistic ideal is achieved through capitalism, not by money redistribution as redistributing money does not redistribute wealth, wealth must be created and shared first). These ignorances if addressed would actually amplify smarts message and impact, as they connect the dots of his arguments with larger supersets of integration, rather than dismissing anything he said.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeshua Aswin

    Firstly, I am exhilarated to know that idleness can boost and enhance our creativity. As a person who keeps me busy around the clock, the ideas discussed in this book indeed sound alarming. Let me take a pause from time to time to make sure I live long and healthy. Too much technical noise in the chapters might help clear the vision for people from scientific backgrounds; however, it might not be a utopian read for the commoners. Perhaps, a more structured narrative would have made it an excitin Firstly, I am exhilarated to know that idleness can boost and enhance our creativity. As a person who keeps me busy around the clock, the ideas discussed in this book indeed sound alarming. Let me take a pause from time to time to make sure I live long and healthy. Too much technical noise in the chapters might help clear the vision for people from scientific backgrounds; however, it might not be a utopian read for the commoners. Perhaps, a more structured narrative would have made it an exciting read. Here are some of the mind-boggling excerpts: What comes into your consciousness when you are idle can often report from the depths of your unconscious self—and this information may not always be pleasant. Through idleness, great ideas buried in your unconsciousness have the chance to enter your awareness. Chronic busyness is bad for your brain, and over the long-term busyness can have serious health consequences. In the short term, busyness destroys creativity, self-knowledge, emotional well-being, and your ability to be social—and it can damage your cardiovascular health. Idleness is a silent and peaceful quality, that neither raises envy by ostentation, nor hatred by opposition; and therefore nobody is busy censuring or detecting it. When your brain is bombarded with stimuli like emails, phone, calls, texts, errands, driving around, talking to your boss, or checking the to-do list, it is kept bust responding to the challenges of the moment. Your brain has no time leftover to be creative. One of the great paradoxes of modern life is that technology, for all its advantages, is actually taking away our leisure time.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Siddharth

    Autopilot by Andrew Smart is a book about the science of doing nothing, the idle time period your brain needs and wants. In today's time and age we do not let our brains sit idle, we overload it with a lot of activities when we are not working. According to the author, the brain actually needs the idle tie to store the experiences more effectively into memories and to recuperate from the active time period it spends when we are performing acts/activities. According to the author, there is a defau Autopilot by Andrew Smart is a book about the science of doing nothing, the idle time period your brain needs and wants. In today's time and age we do not let our brains sit idle, we overload it with a lot of activities when we are not working. According to the author, the brain actually needs the idle tie to store the experiences more effectively into memories and to recuperate from the active time period it spends when we are performing acts/activities. According to the author, there is a default mode network in our brain that actually assists to idle the brain at it's peak, making it more efficient. Some points shine through: The author hates loading brains up unnecessarily by multitasking and overloading. He also hates the six sigma methodology which according to him is suited for error-free mechanical / device production and humans should not be subjected to it. Overall a good book, quite unlike the other self-help productivity booster books there are in the market. Must read for alternative / out-of-the-box thinkers.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jerrod Carter

    I really enjoyed all the science in this book and learning about what our brain is busy doing when we think we're being non-productive with "wasteful" activities like day-dreaming and staring off into space thinking about nothing. Mr. Smart has done a very nice job of making a strong case for more stopping to smell the flowers and helped explained why I seem to get a lot of good ideas in the shower and out on a run. I think he stretched his brain science too far, though, when he clumsily tried to I really enjoyed all the science in this book and learning about what our brain is busy doing when we think we're being non-productive with "wasteful" activities like day-dreaming and staring off into space thinking about nothing. Mr. Smart has done a very nice job of making a strong case for more stopping to smell the flowers and helped explained why I seem to get a lot of good ideas in the shower and out on a run. I think he stretched his brain science too far, though, when he clumsily tried to apply it to macro level societal organization, though. Seemed a lot like Soviet-style central planning, to me. I'm sure he'd disagree, but most social architects would. Just skip the last chapter, and it's a good book. 22-Apr-2015: Just read it again and liked specifically the ideas around graph theory, stochastic resonance and non-linear systems.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kent Winward

    The thought of mindful relaxation was a great counterbalance to the societal urge to constantly excel and go. I read this at the same time I read Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much and the two books dovetailed nicely for me. The creation of system "slack" was a theme in "Scarcity" and this seemed to be Smart's point as well. We need to cut our brain some slack, so it can do its job, rather than pushing it with a constant barrage of caffeine and activity. Oh and since Amazon can't seem The thought of mindful relaxation was a great counterbalance to the societal urge to constantly excel and go. I read this at the same time I read Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much and the two books dovetailed nicely for me. The creation of system "slack" was a theme in "Scarcity" and this seemed to be Smart's point as well. We need to cut our brain some slack, so it can do its job, rather than pushing it with a constant barrage of caffeine and activity. Oh and since Amazon can't seem to figure out how to save my Audible bookmarks: 2:03:06: Depression and anxiety are highly correlated.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ralph

    This is one of those book that I wished I had a print version so I could annotate it. The first part of the book was most interesting to me as it covered research into brain function when our brains are busy and idle, multi-tasking, creativity and stochastic resonance, and the need for down time to reset our brains. The last part of the book focuses on society's need to always be busy, suggesting that spending more time being idle and "lazy" may actually be beneficial. The author also tackles Six This is one of those book that I wished I had a print version so I could annotate it. The first part of the book was most interesting to me as it covered research into brain function when our brains are busy and idle, multi-tasking, creativity and stochastic resonance, and the need for down time to reset our brains. The last part of the book focuses on society's need to always be busy, suggesting that spending more time being idle and "lazy" may actually be beneficial. The author also tackles Six Sigma and how its emphasis on eliminating variation in process can actually stifle creativity and innovation. You may not agree with everything contained in the book, but it is good reading and thought provoking.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shrikant Patil

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Book on very intriguing topic. Starts with very promising premise that well rested mind ka critical for well functioning mind. He is heavily influenced by Bertrand Russell. Examples of Rilke and Einstein are lucid enough to show that slogging did not produce the extraordinary creative/scientific inventions. The book loses the plot on how to implement this philosophy. The last chapter is titled "How work is destroying the planet " So as you can see author seamlessly transitions from neuro scientis Book on very intriguing topic. Starts with very promising premise that well rested mind ka critical for well functioning mind. He is heavily influenced by Bertrand Russell. Examples of Rilke and Einstein are lucid enough to show that slogging did not produce the extraordinary creative/scientific inventions. The book loses the plot on how to implement this philosophy. The last chapter is titled "How work is destroying the planet " So as you can see author seamlessly transitions from neuro scientist to a woke capitalist. Though I don't agree with the recommendations thoroughly, enjoyed reading this well written book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I enjoyed this interesting book. I found the anti-corporatism and anti-Six Sigma talk entertaining. It could be a little too neuroscience for some people at the end. I got his point about how manufacturing type of jobs weren't made for people as people are made to think creatively. We're not robots our work will inevitably have variations, but it seemed loosely connected to the argument of being more idle and praising the default mode network. If anything, having a job that isn't robotic, requir I enjoyed this interesting book. I found the anti-corporatism and anti-Six Sigma talk entertaining. It could be a little too neuroscience for some people at the end. I got his point about how manufacturing type of jobs weren't made for people as people are made to think creatively. We're not robots our work will inevitably have variations, but it seemed loosely connected to the argument of being more idle and praising the default mode network. If anything, having a job that isn't robotic, requires the brain to be more active and not in the default mode. So, I am confused by that.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    This book was definitely worth a read (or listen). It's short, but describes a concept I'd long suspected but had no scientific evidence to support. Our brains are doing a lot more than we suspect, and down time is just as important as up time- especially to the creative minded. Watching a movie, zoning out on the couch, and enjoying nature hikes are all as vital to productivity as any time management program. Fascinating book. This book was definitely worth a read (or listen). It's short, but describes a concept I'd long suspected but had no scientific evidence to support. Our brains are doing a lot more than we suspect, and down time is just as important as up time- especially to the creative minded. Watching a movie, zoning out on the couch, and enjoying nature hikes are all as vital to productivity as any time management program. Fascinating book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Great concept, but extremely flawed execution. I was going to give this book two stars as I did take away some useful information, but the author's rants about the evils of capitalism, corporations, banks, and rich people got to be more than I could bear. I found myself having to take breaks from reading because it kept making me angry. I'd like to see someone write about this topic and just focus on the science, leaving out the off-topic, cheap political jibes. Great concept, but extremely flawed execution. I was going to give this book two stars as I did take away some useful information, but the author's rants about the evils of capitalism, corporations, banks, and rich people got to be more than I could bear. I found myself having to take breaks from reading because it kept making me angry. I'd like to see someone write about this topic and just focus on the science, leaving out the off-topic, cheap political jibes.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brian Layman

    Descending from science to pseudoscience to raves about Apple and iPhones and quotes about the occupy movement and rants about corporation management and the rich never giving to the poor, this was an increasingly disappointing read. I had found it interesting at first. It is a shame some readers were turned off by the big words at the start. About half way through he'd run out and just started ranting. Descending from science to pseudoscience to raves about Apple and iPhones and quotes about the occupy movement and rants about corporation management and the rich never giving to the poor, this was an increasingly disappointing read. I had found it interesting at first. It is a shame some readers were turned off by the big words at the start. About half way through he'd run out and just started ranting.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Luca Nicoletti

    I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. Nothing new or not known already if you're in the self-improvement/time management world for a while. But it provides beautiful and interesting insights on how - most of the time - taking a breath, a stop, a moment to relax and having a break can increase our performance and outputs way more than overdoing. The author illustrates various examples in which, a lot of studies and people, have demonstrated how effective a break can be. I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. Nothing new or not known already if you're in the self-improvement/time management world for a while. But it provides beautiful and interesting insights on how - most of the time - taking a breath, a stop, a moment to relax and having a break can increase our performance and outputs way more than overdoing. The author illustrates various examples in which, a lot of studies and people, have demonstrated how effective a break can be.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amir

    The connection between the claim and the artifacts that he provides in the book to support the claim is incoherent. I can understand the virtue of the book, however the building up toward that claim is very poor.

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