In the modern world, most of us are asked to think for a living, yet few of us have ever been taught much about the way our minds work. Nobody would be asked to build a bridge without learning some physics or to practice medicine without knowing biology. Why should thinking be any different?
Premier cognitive scientist Art Markman demonstrates how you can become a smart thinker in his new book Smart Thinking. By drawing on the cases of some of the most brilliant minds and his own research into how the brain works, he provides the keys to getting the edge, innovating your way through problems and, ultimately, outperforming your rivals.
Art has provided a short quiz to get us all thinking about just how smart we are when it comes to using our time, deciding what's important and getting our work done. See how you do.
Answer the following questions by circling a number on the scale. Answer these questions only about your behaviour during the work day. Low numbers mean you rarely engage in this activity. High numbers mean you often engage in this activity.
Almost Almost Never Always 1. I answer emails within 10 minutes of their arrival. 1 2 3 4 5 2. I let the phone ring without answering it. 1 2 3 4 5 3. I create time blocks in my schedule to work on big projects. 1 2 3 4 5 4. Co-workers drop by unannounced to discuss issues. 1 2 3 4 5 5. I use an instant messenger to contact people. 1 2 3 4 5 6. I get anxious if I know someone is trying to reach me. 1 2 3 4 5 7. I have regular meeting times with co-workers. 1 2 3 4 5 8. I keep an agenda with a list of tasks to complete. 1 2 3 4 5
Add up your scores for Questions 1, 4, 5 and 6. These are the Short-term Draws on your time. Now, add up Questions 2, 3, 7 and 8. These are your Long-term Time Savers. If your score for your Short-term Draws is high, and your score for the Long-term Time Savers is low, then you probably do a lot of multitasking. You are probably not being as efficient as you can at work and at home. Read Smart Thinking to discover the tips that make a big difference.
Praise for Smart Thinking'If you want to be more creative, if you want to be an innovator, this is the book for you' Hara Estroff Marano, Psychology Today'As one of the world's most respected voices in the field of cognitive science, Art Markman has isolated a formula for thinking more effectively. The book is filled with specific suggestions and tips that you can use to create new habits to think better, starting literally from Chapter 1' Craig B. Wynett, Chief Learning Officer at Procter & Gamble and Dr Mehmet Oz, Professor of Surgery'Smart Thinking teaches people how their minds work so they can be more effective performers at work and at life. An essential read for anyone who wants to operate at their best, think outside the box, and accomplish whatever goals they set out to achieve' Sian Beilock, Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago, and author of Choke: What The Secrets Of The Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To'Smart Thinking not only enriches the literature on human thought – and its foibles – it takes it to the next level, offering clear prescriptions for how to sharpen memory, analysis and creativity in our daily lives' Wray Herbert, author of On Second Thought: Outsmarting Your Mind's Hard-Wired Habits'Why does thinking quickly create a positive mood? Are goals contagious? How do you create a culture of smart thinking? Building on decades of research in cognitive psychology and replete with stories and practical tools, Markman answers these questions and in doing so teaches you how to learn. Once finished, you'll feel smarter. Consider Smart Thinking an owner's manual to the mind' Jennifer Aaker, Professor of Marketing at Stanford University and author of The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Social Change
'This should be required reading for any student coming to college, new employee starting a career, or anyone who wants to be more thoughtful in life' James Pennebaker, Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and author of The Secret Life of Pronouns
'Art Markman has written a brilliant, engaging book on a subject of paramount importance in every person's life – how to think effectively…Markman points out that mental habits are the key to smart thinking, and teaches us how to form the habits we need to make the most of our potential. Smart Thinking is that rarest of books – a pleasure to read, and truly useful to boot' Heidi Grant Halvorson, author of Succeed: How we can reach our goals
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