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Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., was an instructor at Harvard Medical School for twenty years and is now director of the Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health in Sudbury, Massachusetts. He is the co-author of Delivered from Distraction and the author of The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness and Worry, among other titles. He lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, with his wife and three children. He welcomes hearing from readers and can be reached through his website, www.DrHallowell.com.
To schedule a speaking engagement, please contact American Program Bureau at www.apbspeakers.com
I am a child and adult psychiatrist with private practices in Sudbury, Mass as well as on the upper west side in New York City. Both practices operate under the name The Hallowell Center, where we offer diagnosis and a range of treatments for ADHD and learning problems in children and adults. I also am a writer and a speaker. I am married to Sue Hallowell, a social worker and a therapist. We have been married for 24 years and have 3 children, Lucy, now 23, Jack, 20, and Tucker, 17 (as of April, 2013). The major theme that runs through all my work is the magical power of the human connection, and the power of positive connections of all kinds. I also specialize in learning differences and have written books about how to deal best with attention deficit disorder, a condition that I regard as a potential gift, if it handled correctly. Having both ADHD and dyslexia myself, I am particularly qualified to help people with these conditions bring out their best I welcome hearing from readers. Just send me an email to email@example.com or visit my website at drhallowell.com
We live in an addicted, overloaded society in which hypomanic behavior has become valued and rewarded. Is this something new, or a culmination of forces that have been acting upon us for centuries?
We have all been multitasking since before our ancestors came down from the trees, but our attention is now constantly being distracted by a host of new inputs: email, text messaging, instant messaging and a hundred other things. Just think of those news broadcasts that since 2001 have regularly had more than one item at a time on the screen. Many of us have learned to give only partial attention to the task before us. The downside of this is that the myth that we can all be competent multitaskers ("Look mom, I can do ten things at once!") is an illusion. If you are only working on a project with 10% of your attention, not only is it going to take much longer to get it done, but errors are far more likely to occur.
Edward Hallowell is well qualified to write this important book. He is a psychiatrist who tells us that he has also been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, and he has spent years working on practical solutions for his patients. He then realized that many of the strategies that he designed for sufferers of the disorder could also help people being overloaded by too many demands on their time and energy.
This is a well written book by someone with a personal interest in finding strategies that work, and who has test-driven and refined them in his practice for years. What I particularly like about his approach is that although he offers a number of suggestions for quick fixes, he also goes to the next step, and discusses how being busy, overloaded and forced into ineffective multitasking can present us with an opportunity.Read more ›
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Early on in this book it is clear that this book is written from the male perspective. The advice about prioritizing what is important, cutting out tasks and people that drain you, etc will not help you if like me, you are a working mother of small kids. We don't have the option of dropping the energy and time sucking tasks such as laundy, constant meal prep, driving kids around, rescheduling work meetings when our kids are sick, etc.. Unless all the housekeeping is what floats your boat...you will HAVE to spend a lot of time doing chores you can't stand over and over....maybe a book on how to embrace this crazy life and find peace and fullfillment doing all this mundane work would be more helpful.
The author's chapter on why women have it harder than men is exactly one and one quarter pages long and he gives his wife a lot of credit for managing his three kids, the house and himself. However he admits he has no idea how she does it all! Frankly, I doubt he would be willing to take on what she does. After all, it would probably cut into his book-writing time. What about the book SHE might want to write?
The section on scheduling sex was just funny...he says that by knowing you will have sex on A given day, we have all week to anticipate it. Okay, maybe if you are a man....but a lot of working moms I know see it as yet another chore. How do we change our lifestyles enough to actually enjoy things again instead of just finding time to squeeze them in? The only answer I can think of is to hire household help...and that is not an option for most of us.. I will go back and re- read Tolle's A New Earth so I can just learn to accept this stuff more easily.
Moms, skip this book and get in your car...baseball practice is in 15 minutes.
I've been down the CrazyBusy path, so I recognized myself in some of Hallowell's examples. Pushing myself harder, multi-tasking, addicted to incoming emails, overloaded with information, and feeling like it might all come crashing down around me at some point.
This book gives "ideas about monitoring your mood at work, being systematic about how you invest your time and pushing your brain's reset button." The subtitle (Overstretched, Overbooked and About to Snap!) certainly described my feelings and those of many workers today. The strategies in this book may save your life.
The author's previous work with attention deficit disorder gives him insight into coping with the information overload and the pulled-in-all-directions feeling that goes with it.
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I bought this book on faith alone, and it turned out to be a good purchase. I am one of those people who, over the years, has grown into a "crazy busy" lifestyle. It really happened when I entered grad school (10 years after undergrad) and found a passion for computer science. I figured out a way to occupy my every waking moment with some level of academic thought. I was and have been unable to "fix" that persistent focus even now nearly 10 years after earning my Masters. This book helped to point out the wacky behavior that I exhibit. Sometimes, you need to be told or shown that "being on" all the time is not normal. This book helped me to see that I am overly busy in ways that I thought were OK. Changing my behavior isn't going to be easy, but I have succeeded in the first step - to know I am in need of some healthy change.
It's worth the money and the time to read this book.
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