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CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap! Strategies for Handling Your Fast-Paced Life Paperback – March 27, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Hallowell (Driven to Distraction; Delivered from Distraction) turns what he has learned treating Attention Deficit Disorder into advice on how to cope with rampant busyness, "the problem and the opportunity" of modern life. He explains how to turn "the rush, the gush, the worry, and the blather (which also includes clutter)" into allies, so that one can have the things one wants with the speed, volume and emotional energy of the crazy-busy lifestyle. The roadmap Hallowell offers is helpful; that is, if one can manage to pick this book out of the never-ending stream of stimuli and find the time to read it.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., was an instructor at Harvard Medical School for twenty years and is now the director of the Hallowell Centers in Seattle, San Francisco, New York City, and the Boston area. He is the co-author of Driven to Distraction, Delivered from Distraction, and Answers to Distraction, as well as the author of CrazyBusy, The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness, and Worry, among other titles. He also hosts a weekly podcast called Distraction that offers practical solutions on how to focus and regain control in today’s digital world.
From the Hardcover edition.
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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. It is disappointing how few of those who give advice in books, magazines, on the Internet and on television, ever go beyond the psychological band-aid to developing long-term solutions. Dr. Hallowell spends a substantial amount of time on how to turn the challenge of being "CrazyBusy" into a source of creativity, ingenuity and inspiration. He goes through a series of simple steps that can help the busiest person unpack the causes and consequences of being caught up in a maelstrom of frustrating activity.
Some self-help books are frightfully impractical: a 300-page book on depression for someone suffering from the illness, who likely cannot read at all; a dense 250-page treatise on how to avoid being overly busy, aimed at people who don't have time to sit down to eat, and so on. This book does the difficult balancing act of providing plenty of "meat," while also getting down to practicalities that can indeed be incorporated into the day of a person whose life may have become unmanageable.
Dr. Hallowell has done us all an important service.
Dr. Hallowell elaborates how the term ADD can often simulate `modern life'. He teaches us in this book that no matter how toxic or detrimental our environment is, our life can be seen as a `gift'...BUT `..a gift that is difficult to unwrap.' We all can relate to the overloaded life that has become our norm. How we are all seduced to juggle increasingly more balls in the air with a resulting overloaded brain and overloaded life.
One of my favorite chapters in this book is titled: "Folks Ain't got No Time". Dr. Hallowell, as he does so entertainingly so in his personal lectures, shares in this book his own personal experiences...and we, as the recipient of hearing about his own life and formulations and perceptions, can so easily relate and learn how to more effectively manage our own modern life; how not to let work take over and take away the `play' in our lives. While is it evident that unless we become a recluse on some far away Himalayan mountain top, we cannot escape all that comes with living in our modern lives; Dr. Hallowell clearly demonstrates how we can manage our lives in creating a positive emotional environment wherever we may be.
I highly recommend this book...not for you to skim or peruse. but for you to read and enjoy every word that is offered...and thus learn how to live a life that is a bit less crazy, a bit less overstretched and overbooked but rather enjoyed more to the fullest!
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