How to avoid mental meltdown
Since this space is devoted to analyzing recent publications, I’m taking the opportunity to promote my latest book, about the dangers of burnout: Surchauffe Mentale, Arrêtez de Vouloir Tout Contrôler et Lâchez Prise. I look at how to withstand information overload and the feeling of being overwhelmed that goes with it.
The aim isn’t to bombard you with technical information on how the brain functions. It’s simply to give you some key ideas to help you understand the cognitive mechanisms involved in perceiving, handling, and storing information. I lay particular stress on our ability to focus and concentrate, which is limited, and, in any event, completely out of step with the information pressure our brains are put under in the fast-paced world we live in today.
The book is full of practical advice, quizzes, and guided exercises, and I help you become aware of — and tackle — certain bad habits that mean we end up trying to manage more and more things at the same time. Specifically, I challenge the way we use digital technology and, more generally, how we collaborate, both of which occupy a disproportionate place in the workplace. They’re detrimental to peace and quiet, which is absolutely vital for deep concentration and regenerating our brains.
I suggest ways to organize our activities so they are more wholesome for our brains, in terms of how we handle information flows collectively and on an individual level, sharing easy-to-implement techniques for focusing our concentration and managing mental overload. My aim is to show you a playful and guilt-free way of getting your efficiency and intellectual comfort back — and to have a little fun carrying out your everyday activities. In other words, it’s about reclaiming a minimum amount of control over the information that we process — or not.
Surchauffe mentale : Arrêtez de vouloir tout contrôler et lâcher prise by Gaël Allain (Larousse, 2019).