Tinker Dabble Doodle Try
A review of

Tinker Dabble Doodle Try

Unlock the Power of the Unfocused Mind

Srini PillayBantam Dell • 2017

Harnessing the wandering mind

by Jutta Mackwell

People imagine they might achieve their dreams if they could simply focus more, but what if the inverse were true? In Tinker, Dabble, Doodle, Try, psychiatrist and brain researcher Srini Pillay suggests that the key to unlocking your brain’s full potential lies in learning to “unfocus.”

Many people believe that success hinges on the ability to concentrate, but according to Srini Pillay, they should instead learn to focus less. Drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience and case studies from his own practice as a brain researcher as well as business, the arts, education and sports, Pillay suggests that leveraging the wandering mind will help steer you toward your dream life. Over six chapters and a concluding “Tinker Manifesto,” Pillay shares tips to help you tap into your brain’s powerful but often neglected unfocus circuit, allowing you to embrace dynamic learning, trigger creativity and become a better multitasker.

Focus traps

Research shows that, when you focus, your perspective narrows, and you develop what psychologists call “inattentional blindness,” meaning you miss broader details outside your honed-in viewpoint. As Pillay explains, this hyperfocus can be extremely useful, for example when you’re trying to complete a task quickly. Yet the selective attention caused by overfocusing can also make you less likely to help others and hinder your ability to take in all the relevant information.

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