Your Brain at Work, by David Rock: Book Review – Part 1

I read a ton of books for work – some are about coaching, some are about business, and books like Your Brain at Work, by David Rock, are about mindset. I got so excited about how the simple concepts in this book could help my clients, my friends, and me, that I had to write about it!

There are so many great ideas in the book that I’m sharing them in 2 posts (here’s the second). Here are my favorites:

Your brain gets tired when you think hard.

When your brain is working hard, even if it’s on stuff (like email) that’s not your most important tasks, you deplete limited resources. Do your heavy thinking (like planning and prioritizing) when your brain is fresh and alert.

Book I've learned the most from this year? 'Your Brain at Work,' by David Rock #mindfulness #neuroleadership Click To Tweet

When you try to multitask, you lose.

Your memory actually gets worse when you try to keep multiple ideas (or inputs) in your head, and switching between tasks takes a ton of energy. When you focus on one single thing at a time, you’re much more effective.

It’s SO easy to get distracted.

Ever feel dumb about turning down the radio in the car when you’re trying to find a new address? Don’t! The more you can reduce or remove distractions (like the radio), the easier it is to focus.

Being in the flow isn’t about no stress, it’s about the right stress.

You can’t perform your best when you’re super-stressed out. Or when you’re completely chilled out. You need to be both relaxed and alert for peak performance.

Our brains “run away” from threats, and “walk toward” rewards.

We react strongly to things our brain senses as threats or danger, and this takes a lot of mental energy. The emotions that perceive rewards are less reactive. So, it’s easier for our brains to freak out than to be delighted.

Certainty and autonomy are super-important.

Our brains crave certainty – we love to be able to predict what’s next. We also love to have a sense of control. (Which is why asking a toddler if they’d prefer to wear the red shirt or the blue shirt can help them get dressed quicker.) Uncertainty and lack of control can create feelings of threat in everyday interactions — like meetings and retail store purchases — so keep a lookout for how they might be affecting you and the people around you.

The second part of the review covers expectations, friends vs. foes, receiving feedback, and more!

Have you read David Rock’s Your Brain at Work? Tell us what you thought about it below!

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