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Your Brain at Work

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Your Brain at Work

Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Understanding how your brain works can help you boost your mental processes, improve your focus and cope with stress.

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Leadership development expert David Rock applies cognitive science to life in the workplace with surprisingly practical results. He explains and applies numerous studies on memory, focus, attention and consciousness. His warnings about people’s mental limits prove direct and sobering. You’ll multitask less after reading his insights – but you’ll achieve more and have a better experience as a result. Some of Rock’s tips may be hard to apply, but your focus will improve as you try to work with them. getAbstract recommends his readable, useful insights on how the brain works, how to improve its function, and how to boost and sustain your ability to focus.


The Prefrontal Cortex

The market demands that you become a knowledge worker, and rewards you most for staying focused and creative. Yet emails, social media messages and endless entertainment options make today the most distracting time in history. You can’t change the world, but you can learn how your brain works and how to make it perform better.

Your brain is subject to “surprising performance limitations.” You can think at your highest levels for only limited periods of time. To make decisions or solve problems, you depend mainly on your powerful prefrontal cortex. However, the prefrontal cortex is a little like Goldilocks: For it to work well, everything has to be just right. Imagine the prefrontal cortex as “a stage in a small theater where actors play a part.”

The stage represents where you direct your focus. The actors represent information passing through your attention. Your stage “needs a lot of lighting,” or energy. The audience is “information from your inner world” – your memories and thoughts. Members of this internal audience sometimes take over the stage, which can hold information from the external world, from your internal consciousness or ...

About the Author

Co-founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute and Summit, David Rock wrote Coaching with the Brain in Mind, Quiet Leadership and Personal Best.

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    M. I. 2 years ago
    Understanding of five functions is great for me. Highly recommended.
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    G. G. 6 years ago
    Great summary. I highly recommend reading the book as well.
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    T. H. 7 years ago
    An excellent book which is based on neuroscience rather than just random homespun anecdotes. I've read hundreds of such books and this one's a keeper.