Jeff's Reviews > Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long

Your Brain at Work by David Rock
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's review
Jul 02, 11

bookshelves: 2011-book-list
Read from July 17, 2010 to July 02, 2011

Very helpful insights on how the brain works.

Some takeaways:

* Your best-quality thinking lasts for a limited time. The answer is not always to "try harder."

* We have a limited bucket of resources for activities like decision making and impulse control. Make one difficult decision, and the next is more difficult.

* Prioritizing is one of the brain's most energy-hungry processes.

* Picturing something you have not yet seen is going to take a lot of energy and effort. This partially explains why people spend more time thinking about problems (things they have seen) than solutions (things they have never seen). It explains why setting goals feels so hard (it's hard to envision the future.)

* Maintaining a good focus on a thought occurs through not so much how you focus, but rather how you inhibit the wrong things from coming into focus.

* You now have an additional excuse for taking that stroll in the park when you're stuck on a problem. I can just picture someone's last words to their boss being fired: "I am going for a walk to forget about work and get totally unconscious." As funny as this sounds, it is what the research shows is needed when you get stuck at an impasse. The wrong answers are stopping the right ones from emerging.

* Insights occur more frequently the more relaxed and happy you are.

* Look for solutions instead of focusing on the problem.
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06/19/2011 page 87

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