By William Seidman I’m excited about David Rock’s newest book, Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long. Rock coined the term “neuroleadership” and is interested in the findings of neuroscience that are directly relevant to personal productivity. He begins with a discussion of the pre-frontal cortex, the part of the brain that aids in memorization and exercises which take conscious, I’m-working-on-it “thought.” We generally try to avoid using this region of the brain; when people are asked to “think” they often do as much as possible to avoid it. Rock asserts that the rational is overrated and not actually how we solve real problems. Rock asks, In each day if you have only a few hours of really good time, how would you schedule? Most of us spend the earliest part of the work day tending to “housekeeping,” whether it’s reading and responding to email, tidying our workspace, or other fairly simple tasks. From the brain’s perspective, the difficult tasks ought to be tackled first, when the brain is fresh. I’ve changed my schedule; now I allocate my time to align with the intensity of pre-frontal activity – working on cognitively intense projects when I am rested and less intense ones when I am tired. In addition, while Rock is really talking about individuals, much of what he writes about is directly aligned with how Cerebyte drives organizational transformations.

 “We all should know a lot more about our brain. Knowing your brain helps you make better decisions, stay cool under pressure, collaborate with others and more effectively create change.” — David Rock
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