Your Brain at Work

Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long
by David Rock | HarperBusiness © 2009 · 304 pages

Ever wonder how your brain works while you’re at work? And, even more importantly, how you can OPTIMIZE how your brain works while you work? If so, this is the book for you. Big Ideas we explore include the importance of prioritizing prioritizing (aka quit blowing your brain up), how to decrease your IQ by 15 points (hah—seriously—here’s how to be 3 times less effective than someone stoned! :0), why your basal ganglia is awesome, and how to rock the seesaw that is your limbic system + prefrontal cortex.

Subtle internal changes, which can happen within a fraction of a second and may not be noticeable to the outside world, can sometimes change everything. This book will help you understand, isolate, and reproduce such changes.
David Rock

“An avalanche of emails.
An overload of information.
A meeting schedule that leaves you exhausted.
Ever more change and uncertainty.
The occasional win just to keep you going.

If this sounds like your average day at work, you’ve picked up the right book.

This book will help you work smarter, be more focused, and productive, stay cool under pressure, reduce the length of meetings, and even tackle the hardest challenge of all: influencing other people. Along the way it may help you be a better parent and partner, and perhaps even live longer. It will even make coffee for you. Okay, maybe not that last bit, but everything else I mean quite seriously.

This book will transform your performance at work by letting you in on recent and important discoveries about the human brain. You’ll have the chance to get more focused and productive by understanding your own brain at work—at work. It’s only through knowing your brain that you can change it. (How your brain can change by understanding itself is something you will learn about here, too.)”

~ David Rock from Your Brain at Work

Ever wonder how your brain works while you’re at work? And, even more importantly, how you can OPTIMIZE how your brain works while you work? If so, this is the book for you.

David Rock is a leading business consultant and author who spent years interviewing dozens of leading neuroscientists while researching the neuroscience of work. This book is the fruit of his labor. It’s fantastic. (Get a copy here.)

Dan Siegel wrote the forward (see Notes on Mindsight) and David’s primary scientific advisor was Peter Schwartz (Note on You Are Not Your Brain soon).

The book is very creatively structured as a play featuring Emily and Paul (a married couple) as they go through their work day. Each scene has two takes—one sub-optimal performance and the other optimized with them embodying a different brain principle.

A key theme throughout the book is the fact that TINY changes in how we approach our work—informed by the leading science—can make HUGE differences in our lives.

The brain is also metaphorically represented as a stage on which the performance of our life occurs. We learn just how important a strong director is as we develop “strategies for overcoming distraction, regaining focus, and working smarter all day long.”

It’s packed with Big Ideas and I’m excited to share a few of my favorites we can apply to our lives NOW so let’s jump straight in!

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About the author


David Rock

Author, consultant, and CEO of the NeuroLeadership Group.