Looking for strategies to overcome distraction and work smarter all day long? Then David Rock’s book Your Brain at Work will help you understand why your brain feels taxed and what you should do to take full advantage of your mental resources. In the following excerpt, three common problems we all face in a work setting are outlined, with the solutions the book has to offer.
The Morning Email Overwhelm
Emily is at her desk by eight o’clock. She turns on her computer, ready to flesh out this new conference idea. But as one hundred emails download, a wave of anxiety washes over her. Thirty minutes later, Emily realizes she has responded to only twenty emails. She needs to speed up.
By the end of the hour, Emily has replied to 40 emails, but with the workday starting, there are now 120 waiting. She has no time to work on her new conference idea.
What You Did Not Know About Your Brain
• The most important mental processes, such as prioritizing, often take the most effort
• Some mental processes take up more energy than the others
• Every time the brain works on an idea consciously, it uses up measurable and limited resources