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David Rock is a deep thinker.

He is in fact one very smart cookie. He cofounded the Neuroleadership Institute, co-edits the Neuroleadership Journal, is the CEO of the Neuroleadership (coaching) group and has written four books.


This week he posted an excellent article in the Harvard Business Review, which looks into where, when and how people do their best thinking.


And no, it’s not at work.


He identified three ways based on recent findings in the brain science to help us to think more deeply.


1. Distract yourself.


Now this may seem slightly odd. Why would distracting ourselves enable us to make a better choice? Because our decisions are largely unconscious even though we kid ourselves that we are using our conscious minds to make up our minds.


The fact is, we don’t.  If we pay a lot of conscious attention to making a decision, we actually cloud our ability to make a good choice. The trick is to not pay close attention and allow our quiet unconscious to work out all the choices and come up with the best one. Even better news is the fact the benefit of defocussing can happen in as little as two minutes.


2. Allocate four hours for good concentration and flow.


Scheduling in time for focussed and uninterrupted work is great training to increase attention skills and provides the time to work through different challenges and priorities.


So much of our time at work is taken up by interruptions that unless you can schedule in time for good thought, all the time will be allocated elsewhere. It sounds so incredibly simple, yet many people struggle to achieve this basic premise. So before you allow any more time to be taken up for meetings, appointments etc. block out those four hours each day just for you and your brain.


3. Use your brain wisely.


By understanding more about how your brain best likes to work it is so much easier to get things done more effectively and in a shorter time – sounds good to me!


Where and when do you do your best thinking?

Is it while exercising, or in the shower?


What time of day do you get your best thinking done and how can you schedule in your four hours for best thought then?


If you have too much to do and too little time, how can you improve your attention skills and manage those pesky distractions?


Let me know your thoughts – I’d love to hear what you think.


Dr Jenny Brockis

Dr Jenny Brockis is a medical practitioner and internationally board-certified lifestyle medicine physician, workplace health and wellbeing consultant, podcaster, keynote speaker and best-selling author. Her new book 'Thriving Mind: How to Cultivate a Good Life' (Wiley) is available online and at all good bookstores.

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