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on 30 March 2017
this book is on my top 10 books to read until you die. But be quick since in neuroscience, things do evolve, even if very slowly. The Brain is a very complex subject. But here, the suggestions are woven into a theatre play. The alternative scenario of every scene gives you concrete tips to tackle your train of thought. Do buy it. You will love it.
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on 12 June 2013
Stress, overwhelm, influence,relationships all contribute to living an unhappy life. In this excellent summary of hundreds of brain studies you can understand why we get into the situations we do and more importantly how to manage our brain's limited capacity to get more from ourselves and our time.
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on 15 August 2015
Haven't finished this book yet but I'm about half way through and it's already REALLY helped me to understand better how my brain works, and understand why things sometimes happen with me the way they do. The metaphor of having a 'stage' in your mind, and that when you're trying to hold too many ideas on it at once, you can't think properly, I find really helpful. I think this book makes the recent scientific research about the brain really accessible and actually USEFUL to everyday life.

I don't think the insights of the book are limited to the work context - I think they're useful for thinking about all areas of our lives.
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on 16 February 2010
One of the best books I've ever read. David Rock collects together a bunch of neuroscience, explains it extremely clearly, and shows how it affects the way your brain works at home, in the workplace, and in social interactions.

Each chapter is pretty short (ca. 14 pages, big writing). It introduces the topic by showing Emily and Paul in some situation (getting lost on the way to lunch with a client, meeting work colleagues in a new job, shouting at the kids, getting distracted, duking it out with co-workers) which inevitably goes badly. Then he introduces the brain systems involved in that interaction, explains how they work, and helps us to realise that those bits of the brain were only doing their thing - so it wasn't surprising Emily/Paul got flustered, lost, exasperated, etc. Then, now that we understand this, he suggests some very small changes Emily and Paul could make, and reruns the scenario - which inevitably turns out much better. Each chapter ends with a summary and four or five suggestions we can try out ourselves in similar situations.

The neuroscience explanations are straightforward and simple - you don't need a science degree to understand them. When you've read it, you'll probably think "why didn't we get this in school?!" (Much of it has only been discovered in the past 10 years or so.) We find out about dopamine, the amygdala (he calls it "amygdale"), the limbic system, the frontal lobes, alpha and gamma waves, mirror neurons, and more, and how they produce/influence our behaviour. To back it up, there are also about 20 pages of literature references and notes at the end.

Oh, and he has a nice, light sense of humour. A good person to sit next to on a transatlantic flight - puh, he'd even recognise when to stop talking!
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on 27 November 2009
David writes a readable book and some of the insights in here are extremely powerful. David is not himself a neuroscientist and so his book is written from the perspective of a business coach who is intrigued to see how understanding the functioning of the brain can help people best manage themselves. I would personally rate it 5 stars execpt for two small caveats. One is you get a sense that in order to make his points clear he sometimes makes them overly simple - thus losing, on occasion, some important nuance. Secondly he does occasionally mix in some of his own theories (not proven using neuroscientific techniques such as fMRI) but does not clarify which findings are scientifically proven and which may simply be theories.
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on 18 June 2010
I bought this book after watching the Youtube video of the same name, and I have to say its just been brilliant to read, have noticed myself thinking differently about a number of things and have found that I'm more relaxed and more able to deal with busy-brain stress.

Highly reccomended!
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on 23 March 2015
Good
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on 27 June 2015
I could not complete this book.
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In years to come we may look back on this book and see it as an early important entrant in what will have become a significant field. From that perspective the book's shortcomings may be clearer, but today it is well worth reading to get a good overall understanding of how insights from brain research can help us improve our own effectiveness in our daily lives.

It is very clearly written, and David has followed his own advice in how to get messages across in an effective way.

There are many great insights in this book which are immediately applicable. Among them, the importance of labelling, and reappraising our thoughts, and the overall importance of being able to observe our own mental processes. Other useful ideas include the fact that our default position is to regard others as foes, and the overriding importance of the threat response. The fact that multitasking drastically reduces our effectiveness is also well explained, as is the importance of fairness.

Overall I found this book easy to read, well researched, interesting and useful, and definitely recommend it. My only reservation is that sometimes it is not clear what research David is referring to, and I would like some of the research to have been explained a bit more fully, so we could judge for ourselves the implications drawn from it. There are plenty of references at the back, but it is not always clear which claims are based on which research work. I'm sure in the future other works by this author and others will make this clearer and also build on the ongoing body of research in this area.
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on 15 February 2012
When you have to babysit your own kids and work, it's ok. No big deal. But when you have to babysit numerous artists, own kids and still rock as a woman it becomes tough. Specially when you run a record label and has to be creative and business. And your brain is bursting into pieces with all calls, mails, social media follow ups, creative ideas and financial challenges. But wait a minute! I was simply not aware how to do it right! That answering email, participating on the conference call and answering mobile phone - and everything in the same time - it's not normal and literally bad for the brain, and term "multitasking" is something, invented by hungry corporates.

I highly appreciated the parts where Mr Rock provides series of case studies and their detailed analysis: initial problem situation, what went wrong and ideal situation.

What can I say? It's good time management book happily married with science. Mr Rock rocks! Me too)))
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