Why Read: Your Brain at Work by David Rock

We love a good read. Especially when it’s useful. David Rock’s Your Brain At Work is a book our team loves and recommends to others, and we thought we’d give you the quick 1-2 on it in case it’s on your to-read list, or you’re looking for a great read this Fall.

Why we love it: it’s a practical guide to your work-day based on neuroscience. 

Your Brain at Work by David Rock

Your Brain at Work by David Rock

  • It’s an easy read
  • It addressed common problems and feelings that we all face in our workplaces
  • It provides many tips and examples for those who work in an office setting and those who work independently or from home
  • It has handy summaries at the end of each chapter

(Some of) Our Main Takeaways from Your Brain at Work:

  • “Prioritize Prioritizing”: Prioritizing takes a lot of attention, processing and energy for the brain, as it turns out. So, it is helpful to prioritize before you dive into anything else at work. That means don’t get sucked into emails and don’t try to knock something off the list that you don’t yet have. Just prioritize first so that you don’t jeopardize your brain from staying focused as you move through your priorities.
  • Don’t F#$%ing multitask: none of us are good at it, your brain just isn’t cut out for it! There is a reason we cannot text and talk at the same time – it crowds the space and energy that your brain is using to compute and both tasks are compromised.
  • Men really are more prone to procrastination: the neurochemicals that create a sense of urgency are more scarce in men than in women.
  • Familiarity supports effective collaboration: we aren’t kidding when we say there is science behind icebreakers, energizers, or simply welcoming everyone to a meeting! This helps the brain change its reaction to the people you’re working with from an “enemy” reaction to a “friend” reaction, releasing neurochemicals that stimulate creativity, comfort and overall happiness.

Our Main Critiques:

  • Some of the examples are a bit cheesy or too perfect, but we get it and the approaches are definitely worth your time testing out
  • The science towards the end of the book gets a little fuzzy… In part this is because most of the science principles are explained upfront, then built on. For us brain nerds, some more in-depth explanations would be great. The scientific fuzziness might also be because there is less proven neuroscience about the interaction of people. I want to believe it all, I do believe a lot of it, but I am looking forward to the forthcoming proof and explanations of the science of human interactions.



How You Can Apply Your Brain At Work:

There are so many practical tips in this book that you can try, but don’t feel overwhelmed by that, break it down now…



  1. Consider (and take note of) the parts of your work day where you struggle the most: What do you get frustrated by at work? What are the consistent times during the day where you feel less focused? What types of tasks do you find easy and which do you find more challenging?
  2. Try one of the tips weekly: don’t try to implement everything at once (your brain will be overwhelmed!). Instead try to create positive practices and habits by committing to one of the tips for a whole week of work.
  3. Reflect: At the end of the week, check back in on what you experienced. How was it to implement the trip that you tried? What impacts did it have on your focus, feelings and productivity?

Happy Reading! Or if you’ve read David Rock’s Your Brain at Work already, please comment and let us know what you think and how you use it!

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