Brain Rules?

Yes – Brain Rules. If you want to understand why certain strategies to change habits work better than others it is vital to know something about our brain and how it works. John Medina has written an excellent book about this topic. It is very readable and contains a lot of vital information.

Medina is a fascinating story teller and he has a nice sense of humor which breathes life into brain science. You’ll learn why Michael Jordan was no good at baseball. You’ll peer over a surgeon’s shoulder as he proves that most of us have a Jennifer Aniston neuron. You’ll meet a boy who has an amazing memory for music but can’t tie his own shoes.

You will discover how:

  • Every brain is wired differently
  • Exercise improves cognition
  • We are designed to never stop learning and exploring
  • Memories are volatile
  • Sleep is powerfully linked with the ability to learn
  • Vision trumps all of the other senses
  • Stress changes the way we learn

In the end, you’ll understand how your brain really works—and how to get the most out of it.

The book describes 12 brain rules.

Exercise EXERCISE | Rule #1: Exercise boosts brain power.

Evolution SURVIVAL | Rule #2: The human brain evolved, too.
wiring WIRING | Rule #3: Every brain is wired differently.
attention ATTENTION | Rule #4: We don’t pay attention to boring things.
shortterm SHORT-TERM MEMORY | Rule #5: Repeat to remember.
longterm LONG-TERM MEMORY | Rule #6: Remember to repeat.
sleep SLEEP | Rule #7: Sleep well, think well.
stress STRESS | Rule #8: Stressed brains don’t learn the same way.
multisensory SENSORY INTEGRATION | Rule #9: Stimulate more of the senses.
vision VISION | Rule #10: Vision trumps all other senses.
gender GENDER | Rule #11: Male and female brains are different.
exploration EXPLORATION | Rule #12: We are powerful and natural explorers.

This insight will help you to understand what strategies have the most effect when you are trying to change some of your nasty habits like procrastination.

Next time more about some of the 12 rules… Stay tuned.


Cut your meeting time in half

Picture of a stopwatchI am going to share a personal experience with you. This experience changed the way I do things completely.

A few years ago I attended a course in speed reading. The trainer asked this question “What is the fastest way to read this book”. The answers from the group ranged from “read the backside” to “read the table of contents”. You know what the trainer said

The fastest way to read this book is NOT reading it.

So it all starts with setting the right priorities. Today I joined a seminar for entrepeneurs and one of the keynote speakers said that we should be very careful how to spend our limited amount of energy. Meetings really can be a waste of energy and time.

So here is the blueprint to cut the

number of meetings in half (at least)

Step 1:

WHY do we have this meeting? or  – What is the purpose of this meeting?

Sometimes people will say things like

It is very important that the meeting has a specific well defined purpose. In next posts I will write about “brainfriendly meetings”. If there is no purpose your brain will shut off within 15 minutes and start doing other things.  Furthermore – if there is no real purpose you do not have to hold this meeting at all.

Step 2:
Is it really necessary to have this meeting?

Sometimes you get responses like

  • we always meet on mondays
  • to exchange information
  • to keep the project members informed
  • the boss wants us to

These responses can easily be countered. It is more effective to exchange information at the coffee machine or you can make use of adequate ICT solutions to keep you informed about financials, project status etc.

Step 3:
Can we change the interval of the meetings?

Sometimes meetings are on a daily or weekly base. Can your change that interval?

Step 4:
Apply all the steps on all the agendapoints of your meeting.

Applying these four simple rules on your meetings will cut the amout of meetings at least in half. Imagine what you can do with this extra time and energy 🙂

Here are the four rules in a mindmap and here is a downloadable PDF

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