Summary - How the Brain Works

  • A constant storm of electrical activity takes place in the brain
  • Distractions exhaust the prefrontal cortex's limited resources
  • Being "always on" (including being connected to others via technology) reduces effectiveness similarly to losing a night's sleep
  • Focus occurs partly through the inhibition of distractions
  • In addition, distractions consume too much energy because the braking system is part of the prefrontal cortex
  • Continual inhibiting reduces the effectiveness of more inhibiting. Need to short-circuit the inhibiting process.
  • Having explicit language for mental patterns gives a greater ability to stop patterns emerging early on, before they take over
  • Really effective focus requires removal of all external distractions completely
  • Reduce the likelihood of internal distractions by clearing your mind before embarking on difficult tasks
  • Improve your mental braking system by practising any type of braking, including physical acts like going for a walk.
  • Inhibit distractions early before they take on achieve momentum

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