Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Brain Rules

One lone tree on my walk to work on the weekend still has its leaves. This is part of my save time working out - walk to work program.

I recently read a book by John Medina called, "Brain Rules -- 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School".

The book started very interestingly with the first rule being exercise to boost brain power where he gave lots of examples of how exercise helps brain function. He also dumped all over our school and workplace set up which encourages no activity so low brain function. Since I am a health guy and believe in exercise, I really resonated with that idea.

The book included a DVD that was about 40 minutes long. Since I had been inspired about the exercise I watched the DVD while I was on my treadmill while trying to read the rest of the book. Of course, one of Medina's rules is that multitasking does not work so I stopped reading the book and just watched the DVD while I was walking on the treadmill (not running). I have blogged on the myth of multi-tasking before. I don't think walking counts as multi-tasking because the one task (walking) is an automatic task.

Since I want to know how to learn faster and better and more easily, I enjoyed the book. Two of the 12 rules related to memory. For short or long term memory we need to repeat things a few times to ourselves -- repetition helps.

Of course, no book on the brain would be complete without a rule on sleep. The obvious gist is to sleep well -- think well.

He also talked about the negative impact of stress which is largely an inappropriate reaction to things. When you can understand that it is just simply a inappropriate reaction, you can deal with it so that it does not become stressful.

He talked about remembering more by stimulating more senses and how we remember more when things are emotionally charged and vision has the strongest sense.

His finally rule was exploration -- we are powerful and natural explorers. Curiosity is good. I like that rule since I am naturally curious and naturally a learner (although perhaps too focused on self-development and business).

I recommend the book. Its a good read.

And business quote for the day:

"Tough times never last but tough people do" (Robert H. Schuller)


At 9:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Jim,

I have been resting my brain for the past three weeks (35th wedding anniversary cruise), so it's great to read your blog again.

Brain Rules? I wish it were true in the corporate world. It's Reaction Rules. Stop and think? Use your brain? Rarely, I'm afraid.

You caught yourself (tread-)walking, reading and watching a DVD. Then remembered your multitasking advise. That's great! Albeit, you convinced yourself that walking was not considered a (consciousness requiring) task, so you kept walking and watching the DVD. OK, you dropped reading.

May I suggest that you try just walking the next time. No DVD. No reading. Just walk. Let your brain wander or relax. You may find it extremely reinvigorating. It will be as good as sleep, which, thankfully you discovered, is not just for wimps.

Productivity Solutions

At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading this article and I will definitely take a look at John Medina's 'Brain Rules' book. I was most interested in reading
more about how exercise helps with brain function, recognizing stress as an inappropriate reaction, and "remembering more by stimulating more senses." I think that these areas of brain practice can go a long way with memory efficiency and healthy living. Alvira Khan, Florida Atlantic University, FAU Boca Raton Alumna, http://www.alvirakhan.com


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