Is this a book for you?

1.1 About BrainChains and BrainGains

1.2 This is a book for you if you want to significantly improve your intellectual performance

1.3 For an optimal synergy between your ICT and your brain,

1.4 This is certainly a book for you if you feel that your ICT use has a negative impact on your productivity

Section 1. Your Thinking Brain And Its Two Frenemies; Know Them Better To Use Them Better

1 We are all brainworkers and our success depends on our intellectual productivity

2 The ICT tools are not the problem; it’s the way we use them

3 Amazing facts about your brain

3.1 160 billion cells and a quadrillions of connections

3.2 Not a machine composed of parts, but a network of networks of networks

3.3 Our body-brain: connected to every single cell of the body

3.4 Unbelievable but true: our brain is directly connected with other people’s brains

4 Our unique reflecting brain and its frenemies

4.1 Our three brains in a nutshell

4.2 Your reflecting brain is young, unique and fantastic but it cannot think two thoughts at the same time

5 Your reflex brain is lightning fast because it runs on shortcuts and habits

5.1 The primitive reflex brain: reflection’s friend and foe

5.2 The secret of the speed of your reflex brain: shortcuts

5.3 Beware of your intuitions or gut feelings

5.4 The reflex brain needs “a madman’s guards against unethical behavior

6 Emotions: very influential, hard-wired and soft-wired, on the interface between reflex and reflection

7 Our archiving brain needs breaks

8 Why you should come to the rescue of your slow reflecting brain and your archiving brain

8.1 When our two brains compete, the reflecting brain is the underdog

8.2 The lack of undisturbed reflection a problem for your intellectual productivity

“It's not that I'm so smart; it's just that I stay with problems longer.”

8.3 Companies suffering from Corporate Brain Disorder mistreat the reflecting brain of their brainworkers

Section 2: How We Unknowingly Chain the Best of Our Brain

1 When you chain your brain, you risk more than just ruining your intellectual productivity

1.1 A baby dies, forgotten in a car on a hot parking lot

1.2 A well-known Swiss recipe for making mistakes and dangerous behavior

2 BRAINCHAIN #1 is a root cause of the problem: always being connected

2.1 The promises and perils of always being connected

2.2 From the dream of “anytime, anywhere” to the nightmare of “all the time, everywhere”

2.3 AbC is a weapon of massive distraction in the hands of the homo interruptus

2.4 AbC turns us into adhocrats and our organizations into adhocracies

2.5 AbC causes information overload

2.6 AbC exhausts our brainpower, willpower and causes decision fatigue

2.7 AbC eliminates vital slack and blocks information processing and creativity

2.8 AbC often ruins real conversations, relations, discussions and meetings

2.9 A special case: AbC ruins off-site meetings

2.10 Expecting employees to always be connected is a big counterproductive blunder

2.11 Why is it so difficult to disconnect to reflect? About habits, addicts and screen zombies

2.12 Conclusion: Disconnect to become intellectually productive

3 BRAINCHAIN #2: Multitasking and task-switching; the scatterbrained homo interruptus

3.1 Multitasking and hypertasking, the new inefficient norm

3.2 Multitasking at work can be dangerous

3.3 Research in real life confirms the lab results

3.4 Aim to be a right-tasker, moving closer to single tasking

4 BRAINCHAIN #3: A continuous low level of stress ruins the very best of your reflecting brain

4.1 Negative stress makes smart people behave stupid

4.2 What is stress and how to maintain your stress-balance

4.3 How the unrelenting little hassles of being connected all the time become harmful

4.4 The local stress of always being connected

5 BRAINCHAIN #4: Lack of breaks and sleep; a wake-up call to sleep more

5.1 Our brain needs enough sleep, more than any other organ

5.2 Three tests to find out how much sleep you really need

5.3 Scary statistics about our lack of sleep

5.4 Always wired, tired and uninspired

5.5 Lack of sleep ruins your intellectual productivity, makes you less happy, less healthy and less sexy

6 BrainChain #5 is outside your control: brain-hostile open offices

7 Four BrainChains combined: e-mail and co, weapons of mass distraction for the Homo Interruptus.

7.1 A great tool has become counterproductive and corporate social media are no solution

7.2 E-mail has become a major time-waster. The cost is seconds for the sender, hours for the receiver

7.3 Checking your e-mail all the time, especially on a phone, is ridiculously inefficient

8 Dangerous BrainChains: Using your phone while driving, even hands-free

8.1 Driving while using a phone: “Superman Disorder”

8.2 The risk is 4 to 23 times higher; hands-free and eyes-free are not safe

8.3 Why using a phone while driving is so very dangerous

8.4 Why the authorities will not stop this very dangerous use of ICT

8.5 If your company is serious about safety it should have a connectivity policy

Section 3: How to Unchain Your Brain. BrainGains at three levels

1 Simplicity is complexity resolved, but simple does not mean easy

2 BrainGains at the „Me“ level

2.1 ChainBreaker 1: Dare to disconnect several times a day

2.2 ChainBreaker 2: Become a right-tasker: ruthlessly and radically reduce the switches

2.3 ChainBreaker 3: Let your brain idle between tasks and get enough sleep

2.4 ChainBreaker 4: Manage your stress well

2.5 Save a brain and a life, maybe your own: never ever use your phone or other ICT while driving

2.6 A BrainGain beyond your control: brain-friendly offices

2.7 BrainGain support: How to turn bad habits into good habits

3 BrainGains at the „We“ level

3.1 ChainBreaker 1: Respect and support people who regularly disconnect

3.2 ChainBreaker 2: Collaborate to enhance each other’s right-tasking

3.3 ChainBreaker 3: Fight Frankenmail together

3.4 ChainBreaker 4: Convince people of the dangers of phoning while driving

3.5 ChainBreaker 5: Give as much social support as you can…for your own benefit

3.6 ChainBreaker 6: Band together against badly designed open offices

4 BrainGains at the “They” level: all the above and...

4.1 ChainBreaker 1: Stimulate your professionals to regularly disconnect and do the same

4.2 ChainBreaker 2: Prevent multitasking and task-switching, including on the shop floor

4.3 ChainBreaker 3: Drastically reduce e-mail while improving its use

4.4 ChainBreaker 4: Fight at all levels to ban the use of phones while driving

4.5 ChainBreaker 5: Drastically eliminate ICT from meetings and eliminate back-to-back meetings

4.6 ChainBreaker 6: Build brainwork-friendly offices, resolving the focus-contact dilemma

4.7 ChainBreaker 7: Manage their stress well


1 In a nutshell

1.1 The fundamental and fascinating scientific facts are simple

1.2 The most important solutions are just as simple, although simple does not mean easy to apply

2 In three rules

3 In a poem

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