How to Keep Productive - Understanding your Brain

How to Keep Productive - Understanding your Brain


Everybody knows that productivity is important. You need a good grasp of productivity to progress towards your goals, after all. However, this is often easier said than done. The current pandemic especially has got many of us struggling to find that right productive balance and keep ourselves moving forwards.

For this reason, Dominique Ashby from neuro@work, was invited to speak at January’s instalment of the Flex Legal Virtual Lunch in partnership with LexisNexis and Crafty counsel. Dominique is a qualified lawyer and neuroscientist, and was able to offer us a scientific and law-centered look into the human brain and how we can maximise our day-to-day mental productivity.

We’ve broken down the main takeaways for you below:


What is the human brain?

If you want to maximise the productivity of your brain, it helps to first understand it. Think about the biological purpose of the human brain. Our primitive ancestors evolved them as a ‘survival prediction machine’. The brain scans the environment for risks, and makes decisions that will increase your chance of survival. This is why your brain has a ‘fight or flight’ mode, where it gets rushed with adrenaline and expends mental energy to make quicker decisions and improve your chances of survival.

Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about external threats like sabre-toothed tigers rushing us from the bushes anymore. However, the human brain is still hard-wired to process risks and decision-making in this way. If you want to maximise your brain’s productivity for the modern day, you need to accept that this is how your brain makes decisions and work with it, not against it.


How is the pandemic affecting our brains?

As mentioned, your brain expends mental energy when it perceives a threat. Unfortunately, global pandemics and constant daily uncertainty will be perceived as threat. This means your brain is likely expendin

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About the author:

Sophie is Head of Learning & Development at F-LEX Legal - an award winning legal tech startup helping law firms and organisations manage a flexible work force and supporting lawyers to make smarter life/work choices. 

As part of her portfolio career Sophie runs various learning and development and networking forums for in-house lawyers and mentors junior lawyers.  These include Flying Solo for small and solo legal teams and Aspire for junior in-house lawyers which she runs for LexisNexis UK.  She also works with schools and organisations to promote social mobility within the legal profession, working with The Social Mobility Business Partnership and Aspiring Solicitors. 

She trained as a lawyer in the City and worked as an in-house lawyer for 10 years including as Head of Legal for Virgin Radio and Ginger Media Group.  

Outside of work she is happily married with three sons and enjoys morning walks along the beach with her two dogs.