AB Thinks  →  17th August 2021

Work and Wellbeing: a new way to tackle your day

Our team recently got together for a BrainWorkshops session with Phil Dobson, author of ‘The Brain Book’. Phil applies behavioural science to help organisations improve productivity, enhance creativity and build resilience.

So, what does this mean for us?

Here at AB, like everyone, many of us are still finding our feet when it comes to balancing the benefits of a flexible work model with the pressures of home life. Add to this the reopening of society and it can feel like we have been suddenly catapulted from a state of isolation to social, mental and physical burnout.

Phil helped us understand how small changes – from turning off email alerts to not looking at your phone first thing – can help balance energy levels and even have a long-lasting and transformative effect on the goals we really want to achieve.

Here are my biggest takeaways from the session:


20% of the activities we undertake result in 80% of our results or outcomes – meaning most of our daily activities will not have a lasting impact.

Top tip: Tackle your most valuable tasks first thing or block out time in your diary to dedicate to your biggest goals. Set yourself deadlines to achieve personal goals as well, like learning a new skill.


Like physical ability, our mental fitness needs to be trained and built up – our brain is a muscle. It’s important to learn new skills and get creative, but also make time to restore.

Top tip: Get to know yourself, understand how you best restore your energy levels. Making time for downtime activities that recharge you are as important as the ones which progress you.


Every time your brain is distracted by an instant message notification, email ping or social update it can take up to 20 minutes to refocus.

Top tip: Mute your notifications to achieve better concentration. Check your phone at set points throughout the day, don’t be a slave to your notifications.

We are never really taught how to use our brain in the most efficient way and the digital era has meant we are even less aware of how our valuable time is being stolen or demanded by others. Phil’s message is that it is still possible to achieve everything we need to by being more protective over our time, and selective with how and when we go about our tasks.

So, here’s your reminder to ask yourself more questions to prioritise tasks, protect your energy levels and dedicate your attention to the most valuable work.

  • Does this email really need a response in the next five minutes, or can it wait a few hours so I can achieve some deep focus work that is more meaningful?
  • Do I need to take a break so I can come back and refocus? Take that walk at lunchtime!
  • Am I trying to do too many things at once on multiple devices?

If you’re interested in working smarter or running your own work and wellbeing sessions for your employees, get in contact to find out how we can help.