One Second Ahead by Rasmus Hougaard

Book Summary: One Second Ahead by Rasmus Hougaard - Ryan Delaney

The Book in a Few Sentences

Learn how to practice mindfulness in all aspects of work - email, meetings, creativity, etc. A solid resource for understanding and applying mindfulness.

One Second Ahead summary

This is my book summary of One Second Ahead by Rasmus Hougaard. My summary and notes include the key lessons and most important insights from the book.


Part 1: Workplace Techniques

Chapter 1: Mastering Your Mind — First Steps

Welcome to the Attention Economy

Multitasking Is a Myth

The Noncomputational Brain

The Well-Trained Mind

Ancient Wisdom, Modern Work

The Adaptive Brain

The Foundation of Mindfulness

Rule #2: Choose your Distractions Mindfully

Mindfulness Applied

A New Way of Working

Technique #1: Email

Guideline #3: Mind Your Switch Time

Guideline #4: Never First Thing in the Morning

Guideline #5: Secure Focus Time

Guideline #6: Avoid Bad Vibes

Guideline #7: Avoid Emotional E-mailing

Technique #2: Meetings

Mental Preparation

Ending the Meeting

Life’s Most Important Meetings

Technique #3: Goals

Mindful Goal Setting

Hold Your Goals Lightly

Technique #4: Priorities

Action Addition

Avoiding Action Addiction

Choice Points—When Priorities Conflict

Technique #5: Planning

Make the Time to Plan

Technique #6: Communication

Are You Listening?

Two Sides to Effective Communication

Listen with Mindfulness

Speaking With Mindfulness

Technique #7: Creativity

It Takes Time

Technique #8: Change

Understanding Resistance

Embracing Resistance

Technique #9: Mental Energy

Technique #10: Enhancing Sleep

Guideline #3: Perceptual Activities 60 Minutes Before Sleep

Falling Asleep Mindfully

Waking Up Mindfully

Technique #11: Eating and Energy

Guideline #1: Let Your Stomach Do the Eating

Guideline #2: Avoid the Blood Sugar Rollercoaster

The Essence of Mindful Eating

Technique #12:  Activity and Energy

Relaxation—The Absence of Unnecessary Effort

Focus on the Rhythm

Technique #13: Performance Breaks

Mindful Performance Breaks

Technique #14: Commuting

Technique #15: Emotional Balance

The Basic Reactions to Emotions

Mindful Embrace

Patience and Balance

Appropriate Response

Technique #16: Work-Life Balance

Part II: Mental Strategies

Strategy #1: Presence

Strategy #2: Patience

Fight, Flight, or Patience

Strategy #3: Kindness

What Does It Mean to Be Kind?

The Science of Kindness

Strategy #4: Beginner’s Mind

Unlearning Habitual Perceptions

Strategy #5: Acceptance

Acceptance is Power

Strategy #6: Balance

Boosting Serotonin

Strategy #7: Joy


Strategy #8: Letting Go

Part III Foundational Practices

Chapter 2: Training Sharp Focus

The ABCD Method

Anatomy: Finding the Right Posture

Breathing: The Anchor for Attention

Counting for Focus

The Three Core Qualities of Mindfulness: Relaxation, Focus, and Clarity

The Benefits of Focus Training

Chapter 3 Training Open Awareness

The Choice Is Yours

Open Awareness Training

The Three Insights

Insight #1: Everything Changes

Insight #2: Happiness Is a Choice

Insight #3: Everything is Potential

What Do We Stand to Gain?

Chapter 4: Mastering Your Life—Next Steps

Focused Awareness: Revisiting the Matrix

How Long and How Often to Train

When to Train

Where to Train

Self-Directed Mindfulness Program

Recognizing Progress

Taking It Into the Organization

Leadership Support

Link to Organizational Objectives

Effective Communication

Time and Commitment

Be the Change You Want to See

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