As you can see based on the last handful of blog posts there I have done, I have been laser focused on improving my habits lately as school and life have been super busy and I needed something to better control my "machine" of life as I was struggling to get the results I was looking for in anything.
(By the way check out my previous post, here, about more habits that will help you out a little)
I am sure you know the feeling, you are waking up everyday and super stressed, you head to work or school and think you are getting caught up and getting a ton of work done. Then, the end of the day comes and you realize the work was still pilling up and you have even more work to do tomorrow, even though you thought you were caught up. This stresses you out even more as you head home and come back to fight another day.
After all of this, you still feel like you aren't getting the results you should because of the amount of hours you are putting into your work and your grades are still sub par or you aren't producing as well as others at work.
That leads you to get angry and start thinking about how you are working harder than some people, yet they seem to always be getting more effective things done and seeing better results than you.
What are they doing that you aren't doing? Maybe nothing, maybe they were just lucky and born like that. We all don't win the "smarts" lottery when we are born though, yet there are ways that you can grow your own brain, increase your problem solving ability, increase your creativity and have a better memory so that we can put the odds of getting the desired results in our favor.
Take Control of Your Time
You can be busy and still get half of the work done in the same hours as someone who is working effectively.
Time management is essential in almost anything we do, just take the ACT for example. It is a timed test and usually they just barely give you enough time to finish, even if you have great time management, this is because they are trying to prepare you to be able to maximize your time. I am for sure that I never finished the ACT, I think i was on;y able to read half of the reading section before having to guess on the res in the last few minutes.
Another example, my accounting professor, shout out Kurt, gave us our first test and there were 7 problems with a estimated time of 10-20 minutes for each problem (depending how long it was) and we had 65 minutes to take the test. He knew we were not going to finish but he wanted to see how well we were able to manage our time and prioritize the more important (higher point count) problems.
The more your prioritize the major tasks you have to do during the day, the more effective you are going to be. Sure, you could stay busy all day just doing small, relatively unimportant tasks the whole day and feel like you got a lot done, but in reality you didn't get as much done as you could of if you focused on the harder, yet more important things.
To bring this into a school example, you can do all the easy homework first because you could get it out of the way and then save the harder stuff for "later," which usually means it's not getting done today. But what if you did that harder project first, earlier in the day so you aren't tired and have optimal brain function, and then save the easy stuff that you don't have to think too hard about until later and can just coast through that work.
That is another huge problem, people do all the easy stuff in the morning and stay up late "grinding" on the harder stuff. Well, let me tell you that is a great way to do poor quality work as we are all tired late at night. Do the harder stuff earlier in the day, when your brain is at optimal function.
Double or Triple the Time You Spend Learning
The more information you have flowing into your brain, the more information you will have to craft new ideas and solve problems that you have been struggling with.
If you are struggling with coming up with your arguments or points of view or even ideas on how to solve a problem, it is likely because you just don't KNOW enough about the subject.
Keyword here is "know" because if you just memorize and learn it for a little bit, when it comes to the test you will likely forget it. But, if you know how that one thing you are learning works in the bigger picture and why it works, you will know it rather than just learn the statement that your wrote in your notes.
To do this, start by thinking more while you are studying and think about why statements are the way they are. Also, just spend more time reading or even listening to podcasts/ YouTube videos on the topic, even if it is not the exact facts you think you need to know. This will help you connect the dots to the information you were learning to the real world and then understand why it works.
I also encourage you to spend 30-60 minutes a day reading other books and articles or even listening to podcasts in areas you are interested in as they will give you a larger understanding of the world and increase your ideas as you will have a lot of stories and knowledge entering your brain.
Exercise Your Brain
You have to develop your brain function at the same time you are chasing your goals or you will never maximize your potential.
Just like many of you go to the gym at least a handful of times per week, you have to take your brain to the gym as well.
(if you are not going to the actual gym or exercising in any way, I would highly recommend you start as you won't just feel better but you will also help to improve your brain function and reduce "brain fog.")
I usually make time to exercise my brain, through a few free apps as well as meditation right before I go to bed as they are tasks that aren't as high of priority to get done yet still very important.
I'll cover meditation in another section here so let's just stick to the apps I use to challenge as well as train my brain.
Pretty much any word games, such as WordScapes on the app store, will make you think and problem solve more than you were on a normal basis, so while they may feel like a game they can actually be very helpful to your brain.
More brain focused apps though, that I use are Lumosity, Left vs Right and Dual-N Back. Lumosity and Left vs Right help you pick certain areas, such as your memory or problem solving time, that you want to solve and then gives you daily exercises to help with that. Dual-N Back is actually one of the best games (tested by researchers) to improve problem solving and memory and you should play 20 sessions of it, a few days a week! This game is actually VERY hard when you first start and it constantly gets harder so you are always challenging yourself.
One of the most important ways to improve your brain function is through your diet, habits and supplements you can actually take for it. The diet and habits are relatively cheap, but I have seen the most results from supplements (I take Masterbrain by 1st Phorm) which usually runs around $50 per month (kind of expensive I know but that's pretty normal for cognitive enhancers).
If you are looking to learn more about your brain and improving the function through diet, habits and supplements, I recommend Dave Asprey's Book "Head Strong" as well as his blog called, The Bulletproof Blog.
Check out his blog here >>
Fuel Your Body Right
Food can help, or hurt, you in many more ways than you can imagine, start to use it to put the odds in your favor.
Food plays a larger part in your life than you may realize, as you can change the foods you are eating to help your mind and body in anyway that you are interested in. I am no expert in diet or nutrition so I am going to send you over to my favorite blog for it "The Bulletproof Blog," as I mentioned before.
There are way too many potential food combinations to attack in on little section here, so Dave has hundreds of in depth posts about the science behind everything.
Click Here to go to the cognitive enhancement section of the Bulletproof Blog >>
Organize Your Thoughts, Start Problem Solving Better and Craft Better Ideas
There is a reason habits like this have been around forever.
These might be the simplest, yet most effective things on here... so don't pass up this last section.
Meditate and go on a walk, the simplest habits you can ever create as they don't take any extra money or resources, just a little bit of time. But you can even just take 10 minutes to meditate and go on a 30-45 minute walk, I'm sure we all have at least 45 minutes a day we could take away from TV or social media.
When you walk, you get yourself into nature which helps to let go of stress and let your mind wonder, this is essential for school and work as you are not going to perform as well if you have a million things going through your mind and are super stressed out.
Also, going on walk can give you time to listen to podcasts or YouTube videos that you are interested in, or have a test on in the near future, and start talking in more information so that you can cultivate better ideas.
My favorite thing now, meditation. It is a quick habit I do, just 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes before bed, yet it helps me organize my thoughts, let go of things that are causing me stress or sadness and problem solve better in the day ahead.
Also, when you meditate at night, I have noticed I have been getting much better sleep and can wake up earlier with really no problems at all.
If you really have no idea where to start, just YouTube search "guided meditations" and a ton of videos will come up. If you add any keywords after that such as "for sleep" or "for remembering things" you will get more specific meditations.
De-stress your brain because this is when you are going to problem solve the best as well as remember the most.
I know I have always been trying to get better results in school with less and less work, as school has never really been of interest unless it was a topic I was curious about (which is rare until you get more into college). These are the things that have helped me do so, freeing up time to learn about and do more of what I really enjoy and what really helps me grow.
If you are looking to connect on social media, the links to do so are below as well as some other blog posts you will enjoy below those links. Check them out so you don't miss anything!
I hope you enjoyed and have a great rest of your day now,
P.S. if you are looking for ways to experience more in your health, habits, income, travel and more I have a newsletter where I send a few strategies, ideas and resources per week to help you do that.
Subscribe to that here >>
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