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10 Amazing Tools For Brain Enhancement

10 Amazing Tools For Brain Enhancement

The old saying is true, if you don’t use it, you lose it. It is especially true of our brains, which need to be worked out as much as our bodies do. For decades, one of the main ways that people exercised their brain was to do word puzzles, such as crossword puzzles. Today, the internet has changed how we look at enhancing our brains, and there are some amazing online tools that can really help. Here are our top 10 picks.

1. NeuroNation

neuronation

    This site offers exercises for brain training that will help to improve your working memory so you can process information faster, ignore distractions, and make better decisions. Because the working memory is related to intelligence, you are going to become smarter.

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    2. Fit Brains

    Fitbrains

      This is similar to Luminosity, but the games are designed to help you get better at the areas that you are weak in, and it is more like playing a video game. This makes it fun, and you will likely be more interested in playing because it is fun. The more you play, the more you learn.

      3. Elevate

      elevate

        Here is a tool that will help you to process information a whole lot faster. This is a free brain-training tool that will boost your brain through games that are easy to play but mentally stimulating at the same time.

        4. Khan Academy

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        Khan

          This site offers instructional videos, practice exercises, and a dashboard for personalized learning so you can learn at your own pace, without having to be in a classroom. Topics covered include math, science, history, art history, computer programming, and many others. Lessons range from kindergarten level to calculus, and this site is partnered with The Museum of Modern Art and NASA.

          5. Pearls in School

          Pearls

            The process of pearl culture is an incredible one, and something that kids can learn about in school from Pearls Only. This program offers a series of lessons that are geared for children in various parts of the world, as well as for different age levels. Students will learn about oysters and how they create beautiful pearls, and all lesson plans are easy to download. There are also lesson plans for UK and Australian curriculum.

            6. Cognifit

            Cogni

              This tool works with you and your own personal cognitive needs. The training will be based on your own performance and what you need to improve your performance.

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              7. Happify

              happify

                Negative thoughts can really affect your overall brain performance. This is a site that will help you turn those negative thoughts into positive ones, which will help you to become a much happier person. The personalized tracks are extremely effective, and can do a lot for you.

                8. Eidetic

                eidetic

                  iOS users will love the spaced repetition learning from Eidetic. The spaced repetition technique will help you to learn how to memorize anything, whether it is something you actually want to remember or something that you have to remember but may not be overly interested in.

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                  9. Brain HQ

                  brain hq

                    Do you have trouble remembering names of people you have just met? This tool will change all of that. You will find a series of exercises that are designed to improve your eye for detail and help you to process visuals better. You will learn how to effectively divide your attention, improve brain function, improve reaction times, and a lot more.

                    10. Lumosity

                    lumosity

                      If you are looking for a great workout for your brain, this is it. The app and website both feature online games that have been created to increase brain power, improve memory, improve the attention span, and so much more. You will be better at remembering names, and you may even start driving better than ever.

                      Featured photo credit: Tony Delgrosso via flickr.com

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                      Jane Hurst

                      Writer, editor

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                      Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                      The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

                      The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

                      Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

                      Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

                      The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

                      Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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                      Program Your Own Algorithms

                      Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

                      Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

                      By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

                      How to Form a Ritual

                      I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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                      Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

                      1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
                      2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
                      3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
                      4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

                      Ways to Use a Ritual

                      Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

                      1. Waking Up

                      Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

                      2. Web Usage

                      How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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                      3. Reading

                      How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

                      4. Friendliness

                      Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

                      5. Working

                      One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

                      6. Going to the gym

                      If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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                      7. Exercise

                      Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

                      8. Sleeping

                      Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

                      8. Weekly Reviews

                      The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

                      Final Thoughts

                      We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

                      More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

                       

                      Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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