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4 Things You Must Bear in Mind to Make the Most Productive Day

4 Things You Must Bear in Mind to Make the Most Productive Day

Are you ready to unlock your productivity potential? As we enter the final quarter of 2015, it’s time to look back on the year. Have you accomplished at least 75% of the resolutions you made at the beginning of the year? If you haven’t, don’t worry; here are some tips on how to make your day the most productive.

1.You are in control

The first thing you need to keep in mind is that you are in control of your life.

The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Altshuler.

Mr. Altshuler was right. Time flies, and sometimes it flies so fast without you realizing it. What you need to remember is that everything in your life is dictated by the choices you make. So, begin each day by reminding yourself that you are in control and you decide what happens today.

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Only you can decide whether or not it is going to be a productive day.

2. Optimism is the key

Start your day with a positive mind. Not all tasks that you have listed are easy. This may include talking to your boss about a raise, tackling a complicated project — or even just going to the gym. You may start thinking that your boss will say ‘No’ or about all the obstacles you are going to face on the project. You might think going to the gym is too tiring and better not do it.

Abraham Lincoln said, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

We just have to look at things differently. Perhaps your boss will consider that you have made valuable contributions to the team and agree that your request for a raise is justified. Look at a complicated project as a challenge that will help you learn something. Think of the benefits going to gym will give you. (If nothing else, think of a special treat you can indulge in once you have done your gym session.) Learn to be optimistic and good things will follow. On the other hand, if things didn’t go as expected, then always remember: When one door closes, another will open. The lost opportunity may not be for you but you are up for something much better.

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It is all about having the proper mindset. Be positive.

3. Procrastinate no more

As human beings, we think that we have all the time in the world to do the things we want and need to do. This is the reason we love procrastinating. We are always thinking that we have tomorrow to spare and we can just push to do things to another day. But what if you don’t have tomorrow?

Remember this Bill Keane quote, masterfully used by Master Oogway (the wise tortoise in Kung Fu Panda): “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present.”

Today is something to be thankful for, so better spend it wisely. You’ll never know what is going to happen tomorrow. Do the things that you have set today right at this moment.

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Say “No” to procrastination and always say “Yes” to today.

4. Ignore the perfectionist in you

“Prolific beats Perfect.” – Daniel Priestley

I know that we tend to be our harshest critics and often times will keep fiddling with a project even when it’s good enough. While I am not advocating pushing out halfhearted work, I believe sometimes you have to accept good enough and move on. Spending too much time obsessing over tiny details means that you are putting in an additional amount of time to tweak something only 1% of people will notice. It also means you will get bogged down in the minute details and before you know it, the day is over.

Stop obsessing and start completing. Don’t let the inner perfectionist monster get the better of you. Work that is completed and pushed out on time is better than work that is perfect, but late.

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If you bear these 4 things in mind every single day, you will find yourself able to look forward to each day with a better attitude to getting things done. This will, in turn, lead you to getting closer and closer to your goals.

Say goodbye to the slums of yesterday…and hello to the most productive days of your life.

Featured photo credit: PicJumbo Designer Wooden Workspace via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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