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7 Simple Ways to Improve Your Memory & Creativity

7 Simple Ways to Improve Your Memory & Creativity

In today’s world, information is everywhere. Seems like wherever you go – in the real world or online – there’s always something new to learn. Maybe you have a burning for new discoveries. A tangible FORCE that grips around your soul. You don’t know what that is, yet… Still, the thirst for knowledge remains.

Kind of like getting lost in Wikipedia and thousands of other “encyclopedia-like” sites out there. Or getting lost in the madness of an annual fair. And you’re hell-bent on meeting as many exciting, new, refreshing characters as possible. Or maybe you’re like me, able and willing to dive nose-first into a good, thick book. Not just any book, though. No, this book is special. It captures your imagination… and like the mischevious force it is, doesn’t let you go. Whatever the reason you’re on the prowl for knowledge, the fact remains: we may be suffering from an “info overload”.

You don’t need to be told that millions of people are having trouble focusing, multi-tasking, and boosting their cognitive functions. You hear about it every day, no matter where you go. Here are a few small and easy practices you can start TODAY, to bring your ‘memory cells’ back to life and energize your creative spirit like you never thought possible.

  1. Work Your Brain Out

Think of bodybuilders. Do they get to that massive mastodon size by sitting around all day? N’sir! They hit the iron, they feed their body right, and they train their muscles to endure absolute hell. Doing the same to your brain probably isn’t smart. The point remains: training your brain by giving it a workout keeps your brain growing and developing.

So, how exactly do you train your brain? Simple!

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You can Google a bunch of brain-training apps… play brain-training games… and (shocker!) work out. More effectively learn & practice the oldest & purest form of meditation – Vipassana. Light cardio in the morning clears the cobwebs from your brain. Exercise being good for physical AND meditation being a luxury for mental health.

  1. Count Sheep

Believe it or not, catching some Z’s and chasing sheep is the easiest way to improve your mental health. Would prestigious magazine Men’s Fitness lie?

A clear and alert brain helps us to focus and remember more information. Getting enough sleep on a regular basis allows us to take in more information. Sleep helps solidify memory.

  1. Take A Chill Pill

What seems like a no-brainer… Might make you a no-brainer. Stress plays a monumental part of depreciating the parts of your brain responsible for memory. Plus, actively seeking out stressful situations (or spending time with miserable people who cause you nothing but) is just bad news. For anybody.

Interestingly, the nootropic world is an exciting one to be a part of – partially paving the way towards reclaiming your memory and sending your thinking skills on overdrive. Nootropics are cognitive enhancing supplements that can increase your attention span, help you focus and can work as a studying aid. Other “smart drugs” have unappealing side effects; nootropics are safe, so long as they are used properly.

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There’s so much natural and synthetic compounds can do to improve not just your memory, not just your focus, but the very essence of your creativity.

  1. Make Time For Naps

Yep, naps. Power naps. A good forty-five minutes or just twenty minutes; however long you want to; the important part is to nap after you’ve worked hard at the office or home.

Don’t forget, your mind is a powerful machine. It needs time to digest any and all new information you throw at it. We already know what good sleep does to our brains. Why not speed up the “sponge” process of memory recall by taking naps throughout the day?

  1. Hit The Road

Yes, walking doesn’t just make you healthier. Physically and mentally. It helps clears writer’s block and spurs creativity!

A doctor and a professor found that about sixty percent of people (out of 176 altogether) “scored higher” on divergent thinking creativity activities as opposed to the folks who sat down while they performed the activities and tests. How does walking help your brain? It helps the same way exercising does! When you walk, your heart pumps faster, sending more blood and oxygen throughout your body. Your brain and all other organs get an extra dose. Walking helps create new connections between brain cells and increases the region of your brain used for memory.

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I personally spend a good twenty minutes, minimum, at the crack of dawn to take a stroll. This is before the mayhem of automotive chaos begins.

  1. Play Those Tunes

It goes without saying by now that music boosts both creativity and mental focus. In anybody, at any age, at any time whatsoever. Hit up YouTube and see many “study or concentration music” playlists designed specifically for this reason.

You’ve also heard about playing classical music to help you during math and science quizzes, right? Einstein believed it was a good idea! Playing classical music (right brain) while taking a math test (left brain) helps connect the two hemispheres of the brain. Listening to classical music also increases cognitive skills. You get a basic brain boost!

  1. Smile and Relax

Learn to let go and let the chips fall where they may. Remember, our brains are COMPLEX organisms. They can’t be firing on all pistons for long. Personally, the creative muse has visited me more than once when I accepted myself, felt good about the world, and learned how to stop thinking so much.

And to boot, remaining calm and consciously choosing to keep a positive spin on things… believe it or not… rewires central neurons in your brain. This rewiring is responsible for “moulding” your brain through use of associations with feelings and stimulation.

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So, if your memory is sharper and more focused when you’re in a blissful state… You’re training yourself to feel that way more often. Win win.

Conclusion

By no means is this list exhaustive. Like I said, these are quick and easy “down-and-dirty” gems and “hidden” tricks you can use (today!) to jumpstart your creative process. While simultaneously beefing up your memory recall. Obviously, there’s much, much more to talk about. To learn about and discover. Maybe that’s a journey we can take together some other time.

Featured photo credit: all-len-all.com via all-len-all.com

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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