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How You Can Use Your Experience from Online Dating to Become More Productive

How You Can Use Your Experience from Online Dating to Become More Productive

If you’ve been playing the online dating game for a while, you already know what to expect, the right strategies to use, and have defined what you want and don’t want.

But the knowledge and experience you’ve gained can be used in more than one way. In fact, you can take what you learned while looking for a potential partner using dating services and other platforms for single people, and apply it to getting things done during the day.

Yes, I’m saying that the same rules that work for finding your soul mate can also be beneficial to your productivity levels and the results you get from your work. Here’s how:

1. See what works best for you and do more of it

You’ve tested different opening lines. Over time, you started noticing tendencies and some led to a better communication and finding out who’s interesting and worth your time.

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The same goes for all the little things you do during the day, the habits you’ve developed over the years and the mindsets you have formed that define how successful and productive you are. Not all of what you’re doing works. In fact, you may not be aware that some tiny practices or old behaviors are draining your energy, distracting you, making you procrastinate, and more.

To become more efficient and have more time for yourself, track what you do daily for some time and analyze how it affects your overall performance, and even your spiritual and mental health. If you take a closer look at the data you gather, you’ll see you can eliminate many things, and do more of the rest that actually gives you the progress you want to see.

That means doubling your results in any area and reaching any goal sooner.

2. Don’t overthink

Finding love online is impossible if you are looking at somebody’s profile for hours and imagining different scenarios or trying to guess what he’s really like. It’s time-wasting. The only thing that matters is taking action. It’s also the only way to quickly understand if you should keep this going on and take it further.

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When facing a project or even a simple daily task, some people tend to plan for hours, to prepare, to predict how others will react and how this will turn once completed. But that just leads to fearing failure, having doubts and procrastinating. Stop overthinking. Let go of perfectionism. And simply get to work on the next item on your list, or say ‘Hi!’ to whoever’s profile you’re checking out.

3. Start small

If you want to get everything done, you end up getting nothing done. Just like it is when you want to text many people at once and feel so overwhelmed by the thoughts in your head that you don’t really contact anyone, and thus miss out on a potential meaningful relationship or a new friend in your life.

The solution is to start small. Identify what’s the first thing you can do and focus only on it. Leave the rest for later. That builds momentum. Action leads to more action and suddenly the next step on the way becomes clear.

4. Be present.

When using dating apps, you have the chance to connect with tens of people at the same time. But that rarely ends well. Also, you end up getting confused, forgetting details from previous chats, and that ruins the chances for success with any of them.

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As for productivity, multitasking just doesn’t work. And a sure way to fail, lose focus and never get anything done is to think about the past or make plans about the future. In a nutshell, being anything else than present isn’t going to give you results.

Mindfulness helps you truly experience what you’re doing, be authentic and the best version of yourself. It also makes you to be more productive as you’re completely concentrated on the task in front of you and don’t think about what you should be doing later. This approach can help you connect on a deeper level with the right person, and get things done faster too.

5. Know your why

Have a purpose every time you do something important. Want to find a special person online? Well, know exactly how this will change your life for the better, how great you’ll feel, and what great times you can have with someone who’s the right fit for you.

When working on a project, keep in mind your end goal. That motivates you to be focused, consistent and to work harder. Eventually, you turn that vision into reality.

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6. Have fun

Whatever it is that you’re doing, enjoy it, appreciate it, know it’s the right thing to do right now. Like in modern dating, keep it positive and light, expect the best to happen. Such an attitude can help you be less stressed, calmer and avoid unnecessary worries.

So if you’ve already been doing online dating for some time, or if you’re thinking of giving it a try, know that it will boost your productivity.

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Published on July 7, 2020

Brain Training: 12 Fast, Fun Mental Workouts

Brain Training: 12 Fast, Fun Mental Workouts

Exercise isn’t just for your body. Just as important is keeping your mind strong by training your brain with fun mental workouts.

Think of your mental and physical fitness the same way: you don’t need to be an Olympian, but you do need to stay in shape if you want to live well. A few cognitive workouts per week can make a major difference in your life.

The Skinny on Mental Workouts

Physical fitness boosts your stamina and increases your muscular strength. The benefits of working up a mental sweat and brain training, however, might not be so obvious.

Research suggests that cognitive training has short- and long-term benefits, including:

1. Improved Memory

After eight weeks of cognitive training, 19 arithmetic students showed a larger and more active hippocampus than their peers.[1] The hippocampus is associated with learning and memory.

2. Reduced Stress Levels

Mastering new tasks more quickly makes the work of learning less stressful. A stronger memory can call information to mind with less effort.

3. Improved Work Performance

Learning quickly and remembering key details can lead to a better career. Employers are increasingly hiring for soft skills, such as trainability and attention to detail.

4. Delayed Cognitive Decline

As we age, we experience cognitive decline. A study published by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that 10 one-hour sessions of cognitive training boosted reasoning and information processing speed in adults between the ages of 65 and 94.[2]

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Just like in physical exercise, what’s important isn’t the specific workout. To be sustainable, cognitive workouts need to be easy and fun. Otherwise, it’s too easy to throw in the towel.

Fun Brain Training Exercises for Everyone

The best about fun mental workouts? There’s no need to head to a gym. Feel free to mix and match the following activities for daily brain training:

1. Brainstorming

One of the simplest, easiest ways to engage your brain? Coming up with solutions to a challenge you’re facing.

If you aren’t good at solo ideation, ask a partner to join you. When I’m struggling to come up with topics to write about, I call up my editors to bat ideas around. Friends or co-workers are usually happy to help.

2. Dancing

Isn’t dancing a physical workout? Yes, but the coordination it requires is also great for training your brain. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.

Studies suggest that dance boosts multiple cognitive skills.[3] Planning, memorizing, organizing, and creativity all seem to benefit from a few fancy steps.

3. Learning a New Language

Learning a new language takes time. But if you split it up into small, daily lessons, it’s easier than you might think.

With language learning, every lesson builds on the last. When I was learning Spanish, I used a tool called Guru for knowledge management.[4] Every time I’d learn a verb tense, I’d create a new card to give me a quick refresh before moving on.

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4. Developing a Hobby

Like languages, hobbies take time to develop. But that’s the fun of them: you get a little better—both at the hobby and in terms of brain function—each time you do them.

If you’re trying to train your brain and improve a certain cognitive skill, choose a hobby that aligns with it.

For example:

  • Attention to detail: Pick a hobby that requires you to work patiently with small features. Woodworking, model-building, sketching, and painting are all good choices.
  • Learning and memory: Choose an activity that requires you to remember lots of details. Your best bets are hobbies that require lots of categorization, such as collecting stamps or coins.
  • Motor function: For this brain function, physical activities can double as fun mental workouts. Sports like soccer and basketball build gross motor functions. Fine motor functions are better trained through activities like table tennis or even playing video games.
  • Problem-solving: Most hobbies require you to problem-solve in one way or another. The ones that test your problem-solving skills the most, however, take some investigation.

Geocaching is a good example: Using a combination of clues and GPS readings, geocaching involves finding and re-hiding containers. Typically done in a wooded area, geocaching is a fun way to put your problem-solving skills to the test.

5. Board Games

Playing a board game might not be much of a physical workout, but it does make for a fun mental workout. With that said, not all board games work equally well for cognitive training.

Avoid “no brainer” board games, like Candy Land. Opt for strategy-focused ones, such as Risk or Settlers of Catan. Remember to ask other players for their input.

6. Card Games

Card games build cognitive skills in much the same way board games do. They have a few extra advantages, though, that make them worthy of special attention.

A deck of cards is inexpensive and can be played anywhere, from a kitchen to an airplane. More importantly, a deck of cards opens the door to dozens of different games. Challenge yourself to learn a few in an afternoon.

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7. Puzzles

Puzzles are great tools for building a specific cognitive skill: visuospatial function. Visuospatial function is important to train because it’s one of the first abilities to slip in people struggling with cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s.[5]

Choose a puzzle you’ll stick with. There’s no shame in starting with a 500-piece puzzle or choosing one that makes a childish image.

8. Playing Music

Listening to music is a great way to unwind. But playing music goes one step further. On top of entertaining you, it makes for a fun mental workout.

Again, choose an instrument you know you’ll stick with. If you’ve always wanted to learn the violin, don’t get a guitar because it’s less expensive or easier to pick up.

What if you can’t afford an instrument? Sing. Learning to control your voice is every bit as challenging as making a set of keys or strings sound good.

9. Meditating

Not all cognitive exercises are loud, in-your-face activities. Some of the most fun mental workouts, in fact, are quiet, solo activities. Meditating can help you focus, especially if you have pre-existing attention issues.

Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never meditated before. It’s easy:

  • Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down.
  • Set a timer for 10 minutes, or for however long you have to meditate.
  • Close your eyes or turn off the lights.
  • Focus on your breathing. Do not try to control it.
  • If your thoughts wander, gently bring them back to your breath.
  • When the timer goes off, wiggle your fingers and toes for a minute. Slowly bring yourself back to reality. Remember the sense of serenity you found.

10. Deep Conversation

There’s nothing more mentally stimulating than a good, long conversation. The key is depth: surface-level chatter doesn’t get the mind’s wheels spinning like a thoughtful, authentic conversation. This type of conversation helps in training your brain to think more deeply and reflect.

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Choose your partner carefully. You’re looking for someone who’ll challenge your ideas without being confrontational. Stress isn’t good for brain health, but there’s value in coming up with creative arguments.

11. Cooking

When you think about it, cooking requires an impressive array of cognitive skills. Developing a cook’s intuition requires a good memory. Making sure flavors are balanced takes attention to detail. When something goes wrong in the kitchen, problem-solving skills come into play. Motor control is required to stir, flip, and whisk.

If you’re going to cook, you might as well make enough for everyone. Invite them into the kitchen as well: coordinating with other chefs adds an extra layer of challenge to this fun mental workout.

12. Mentorship

Whether you’re the mentee or the mentor, mentorship is an incredible mental workout. Learning from someone you look up to combines the benefits of deep conversation with skill-building. Teaching someone else forces you to put yourself in their shoes, which requires empathy and problem-solving skills.

Put yourself in both situations. Being a student makes you a better teacher, and teaching others gives you insight into how you, yourself, learn.

Final Thoughts

Your mind is your most important possession, and training your brain is needed to maintain its health. Don’t let it get soft.

To keep those neurons firing at full speed, add a few fun mental workouts to your schedule. And if you’re still struggling to get your brain in gear, remember: there’s an app for that.

More Tips for Training Your Brain

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

Reference

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