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7 Simple Time-Management Tips that Could Change Your Life

7 Simple Time-Management Tips that Could Change Your Life

In a world where we have so many devices at our fingertips to save us time, it seems ironic that people seem busier than ever. We always have stuff that needs to be done and a lot of us are constantly nagged by the feeling that we’re forgetting something.

Time is precious and we only have 24 hours a day. So how we spend that time is very important. In the never-ending resources full of time-management and productivity tips, here are 7 that I find most useful:

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1. Write out a to-do list every. single. day.

You’ve probably heard it before, but it’s so important. If you don’t have a daily to-do list, you’ll realize how important it is if you start keeping one with you every day. Put your most important tasks at the top of it to make sure that you at least get them done. Focus on just one task at a time and cross them off as you complete them; doing this keeps you more motivated.

2. Say “no” when you need to

If someone asks you to do something that you don’t have time for or don’t have the skills to do, don’t be afraid to say no. This can be hard if you’re a real people-pleaser, but it’s very important. You’ll be much better off if you learn to say no when you need to.

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3. Find your most productive time and do things then

We’re all either more “early bird” or “night owl.” If you find you’re more productive and do your best work in the morning, start waking up early to get things done. If you find you’re more productive at night, then do things then. If you’re more of an “afternoon” person, that’s fine too. Whatever works best for you!

4. Remember your goals

If you don’t have goals, then you should probably consider setting some. Not only do goals give you a bigger picture to work towards, they also make life more fulfilling and exciting. And remember to always keep your goals in mind. Make sure you’re doing something every day to move you closer to achieving them so you’re not wasting so much time.

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5. Try not to multitask unless it makes sense

This is a tough one for a lot of people. Working on two things at once – what’s wrong with that? It saves time, right? Wrong. Multitasking overwhelms your brain. It not only takes you longer to do the things you’re multitasking, it also lowers the quality of the work that you’re doing. So never multitask unless it doesn’t matter. Meaning, listening to podcasts while you’re driving, watching TV while you’re folding laundry, or other similar instances.

6. Eliminate non-essential tasks

I know this one is really a no-brainer, but it’s often overlooked. Do you need to spend hours on social media? Unless that somehow moves you closer to your goals, try to avoid doing it. When you’re writing out your daily to-do lists, only write down the essential tasks and stick to that list. This simple little tip will not only save you time and energy, it will also help you accomplish so much more.

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7. Get (and stay) organized

Studies have shown that clutter can actually affect your mind and your mood. So when you’re working in a messy, disorganized environment, it’s safe to say that your mind will feel messy and disorganized. Putting simple and easy organizational systems into place can totally change the way you work and how productive you are. So clean up your clutter, put a few filing systems into place, and try to stay organized. This will save you time and your sanity.

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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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