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How to Boost Human Memory From 8GB to 300GB With a Second Brain

How to Boost Human Memory From 8GB to 300GB With a Second Brain

Human brains are overwhelmed by facts, figures and endless information. It’s no wonder that most people have problems remembering things.

Every day our brains try to process 34GB of information, and every day our brains have about 50,000 thoughts.[1] It’s enough to make your head spin. Even if you believe that you have a good memory, you’ll still be unable to remember everything you see, hear or think. It’s not humanly possible.

For the vast majority of us, our brains are unreliable for memory tasks. Just try thinking about what you did yesterday. You’ll be able to recall the major events, but what about casual conversations or the food you ate. Can you recall everything in detail? Most likely, you’ll find that your memories are vague and imprecise.

Human Minds Have Become Overwhelmed

It’s a sad fact of life, that as human civilization has advanced – the more each of us need to remember.

If you were to travel back in time to live with primitive man, you would find life was simpler. Your memory would only be needed for interactions with your small social circle, animals and nature. At that time, knowledge was all about the essentials of how to live safely and securely.

Thousands of years later, we’re now living in an information age. While this has brought many advantages, it’s also brought a requirement for individuals to remember more and more. This includes complex languages, social and legal rules, historical facts and figures.

When we were young, we were taught the importance of memorizing things. This could include learning the multiplication table at school, a musical instrument in an evening, and studying religion on a weekend. In other words, even as little children, our brains are bombarded with information that we need to store in our memories – and recall at the appropriate times. I talked about this in my other article You’ve Been Using Your Brain Wrong: Human Brains Aren’t Designed to Remember Things

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    If you’re over the age of 40, you’ll recognize the above, but you’ll also say that your brain was able to cope with all the knowledge and information that came your way. And you’d be right. However, when the internet was launched in the early ’90s, a tipping point of information overload occurred.

    Suddenly, we needed to remember and digest tons of new information in order to survive. To take just one example, how many online usernames and passwords do you have? It’s probably dozens, and if you’re like most people, you’ll struggle to remember all the combinations.

    Let’s be honest, human memories are far from perfect, and it’s impossible to remember everything in today’s age.

    Is there a savior to end our memory woes? Yes.

    Your smartphone, laptop and tablet can offer much more than just calling, texting and social media. With the right tools installed, you can free your human brain and make you life easier and more efficient.

    As the title of this article suggests, a “second brain” could be just what you need. But what exactly is this? It’s an external brain that stores all the information you need to know and remember.

    The good news is that this second brain can be utilized through your existing smart devices. Because this external brain is so handy, I’ve personally nicknamed it the “pocket brain”.

    Let the Second Brain Give Your Memory a Much-Needed Boost

    With your very own pocket brain, you can give your human brain some breathing space, while at the same time boosting your ability to store and recall information.

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    When it comes to memory, our brains are typically no better than an 8GB USB storage device. However, with a pocket brain, you’ll immediately get a 300GB memory boost. You’ll also have easy, instant access to all the stored information.

    The electronic pocket brain is much more accurate at memorizing information than our biological brains. Words, images, and sounds, no matter what kind of information you need to memorize, a pocket brain can store it accurately and efficiently. Human memories, on the other hand, tend to be blurry. You may recall the general picture of something, but you’ll usually struggle to recall all the minute details.

    When you store information in a pocket brain, you free up room in your brain to do and think other things. You may not have realized it, but it takes significant human brain energy to process information, and to think and create things. If you have to waste this valuable brain energy on memorizing things, you’ll have less energy to work on ideas and problem-solving as I talked about in my previous article How Clutter Drains Your Brain (and What You Can Do About It)

    I don’t want to overload your brain with too much information in this article, so let’s cut straight to the meat of the matter. I’d like to recommend to you three great apps that I use to remember important things.

    First up…

    Airtable: organize and store information perfectly

      For example, you can easily enter than names of books you’ve read, movies you’ve watched, trips you’ve planned or products you plan to buy. These will appear in the app as a collection of books, movies or products. This has the immediate benefit of making your lists clear and organized.

      However, there’s much more to the app than just that. For each book, movie or product, you can enter additional information such as page lengths, movie directors and product specifications. There’s also space to add your thoughts and feelings about each item.

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      As you’d expect, once your content is in the app, you can perform pinpoint searches to find it.

      Sign up for Airtable here and install Airtable on your phone here.

      Evernote: jot down notes anywhere, anytime

        You’ve probably heard of this app, but you may not have tried it out.

        Its primary selling point is it’s amazing ability to let you jot down notes anywhere, anytime. These notes may consist of hand-typed information, images, or even links to webpages.

        Once you start to fill Evernote with data, you’ll be able to categorize and tag the information according to their purposes.

        For instance, if you’ve created several notes on possible hotels to stay at, you could categorize these under vacations, hotels or travel. You get to decide the categories and tags, making Evernote a very personal tool. The categories and tags make the retrieval of information super fast and super easy.

        Install Evernote in your phone here.

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        Fantastical Calendar: never forget important events any more

          I’ve talked a lot about information, but of course a major memory stress for many of us is remembering important birthdays, events and meetings. A paper calendar can certainly help with this, but it can be lost, damaged or left behind.

          Fantastical Calendar is an app and website that you can access from your smartphone, computer or tablet. Just like a paper calendar, you can write down important dates for the coming week, month, year, etc. However, Fantastical Calendar is way more powerful than its paper equivalent. You can use it to set reminders and alarms for important things, as well as setting up recurring events.

          For example, I often struggle to remember to pay some of the monthly or annual fees. With Fantastical Calendar, I cannot only have all the days correctly marked, but I can also set up reminders that tell me a few days in advance that I need to settle the payments.

          Fantastical Calendar has simplified my life, and I’m sure it can do the same for you.

          Install Fantastical Calendar here.

          Make Using the Pocket Brain Become Your Second Nature

          While a pocket brain can be an indispensable tool, you may find it hard to break your lifelong habit of trying to remember everything with your human brain. As you probably know – building a habit is no walk in the park.

          If you need help with habit building, take a look at our recently-published article How to Program Your Mind to Kick the Bad Habit and start to build a habit of storing information in your second brain. I also recommend this useful app Productive to help you adopt the new habit.

          Your human brain energy is too precious to be wasted on information overload. Instead, let the pocket brain sweat the small stuff and free your mind for greater things.

          Featured photo credit: Free Photo via pixabay.com

          Reference

          [1] SUBLIMINAL PRO: 50,000 Thoughts a Day

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          Leon Ho

          Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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          Last Updated on July 10, 2019

          30 Best Procrastination Quotes to Get You Back to Work

          30 Best Procrastination Quotes to Get You Back to Work

          What do your 3pm fridge raid and perfectly alphabetised bookshelf have in common?

          You most likely did both of them when you should have been doing work.

          Procrastination is one of the most human behaviours. We’re all guilty of putting off what we know is important from time to time, and it seems the more pressing the task at hand, the better we are at avoiding it.

          Sure, it means that every time we have an important deadline we end up with a spotlessly clean house and a completely empty inbox, but the real work gets left until the very last minute and is finished in a frenzy of stress and caffeine.

          But we can gain control over procrastination by noticing it as soon as possible and stopping it in its tracks. On the contrary, you know you have a bad habit when you’re aware you’re putting something off, and you continue avoiding it anyway.

          To start you off with combating procrastination, here are a few quotes to get you in a motivated frame of mind, because if procrastination has any enemies, it’s motivation to work harder.

          A Few Home Truths

            “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”
            ― Mark Twain


            “It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.”
            ― Leonardo da Vinci


            “Someday is not a day of the week.”
            ― Janet Dailey


            “Success is not obtained overnight. It comes in instalments; you get a little bit today, a little bit tomorrow until the whole package is given out. The day you procrastinate, you lose that day’s success.”
            ― Israelmore Ayivor


            “The man who waits to know everything is the man who never does anything.”
            ― Craig D. Lounsbrough


            “Procrastination is like going to a fancy restaurant and filling up on bread and not leaving enough room for dinner.”
            ― Richie Norton, The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen, and Live without Regret


            “Procrastination is the lazy cousin of fear. When we feel anxiety around an activity, we postpone it.”
            ― Noelle Hancock, My Year with Eleanor


            “Doing things at the last minute reminds us of the importance of doing things at the first minute.”
            ― Matshona Dhliwayo


            “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
            ― Abraham Lincoln


            “A day can really slip by when you’re deliberately avoiding what you’re supposed to do.”
            ― Bill Watterson, There’s Treasure Everywhere


            “By what right do I, who have wasted this day, make claims on tomorrow?”
            ― Alain-Fournier, Le Grand Meaulnes


            “If you want to get ahead in life, I’ve found that perhaps the most useless word in the world is “tomorrow.”
            ― José N. Harris


            Some Practical Advice

              “If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.”
              ― Hilary Mantel


              “Thinking too much leads to paralysis by analysis. It’s important to think things through, but many use thinking as a means of avoiding action.”
              ― Robert Herjavec, The Will To Win: Leading, Competing, Succeeding


              “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone”
              ― Pablo Picasso


              “It is only by working the rituals, that any significant degree of understanding can develop. If you wait until you are positive you understand all aspects of the ceremony before beginning to work, you will never begin to work.”
              ― Lon Milo DuQuette, The Magick of Aleister Crowley: A Handbook of the Rituals of Thelema


              “Do first what you don’t want to do most.”
              ― Clifford Cohen


              “How often do you find yourself saying, “In a minute”, “I’ll get to it” or “Tomorrow’s good enough” and every other possible excuse in the book? Compare it with how often you decide it’s got to be done, so let’s get on and do it! That should tell you just how serious your procrastinating problem really is.”
              ― Stephen Richards, The Secret of Getting Started: Strategies to Triumph over Procrastination


              “How to stop procrastinating starts with believing you can overcome procrastination.”
              ― Robert Moment, How to Stop Procrastinating


              “Never put things off…you will wake up and find them gone.”
              ― James Jones


              Some Tough Love

                “Do something instead of killing time. Because time is killing you.”
                ― Paulo Coelho, Aleph


                “If you take too long in deciding what to do with your life, you’ll find you’ve done it.”
                ― George Bernard Shaw


                “If you want to get ahead in life, I’ve found that perhaps the most useless word in the world is “tomorrow.”
                ― José N. Harris


                “What is deferred is not avoided.”
                ― Thomas More


                “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work”
                ― Chuck Close


                “If you always do what is easy and choose the path of least resistance, you never step outside your comfort zone. Great things don’t come from comfort zones.”
                ― Roy Bennett


                “Your ideas have legs and just as they run through your head, they could be running through someone else’s head and it’s just a matter of who gets to the finish line first. Nothing is new under the sun so act on your ideas.”― Sanjo Jendayi


                “You may not be punished for your procrastination, but for sure you will be punished by your procrastination.”
                ― Debasish Mridha


                When You Need Pulling out of Procrastination

                  “Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.”
                  ― Denis Waitley


                  “A year from now you may wish you had started today.”
                  ― Karen Lamb


                  Print these quotes out, stick them on the wall in front of your desk – do whatever it takes to remember why you shouldn’t be putting your work off, or getting distracted by a desire to rearrange your socks into colour order.

                  It won’t be easy, but being aware of how detrimental procrastination is to your longer-term goals is the first step towards overcoming it.

                  More Motivational Quotes

                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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