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How to Hack Your Weekend

How to Hack Your Weekend


    We’re all tired once the workday ends on Friday. All we want to do is go home and get our weekend started, forgetting about what we need to do at teh office until we return on Monday.

    But how often do we have a weekend where we are free to do what we want – and not what we need to do?

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    Think about it. You get home on a Friday night, sit down to have some dinner and then chill out for the rest of the evening. Then you get up the next day and there’s chores to do, errands to run and more of that kind of stuff that breaks up your weekend into smaller bits, never really getting a moment to revel in the time you have off.

    I think it’s high time we star to hack our weekend. And here’s how you can do it.

    1. Don’t Come Home Right Away on Friday

    Make Friday really busy. Go grocery shopping before you come home from work – even if that means that on Fridays you either eat a late dinner or go out to eat. Get the stuff out of the way that you know needs to be taken care of (and has no set time when you have to do so) before you settle in at home for the night.

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    You’re giving yourself – and your weekend – a real headstart that way.

    2. Make Friday Night Your Laundry Night

    When you do get home, put some of the laundry in, preferably items that can sit overnight in the dryer just in case you either can’t – or don’t want to – get to them before bedtime.

    If it’s early enough, start with the clothes that you know you’ll see through to completion, but make towels and bedding the stuff you do last. You can also let some of the permanent press clothes hang dry (make sure they’re only slightly damp, though) overnight and let nature do its thing while you sleep.

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    3. Set Aside Time for Nothingness

    If you have errands to run or appointments to take care of on Saturday or Sunday, limit the blocks of time you’re willing to commit to those. That may mean that mornings on both days are when you take care of any of that stuff that works for you (or your family, if you have one).

    Either way, schedule time blocks and stick to them for these kinds of things so that you can better revel in the nothingness your body and mind needs while you’re off work for a couple of days.

    4. Map Out Chores During the Work Week

    While Fridays are the days where you stay out to get certain things done, make the rest of your work week evenings the time when you get the chores around the house taken care of.

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    Sure, things like mowing the lawn and gardening may not be practical for these moments, but cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming and indoor chores are more than possible tasks that you can do before hitting the sack on weekdays – rather than sitting in front of the television like a sack instead.

    5. Get Out of Town

    One of the best ways you can hack your weekend is to actually get out of town during it. That way you’re not distracted by what you’re normally surrounded by, but can be in an environment that will allow you to better enjoy the weekend.

    And it doesn’t have to be limited to summer activities, either. Any simple getaway can be handled with proper planning – land that planning can be done during those scheduled time blocks I mentioned earlier. Getting away while you can is a phenomenal way to prepare yourself for when you return to work on Monday.

    Unless you start your work week on a Sunday, that is.

    (Photo credit: Wood Chopper on the Stub via Shutterstock)

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    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

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    Last Updated on August 12, 2019

    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

    Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

    But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

    I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

    Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

    1. Nuts

    The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

    Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

    Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

    Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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    2. Blueberries

    Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

    When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

    3. Tomatoes

    Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

    4. Broccoli

    While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

    Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

    Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

    5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

    Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

    The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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    Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

    6. Soy

    Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

    Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

    Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

    7. Dark Chocolate

    When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

    Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

    8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

    Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

    B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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    Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

    Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

    To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

    9. Foods Rich in Zinc

    Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

    Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

    Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

    10. Gingko Biloba

    This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

    It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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    However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

    11. Green and Black Tea

    Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

    Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

    Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

    12. Sage and Rosemary

    Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

    Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

    When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

    More About Boosting Brain Power

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

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