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10 Signs You’re Exceptionally Smart Though You Don’t Appear To Be

10 Signs You’re Exceptionally Smart Though You Don’t Appear To Be

You could say that there plenty of not-so-bright people walking around, but it’s not that there are so many of them, it’s just that they are usually the loudest. There are a lot of extremely intelligent people out there, but they simply don’t advertise the fact that they are smart. It comes natural to them, and they try to live their lives freely and without consciously drawing attention to themselves. You can call it modesty or plain old good manners, but these people tend to look and sound quite average, until they surprise you with a gem of wisdom. Here are some of the tell-tale signs that you might be one smart cookie, without appearing so.

1. You’re a night owl

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    As recent research suggests, those who prefer to stay up late, and do their best work at night, average higher IQ scores than morning people. That being said, staying up late won’t magically hack your brain into being smarter – smarter people are just more likely to work and party during the night, and sleep in. While all your friends are fast asleep, you are browsing the web for information, reading, learning to play the guitar and finishing up different projects – since this happens behind the scenes, your knowledge and skills will often be a surprise to people.

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    2. You’re the silent type

    You’ll find plenty of misconceptions about quiet people, e.g. being labeled as introverts, socially awkward and so on. This isn’t necessarily true, and while not all quiet people are necessarily smart, highly intelligent people will often refrain from speaking if they are accessing a situation. They will take some time to think about what was said and prepare an adequate response, and they find silence better than pointless small talk.

    3. You face your problems

    You may find yourself faced with a bunch of difficult problems, but a smart person won’t let that bring them down. A very smart person will know how to prioritize and deal with problems as they arise, before things even get a chance to start spinning out of control. If you are the type of person who faces problems and welcomes challenges, always dancing on the age of your comfort zone, chances are that you are fairly intelligent.

    4. You hang out with smart and creative people

    The company you keep is a good reflection of who you are as a person. Exceptionally smart people will tend to hang out with people like them, i.e. smart, creative and cultured. There are always some exceptions, but if about 80% of the people in your life are intelligent and interesting, you probably fit that description as well.

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    5. You strive for perfection

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      There might not be anything that hints at great intelligence in your appearance or speech, the way you conduct yourself is an excellent indicator. Intelligent people always strive for perfection, so each time you see them you’ll be able to notice a few small improvements. They are always a bit different than before. This perfectionist mentality is applied to all aspects of life, from trying to look their best or working on being a great speaker, to spending hours practicing their golf swing or dart throw.

      6. You tend to be quite self-critical

      There are plenty of narcissists out there who sometimes lie to themselves and others about how good they are at something, so it’s a breath of fresh air to see someone being self-critical and accepting critique. Although someone might not be actively trying to impress and come off as smart, the ability to acknowledge one’s own faults and the willingness to work on correcting them can give their intelligence away.

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      7. You like to stay informed

      Intelligent people like to be up to date with the latest development in a number of different fields, always trying to improve themselves bit by bit. A smart person will stay up to date with local and global news, as well as try to learn all he or she can about topics that are directly related to their life or are interesting to them. Gathering information, learning new things and developing useful skills is a lifelong goal for highly intelligent people, and they will always have a way of keeping themselves busy.

      8. You’re constantly occupied with tons of different projects

      Speaking of keeping busy, a good indicator that you are dealing with a very smart person is the fact that they always have a few projects that they are working on. They might be brushing up on their French and learning a few useful Mandarin phrases, reading up on DIY home repairs, taking dancing lessons, working on some new recipes in the kitchen, or compiling a book on early medieval architecture. While a lot of people like to keep busy, a smart person will fill their free time with activities that help them improve in one way or another. Not all smart people are very productive, but it can be a good indicator of higher intellect.

      9. You ask all the right questions

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      Questions

        When talking to a smart person who doesn’t blow his or her own horn, you’ll notice that they don’t try to hijack the conversation or start long monologues. They will actually sit there quietly and listen to what you have to say, allowing for a few moments of silence here and there as they think things over. However, once they ask a question it really hits the spot. They actually give helpful advice or even get you to come to the right conclusions on your own. If your friends enjoy talking to you and tell you that you are a good listener, you are probably a good friend, and an intelligent one at that.

        10. You don’t think that you are exceptionally smart

        Due to something called the Dunning-Kruger effect people with a low level of competence will tend to overestimate their abilities, whereas highly competent people will tend to sell themselves short. This is due to the fact that the more intelligent, informed and skilled you are, the more you realize just how much space there is to further improve and you are not satisfied with your current knowledge or skill level.

        True intelligence cannot really be hidden away or masked effectively, nor is this the point of exceptionally smart people who appear seemingly normal. They wear their intelligence proudly, but they don’t flaunt it, although these ten signs are a dead giveaway.

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        Vladimir Zivanovic

        CMO at MyCity-Web

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        Last Updated on November 27, 2020

        15 Office Design Tricks That Will Increase Your Productivity at Work

        15 Office Design Tricks That Will Increase Your Productivity at Work

        Where you work has an enormous impact on how you work – on your ability to focus (and stay focused) and your overall ability to be productive. That means the design of your office, whether you work at home or in a larger company environment, is of supreme importance. This isn’t just about Feng Shui, this is about producing results and getting things done.

        According to studies done on workplace and productivity, the most significant factor in determining an employee’s ability to focus is their physical environment. In fact, it’s been said that a well-designed office can increase your productivity about 20%. However, despite the studies and statistics, nearly half of the employers interviewed don’t consider workplace design a good business investment.

        So what is a productivity hack to do? What if you work in an environment that doesn’t promote focus?

        Check these 15 factors and make changes where you can. A little adjustment can produce a lot of impact.

        Lighting

        Lighting is one of the most important factors in staying focused and feeling inspired to create, yet it’s one of the most overlooked and least invested in. Bad lighting can cause fatigue, eyestrain, headaches and overall irritability. Dark spaces can actually produce depression.

        If you work in a company office:
        You probably have no control over your general lighting so bring in your own, if need be. Consider using natural light bulbs or a light therapy device.

        If you work from a home office:
        Open the windows and doors and let natural light in. Using lamps in a variety of areas for cloudy days or when it’s dark.

        Chair and Table

        If you’ve ever sat at a desk to do work but found yourself adjusting, stretching and moving too often to actually stay focused, then you’re aware of the importance of having a correctly fitted table and chair. In today’s work environment where so many of us are sitting for most of our day, it is critical that your throne fits your body probably.

        Consider these quick ergonomic checks:

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        • Eyes 24-36 inches from the computer screen. The top of the monitor should be below or at eye-level.
        • Feet should be on a foot rest or resting on the floor.
        • A slightly reclined chair posture is best to reduce pressure on your spine and minimize lower back pain.

        If you work in a company office:
        Ask for an adjustable chair. Add pillows for your lower back or bum, if you need it. Many companies will also provide risers for computers to adjust the height of your computer screen (and a separate keyboard to keep your hands and wrists in the ideal position)

        If you work from a home office:
        Invest in a decent chair or at least use a few pillows to make the chair more comfortable. If the table is too high, add pillows to your chair. If it is too low, consider buying leg risers from your local hardware store and using books beneath your computer to raise the screen. Use a separate keyboard.

        Clutter

        Your mama was right, it’s important to clean up your room. Clutter may help the creative mind create, but it isn’t necessarily helpful for focus and productivity.

        If you work from a company office: While you can’t control the cleanliness of the office at large, do keep your own environment around you clean. Spend 10 minutes every morning or evening making sure things are put away, filed, organized and generally out of sight so you’re not distracted by it later.

        If you work from a home office: Because you work from home, the entire house or apartment is potential for distraction. If you can afford it, hire a professional cleaning service to keep your home clean. If not, schedule a specific day and time to clean your home. Commit to doing daily pickup at a specific time. And spend at least 10 minutes every day making sure your office  is organized and tidy.

        Room Color

        The colors around us all have an effect on our moods and brain function. It evokes both a physical and emotional response. So choosing the right colors for your work space has the ability to affect your productivity. For instance, blue has been said to illicit productivity. Mind you, too much of anything can be overwhelming, even color.

        If you work from a company office: Bring in items from home that are a certain color that inspire you and keep you focused. Use postcards, magazine cutouts, even just blocks of color will do.

        If you work from a home office: If you work from home, you have much more control over the colors around you. Consider repainting a wall, adding color to the table you work at, or hanging pictures that are dominated by a specific color.

        Room Temperature

        Most offices keep their temperatures around 65-68 Fahrenheit but it turns out that this might not be good for productivity. Warmer rooms actually make people more productive.

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        If you work from a company office: Most offices are regulated by somebody else, so bring a space heater, sweaters and blankets to your work space.

        If you work from a home office: Depending on the season, open the windows or adjust the heat or a/c so that you’re more comfortable and warm. Pile on the sweaters in the winter or add a space heater to your feet.

        Room Scents

        Like the color of the space you work in, our sense of smell can powerfully affect our mood, mindset and thus our productivity. Consider adding scents to your work space to jar your mind into focus when you start to notice yourself drifting off.

        Try using these scents to stay focused:

        • Pine – Increases alertness
        • Cinnamon – Improves focus
        • Lavender – Helps to relax you during a stressful work day
        • Peppermint – Lifts your mood
        • Citrus (any) – Wakes you up  and lifts your spirits

        If you work from a company office: Most people will not appreciate added scents to their work environment so you’ll need to keep it subtle. Keep essential oils in your bag or drawer and when you’re in need of a boost put a few drops on a handkerchief or cotton ball.

        If you work from a home office: Use candles, incense or essential oils. You can also simmer herbs and spices in the kitchen to fill your home with a warm scent.

        Noise Level

        The noise level in a work environment can vary greatly depending on the size of the team you work with, the office design and company culture. But make no mistake, the noise around you affects your ability to stay on task. Not only can it be distracting, it can also raise stress levels making your ability to sustain productivity far more difficult.

        If you work from a company office: Bring in noise cancellation headphones and use music services like Spotify or Songza and choose concentration boosting sounds, like white noise.  Find out if your office offers quiet work spaces for times when you need the utmost focus.

        If you work from a home office: Sometimes the complete quiet can be as distracting as an office. Use a service like Coffivity to mimic the noise of a coffee shop, which has been said to help with concentration.

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        Air Quality

        Air quality can drastically affect our ability to focus and think clearly. Get this: OSHA estimates that the total annual cost of poor air quality in office environments costs employers $15 billion “due to worker inefficiency and sick leave.” Yeah, it’s serious business.

        If you work from a company office: Talk to them about installing air filters. If there is a way to bring in fresh air through windows or doors, arrange to have them opened for at least a portion of the day. If nothing else, get a personal air filter to have on your desk or nearby.

        Also, get a plant (or better yet, have the company buy and use more plants in the office!). Plants are great at filtering the air and providing clean, purified oxygen.

        If you work from a home office: Open windows and doors and let in the fresh air. Install an air filter or get a portable air filter to keep near your desk. And, yes, you too should get a plant.

        Different Spaces

        If you can manage it, give yourself more than one space to work from. Putting yourself in a new space with different qualities and things to look at quite literally shifts your brain and helps you stay focused.

        If you work from a company office: Many offices offer a variety of environments to work from: your personal space, lobbies, break out rooms, conference rooms, kitchens and eating areas and, if you’re lucky, they also provide lounge areas. Use all these spaces to vary your routine. Make sure your supervisor knows so they don’t think you’re slacking off and know tat you’re actually getting more done!

        If you work from a home office: If you work at a desk, add a comfortable couch or chair to the room. If your space is less flexible or ultra tiny, think about more creative ways to change your work space. Rotate the pictures on your walls every couple of days. Sit on the other side of your desk. Get a lamp and multiple colored bulbs. Or go work at a café, the library or in a park.

        Organization of People

        Most employers organize employees around job function or in specific divisions. Instead, studies show that people are more creative and productive when they are sitting with colleagues that share the same goal or client. Not only are you able to get answers and generate solutions quicker, but because you’re directly accountable to the people around you, you’re more likely to stay on task and productive.

        If you work from a company office: Ask your employer if you can experiment by clustering your group together in a conference room for a day or a week. Get feedback from everybody involved. Show the results. If your company won’t make permanent adjustments, perhaps they’ll allow you to work together a couple times a week when the conference room or lounge area is free.

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        If you work from a home office: This is a little bit more difficult because when you work at home you’re not with colleagues. You can recreate a similar space digitally, however. Create a Skype group and have everyone logged in during working hours. You can do morning accountability and check-ins while remaining available for questions, solution-finding and general banter that promotes creativity.

        Idea Storage

        Ever been working hard when you’re suddenly distracted by a great idea? At first you try to push it away, but then the next thing you know you’re 20 pages deep into an online search on the topic. Ideas should be encouraged and cultivated, but when they come right in the middle of another task it can be incredibly distracting. Instead, create a place to store your ideas that’s easily accessed from your work space.

        For both a company and home office: Keep pads of paper around, have a chalk wall, get a white board – when you have a spark of inspiration write it down right away to get it out of your head then return to the task at hand. Then, at the end of the day or when you have free time, collect all the ideas and review them. With a little time and space you can better decide if it’s worth pursuing or better to leave it on the back-burner.

        Refreshment

        Our brain needs nourishment to keep going, especially when we’re driving hard and staying focused. You can let a rumbling stomach go on for only so long before the brain shuts down. Assuming your different is like wanting your car to keep driving without having to stop and fill it with gas. A novel idea, but not realistic.

        If you work from a company office: Pre-make snacks for the day and/or week. Or, bring in prepackaged snacks. Keep in mind that junk food has properties of diminishing returns so if you’re buying your food prepackaged think nuts, fruit, unsweetened yogurts, and hummus and crackers. Likely, your company provides coffee, tea and water so you don’t have to worry about supplying that for yourself.

        If you work from a home office: If you work from home, this can be a key distraction. Try to reduce the number of times you walk into the kitchen each day. To do this, keep quick and   easy snacks pre-made or prepackaged ready and near your desk. Keep a water bottle nearby. And consider bringing a kettle into your office and stocking tea and coffee so you’re   not tempted to wander around the house and lose time poking through the pantry.

        Bring in Nature

        We are biological creatures, first and foremost. So we are deeply affected by our access to (or lack of) the natural world. It’s important for our psychological and physiological functioning, which directly affects our ability to be productive.

        If you work from a company office: If you don’t have windows in or near your work space, bring in pictures of the outdoor world. Keep a picture of something natural as your screensaver and/or desktop wallpaper. Take walks outdoors at lunch or in between major tasks. Just a few minutes outside in the fresh air and sunshine can boost our mood and shake out the doldrums. Be sure to add a plant to your desk, too!

        If you work from a home office: Keep the shades open and, if you can, let in fresh air. If you can’t see anything natural out of your window, keep pictures of the natural world as your screensaver and/or desktop wallpaper. Take walks. Or, just step outside and put your feet on the ground. Put plants in your office – research shows that having live plants in your office makes you more productive, happier and less stressed.

        Digital Space

        For most people, our primary work is housed within our laptops and our physical environment simply the backdrop to our digital lives. Make sure your computer has software that helps you sculpt the digital environment that best elicits productivity. Use focus apps like this one or this to decrease distractions. Or design your day using intervals with an app like this one to keep you at your peak focus throughout the day.

        Featured photo credit: Phil Desforges via unsplash.com

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