Advertising

15 Little Things You Can Do Every Day that You Never Knew Could Make You Smarter

15 Little Things You Can Do Every Day that You Never Knew Could Make You Smarter
Advertising

Do you want to become smarter? Many people want to exercise their brain regularly, but struggle to find the time or money to take classes or invest in their intelligence.

Check out 15 little things that you can do every day to become smarter.

1. Start a productive hobby.

Doing something every other day will help you to learn more without even noticing. Knitting, running, and learning to read sheet music are all examples of fun, cheap hobbies that will help you to become smarter without realizing it.

2. Check the news online or read the newspaper.

Checking in with current affairs will help you to become more aware of world events and the society you live in. It will also help you to form educated and well-formed opinions that you can later discuss with others.

3. Start two to-do lists.

Start a to-do list with long-term goals and second with short-term goals. This will help you to figure out your priorities, and you can set yourself realistic career-based and personal goals.

Advertising

Your short-term to-do list should cover the next month or so, and your long-term to do list could take anywhere between one year or 25 years.

4. And an “I did” list.

Write a list of all of the accomplishments you have achieved this year, and add to it as you accomplish new things. Include both small and big achievements, to help motivate you to push further.

This can also show you how productive your week has been, and how you can be smarter and more proactive next week.

5. Read a chapter in a book.

Try to read a chapter in a book every day. Many people believe they don’t have time, but there are plenty of options; when you’re commuting to work, during your lunch or in the evening instead of surfing the Internet.

It doesn’t matter what you read; fiction can help you to see from another perspective and become more analytical, and a non-fiction book will teach you something new, whether it is about history or a biography.

Advertising

6. Come up with five different ideas everyday.

Be creative and use your brain every day! From solving your daily problems to thinking of funny movie and book ideas, coming up with ideas will exercise your brain and help you get used to relying on yourself, rather than Google.

7. Find answers to your questions.

Do penguins have knees? No matter how silly the question, try to find the answers to all the little, random question that fly through your head. You will become more knowledgeable in many different areas without feeling like you were learning!

8. Share your ideas with others.

Debating with others gives you the chance to analyze your ideas while adding to each other’s knowledge.

Debating also helps you learn to express your ideas coherently and intelligently. If you feel a little nervous, try joining a knowledgeable forum and join in a debate that is already happening.

9. Try different mindsets.

Take something you already have an opinion on and try to see things from the other side. Coming up with evidence to support it will help you to become more open-minded and inquisitive, helping you to think outside of the box on a daily basis.

Advertising

10. Start a list of things to stop doing.

Try to monitor your procrastination every day for a week, and write down your results. What activities do you do when you procrastinate, or it there anything that you do that leaves you feeling uninspired?

This will help you to break bad habits and figure out what you need to stop doing, making every day more productive for you.

11. Subscribe to interesting feeds.

If you like to spend time on social media, make your feeds more interesting and knowledgeable to become smarter. There are groups on Facebook and Twitter that cover science and political news, so consider searching through a few and finding a couple that really interest you personally.

12. Talk to someone interesting.

You are surrounded by interesting people, from your family to your boss to strangers on the street. People often learn more from strangers than their own loved ones.

13. Explore.

If you can’t afford to explore the world, explore your city. Try things you wouldn’t normally consider, from opera to going to a live music night. New experiences come with new facts and knowledge for you to discover, so take an adventure and see what you learn!

Advertising

14. Watch educational videos.

YouTube is filled with interesting vlogs and TED talks, so try to watch one a day while you’re relaxing. The videos range from 5 minutes long to 30, so even when you’re busy you can normally fit a 5 minute video into your day.

One of the best parts of these videos is that the information is presented in easy, digestible chunks, so even if you are half-listening you will probably end up learning a few things and becoming smarter!

15. Do something scary.

People who fear leaving their comfort zone can limit themselves with fear. From public speaking to eating a food you don’t like, try to push yourself out of your comfort zone once a day. These steps will help you to realize you can accomplish anything you want, as well as helping to make you more curious and open minded—as well as fearless!

Do you have any more tips that people can do every day to become smarter? Comment your ideas below!

More by this author

Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

Daily Routine of Successful People That Will Inspire You to Achieve More Beginners’ Guide To HIIT: How To Choose The Best Moves For Your HIIT Workout Everything Is Going To Be Fine In The End. If It Isn’t Fine, It Isn’t The End. Feeling Trapped? Do These 9 Things to Take Your Life Back 10 Health Benefits Of Avocado

Trending in Productivity

1 7 Effective Ways To Motivate Employees in 2021 2 How a Project Management Mindset Boosts Your Productivity 3 5 Values of an Effective Leader 4 How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them 5 The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
Advertising

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

Advertising

From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

Advertising

The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

Advertising

But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

Advertising

Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Advertising

Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

Read Next