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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Last Updated on November 18, 2019

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

Everyone of my team members has a bucketload of tasks that they need to deal with every working day. On top of that, most of their tasks are either creativity tasks or problem solving tasks.

Despite having loads of tasks to handle, our team is able to stay creative and work towards our goals consistently.

How do we manage that?

I’m going to reveal to you how I helped my team get more things done in less time through the power of correct prioritization. A few minutes spent reading this article could literally save you thousands of hours over the long term. So, let’s get started with my method on how to prioritize:

The Scales Method – a productivity method I created several years ago.

How to Prioritize with the Scales Method

    One of our new editors came to me the other day and told me how she was struggling to keep up with the many tasks she needed to handle and the deadlines she constantly needed to stick to.

    At the end of each day, she felt like she had done a lot of things but often failed to come up with creative ideas and to get articles successfully published. From what she told me, it was obvious that she felt overwhelmed and was growing increasingly frustrated about failing to achieve her targets despite putting in extra hours most days.

    After she listened to my advice – and I introduced her to the Scales Method – she immediately experienced a dramatic rise in productivity, which looked like this:

    • She could produce three times more creative ideas for blog articles
    • She could publish all her articles on time
    • And she could finish all her work on time every day (no more overtime!)

    Curious to find out how she did it? Read on for the step-by-step guide:

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    1. Set Aside 10 Minutes for Planning

    When it comes to tackling productivity issues, it makes sense to plan before taking action. However, don’t become so involved in planning that you become trapped in it and never move beyond first base.

    My recommendation is to give yourself a specific time period for planning – but keep it short. Ideally, 10 or 15 minutes. This should be adequate to think about your plan.

    Use this time to:

    • Look at the big picture.
    • Think about the current goal and target that you need/want to achieve.
    • Lay out all the tasks you need to do.

    2. Align Your Tasks with Your Goal

    This is the core component that makes the Scales Method effective.

    It works like this:

    Take a look at all the tasks you’re doing, and review the importance of each of them. Specifically, measure a task’s importance by its cost and benefit.

    By cost, I am referring to the effort needed per task (including time, money and other resources). The benefit is how closely the task can contribute to your goal.

      To make this easier for you, I’ve listed below four combinations that will enable you to quickly and easily determine the priority of each of your tasks:

      Low Cost + High Benefit

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      Do these tasks first because they’re the simple ones to complete, yet help you get closer to your goal.

      Approving artwork created for a sales brochure would likely fit this category. You could easily decide on whether you liked the artwork/layout, but your decision to approve would trigger the production of the leaflet and the subsequent sales benefits of sending it out to potential customers.

      High Cost + High Benefit

      Break the high cost task down into smaller ones. In other words, break the big task into mini ones that take less than an hour to complete. And then re-evaluate these small tasks and set their correct priority level.

      Imagine if you were asked to write a product launch plan for a new diary-free protein powder supplement. Instead of trying to write the plan in one sitting – aim to write the different sections at different times (e.g., spend 30 minutes writing the introduction, one hour writing the body text, and 30 minutes writing the conclusion).

      Low Cost + Low Benefit

      This combination should be your lowest priority. Either give yourself 10-15 minutes to handle this task, or put these kind of tasks in between valuable tasks as a useful break.

      These are probably necessary tasks (e.g., routine tasks like checking emails) but they don’t contribute much towards reaching your desired goal. Keep them way down your priority list.

      High Cost + Low Benefit

      Review if these tasks are really necessary. Think of ways to reduce the cost if you decide that the completion of the task is required.

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      For instance, can any tools or systems help to speed up doing the task? In this category, you’re likely to find things like checking and updating sales contacts spreadsheets. This can be a fiddly and time-consuming thing to do without making mistakes. However, there are plenty of apps out there they can make this process instant and seamless.

      Now, coming back to the editor who I referred to earlier, let’s take a look at her typical daily task list:

        After listening to my advice, she broke down the High cost+ High benefit task into smaller ones. Her tasks then looked like this (in order of priority):

          And for the task about promoting articles to different platforms, after reviewing its benefits, we decided to focus on the most effective platform only – thereby significantly lowering the associated time cost.

          Bonus Tip: Tackling Tasks with Deadlines

          Once you’ve evaluated your tasks, you’ll know the importance of each of them. This will immediately give you a crystal-clear picture on which tasks would help you to achieve more (in terms of achieving your goals). Sometimes, however, you won’t be able to decide every task’s priority because there’ll be deadlines set by external parties such as managers and agencies.

          What to do in these cases?

          Well, I suggest that after considering the importance and values of your current tasks, align the list with the deadlines and adjust the priorities accordingly.

          For example, let’s dip into the editor’s world again.

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          Some of the articles she edited needed to be published by specific dates. The Scales Method allows for this, and in this case, her amended task list would look something like this:

            Hopefully, you can now see how easy it is to evaluate the importance of tasks and how to order them in lists of priority.

            The Scales Method Is Different from Anything Else You’ve Tried

            By adopting the Scales Method, you’ll begin to correctly prioritize your work, and most importantly – boost your productivity by up to 10 times!

            And unlike other methods that don’t really explain how to decide the importance of a task, my method will help you break down each of your tasks into two parts: cost and benefits. My method will also help you to take follow-up action based on different cost and benefits combinations.

            Start right now by spending 10 minutes to evaluate your common daily tasks and how they align with your goal(s). Once you have this information, it’ll be super-easy to put your tasks into a priority list. All that remains, is that you kick off your next working day by following your new list.

            Trust me, once you begin using the Scales Method – you’ll never want to go back to your old ways of working.

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            Featured photo credit: Vector Stock via vectorstock.com

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