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5 Ways to Simplify Your Life Right Now

5 Ways to Simplify Your Life Right Now

Having a crazy busy schedule is something that often results in life becoming complicated. We could all use a break sometimes, and that means we de-clutter our lives in order to get on track.

Here are some ways that you can simplify your life today.

Give up material items

Having so many items not only clogs up space in your home, it creates more distractions for you. For example, having a TV in your bedroom, the living room, on the back porch, and in your bathroom will cause you to spend a lot of time sitting. You’ll have less time to spend doing things that you need to get done. So what do you do?

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Give it up.

Sell all but one TV (or sell all of them and watch your productivity shoot through the roof). This idea can be applied to just about any material item. Not only are you getting rid of unnecessary items that you own, you’re giving them to people who may actually be in need of them. Material items cloud your productivity, giving you less of a chance to be successful. Once those distractions are removed, you’ll start to think a bit clearer.

Minimize responsibilities

Having more responsibility and time commitments will lead to get bogged down and eventually burn out. Living simply won’t amount to being busy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You’ll need to clear out the responsibilities that are causing your life to be complicated.

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For example, holding 4 part-time jobs is not better than having 1 full-time job that you can dedicate your energy towards. Having more commitments will require more brainpower and energy to be used, causing you to work slower, become stressed easier, and become unhappy with your life.

Sleep

Getting enough sleep can often have a profound effect on how much energy you have throughout your day. When you get the right amount of sleep (without oversleeping), you give your body a chance to keep going throughout the day, which gives you more of a chance to live your life simply. You will have more focus to do the things that you want to do; your time and energy will go towards those few things that make your life meaningful.

Having little sleep will make you want to fall asleep whenever you’re not moving. This means while you’re in class, while your at your desk at work, and even while you’re behind the wheel. This proves to be dangerous to your learning and thinking processes. Sacrifice is necessary sometimes, but when it comes to sleep, never sacrifice what’s needed.

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Organize your life

Being unorganized can give your life a sense of complexity. You’ll never know where things are, causing you to get frustrated. You’ll look unprofessional. Most of all, you won’t have a simple life. I understand having a messy desk can inspire some people to work creatively. But sometimes, cleaning that desk can get rid of many distractions.

A simple life has less distractions.

Meditate

Meditation is a great way to relax, refocus, and recharge your batteries once you start to feel unproductive. When you meditate, you start to pay attention to the things that are often overlooked. It helps you recalibrate your mind to think deeper and provide a meaningful way to simplify your life. A great service to utilize here would be Headspace. They’ve got guided meditations for beginners and extended meditations for those who have mastered the art.

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What do you do now?

It’s very simple: get up and go. You’re not going to accomplish simplifying your life until you really start to believe that you need it. Reflect on your life. Are you on the right track that you believe will lead you to a simple life? If the answer is no, take action.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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