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How Your iPod Can Make You More Productive

How Your iPod Can Make You More Productive
How Your iPod Can Make You More Productive

    The iPod is an incredible organizing device! It takes many shelves worth of CDs and condenses them into one tiny gadget, thereby reducing clutter. The iPod (and iTunes) also took away the classic dilemma highlighted in the movie High Fidelity: Should you organize your music collection alphabetically by artist? Or by genre first? Now you can organize it any way you want with a couple of clicks.

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    Looking at the iPod from an organizer’s point of view, there are some great ways it can help you be more productive too. Here are a few:

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    • Drown out distractions. If you need shelter from the cacophony of the cubicle farm, many already know that headphones are a great way to escape. But even if you work alone as a telecommuter or solopreneur, your iPod can keep you from hearing the dog, the sirens outside, or even the neighbor’s television, allowing more concentration on your work.
    • Time yourself. A little-known feature of the iPod is the “Sleep Timer,” located in the menu under Extras>Clock>Sleep Timer. This feature sets the iPod to turn itself off after 15, 30, 60, 90, or 120 minutes of play time. Obviously, going to sleep with your iPod on is one way to utilize this, but I like using this feature to create breaks and ending times for my projects.
    • Pace and focus yourself. Among the fantastic organizing capacities of iTunes is the ability to create Playlists… the modern day mix tape. Create and save a mix of music in exactly the order you want, from a variety of different artists if you like, and make it music that energizes you and allows your brain to focus best. For some people this is classical music, and for others this may be heavy metal. I like making up memorable names for my playlists—I have a techno mix that is for intense writing times on deadline, and I call it “TechnoFocus.”
    • Hands-free reading. I do the majority of my “reading” with audiobooks, listening in the car, while exercising, or while doing mundane chores around the house. Before the iPod, this was cumbersome as a typical book can take as much as 7 CDs. I often am so caught up in listening to the book that I am surprised how much I have accomplished—wow, who cleaned out the refrigerator? Oh, it was me…

    The most common question we get about iPods from our clients is, “Should I still keep my CDs now that they are on my hard drive?” It’s relatively easy to sell used CDs, so we think not, but you definitely need to have an excellent backup system to safeguard your collection should your hard drive fail. Some people do have a hard time parting with their beloved liner notes and the physicality of holding their favorite album, and if you do want to keep them, a great space-saving method is to use CD wallets instead of jewel cases.

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    Here’s a little bonus tip: I love using the Belkin “TuneTie” accessory to take up the extra cord of your headphones. It makes the excess cord much easier to deal with in a handbag or backpack. Go forth and be productive with your new iPod ideas!

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    How to Increase Brain Power: 10 Simple Ways to Train Your Brain

    How to Increase Brain Power: 10 Simple Ways to Train Your Brain

    How often do you think about your brain? Do you ever stop to marvel at its incredible power and supreme cleverness? Or at least check in and give it a little spring clean and a recharge it from time to time?

    If you’re like the majority, then your answer will likely be “no”.

    Astoundingly, we only use around 10% of our brains yet we seldom think to invest in a little training every now and then.

    For a long time, scientists believed that we were stuck with the brain we were born with! Luckily for us, that hypothesis has gone out the window!

    Enter neuroplasticity – a new theory that has proven one very incredible fact: Our brains can change.

    This means, if you’re not very intelligent in one area – that’s OK! You have the option to literally ‘change that area of your brain’ through some little trainings.

    Your brain is a muscle. You need to exercise it regularly.

    The exciting thing is that you don’t have to be a millionaire to increase your brain capacity. All you need to do is invest some time to regularly train your brain.

    So how to increase brain power?

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    Here are 10 simple ways to increase your brain power and improve your intelligence!

    1. Do something new

    When you experience something ‘new’, that actually ‘stimulate’ your brain!

    Don’t get stuck in a rut doing the same old things – the only way to change the structure of your brain is to do something new. This creates new neural pathways, increasing your intelligence level.

    You could take a new route to work, try a new recipe for dinner, or even a new form of exercise – mix them up!

    2. Ditch the GPS

    Gone are the days of map reading! Sat Nav may have made our lives easier, it has also made our brains lazier and less efficient at the same time!

    Go back to the old school and use a map to navigate every now and then. This exercises the part of your brain responsible for understanding spatial relationships.

    3. Ban the calculator

    Remember back at school when we were taught to use our brains to do simple sums like times tables? It’s incredible how we now rely on devices like smart-phones and laptops to calculate really simple equations.

    Resist the urge to work things out using an external device and use the device you were born with – your brain!

    4. Be curious

    Instead of taking everything at face value, get into the habit of questioning everyday things/products, services that you come into contact with.

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    By being ‘curious’ and questioning everything, you force your brain to innovate and create new ideas.

    Curiosity may have killed that cat but it created super important things like electricity and computers!

    5. Think positive

    Stress and anxiety kill existing brain neurons and also stop new neurons from being created.

    Research has shown that positive thinking, especially in the future tense, speeds up the creation of cells and dramatically reduces stress and anxiety.

    Try and get a handle on negative thoughts and make an effort to replace them with positive ones.

    Not sure how to do it? Take a look at this article:

    How to Turn Off Negative Thoughts in Your Mind

    6. Exercise regularly

    It’s been proven that regular exercise helps to increase brain function and enhances neurogenesis. This means that every time you exercise, you are creating new brain cells!

    Here’re 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise, get off the couch and get moving!

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    Your brain will thank you for it.

    7. Train your memory

    How often do you hear people say “I wish I had a better memory!’ Yet no-one does anything about this!

    If you discipline yourself to memorize phone numbers and other important numbers (passport, credit card, insurance, driving license) you will start to see a marked improvement in your memory.

    8. Eat healthy

    Our diets have a HUGE impact on brain function. Our brains consume over 20% of all nutrients & oxygen that we consumed – so remember to feed your brain with the good stuff! (i.e. fresh fruit and veg & plenty of OMEGA 3 oils found in oily fish)

    Here’re more healthy foods that will boost your brain power:

    10 Healthy Foods That Make You Smarter

    9. Read a book

    Reading relieves tension and stress, which is brain-cell killers because it’s a form of escapism.

    Research has also shown that using your imagination is a great way to train your brain because you force your mind to ‘picture’ what you are imagining. Reading is a great way to trigger your imagination!

    Reading every day helps your thinking and imagination, learn more about it here:

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    10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day

    10. Get enough sleep

    Sleep is like a mini detox for the brain. This is when your body regenerates cells and removes all the toxins that have built up during the day.

    Get to bed between the hours of 9pm and midnight to benefit from the most effective hours of sleep!

    If you have difficulty sleeping, you should read this guide:

    The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    An intelligent brain comes from hard work

    If you do take my suggestion and do these things consistently, you’ll soon realize your brain is sharper and you can remember more stuff.

    You don’t need to do everything all at once, pick one to two and start making them your daily habit.

    Intelligence comes from hard work. Make effort to train your brain and you’ll become smarter.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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