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You Should Pick Up These After-Work Habits of Highly Successful People

You Should Pick Up These After-Work Habits of Highly Successful People

Motivational tips don’t have to be limited to your career! Check out these after-work habits of highly successful people, and see how you can change your life when you’re off the clock.

1. Explore your creative side.

Leave behind the restrictive clothes, desk, and computer when you leave the office. Wear your favorite comfortable clothes and get ready to explore your creative side! Do you like to draw or paint? Spread out on the table or floor and spend some time sketching and shading. Are you working on the Great American Novel? Take an hour or two after work to write a chapter. Practice an instrument, film silly videos, do whatever strikes your fancy! Taking time to explore your creative side will make you feel more in touch with your true self as opposed to your work self, which will in turn make you feel more refreshed and motivated when you’re at work the next day.

2. Spend time outdoors.

Fresh air and exercise will help you feel great after a day cooped up in the office. Both of these things will get your blood flowing and keep you from crashing on the couch as soon as you get in. The increased blood flow and heart rate will also inspire you to work on other things once you get home, whether it’s chores, creative endeavors, or just spending time with family.

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    3. Play a physically demanding sport.

    Spending time outside is fine by itself, as is exercising. But playing a physically demanding sport challenges other parts of you. Most physically demanding sports are partner or team sports, like tennis or basketball, so you’ll be socializing and working together as you play.

    4. Get more sleep.

    Who doesn’t love an afternoon nap? Getting more sleep will make you feel more refreshed later in the day, and even make getting up the next morning that much easier. Whether you have to go to bed earlier or slip in some short naps throughout the day, make sure you’re getting your full eight hours of sleep a day. 

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    5. Catch up with your family.

    Family time is something that often gets rescheduled because you know they’re always hanging around. Instead of taking this for granted, make time to be with your family. Even if you have to plan days in advance to have dinner together or watch a movie, do it and don’t let anything change these plans. Spending time and talking with some of the people who know you best will make you feel rejuvenated.

    6. Plan a vacation.

    What’s more refreshing and invigorating than going on vacation? Knowing you get a break from the daily grind is enough to get you through the most difficult week at work. It might sound silly, but even just planning a vacation might help you get a hint of that freedom. Research places you’d like to visit, check hotel availability, see what sight-seeing tours and museums the town offers. Even if you can’t take the trip right now, you’ll have the excitement of planning it, and you can save your notes until you get time off!

    7. Read a novel.

    Reading is a great way to unwind because you’re escaping your own life to read about someone else’s. You can travel to other countries and live there without leaving your couch. You can learn new things about other cultures and lifestyles without even realizing it because you’re having a good time reading.

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    8. Enjoy cooking dinner.

    Cooking dinner can seem like a hassle when you have to do it after putting in a long day at work. You have to plan the meal, cook it, serve it, and clean up afterwards. Instead of thinking of this as a hassle, enjoy the experience! Plan a meal that’s healthy and satisfies your cravings. Get your family to help with tasks so it gets done more efficiently, and you get to spend time together. If everyone helps with cleanup, dinner won’t be a hassle – you’ll get to be with each other and enjoy a delicious meal while doing so! 

    9. Meditate.

    It can be hard to completely clear your mind, but the more you practice, the better you’ll get at it. Take time in the morning before work and in the evening before you go to bed to sit by yourself and let the day wash over you. Don’t dwell on what did or didn’t happen. Don’t think of everything you have to accomplish tomorrow. Just be in the moment, see where your thoughts take you, and relax.

    10. Make your mornings about you.

    No one likes to hear their alarm blaring in the morning, but making mornings about you can make that sound a little sweeter. Take your time waking up, enjoy coffee and a good breakfast so you have the right start to your day. Don’t get bogged down by what you need to do that day, don’t assign chores or let your family members nag you. Encourage everyone to be quiet and calm when they wake up, and see how that helps set the tone for your day.

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    Featured photo credit: L’eau Bleue via flickr.com

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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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