Do you want to be five times smarter than everyone else? In order to stay ahead of the game, you should think about practicing these five healthy habits:
1. Read. Constantly. If you ask the most successful people in the world what makes them so prosperous, they’ll probably be too busy reading to answer you. In fact, Business Insider reports that Warren Buffet not only read 600-1000 pages a day at the beginning of his career, but still spends 80% of his working day reading. And he’s not alone. According to The Huffington Post, Bill Gates reads a book a week, Mark Cuban reads 3+ hours a day, and Elon Musk gives credit to books for teaching him how to build rockets.
2. Get to know your internal clock. Biology is ever so relevant for this one. To maximize your productivity, it’s a good idea to find your “biological prime time,” a term first coined in Sam Carpenter’s book, Work the System. Biological prime time is “the time of day when you have the most energy and are therefore most productive,” and it varies from person to person. Put some time aside to get to know your body—cut out the caffeine, turn off the alarm, and figure out when your body naturally wakes up. Track your energy for the rest of the day to find out at what time you’re the most productive. Your work schedule should center around these hours.
3. Hand-write your notes. Edouard Gentaz, a professor for developmental physiology at the University of Geneva, states that “handwriting is a complex task which requires various skills—feeling the pen and paper, moving the writing implement, and directing movement by thought.” Writing notes, as opposed to typing them, exercises the brain and creates an intimate connection between hand and mind that helps you retain what you learn. US researchers Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer performed a study that proved longhand note-takers had a better grasp on a subject when tested, versus their laptop note-taking counterparts. If you’re in need of some new note-taking gear, Wipebook offers the coolest, most eco-friendly notebooks around.
4. Use the mental tips and tricks you learned in grade school. The last time you used these might have been when you were ten, but they worked, didn’t they?
- Acronyms: Remember “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally”? Or, in other words, Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition and Subtraction? It can be fun and easy making up your own acronyms to remember certain information.
- Rhymes: There’s a reason why nursery rhymes are so memorable. Exercise your creativity and create a little song.
- Visualization and Association: Many of us are visual learners. Sometimes, it’s easier to retain information by creating images in your head and thinking up often silly or unusual associations to use as mental hooks. Let’s say you’re trying to remember Warren Buffett’s name. Well, maybe he’s trying to open a new, hip restaurant called “War N’ Buffets” where the food is first come, first serve.
- Draw it out: Sometimes you just need pure visual power. Instead of taking bullet point notes, try drawing the information out in series of pictures or diagrams. Or, if you prefer to stick with words, experiment with different colored pens to differentiate between topics.
5. Exercise! Both your mind and body need proper attention. Try to learn something new every day, whether that means finally picking up the violin that’s been collecting dust in your attic, or learning a new card game with your friends. And it doesn’t stop there. You know what they say—a healthy body leads to a healthy mind. New York Times reports that “exercise induces the creation of many new cells in the hippocampus, which is a part of the brain essential for memory and learning, and also improves the survival of those fragile, newborn neurons.”
If you make an effort to practice and master these daily habits, chances are you’ll be five times smarter than your friends and colleagues. For all of your brainstorming and note-taking needs, visit our website and get studying—the reusable way.