We are not guaranteed any more time than the breath we are taking in this very moment.
If you think that the secret to effective brainpower is to stuff it with as much information as possible using your memory, think again.
Look at these.
This is what will appear in your mind when I ask you to recall the night view in the city.
When it comes to memory, our brains are typically no better than an 8GB USB storage device.
In the modern world, information bombards us constantly. And if we rely on our 8GB capacity to memorize as much as possible, the only way to make it fit is to store it at a low resolution. When we come to review what we’ve learned, we’re dismayed to find only ‘blurred’ information and vague approximations of what was so clear when we experienced it.
In the past the top priority for human brains was survival
Let’s leave the modern world of computers behind for a moment, and travel back in time to when the informational landscape was very different.
Put yourself in the prehistoric shoes of one of your early ancestors.
The prehistoric environment was challenging and harsh. So for much of your time you’d have been motivated by basic survival – how to sustain your life (food, shelter, relationships); and how to deal with threats (predatory animals, weather conditions).
In other words, ‘prehistoric-you’ would not have elevated memorization to be a primary goal, but would have prioritized processing information like thinking ‘this is a dangerous area’, ‘this is edible’.
The more civilized we got, the more we needed to remember
As civilization advanced – with the development of spoken and written language – the memorization of information that didn’t have immediate survival benefits became useful. It allowed people to communicate with others and learn how to act based on the experiences of others, without having to deal with mistakes and risks first-hand. Nevertheless, the amount of information available to an individual was still relatively limited compared to today’s standards, and could therefore be savoured and reflected upon.
But here in the modern world we have unparalleled access to information – books, TV, radio, game consoles, mobile phones, and of course the Internet – which has resulted in an explosion of information consumption. Both a blessing and a curse, we’re now able to exchange masses of knowledge at a faster rate than ever before. But now we need to learn how to handle too much information.
If we still rely on our brains we’ll be overwhelmed
Every day we consume a whopping 34GB of information. Add to that the 50,000 thoughts we generate each day , and it becomes clear that we’re not up to the task of managing information from memory alone – we need to find a way of outsourcing this task.
Now try this.
Look at the following string of numbers for 5 seconds and store them in your memory in the correct order:
9 x 23 = ?
14 x 13 = ?
(The answers: 207 and 182)
Now try to recall the long chain of numbers. How many can you recall? I tried this with several of my colleagues and, not surprisingly, none of them could remember the whole chain.
Had you been given just one of the tasks, no doubt you would have done a better job. But because you were trying to both memorize and process at the same time, your brain was under greater strain. This is what your brain has to contend with all the time.
Our brains are not designed to record information accurately and objectively. Trying to take in too much information results in us becoming overloaded and overwhelmed. What’s more, we interfere with what our brains are truly great at – processing information and being inventive and creative.
How to free up the space in your brain
Just because information is now at our fingertips, it doesn’t mean we should become slaves to it.
We should be more like our prehistoric selves, and instead of being dominated by information, we should know how and when to access information to fulfil our needs.
We need to free up any space that is used for pointless memorization so that the brain can do what it does best – process information. We’d like to introduce two great ways that you can achieve this –
Develop Your ‘Pocket Brain’
Outsource the job of memorization by designing a system to organize and store potentially useful information. A computer is of course a great tool for accurate storage and reliable retrieval.
The important idea here is to become a skilled information handler rather than trying to stuff your brain with information.
Keep an eye open for future articles where we show you exactly how you can create and use your pocket brain for all kinds of information.
As well as your pocket brain, you also need to know how to make the most of the memory that you do have to achieve meaningful learning.
The desired outcome is to make information so relevant to you that it becomes effortless to activate it when you need it. For example, think about how effortlessly you speak your mother tongue – it’s knowledge that’s become a part of who you are.
Watch this space – we’re going to be showing you how to practice meaningful learning in future articles.
|||^||ResearchGate: ‘How Much Information?’ Roger Bohn, 2009|
|||^||HuffingtonPost: There Are 50,000 Thoughts Standing Between You and Your Partner Every Day!|
The post You’ve Been Using Your Brain Wrong: Human Brains Aren’t Designed to Remember Things appeared first on Lifehack.
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Birthday is always a very joyful day for everyone of us! This is the day which we were born,and we can surround ourselves with friends and family and have fun for celebration once a year, it is the most attractive point for having birthday! Do you know the secrets for having more fun for birthday? Here are the best happy birthday quotes for you! Celebrate for the day we born!
The post Secrets To Have Fun For Birthday: Happy Birthday Quotes appeared first on Lifehack.
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Picking up gifts for the opposite gender can be difficult, simply because women and men look at things very differently. Imposing our own perspectives when we pick gifts for the opposite gender can get us into trouble, because that will lead you to the gifts you think they will like, not the ones they ACTUALLY like.
If you are looking for a perfect gift for the woman in your life, whether she is you significant others, your mum, sister or even aunt, it is important to understand what women are looking for in your gift!
Women value the love and care more than the gift itself
As a woman myself, I can make a few general observations to steer you in the right direction for your next gift-giving occasion.
In my experience, women tend to analyze the intentions behind your gifts. The thought and care that you put into the gift is more important than how badly we need the gift in most cases. We like surprises, and we love to know that you care. For women, a little bit of effort and thoughtfulness speaks volumes.
Always remember women keep close eyes on your intention
Whether she is your significant other, your mom, or your sister, the same general gift-giving principles apply. It isn’t hard to appreciate women if your gift shows that you care about us and you focus on what we like.
Women enjoy practical gifts, but they are even more fond of receiving unique gifts that they might not buy for themselves. Women tend to take care of getting the necessities on their own, but rarely treating themselves to something special.
To put it in perspective, it’s the difference between buying your wife the extravagant handbag she fell in love with instead of getting her a bottle of anti-aging cream. You may not think the purse is practical, but if she’ll use it, then it is practical in her mind. Maybe that anti-aging cream does address a concern that she has about wrinkles, but if you get it for her, you might be sending her the message that you think she looks old. Yikes!
5 mental notes on choosing the perfect gifts for women in your life
Showing appreciation for the women in your life doesn’t have to be complicated, but as you saw in the last example, it can definitely go awry. To keep yourself out of the dog house and score some points, consider the following:
1. Try to send a gift on a random day
Valentine’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, and other holidays are times when gift giving is expected. If you really want to impress her, give her something on an average day just because you are thinking of her.
You don’t have to break the bank to do this. She’ll probably love it if you surprise her with her favorite chocolate, pick up some flowers, or cook a nice dinner. It’s not so much the monetary value of the gift but the way that you show your appreciation that matters.
2. When you get a gift for a holiday or birthday, show your thoughtfulness
We like to know that you have been paying attention to things that we like. You can either choose something practical and desirable that we’ve been talking about for a while, or you can pick something that we may not have realized that we needed.
Usually, when women like something, they talk about it all the time. Spend enough time listening, and the ladies in your life will likely mention things that they like or are considering buying. If you’re lucky, she may go into lots of details about the things that she wants. If she stares longingly at that black handbag every time you walk by it in the department store, it would probably be a great gift.
3. You don’t have to be telepathic to figure out what to buy
Figuring out what a woman needs, but doesn’t realize she needs can sound a lot like mind-reading, but it isn’t. You’re just applying your problem-solving skills to look at her experiences in a new way.
For example, maybe you realize that your girlfriend experiences terrible period pain. You see her popping pills and trying to sleep away the discomfort on the couch every month. If you wanted to surprise her, you might get her a cute hot water bottle or a heating pad, some chocolate, and a nice card saying that you noticed she’s been feeling under the weather. You not only showed her that you care, but you get bonus points for not being afraid to discuss your lady’s natural bodily functions.
One time my mother, who has been a waitress for many years, complained about how much her feet hurt. When I looked at her shoes, I saw the problem right away. They were so worn that they weren’t supporting her feet properly anymore. Buying her a new pair of shoes was the best gift I could have given to her at that time. She was so worried about everyone else in our family that she hadn’t noticed her own need for new shoes.
4. Be mindful of the meaning your gift could carry
When you choose a gift related to weight or body image, exercise caution. We ladies face a lot of pressure to meet unrealistic beauty standards.
Unless your wife says to you explicitly, “I want a Weight Watchers membership for my birthday,” or “I really need a gym or yoga studio membership,” please don’t get that for her. You could accidentally send her the message that you think there is something wrong with her appearance.
Buying her a kitchen appliance is also a no-no. There are exceptions to this, of course. All my mom wanted for her birthday one year was a fancy mixer to take her baking hobby to the next level, and that is what my father purchased for her. She was overjoyed that he had gotten it for her. In the absence of a specific request, though, gifting a kitchen appliance can send the message that you think she belongs in the kitchen. I know that probably isn’t your intention, but that could be what you end up saying.
5. Make it exclusively for her
When you chose a gift, pick something that is just for her. Buying tickets for both of you to go to a baseball game when she isn’t interested in baseball might be more of a present for you than her. Yes, it is a date, but is there another type of experience that might align with her interests better?
You’ll get bonus points with her for stepping out of your comfort zone and picking an activity that she likes.
Now go out there, and show her how thoughtful you are
Buying gifts for women doesn’t have to be a scary experience. Women may seem complicated, but a little thoughtfulness goes a long way. The perfect gift doesn’t have to put you in debt, nor does it have to be the most practical.
The best gifts come from the heart and are an expression of the bond that you have with the recipient. Get her something you know she’ll love, or choose something unique that she didn’t realize she wanted or needed. Chances are, she’ll love that you took time to show her how much you care about her.
|||^||Complex: A Guide to Buying Your Girlfriend the Perfect Gift for the Holidays|
|||^||The Spruce: Gift Ideas For Your Wife That Really Show Your Love|
|||^||HuffPost: Young Girls Explain Why Beauty Standards Are So Impossible|
|||^||Time: Worst. Gift. Ever. The 6 Kinds of Presents You Should Never Give|
The post The Perfect Gift for Women? It’s the One They Won’t Buy for Themselves appeared first on Lifehack.
photo credit: Pinterest
An adult has an average of 50,000 thoughts every day. Now try to recall 100 of those thoughts from earlier today. Pretty hard, right?
It’s normal to forget most of them as our brains have to filter out unnecessary information so that we don’t go insane.  The problem is that we forget a lot of great ideas along the way.
Great ideas often come when a person is unprepared
Most of the time great ideas come from diffused mode: Thoughts come to you in this state when you’re not intently focused. Daydreaming or zoning out in the shower are perfect examples of this state of mind. Creative ideas come to us during this state of mind because this is when our minds are the most relaxed. This is when our brains connect different neural pathways to come up with brand new ideas (the same as how creativity allows us to connect the dots, our brains do this naturally in this state). As our brains are so relaxed, there’s no intention to mark down ideas that come along.
Never trust your brain: it’s bad at memory
Very often the ideas that come to us during diffuse mode can be a bit abstract. Out of the box thinking, if you will. This is your best content. The high level, creative, new ideas that are going to take the world by storm.
Remember the genius, ground-breaking idea you came up with in the shower? The one that was going to revolutionize the world as we know it? Of course you can’t remember. Your monumental idea slipped through the cracks of your memory, never to be heard from again because you didn’t take the time to write it down.
In today’s race against time, we just can’t spare an extra moment to jot down the ideas that constantly pass through our heads. Some people may think that it’s even a waste of time. We think that if the thought is that important, we will remember it later and put it into action. But we don’t. And we’re just left with that empty vagueness- “I know I was on to something, what was it again?”
Jot down, jot down, jot down
Don’t be lazy, Jot down the great idea no matter how confident you’re to remember that.
Keep recording tools within reach, but not directly in sight. If you set out a notebook and pen directly in front of you, you are no longer in diffuse mode and thoughts are not free flowing. But you want the notebook to be close enough, so that when the thoughts come to you, you can quickly jot them down.
Smartphone apps such as Evernote are a great option for this. Some others are recording apps, a waterproof notebook for the shower, your laptop, or simply a notebook and pen (this is my personal favorite, more authentic.)
Resist the urge to organize
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of immediately organizing your thoughts as they come to you. Don’t do it. Organizing is a separate task for later, when you switch into focus mode (the opposite of diffuse mode).
Stick to the process of free thinking and writing down ideas and leaving them alone until later. If you try to organize them as they come, you’ll lose many ideas because you are too focused on a single idea. You’ll also lose motivation because you’re loading yourself up with work and complicating the process.
Review, review, review
Now that you have the ideas written down, you need to reinforce the ideas to turn them into something bigger. You should review your ideas around 3 times a week.
While reviewing you can filter out some of the less useful ideas, organize them, and start developing the potentially successful ones.
Remember, most people have plenty of great ideas, just very few of them bother to jot them down. And those who do are the ones who succeed.
The post How Jotting Down Ideas in 30 Seconds Boosts Creativity appeared first on Lifehack.
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