We often read about so-called “brain hacks” – help, advice, and guidance aimed at improving the brain. But how can we know which tips really work? I spoke with leading neuroscientists and asked them to share their favorite brain hacks that they implement in their daily lives.
You can use the same method; put something in an unusual place for reminding yourself that there is something you need to take care of.
It doesn’t matter whether the object is something relevant or not, because the fact that the thing isn’t in its usual, normal location will be enough to remind you what needs to be done.
2. When you find yourself getting stuck on a problem: Go and do something else instead. Let your mind wander instead of allowing it to fall asleep or merely daydream.
For example, you can try taking a walk; it’ll fuel your mind with the energy it needs, making it alert, which will help you in coming up with a few solutions for the issue at hand.
3. To remember difficult lists: Use the ‘Memory Palace’ technique. The ‘Memory Palace’ is an ancient Roman and Greek technique used to memorize difficult things, such as lists of names by linking or mapping them onto memorable imagery.
We are naturally good at remembering pictures or images but not lists of numbers. And that’s exactly why the Memory Palace technique works; it takes advantage of that innate type of memory which we are good at, using it to form associations.
For example, try to come up with a story about the thing which you are trying to remember or make it a song that maybe rhymes.
4.To efficiently learn something new: Use your motor system. While you are learning something, try putting it in as many neural function modalities as possible.
For instance, when you are trying to learn new material or information, write the notes down. Even if you won’t read them again, the fact that you activated your motor system by writing those notes down will help you to remember the information in the future.
Our motor system has a powerful interaction with sensory stations in our brain, which are essentially more cognitive stations. So when you engage those circuits, you fortify memories onto parts of your brain.
5. If you don’t have a strong sense of time: Offload the information to a planner. Keeping a planner will allow you to offload the knowledge of the timing of all things you have to do throughout the day.
6. The brain optimization hack: Give your highest-performing time to your most demanding task(s).
Evidence indicates that when the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain which involves rational decision-making, gets depleted in energy, your ability to make logical decisions as well as rationality itself decreases.
To know when your brain is at its optimal performance to make sound decisions instead of deciding things when you are already burned out or exhausted.
7. To improve your cognition: Perform activities that produce precise movements or play sports.
Playing sports which demand producing precise movements towards dynamic targets (ping pong, tennis, etc.) can be one of the best things you can do.
The link between action and cognition is worth noting, so by improving your ability in performing spatial actions, you will be boosting your cognition.
8. To create context: Link your memories together. Usually, it’s difficult to remember bits of information that are out of context. However, when you try to link your memories to one another, you will have a much easier time remembering them.
9. To avoid wasting time: Schedule your time in advance so that the following day you won’t waste hours on deciding what you should do next.
10. Work on developing a growth mindset. A growth mindset is a very useful brain hack; it emphasizes the possibility of growth and changes rather than focusing on ability or capacity.
Even short exposure to it can enhance your capacity for change as well as your motivation and willingness to adapt and learn.
Ways that you can increase your survey response rates. That’s it for today’s brain hacks.