Thinking Smarter is the first part of the five-part Brainhack mini series. The series are based on the book Brainhack: Tips and tricks to unleash your brain’s full potential by Neil Pavitt.
1. Make a Done List
One easy way of getting a bigger sense of achievement, and positive feeling about yourself is to incorporate a done list together with your to do list.
Contrary to the to do lists list of goals, the done list is all about accomplished achievements. You should therefore only put things on your done list that you will look back with a sense of pride. But don’t be fooled this can only include huge achievements, rather the opposite.
If you’re doing work leading up to a bigger project or achievement, put a mark every day/time you dedicated some time for it in your calendar/journal.
Try to create a chain by working on it every day and try not to break it. This will increase the odds of it becoming a habit, and inevitably an achievement you will complete.
2. Change Your Memories
Our memories change. Every time we revisit them we recreate, change, or remodel them for the better or worse.
Try to go back to your bad memories and associate them with a better feeling or change the way you perceive that memory. A humiliating memory could maybe be changed into you remembering how funny you thought your mistake was, and how much you laughed at it?
You should also revisit your good memories and associate them with an even better felling.
3. Be Kinder, Be Happier
Being kind has been linked to a higher sense of happiness.
Happy and unhappy people who experience the same event perceive them differently.
By being happy, not only will you perceive things in a more pleasant way. You have the chance of melting away other people’s negative emotions. Creating a ripple effect.
4. Reward Upfront
We as humans tend to lean towards the safe bet. We are much more likely to take a risk to not lose what we already have, then we are for what could be gained.
Keep this is mind during negotiations and when you communicate with others.
5. Make a Better Impression
The first impression is more important than you might have thought. After all, you will never get that opportunity back again.
But a positive first impression could be more than just a firm handshake. Try to apply it to more areas of your life. Differentiate yourself from other people or competitors.
Give the best presentation at an interview, use the best paper for your CV or have the best table setting at your dinner parties.
The benefits ranges from customers willingness to pay, to people’s chances of liking you.
6. Exercise More to Make Your Brain Run Better
A buffed brain will have an advantage over an unfit one.
Reduce the stress hormones in your body, decrease your risk for Alzheimer’s, and increase your cognitive performance and grey matter in your brain.
Do 20 minutes of heavy exercise for three times a week, or 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week to reap some benefits.
7. Let Your Body Do the Talking
Your body language talks to your body as much as it talks to others.
Put on a smile to feel less stress and making others less stressed out.
Strike a power pose to be powerful.
And when you need to bite down and be determined when on your own, cross your arms in determination.
Science has shown your body will actually reward you for it.
8. Be More Musical
Did you stick to your piano lessons? I hope you did.
Musical training is not just training for the ears, but also for the mind.
People with musical backgrounds scored better results on neuropsychological tests then people without a musical background. The longer the participants had played an instrument, the higher they scored.
Don’t worry, the training doesn’t have a best before date. You could reap the benefits by starting at any age. You also didn’t seem to lose the benefits if you stopped playing at some point.
9. Don’t Get Labelled
Language and how it’s used affects us unconsciously.
Soft words and names get perceived soft and gentle while harsh words and name gets perceived, you guessed it, harsh!
Use your vocabulary to your advantage. Are you a start-up that wants to be perceived bold and strong? Then name it strong! A hard K sound in the name is a good place to start for that effect!
Get the full course
The tricks above are just mini excerpts from a much more detailed explanation, with more use cases and tricks in the first part of Neil Pavitt’s Brainhack book.
If you want to order the book and take full advantage of the thinking smarter part. Then you can order the book on amazon from the affiliate link below.