7 Life Tips to Help You Become Smarter and More Productive

28 Jul

We all know that success doesn’t happen overnight. If you want to get good at something, say a new ability or skill, a good guideline is the 10,000 hour rule. But many of you reading this, like me, don’t have that kind of time. Instead, that best way to improve yourself is by taking little steps and forming the right foundation. The Great Pyramids were built from the ground up, and life is no exception.

1) Use your shower time to plan your day (and, you know, get clean)

This one’s easy, and falls under the category of “Making the Most of your Time.” Showers in the morning are great: they wake you up, get you smelling fresh, and prepare you to take on the day. This easy life hack helps you to organize your thoughts, and plan what the next few hours will entail. As soon as you get out, grab a piece of paper and write down the next five things you’re going to do. Productivity and organization go hand in hand, and this simple trick will improve both.

2) Question what you’re told

Growing up, we’re programmed to believe what we’re told by adults and authority figures. This is understandable, as we were children, and they knew better. But as much as it seemed they knew everything, that’s not always the case. In the age of smartphones and tablets, we have the ability to question everything we hear or read. Take advantage of that. You don’t want to be the person who says something you thought to be true, but someone else has the facts to refute it.

3) Learn something new everyday

We are incredibly fortunate to have grown up in the internet millennium. There is an infinite amount of information at our fingertips, so seize the opportunity. Develop an endless curiosity about the world, and always strive to learn more or delve deeper. The best way to do this, in my opinion, is to use Stumbleupon. It’s easy to lose a few hours of your day on the site, but if you’re learning about something new or interesting, the time isn’t wasted.

“I’ll get all the sleep I need when I’m dead.” – Wade Garrett, Road House

4) Sleep less

They say you’re supposed to get eight hours of sleep a night. But scientists have also developed the uberman sleep schedule, where you can get by on two hours of sleep a day. So what’s the answer? Well, everyone’s different. Train your body to operate effectively and efficiently on six hours of sleep, and get two more hours out of your day. Sleep is satisfying, and sometimes it’s hard to get out of bed. But for people like us, that like being productive and getting things done, being awake is so much more fulfilling.

5) Drink more water, then drink some more

This is something I picked up on during my first year of college. Hydration is key. Although this is common sense, most people still don’t maintain proper water levels. Start carrying a water bottle, with Camelbaks being a great choice. Staying hydrated helps improve mental health and brain activity, your immune system, and to lose weight. Plus, you’ll have fewer hangovers. Need I say more?

6) Say “yes” more

Now, I’m not here to tell you to be Jim Carrey, and start saying “yes” to every situation that ever occurs. But really, say “yes” more than you already do. Every experience happens because you took the first step in that direction. Next time your friend asks you to help with something, do it. Go on that weekend trip you’ve always been talking about. Just by getting off the couch or your computer, you’re already ahead of the game. If you need some more encouragement, remember this?

7) Read books

“You don’t have to burn books, do you, if the world starts to fill up with nonreaders, nonlearners, nonknowers?” This quote was taken from Fahrenheit 451, written by the late Ray Bradbury, a man who seemingly had a near perfect vision of the future 50 years ago. I saved this one last for a reason, as it’s the most important. Between the plethora of distractions of the digital age, from Facebook to Xbox to iPhones, books are being pushed to the back-burners. Read more books. Find something that interests you, and I guarantee you will learn something, improve your vocabulary, and feel the satisfaction of finishing what you started.

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