Posts Tagged ‘lifehacks’

Memory Hacks

09/25/2009

The best way to memorize something is to do something we call “anchoring”. This is done by connecting your intended memory to a visual or relative aspect of your brain. There are a number if ways to do this, here are a few:

Envision the Future

Visualize yourself in a future situation, doing or remembering that thing at that time. For example, if it’s a rainy day and you’re driving with your headlights on, picture yourself arriving at your destination and turning them off. If there’s something you want to take into the office tomorrow, picture yourself leaving in the morning with that specific item in hand.

The Empty Room

Great for lists. Start with your favorite room (bedroom, office) completely empty. Then, add things to remember into the room. Make each item significant! Example: You need to go running, imagine someone on a treadmill. at full speed. If you have to buy chips, imagine a huge pile of chips on a table.

Mnemonics

Great for detailed grocery lists. Connect each item on the list to a numeric quantity. Then combine the two. 1 = bun, 2 = shoe, 3 = tree, 4 = door, 5 = hive, 6 = sticks, 7 = heaven, 8 = gate, 9 = vine, 10 = hen. Example: 4 Bananas = imagine a door with a banana trying to squeeze through, 7 Apples = A huge apple falling from the sky. This method is great when combined with the Room Method mentioned above.

Play on Words

Literally, make a play with the things you’re trying to remember. I had a friend trying to remember that Harrisburg was the capital of Pennsylvania. So he imagined a Pencil, being struck into his Vein and yelling Ya! Then he imagined hair all over the arm for Harry. Sounds crazy but it worked!

The brain loves creativity and visuals, use them! I have used the methods above and they have all worked well for me. I once remembered a shopping list of 14 things without any paper. My mother didn’t believe I could do it!

9 Ways to Be More Productive

09/03/2009
Based on the 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

1. Only answer calls you know. You can surprise, just don’t be surprised. Use “Google Voice” for call monitoring.

2. No email before 10 am (or before you complete critical tasks of the day). This is so that you don’t get caught up with unnecessary internet time before moving on. Check if you need to, respond to everything after you do what you need to do right now.

3. Arrange all meetings with agenda and time frame. Send out a memo of all the issues to resolve before the meeting. Meetings should solve problems, not create more. No meeting or call should last more than 30 minutes. (This includes brainstorming sessions).

4. Get to the point. Sound busy so you don’t have to be. There is nothing obtuse about saying “I’m in the middle of getting something out, but I have a minute. Whats up?”).

5. Batch. This is something that has proven very valuable. Combine similar task into the same set time frames. It takes 45 minutes for the brain to switch focus from one thing to another.

6. Don’t over communicate. Use to the 80/20 rule (that 80% of your results/profits come from 20% of your customers) to automate low-profit high-maintenance customers. (Cite new policies and procedures).

7. Prioritize. Define the most critically important aspects of your business and life. Let everything else play second fiddle.

8. Let go of your cell or “Crackberry” once in a while. (I have a friend that wakes up with his Blackberry in his hand. Not good). Choose one day a week to leave your precious little life-line friend at home.

9. Get critical, get done, get out, have fun! The point of all work is to get done with it and enjoy that which it buys (otherwise why work?). Think of it in terms of mini-retirements: You work a month, pay all your necessary expenses, put away some for your old age (no, Social Security won’t help you), get out there and fulfill your dreams!