Categories
Productivity & Work Psychology Science

The simple technique that boosts your short and long-term memory

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via giphy

Want to remember more of what you read? Give your brain a 10-15 minute rest. No phones, no distractions, just pure boredom, a quiet room and dimmed lights.

Why do we need to reduce interference?

It takes longer for new information to encode and simply consuming more or squandering time on social media will make it even hard to remember.

When we let the mind wander, the brain works backward and connects the dots, cementing those memories that were previously unlinked.

So stop chasing extra stimulation and let your brain rest in its own presence. Your memory will thank you for it.

Read An effortless way to improve your memory

 

 

Categories
Books Creativity Quotes Writing

‘Some days, you’re just not creative. It’s OK….Don’t worry about it. It comes back.’

“This is important. Some days, you’re just not creative. It’s OK. Go read a book. Or take a walk. Don’t worry about it. It comes back.”

Brian Andreas, Something Like Magic: On Remembering How To Be Alive
Categories
Postaday Psychology

Worrying is a waste of time. Greet your anxiety instead.

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It is human nature to ponder anxieties that do not exist.

The mind is a fabrication machine, developing worries before they deserve any attention. Wrote Carlos Castaneda in Journey to Ixtlan (Amazon):“To worry is to become accessible… And once you worry, you cling to anything out of desperation; and once you cling you are bound to get exhausted or to exhaust whoever or whatever you are clinging to.”

The only way to assuage the nerves is to focus on what’s in front of you, to do the work regardless of the way you feel. Progress happens to the relaxed.

Don’t worry before it’s time

Writes Eric Barker on his life advice blog:

You’re not your brain; you’re the CEO of your brain. You can’t control everything that goes on in “Mind, Inc.” But you can decide which projects get funded with your attention and action. So when a worry is nagging at you, step back and ask: “Is this useful?”

As a survival mechanism, anxiety pushes us to take action — the most basic fear is that we need to eat and have a place to sleep for the night. But anxiety is also a thinking problem that needs to be neutralized by greeting it at the door where it appears wearing the same costume as it did before.

Everything is going to be alright, just like it was yesterday.

gif via Jason Clarke

Categories
Culture Postaday Tech

The internet is peanuts

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Said filmmaker Orson Welles in 1956: “I hate television. I hate it as much as peanuts. But I can’t stop eating peanuts.”

We’re at a crossroads with the internet: How can something be so good but bad for us at the same time?

Part of the problem is that we use computers and phones for everything. We depend on technology to act as our wallet, camera, work, and entertainment device. Everything converges into the smartphone, yet we use it less to talk and more to navigate our everyday lives.

The addictive trills of the rectangular glow are just beginning. Tech promises to become more pervasive. From driving cars to learning languages, we will offload all our work into the unconscious but competent machines. AI portends to obviate human labor.

So what are we to do once the robots do it all for us? The line between productivity and doing nothing will blur. Some of us will entertain ourselves into inanition; others will work with automation to keep developing the future.

Either way, we are compelled to become the Jetsons. As long as we stay interested, we can keep the wave of the future interesting.

PS. I discovered the Orson Welles quote in Tim Wu’s fascinating new book The Attention Merchants (Amazon).

art via giphy

Categories
Arts

A high place 🌃

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pixel art by Kirokaze

“Outside New York, a high place where with one glance you take in the houses where eight million human beings live.”

— Tomas Tranströmer, “Schubertiana

Categories
Creativity Photo Challenge Photography photoJournal

Enjoying the silence of GIFs

giphy-downsized-large-1The mind fills a silent GIF with sound.

The flags flickering in the wind, the lightbulb dancing at a Mexico City bar, to the whistle of leaves swinging outside your window.

Living in the distraction era, noise is ubiquitous. Standing still, the decibels around turn up to match the horizon.

But the calmer it becomes, the more you hear.

Silence deafens the external stimuli. In nature, it rings with the the highest volume.

TuRn it up!

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Categories
Tech

Convergence is inevitable

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via Singularity

What’s missing: the smartphone. What’s next: the VR headset.

What are many application become one, rolled up into ital visions.

Digital convergence is inevitable.

The same sweep can be said for those other desk objects.

Categories
Photo Challenge Photography photoJournal Video

Here today, gone tomorrow

All gifs/videos by Wells Baum

Standing in Grand Central Station reminds us of the temporariness of life, that what’s here now can be gone in a flash.

We should be dubious of ephemerality, especially in the internet world where things get consumed and promptly forgotten. Good feelings are equally fleeting; they ascend and descend like a sine wave.

Instead, the overall wager should be on long-term serotonin rather than one-off surges of dopamine.

Here now, gone in an instant

Better to find our feet in the urban wilderness rather than orbit around a flock of sheep. In the hierarchy of happiness, stillness plays the long game by persisting through noisy places.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

So what?

Instead of asking the typical fear-setting question ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’ instead persistently ask yourself ‘so what?’

So what if you didn’t get into the college you wanted? So what if you’ll never be famous? So what if you’ll never find a significant other?

So what?

Repetition dulls negative thoughts. Boredom hinders the loop from dominating your internal dialogue. The act of questioning makes your worries irrelevant; at least you’re still breathing!

Asking ‘so what’ won’t resolve your problems but it will quell your imaginary anxiety from thinking about them.

The monkey mind is irrational. But the quiet mind is not indifferent; it too cares. However you move on with the business of living, just remember nothing is as ever as bad as it seems.

Categories
Productivity & Work Psychology

Avoiding the losses

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via giphy

Every story needs a villain that disobeys the rules. Bereft of drama we lose interest in the hero’s tale.

Struggle makes us human. The will to defeat Goliath comes with an exaggerated sense of faith.

We overcompensate for our vulnerabilities, and in doing so, raise the stakes of our own determination. “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how,” wrote Nietzsche in the Twilight of the Idols.

Very few fighters go undefeated. It’s up to the hero to accept risk in the possibility of a loss. A creature of pure whim and incoherent self ultimately meets their maker.