Productivity LPT: Your memory is SO MUCH more powerful than you think… we were just never taught to use it properly at school. Learning techniques like “Memory Palaces” will let you learn anything FAR faster
The important concepts with the best educational resources i've ever found on memory techniques:
(1) Spaced repetition - this technique lets you remember things by systematically reminding you of the information over time in a spread-out way optimised for your long-term memory. Only 5 mins a day spent on this technique can have a massive impact on your memory. Its effectiveness grows exponentially over time the more you use it aswell so it quickly starts to have a massive impact on your life.
(2) Memory palaces / Method of Loci - our memory is much better at remembering images & locations than things like concepts and text. Memory palaces take advantage of this by turning what you want to learn into an image & location. You practice imagining a house you know well and then in your mind place new pieces of information in different parts of the house. It takes a lot of effort to build your memory palace to begin with but once you have it it will help you remember things efficiently for your whole life.
[Remembering more of everything: the memory palace] [Statistics on our visual memory capabilities] [5 Steps to Remember Things With a Memory Palace] [3 memory palace training exercises] [Guide on building memory palaces]
(3) Mnemonics - these are basically tricks that let you remember things more easily by associating them with different things. The 9 types of mnemonics e.g. making a rhyme out of something you want to remember e.g. linking together different things you want to remember into a story
(4) Why memory is important - your memory is surprisingly important for your learning speed. If you remember more you can understand and contexualise more things and therefore learn much faster. These two articles explain in more depth why memory is so important.
Productivity LPT: Working out and dieting isn’t about looking good to others. It’s about habits and conditioning that keeps you in good shape as you age.
Once you find some podcasts you like, you’ll start looking forward to cleaning your house or doing laundry because you’ll have something to do while you listen.
Productivity LPT: You can decrease anxiety in minutes with this breathing trick and this vision trick
What's better than one efficient and simple anxiety-reduction trick? TWO efficient and simple anxiety-reduction tricks.
All credit for this goes to Andrew Huberman and the incredible field of neurobiology.
Breathing trick: Inhale twice, then let it go in one exhale. This is called a physiological sigh (double inhale, single exhale), and it sends a message to the brain that it's time to calm down.
Vision trick: Soften your gaze by trying to take in things in your peripherals. At the sides and in the distance. This is called panoramic vision, and also sends a message to the brain that it's time to calm down.
Source (explains how and why these work)
Bonus tip (that you probably already know): Try to keep your shoulders relaxed and your jaw unclenched.
Productivity LPT: I work in night shift so by the time I’m off from work there’s no public transport available. So I registered as a designated driver on an app & only pick orders going somewhere near my home. I no longer need to pay for the transportation for going home, instead I get paid for it.
Productivity LPT: If you think of a good idea, write it down. Your brain will try to trick you into thinking you will remember it later, but it's a liar! Therefore: Write it down!
Productivity LPT: If you struggle to get out of bed in the morning, leave your phone out of reach and make it impossible to turn off the alarm if you don't get up manually do it.
Set it so the alarm music changes every time it rings too, otherwise you will get used to hearing the same tune again and again and again.
Productivity LPT if you struggle with depression or other disorders preventing ADLs, you don't have to eat a full meal or even get into the shower in order to have tiny successes.
No, it's not healthy to do either of these long term or frequently, but sometimes it's better than nothing
You should try to eat at least once a day. But if the idea of food in general makes you feel sick, but you know you can handle a bite of a comfort food like pickles or a candy bar, go for that. Likewise to if you realize you haven't drank anything for quite awhile, but don't feel thirsty or are apathetic about it, try a gulp or two of soda or tea, whatever liquid you can stomach. This is better than nothing and may drive your thirst for actual water up.
Lastly, I know showering can become a huge burden sometimes, and even in my worst times, I rationally knew just getting under the water would make me feel better, even if I didn't wash, just the water itself would. But in those times, I couldn't bring myself to do even that. Baby wipes, and if you feel up to it, baby powder, make for great odor blockers and can help you feel tons better than before.
Productivity LPT: You can reset a bad day and start being productive again by following these 7 steps
If you're also an 'all-or-nothing' person like me, every day, week, year is either good or bad. You're either super productive and getting everything done, or lying in bed for hours scrolling, telling yourself 'I ruined it anyway, I'll start tomorrow'.
For the past months I've been getting more and more disciplined , and still once in a while comes a bad day.
Bad days are the ones that simply go wrong from the get go. Everything and everyone is annoying, and you slowly lose all of your mood and motivation, stop the work/ study that you're doing and just get distracted.
If you are also addicted to something, this is the point where you'll feel the need to have your substance- to smoke, to eat some chocolate or pizza, to have a drink, to play one round of your favorite game, (or in my case- watch an endless stream of videos). I learned the hard way that this act is what destroys the day completely because after the belly is completely loaded with snacks , or the eyes are dizzy from all the games and videos, it becomes impossible to get back on track.
Also, If part of your self improvement route includes trying to quit your addiction, this moment put all of your efforts at risk, as you're thinking something like "well this day is a mess anyway, it's ruined, I'll get back at it tomorrow'
But there's a way to stop this mindset, and you can consider at least giving it a try
How to restart and turn around a bad day in 7 steps:
If you're at home :
As soon as you're realizing you're in the bad day, stop what your'e doing immediately, and do the following, in this order:
- Cold water; Stand up. Go and wash your face with cold water. Brush your teeth. Look at yourself in the mirror and say , either out loud or in your head "I am starting over"
- Energy boost; Do 20 jumping jacks / 5 pushups / 3 climbs up and down stairs; Just a small physical activity to raise your heart rate and bring you energy.
- One successful task; Make a small , simple task that needs to be completed at home. Something like making your bad, putting some dirty clothes at the laundry rack, washing one dirty dish. It has to be short and simple- do not turn it into a long distraction of cleaning your entire house to avoid working/ studying. Just do this one thing. It can help you feel that you are already switching the day up doing something productive, without wasting much time.
- Different outfit; Go to your closet and change your shirt. A different outfit can help you feel like a new day is starting.
- A nice drink; Go and make yourself a nice non-alcoholic beverage that you can drink while working or studying - something quick as coffee, tea, lemonade etc.
- Clear starting point; Sit down with your beverage and decide what is the specific thing you will do now. Say it to yourself before you touch the computer or the books. "I will reply to my inbox now " , "I will read chapter 7"
- Let's go! :)
If you're in the office / library / school , you can do some switches:
Take a quick walk around your building or do some stretches at the bathroom if there's no other choice.
Make a small task that is easy and simple such as cleaning your screen.
I hope this helps! i've been doing these steps many times in the last months (each time changing it up until I reached this ideal combo)
After getting called out by a couple house guests I thought i'd offer this tip to folks headed into winter where in some regions energy reduction is mandated and not everyone has access to energy star/similar low cost appliances to keep food cold efficiently.
Your refrigerator can use a ton of energy depending on how you use it, where more door openings results in more work for the fridge to do, and more energy consumed to achieve its temp set point.
If you keep a somewhat empty fridge like I do, only food for a weeks cooking + condiments, you should consider adding thermal mass in the form of water to the typically empty space in your fridge.
I drink a lot of cold brew in the summer, and over the years have accumulated many half gallon jars as a result. Filling these jars with water (resistant to temp change) and letting them live rent free in the fridge means that less of the void space is filling with fresh air ~68 degrees every time I open the door.
If you can safely store water in your fridge via containers/jars/bottles you can ensure a lower energy consumption in this way. While the gains are not astronomical, they are in line with some estimates for Europe for example where a reduction in energy usage per household only need drop 10-20% depending on impacts from Russia's war in Ukraine.
Edit1: Lots of good comments and questions so we should clarify some things! I can't seem to link users but there are a lot of good comments in here floating to the top.
Cooling warm/room temp water takes a lot of energy, it's important to store already cool water, whether from your well or sewer ~55 or 65F, or take advantage of naturally cold and free air outside. Adding a bunch of water to the fridge all at once will also push the fridge to work hard and consume a lot of energy.
Energy costs are likely to continue increasing, so you could reason that costs now to cool water for stowage will be less than the energy to cool without it in the future, but I don't want to crunch those numbers. Just avoid putting warm water in the fridge.
Also folks are right to call out the power outage case, where a fridge full of water, or freezer of ice, will stay cooler for longer. With energy costs going up, and nations like Germany mentioning possible grid blackouts it makes more sense to do this.
Productivity LPT: Most packing labels are heat transfer labels. An easy way to remove your personal information is to pass a heat source over it quickly, I use a lighter. No more scratching it out or poorly obfuscating with a marker.
Productivity LPT: If you're struggling to force yourself to do a tedious task, try concentrating on the first step of this task. I.e. insted of thinking "I have to vacuum the house" think "I will go to the closet and pick up the vacuum" and then your "autopilot" will kick in.
Productivity LPT: Working out does not have to last an hour. There are proven benefits to exercising for only a few minutes. Doing this several days a week could elevate your mood considerably.
Productivity LPT: You can program a smart phone to dial through a phone tree with a single button click
If you need to call a number that has a phone tree often or, in the case of calling the IRS, repeatedly, you can program the phone tree into your phone so you don't have to dial though it manually each time.
Call them once manually and write down the buttons you have to press to navigate the phone tree. Then create a contact for the number, enter their phone number, then the numbers you have to press to go through the phone tree, separating each of them with commas(comma = 2 second pause). If you need a longer pause, you can stack commas together. If some part requires you to talk, you can do that during the commas, but if its just entering a number most of the time you can just dial the number in, if that is the case you can make it part of the dial command no commas needed. Getting the pauses right may take a bit of trial and error, but usually you can sort it out in 3-4 calls. Slower phone trees may need 2 commas between each number.
as an example, this is what I built to get to the part of the IRS you need for getting the data for a W2 that wasn't sent to you:
This cut the amount of time it took to get to the department I needed from ~1.5 min to 45 seconds and I only needed to hit a single button to dial the entire tree. This is important because the IRS doesn't have a hold queue, you either get an agent or it hangs up on you. I was able to call them 40 times in a row in ~30 minutes with 100% accuracy.
Productivity LPT: if you need to focus on studying or work, listen to videogame music. It’s specifically designed to serve as background noise while you focus your attention on other tasks.
I learned this early in college and I swear by it. I have playlists of my favorite gaming soundtracks that I listen to when I’m studying or doing work. Listening to music in the background of your tasks has been shown to increase productivity, and videogame music is created just for this purpose
Productivity LPT: For my money, getting up earlier than usual and going outside for a decent lengthened walk for 10 to 20 minutes, while it's still chilly and dark and it's just you and nature, is the best form of caffeine there is.
I've been doing this for a few weeks now and man the difference is insane.
My body feels nice and lose and limber at work. I have a ton of energy, no drowsiness. I feel an immediate sense of accomplishment at the very beginning of the day which motivates to care of my body throughout the day.
I just absolutely couldn't recommend an early morning walk more.
And hell I'm not picky. Make your coffee first and take it with you.
This isn't an anti coffee post, I still drink it and am drinking one right now lol
Productivity LPT Don’t underestimate the momentum and confidence boost provided by getting a couple of quick wins under your belt. The bigger tasks don’t seem so big once you’re on a roll.
Productivity LPT Request: How can I tell my boss that I DO NOT HAVE TO answer the phones on my days off.
My boss has this god awful habit of texting me on my days off or out my working hours and I know that If I begin to respond his answers, he will start doing it more. This has gone to the point of asking me to do work-related tasks from my computer in my day off.
None of theses tasks are urgent, he just throws them as soon as he thinks of them and expect me to do it.
The thing is, in my country by law, I have no obligation on responding text messages or emails or having to do any type of work if It's not an urgency. So I really would like to remind him this.
I am not obliged to work or attend messages outside of my shift, I can do it if I volunteer to help but the issue is that he has been giving me orders in moments where I am not available and this has represented problems in the past.
The issue is that my boss is quite stubborn, hard-headed you can say. The type that will imply you are being lazy. How can I politely but firmly mark this limit?
Productivity LPT: If you tend to forget certain things that need to be done: Set an alarm clock in your phone for EVERYTHING as soon as you get aware of said thing.
You promised your neighbor to help him out with something in the afternoon? Set an alarm clock. You know that it's going to rain and the laundry has to be brought inside in 30 minutes, but you think you surely won't forget that one? Set an alarm clock! You're on the road and suddenly you think about that one document, that you absolutely need to bring to work tomorrow, but since it's so important you surely won't forget it? Set that alarm clock!
Productivity LPT: if you get sucked into a TV series late at night with a lot of cliff hangers and need to go to bed, pause it during the middle of the episode rather than waiting until the end.
…because chances are, you’ll click “next episode”
Productivity LPT Request: What to spend my ' tired free-time ' at the end of my day without mindlessly scrolling down my phone, or playing video games?
I'm someone that gets addicted to video games, and scrolling down social media, so these are things I'd really like to avoid. But it feels like at the end of my day after working hard I'm too tired to do anything that requires much energy or brain-power, and I don't really know how to spend that time without defaulting to those unhealthy habits. Anyone got any ideas for easy relaxing activities to do while I'm winding down at the end of the day?
It took me many years of my life to make this realization. Over time I noticed there would be periods where I started working out, became a gym rat going nearly every day, then along the way somehow I stopped going and a year or two would pass before I started again and repeated the cycle. I finally realized that it was because I would commit 100% in the beginning, and of course two months later I was not able to keep the momentum going. But when I felt lazy, rather than just go to the gym for less time that day, I would stay home. After too many skipped days, I felt like I had lost all my progress and that created even less motivation to keep showing up. Finally, nearly in my 30s I have for the first time been able to create a consistent schedule that has been maintained for over a year, and this is only because I have agreed to myself to keep going no matter how "low-effort" the workout will look like or how I feel. Had I done this from the beginning, my health would already be so much better today than what it is.
Productivity LPT: The very basics for feeling good: Lift heavy (do your squats), drink water, and get sleep.
Productivity LPT: Have your kids lead you back to your car or home anytime you are out and about, to develop navigation and memory skills.
Super effective way to build kids independence, confidence and navigation skills. I do this anytime I take them hiking, fishing, shopping, etc. Can you find where we parked? Can you get us from this spot on the hiking trail back to our home?
I (22F) am doing well for myself. I grew up in Eastern Europe in a good income family, studied abroad for university, so I have good education, a decent job and speak 4 languages. So on paper, a functioning member of society. I recently moved to a city that has a really good standard of life, amongst the best in the world.
However, no one here needs anybody. People don't have a reason to connect with each other because the system works and they simply don't need to have a backup support system. Therefore, no one here needs me, either. I work in consulting, so I could easily be replaced by any other overachiever. If I died tomorrow, literally no one would have a reason to care.
I am aware that this is how most western societies work. And I am aware that this is the reason most people just get married and have kids. But tbh i am still too young for it.
Additionally, people here aren't too fond of internationals and I don't speak the local language quite well.
What activities can I start doing that would help me feel as if someone needed me?
EDIT: just to clarify, the language itself i speak fluently. I studied in it, and work in it, too. It's the local, unique dialect that I don't understand well since it's not taught anywhere.