Daily activities

14 daily 10-minute activities that will sharpen your mind

Most everyday activities – which aren’t completely insane – will sharpen your mind when practiced for a year.

This is the power of the compound effect. Even if you only marginally engage your intellect in certain activities, it can have significant effects over a year.

I have been doing (d) most of the activities below for at least a year. It’s hard to estimate their effect on my brain acuity, but I got some interesting results that speak for themselves.

1. Learn new knowledge

Our ability to learn is astounding. Over the past few years, I have studied several subjects, most of them for the first time in my life: self-publishing, personal development, habit building or online marketing.

It’s not about becoming an expert (especially not in 10 minutes a day), but about the network of associations that your brain creates. Now, I get ideas for personal development from reading a scripture, or a thought about how a brain works when I study my website traffic.

2. Consolidate old knowledge

For about 2 years, I studied professional documentation by learning databases. I had been working with databases at this time for over 8 years, but had very little formal knowledge (two 6 month courses at university).

I passed three professional exams, got two certificates and got a better job (35% higher salary). This all came from 10 minute study sessions.

3. Learn new skills

One skill I deliberately practiced for 10 minutes a day was speed reading.

I quickly doubled my reading speed and maintained my skills at that level. Thanks to these practices, I have read a few dozen books that I would not have read otherwise.

4. Practice gratitude

I keep three gratitude journals. Filling them with my entries takes about 10 minutes.

This activity will not only sharpen your brain, it will improve EVERYTHING in your life.

Gratitude makes your brain positive and when your brain is positive:

“Every possible outcome that we know how to test increases dramatically.” —Shawn Acor

I tested it on myself. That works. For everything indeed.

5. Meditate

Studies have confirmed that meditation improves performance and productivity. I guess it also sharpens the brain.

Surely it magnifies your self-awareness and self-knowledge is one of the foundations of success.

“Success in the knowledge economy comes to those who know themselves – their strengths, their values ​​and how they work best.” —Peter F. Drucker
6. Diary.
Thinking in writing has this magical quality of clarifying your thoughts. What was a tangle of incoherent associations in your head becomes a clear and concise project/plan/reflection/discovery on paper.

It’s also great for getting to know each other.

7. Exercise

The ancient philosophers knew that research already and modern confirmed common sense: a healthy mind in a healthy body.

People who exercise regularly have better cognitive abilities.

8. Listen to different music

I mean, a different kind of music every session. The nature of the link between music and brain performance remains an enigma for scientists, but one thing is certain: it is powerful.

I saw an awesome documentary about how elderly people with dementia living in a vegetative state come alive by listening to music from their youth.

And different types of music activate different parts of our brains.

9. Listen to podcasts

You might learn something. You may hear fascinating stories or facts.

The best part about this activity is that you can do it in the background while doing other things (chores, working out, walking, etc.)

10. Solve puzzles

There are a multitude of logic games. Do not focus on moving to another level. Instead, try a new game every week (or even every day).

11. Solve real problems

I work in IT support in my daily work (maintenance of applications, databases and servers). I HAVE to solve real life problems every day. I had no idea what this meant for my creativity and my attitude until I started studying personal development.

Most people get stuck in the “I can’t” attitude. I do not. Finding a way out is my second nature.

Brainstorming, narrowing down options, trial and error approach – they come to me as natural as breathing.

Admittedly, I did it for a lot more than 10 minutes a day.

12. Come up with ideas

Ask a question and think of 10 different answers. In preference to a practical problem. Even better if it concerns your life.

Claudia Azula swears that generating ideas trains your brain like a good workout trains your body.

Bonus: write them all down (see #6 above).

13. Use your non-dominant hand for daily exercises

Brush your teeth, answer the phone, or do any other daily trivia. It is known that the cerebral hemispheres each control one side of your body.

When you use your non-dominant hand, neurons flow through your less used hemisphere. It sharpens your brain in my dictionary.

14. Learn new words

Expanding your vocabulary expands your mental horizons.

Your vocabulary is like a set of filters that your brain uses to process all sensual impulses and channel them to your conscious mind.

This article originally appeared on Medium.