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10 ADVANTAGES OF A TRAINED MEMORY

The benefits of a trained memory affect several aspects of your daily life. It prepares you for new challenges, improves attention, and strengthens cognitive skills in your daily routine. Your brain continues to learn and grow as you age, but you have to train your memory at regular intervals.

Here are ten advantages of having a trained memory.

Stronger Memory

Brain training expands your memory and helps you remember daily tasks or information. Things like where you left your keys, managing your household finances, and recalling telephone numbers or names.

Active memory is when your short-term memory keeps information ready and easily accessible. Working memory is where you complete those tasks. Long-term memory contains all of your experiences and allows you to recall those memories for extended periods of time.

Brain exercises are the most effective and complete memory workout on hand because they use all aspects of your memory actively, keeping those neural pathways clear.

Enhanced Creativity

One of the most important benefits of having a trained memory is that it enables you to imagine things from different angles. It results in better problem-solving abilities, greater flexibility, and more creative ideas.

Adaptable thinking allows you to go beyond looking at only the facts present to solve a problem. You can extend basic logic when you analyze information to arrive at different conclusions.

Brain training includes flexibility games, such as taking images or symbols and extending a pattern using a set of rules, which results in improved creativity.

Sharper Focus

Memory training improves your concentration, attention, and multitasking ability significantly. In short-term memory, attention is essential. In order for information to enter and remain available for processing, you have to notice it first.

The modern world is full of distractions. Social media, advertisements, and email all have notifications pinging and dinging to grab your attention. You might feel pulled in several directions, diverting your focus and attention to multiple tasks at a time.

Brain training helps you narrow your focus so you can give your full attention to one task at a time. It’s possible to train your focus, and that means never losing important information from distraction again.

Improved Attention

Memory training can also sharpen your visual skills by training your spatial and visual abilities. You learn to identify visual patterns and recall shapes. To help with recall and memorization, you’ll practice using your imagination to visualize various items to associate with what you’re learning.

These exercises give you deeper awareness of your surroundings and help you find details you might have missed before. You also get better at active listening because you’re engaged in remembering what the speaker is saying more than what you want to say next.

Quick Reaction Time

Slow reactions can be a constant source of frustration, particularly in the modern world, where almost everything depends on fast responses based on your power of evaluation.

For example, the ability to be a good driver depends on these three factors: the ability to assess the situation, sharper concentration, and quick reaction times. 

As you train your memory, speed drills help decrease your reaction times to multiple situations in your life. They also strengthen the pathways in your prefrontal cortex, improving your decision-making and problem-solving skills.

Extended Vocabulary

By enhancing your ability for auditory processing, brain exercises can help with language fluency. Repetitive exercises help you find words easily, increase memorization, and allow you to speak with confidence. 

You can apply memory exercises by learning a new language. As you apply unfamiliar words and grammar to your base knowledge, you broaden your grammatical understanding of your primary language.

Enhanced Working Memory

Working memory acts to merge the temporary storage and the processing of information. It allows comprehension, problem solving, and reason. But it has a limited capacity, which means it needs flexibility to perform daily tasks efficiently.

Training your memory requires you to use your working memory as you practice active recall. While it can’t increase your working memory too much, it helps ensure that you can maximize your memory capabilities to get more done when you need to.

Longer Short-Term Verbal Memory

Verbal short-term memory is similar to short-term visual memory. It preserves audio representations of words, numbers, and objects in terms of language.

This is important when it is comes to learning a new language, being able to comprehend instructions, and being an active listener in any conversation.

Faster Visual-Spatial Short-Term Memory

Visual-spatial memory is where visual information is stored for a short time. You use this memory whenever you want to remember visual details like a map or someone’s facial features.

When you train your memory, you learn to remember visual cues based on connecting them to other pieces of your long-term memory. This means you get better at making visual connections to new items quickly and effectively.

Conclusion

These are only a few ways you can benefit from having a trained memory. It has a positive impact on your daily lifestyle. Having a trained memory will help you develop new mental skills and will sustain your memory as you age.  

If you want more information on how to learn faster, watch this video:

8 BETTER SLEEP HABITS

What if you could change your daily habits and get better sleep? On average, you’ll spend approximately 26 years asleep. That’s over 9,000 days or almost 230,000 hours. It’s an essential part of your life and is vital to your overall health, particularly your brain health.

Your body needs an average of seven to ten hours of sleep a night. However, busy lifestyles, stress, and even changes in sleep patterns as you age can chip away at how much sleep you end up getting. Because sleep is such a vital part of your existence, developing healthy sleep habits is one thing you can do to take better care of your body and brain.

1- Set a sleep schedule

Of all the things you can do in order to ensure you get healthy sleep, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is the most important. One common misconception is that you can catch up on sleep. Unfortunately, it takes up to four days to recover from one hour of lost sleep. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule keeps your brain happy and healthy.

2- Exercise daily

It may seem counterintuitive, but staying active throughout the day is a fantastic way to keep your sleep on track. Being active for 30 minutes a day improves sleep quality for myriad reasons. It releases endorphins and lowers cortisol levels in your brain, which work to keep your brain awake. It also stabilizes your sleep-wake cycle so you can not only fall asleep at consistent times but fall into a deeper, higher quality sleep, as well.

3- Be aware of lighting

Your circadian rhythm largely drives your sleep-wake cycle. And this rhythm is directly affected by light—specifically blue light. Sunlight is made up of an array of light, but the one that impacts your circadian rhythm directly are the blue rays. These are strongest in the morning, which is why getting sunlight right when you wake up can help you feel invigorated and energized. These rays lower as the sun sets, allowing your brain to release melatonin and prepare for sleep. Unfortunately, many of the devices in modern-day life, such as televisions, computers, and phones, also have blue light in them. Using blue light glasses at night or avoiding screens for at least one hour before going to bed can help reduce the effect blue light has on your brain and help you fall asleep faster.

4- Eat healthy food

Food plays a crucial role in how well you sleep. A diet consisting of high fiber and low sugar helps you fall asleep faster and can increase the amount of deep, slow-wave sleep you get each night. Sugar and caffeine can not just keep you awake but wake you up throughout the night as well. And because they stay in your system for several hours, you want to avoid them at least eight hours before going to bed. Spicy foods can lead to heartburn or acid reflux, so minimizing those before bed will lead to better quality sleep as well. And foods rich in magnesium and vitamin B boost and balance your melatonin levels, the neurochemical vital to healthy sleep.

5- Create a sleep-friendly environment

Paying attention to where you sleep is an important step in getting quality sleep every night. You get your best sleep in rooms that are cool, dark, quiet, and have minimal clutter in them. If you live near bright street lights, using blackout curtains or a sleep mask can help keep the light out. Earbuds or earplugs designed for sleep can help minimize noise. Ideally, minimize screen time by avoiding watching television or scrolling social media in bed. But a healthy sleep environment also extends to making sure you have a comfortable and supportive mattress, bedding, and pillows. And you want to only use your bed and bedroom for sleep, keeping work or other daytime activities in other areas of your home whenever possible.

6- Meditate

Meditation has significant health benefits, one of which is healthier sleep. Studies in biopsychology, the study of behavior on the brain, has shown that meditation can reduce insomnia by reducing and managing extreme emotions like anger, anxiety, stress, and depression. Meditating before bed can help your body and mind relax so you can fall asleep faster and experience deeper sleep. And meditating during the day can help keep your sleep cycles on track. If you’re feeling tired or fatigued, ten minutes of meditation is equivalent to roughly forty minutes of sleep, so meditating instead of napping can give you the energy boost you need without disrupting your sleep-wake cycle.

7- Know when to nap

Naps can be a secret weapon to daytime productivity but there’s a trick to napping without sacrificing your sleep cycle. First, aim for naps that are ten to twenty minutes long, never going over thirty minutes if you can help it. Second, don’t sleep past 3 pm so that you aren’t disrupting your natural sleep rhythms. Drinking a small cup of coffee before starting your nap can also help you wake up within the allotted time, as caffeine takes roughly twenty to thirty minutes to take effect.

8- Read a Book

One habit that can help develop healthy sleep and reduce screen time before bed is reading a book. In 2009, University of Sussex researchers found that reading a book for at least six minutes before bed lowered stress by 68%. Reading fiction has been found to be as relaxing as meditation, in that it takes your mind out of your worries and allows you to fall into different thought patterns. By clearing your minds, you ease into a relaxed state that helps you fall asleep. Keep in mind, while some e-readers are designed to have low levels of blue light, tablets or phones won’t have the same effect. Actual books are ideal.

Conclusion

Making small changes to your daily routines can make a world of difference when it comes to healthy sleep. If you implement healthy sleep habits and still find yourself struggling, we always recommend seeing a medical professional. Getting quality sleep is one of the most important facets to ensuring your body and mind perform at optimal levels, unlocking your limitless potential.

For more on how to develop better sleep habits, watch this video:

6 AMAZING WOMEN TALK HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MINDSET IN 2023

With the right mindset, you can achieve anything. Over the years, we’ve interviewed and discussed the powerful principle of mindset with people dedicated to opening the door of possibility for everyone. In honor of International Women’s Day, we want to focus on some amazing women and their stories of perseverance and success.

The first National Women’s Day was held in New York City on February 28, 1909. It took another decade for women to win the right to vote in the United States. Even then, only a few countries celebrated Women’s Day until 1977 when the United Nations adopted it as a globally recognized holiday. It took dedication, focus, and determination to make today possible.

Women continue to champion for a better world in all aspects of life. These six books written by incredible women will help you unlock your limitless potential by helping you change your mindset.

Miracle Mindset: A Mother, Her Son, and Life’s Hardest Lessons by JJ Virgin (republished as Warrior Mom: 7 Secrets to Bold, Brave Resilience)

Sometimes the most powerful lessons are the hardest. JJ Virgin learned that lesson when she sat in a hospital room with her then sixteen-year-old son. He had been in a hit-and-run accident and doctor’s didn’t think he would survive the night. She refused to give up and had to find the mental fortitude to face the biggest and hardest challenge of her life. In a straightforward manner, Virgin shares her story and the lessons that carried her through.

Miracle Mindset is a powerful story of perseverance and mindset. By changing your daily habits, you can make the impossible possible. Virgin writes the lessons she’s learned in a way that anyone going through a difficult time can relate to. No matter what situation you’re in, you have personal power and purpose. It’s just a matter of overcoming your limitations to find them.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

Mindset matters. It affects every area of your life. No one understands how pivotal mindset is like Dr. Carol Dweck. Through decades of research she’s unlocked how mindset influences your perception of your talents and abilities. When you change your mindset, you become capable of achieving almost anything.

Do you have a growth mindset? Or have you fallen into the trap of developing a false growth mindset? How does a fixed mindset truly hold you back? The answer to these questions and more can help unlock your motivation so you can transform your life. Mindset walks you through not only how to apply this change in thinking to yourself, but to your business, your relationships, how you parent, and how you train. Once you learn how to see what is possible, the world becomes limitless.

Imagine it Forward: Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change by Beth Comstock

The only guarantee in life is change. So, how do you move forward in the face of uncertainty? Beth Comstock has dedicated her career to this very question. The world will never move slower than it does now. Learning how to adapt to constant disruption is vital in this ever-changing landscape.

Comstock shares her experience navigating change over the course of her thirty year career. She’s learned the problem with growth isn’t lack of ideas or knowledge. It’s fear, doubt, and holding onto what you think you know. Through her own experience, Imagine it Forward helps you identify practical ways to become a forward-thinker and creative problem-solver to overcome any obstacle in your life.

Believe It: How to Go from Underestimated to Unstoppable by Jamie Kern Lima

Have you ever felt underestimated? Or let other people’s criticisms of you, your goals, or your dreams make you question everything? Jamie Kern Lima knows exactly what that feels like. She was once a struggling waitress told that no one would ever buy make up from someone with her body type. And yet she turned her brand into an international sensation, selling her company for over billion dollars, and becoming the first female CEO for a brand under L’Oréal’s umbrella.

Jamie almost didn’t make it. She had to develop monumental resilience. But when she did, she stopped being underestimated and become unstoppable. Through relatable, sometimes heartbreaking, often powerful stories from her life, Believe It shows you that you have what it takes to achieve anything and how to stop listening to anyone who says otherwise.

The High-5 Habit: Take Control of Your Life with One Simple Habit by Mel Robbins

Mel Robbins knows how to tap into your motivation. But before you can reach your goals, you have to believe in yourself first. When was the last time you cheered for yourself? It’s probably been a long time. You may not realize how critical your inner thoughts are. And how much those thoughts stop you from reaching your goals.

You are the most important person in your life. But when was the past time you treated yourself as a priority. It’s time to silence the critic, let go of self-doubt, change your focus, and get the results you deserve. Packed with science-back methods, deeply personal stories, and actual results, The High-Five Habit teaches you how to truly believe in yourself through one simple yet effective habit.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

What differentiates people who succeed versus those who don’t? Why can some people seem to overcome anything while others give up in the face of adversity? Angela Duckworth had a theory. She believed it all came down to one thing: grit.

Success doesn’t happen without failure. But how you pick yourself back up and move forward is what matters. Through insightful interviews, hands-on experiments, and historical examples, Grit explains exactly what that special blend of perseverance and passion is, and what it can do. Go beyond talent and learn how to change your life to reach your dreams.

Conclusion

When it comes to achieving your goals, mindset matters. You’re going to face obstacles, and sometimes you’ll fail. Success doesn’t come from talent or luck. It takes focus and motivation. But most importantly, it takes the right mindset. We hope these six books will help you unlock your limitless potential by showing you how to change your mindset no matter what stands in your way.

If you want to learn how to develop a champion’s mindset, watch this episode:

THE SCIENCE OF ACTIVE LISTENING

One of the most important skills you can develop to improve your productivity, creativity, and relationships is active listening. And science agrees.

Active listening is the art of really hearing what someone is saying. Truly listening to someone is not just nodding along and waiting for your turn to speak. It’s about fully engaging with the person in front of you by showing them you care about what they’re saying. Research has shown that when you actively listen to someone, you activate several areas of the brain.

One study conducted at the University of California, Berkeley found that when participants listened to a speaker recount a personal story, their brain activity synchronized with the speaker. This means that the listener’s brain was processing the story in a way that mirrored the speaker’s brain. Researchers believe that synchronization promotes empathy and understanding in people.

How can you improve your active listening skills? Here are a few tips, backed by research.

Pay Attention

You can’t listen if you aren’t paying attention. This might seem obvious, but actively paying attention is harder than it sounds. You live in a world of distractions. The pings and dings from social media, texts, emails, and more are constantly disrupting your focus and drawing your attention away. To be an active listener, you want to tune out all those distractions and focus on the person in front of you.

Research shows that when you pay attention to someone, you activate the prefrontal cortex of your brain, the area responsible for decision-making, attention, and other complex cognitive behaviors. This strengthens these areas, improving not only your communication skills, but your focus, concentration, problem-solving, and more.

One way to strengthen your attention is by practicing mindfulness. Take a few deep breaths and clear your mind of everything except what you want to focus on. This takes a lot of practice, so you want to do this throughout the day. Try things like turning off your phone, silencing your notifications, and simply be present. You can also practice mindfulness through daily meditation and journaling. The more you’re able to stay in the moment, the better you’ll be at active listening.

Show Your Interest

Active listening isn’t just hearing what someone is saying. It’s being an active participant in the conversation. You can show you’re invested in what they’re saying through nonverbal cues like nodding, making eye contact, and leaning in when throughout the conversation.

Research shows that when you use nonverbal cues to signal your engagement in a discussion, the speaker is more likely to feel understood and validated. A Japanese study found that individuals who believed someone was actively listening to them had their reward system activated. They were more likely to view the conversation as positive and they were more likely to actively listen in return. This led to more productive and meaningful conversations.

You can practice repeating what they said to show that you understand. For example, if someone says, “I’m really struggling with this project at work,” you could respond with, “It sounds like you’re feeling overwhelmed with your workload right now.” Paraphrasing helps avoid misunderstandings and reassures the person talking that you are engaged in what they are saying.

Don’t Interrupt

This is big. Most people lock onto a point and wait for their turn to speak. And interrupting someone is a surefire way to show you’re not really listening to them. Even if you think you know what they’re going to say, let them finish their thought before jumping in.

Research has shown that when you interrupt someone, you activate the amygdala, the part of your brain responsible for fight-or-flight responses. This is referred to as having your amygdala hijacked because the abrupt interjection sends an alarm through the brain and triggers an emotional response. But when you allow someone to speak uninterrupted, you activate the prefrontal cortex, which promotes cognitive and emotional regulation.

If you need to interject, try using phrases like “Can I jump in for a moment?” or “I’d like to add something to that.” This shows that you’re respectful of their time and their thoughts.

Ask Questions

Asking questions is a great way to show you’re engaged in the conversation. It also helps to clarify any misunderstandings and encourages the other person to keep talking. Try asking open-ended questions that encourage the other person to share more. For example, if you’re discussing a project at work that they’re struggling with ask, “Why do you think [insert their obstacle] is such a challenge right now?” or “Can you tell me a bit more about [the obstacle]?”

Asking questions helps you better understand and retain information. Studies show that when you ask questions, you engage the hippocampus, the part of your brain responsible for memory and learning. It helps solidify the information, which can be helpful if the conversation is more technical or complicated. By clarifying key elements of the discussion, you reassure the person talking that you understand the topic and it helps you remember the details better. 

Summarize the Conversation

At the end of the conversation, take a moment to summarize what you discussed. You don’t want to list the bullet points of the conversation. That’s a good way of making the entire discussion feel like a business transaction. Instead, paraphrase any agreements you both made, or points for follow-up. This can take some practice to come across naturally, but it’s worthwhile.

Summarizing information activates the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. This area handles cognitive functions like working memory and learning. Repetition helps embed information in your brain, and when you repeat something in your own words, you’re even more likely to retain it. Even if there aren’t any action steps to take, the next time you see that person, you can ask about the conversation, which will clearly show them not only that you were listening, but that they were important enough to remember.

Conclusion

Active listening is a crucial skill for effective communication. It builds better relationships by strengthening the areas of your brain that promote empathy and understanding. But it also improves your memory, cognitive functionality, and emotional regulation. Becoming a better listener takes practice, but it’s a skill that will take you far in both business and life.

For more tips on how to be a better active listener, watch this video:

BEAT PROCRASTINATION ONCE & FOR ALL

It’s common to think setting the goal is the key to beat procrastination, but that can lead to frustration and demotivation. Before you set your productivity goals, you should first stop anything that’s making you procrastinate.

Procrastination is one of the biggest obstacles to getting things done and it can cause some serious damage once it becomes a constant. Whenever you give into that voice in your head telling you why now is not the right time to complete a certain task, you build your procrastination muscles. No matter what you end up doing instead, even if it’s productive in a different way, reinforces your habit of putting certain tasks off. It’s easy to listen to, and often the things you end up doing aren’t the things you need to do to reach your goals.

Here are five things to help you figure out why you’re procrastinating and how to beat it.

1. ANALYZE WHY YOU PROCRASTINATE

On the surface, analyzing why you’re procrastinating is easy: you don’t want to do the task. But why? There’s a deeper reason behind this bad habit and if you don’t uncover it, you risk ruining your productivity. The sooner find your why, the faster you can take action and become more productive.

Maybe it’s fear of failure. You might imagine only worst-case scenarios every time you start the task. Or you might not know where to start or how long it might take to reach your goal. Or maybe the idea of being less than perfect stresses you out to the point of paralysis. But even these can be surface level reasons.

There’s a fallacy among higher performers that they function better under pressure. You might put off projects until the last moment, often staying up all night to complete a project. You achieved your goal, but that doesn’t mean that you weren’t procrastinating. And finishing at the last minute can have its own downfalls that potentially hold you back.

Another type of productive procrastination is taking on too much at one time. Busy is not productive and can actually keep you from achieving your goals. When you’re overloaded, you might put tasks off because you agreed to do other, less important tasks instead. This can lead to you becoming overwhelmed and exhausted.

Finally, you might procrastinate because your goals aren’t clear. Do shiny new ideas take precedence over the one you’re currently working on? Do you reach a certain point in a project and just get bored? There are a lot of reasons that might happen, including ADD, stress, or fear. But this can also happen when you’re unclear on what you want to achieve and why.

Once you know the why, you can start working on solutions to beat procrastination once and for all.

2. IMPLEMENT A PLAN

Understanding why you’re procrastinating gives you the knowledge to implement a plan. You can deal with your fear of failure by shifting your mindset. Start by breaking each task into the smallest, simplest step and only focusing on that task. Whenever you feel fear and doubt creeping in, remind yourself why you want to achieve your goal. It might help to make a vision board with various images you associate with success in reaching your goal.

One of the biggest ways to tackle fear is welcoming failure. You’ll never know how things turn out unless you try, so change your perspective on failure. Instead of failing to achieve a task, define failure might as not doing the task. Even if you don’t complete it, take time to analyze why and what you learned. The more awareness you develop, the more tools you’ll unlock for the next project.

If the bigger picture scares you, take your time to write a detailed plan on what to do exactly to complete your project. You might make a chart so you can track your wins and progress. Crossing items off a list can be very motivating and an easy way to build momentum, which are both effective in eliminating procrastination. It takes the project out of feeling too big to wrap your arms around and makes it feel manageable.

Understand your goal with crystal clarity and anytime you want to do a task, ask yourself how that task affects your goals. If it interferes, distracts, or even sets your back, put it at the bottom of your priority pile. Practice saying no and be protective of your time. To beat procrastination, you have to always have a clear vision of your goal and stay focused on it, no matter what.

3. TRACK YOUR REACTIONS

As you work through this process, you’re going to have reactions. If you say no to extra tasks, you might experience fear. If you get specific about every tiny step to reach your goal, you might feel stressed. Awareness is always key when trying to break a habit and replace it with a new behavior. Noticing how you feel is a big part of this.

You might not notice these emotions or reactions until you’re already procrastinating. That’s okay and part of the process. Take the time to evaluate how you felt before you picked up your phone. You might find that you’re pushing yourself too hard, and need to take more breaks. Or that you’re taking on more that you have time for without risking burnout.

Anytime you focus on the unknown, your brain redirects you to a safe task. The more stress or fear that’s triggered, the harder it is to stay on track. Make sure you allow time to meditate and regroup, where you can sit with your emotions and sort them out. You might want to keep a journal to help you analyze these emotions and keep track of your progress. Make sure to note how you felt throughout the day, capturing before and after both activities and procrastination events.

The more you are aware of your reactions, the better you’ll get at recognizing when procrastination is trying to take over. That’s a big step in the right direction as it helps you come back to the present moment and say ‘no’ to it.

4. ELIMINATE THE OBSTACLES

You want to make everything as easy as possible. This involves planning, but also preparation. You have your plan, now you put the pieces in place to get it done.

Some of this can include building your calendar with all of your tasks scheduled in time-allotments. Set alarms so you know when to start and set a specific time to stop. If you need notecards, pens, highlighters, exercise equipment, cleaning supplies—whatever items you need for that task, make sure you have them ready to go when your alarm goes off.

You might need to set deadlines to help engage your brain in work mode, but make sure that they account for time to check your work. Having deadlines for each individual task can create a sense of urgency that motivates you to start. And these multiple deadlines can help you feel momentum in achieving a series of tasks rather than one big deadline for one big project.

Stay organized. Whether that’s your task chart, a series of to-do lists, a project management tool, notecards and post-it notes, or a planner. You want to know exactly what each day brings before you get started in the morning, and what tasks you need to prepare for the night before.

When you free your mind from trying to assess what needs to be done and how, you don’t give yourself time to succumb to stress and worry. It helps you focus on the single task in front of you rather than trying to figure out what to do next. The more prepared you are, the easier each step becomes. You’ll beat procrastination and find yourself accomplishing more in less time.

5. REWARD YOURSELF

Motivation and momentum are tied to your reward system. When you finish a task, you feel a sense of accomplishment, and this releases feel good hormones in your brain. The more you do this, the more your brain seeks that behavior out, and you end up feeling motivated to do even more.

But procrastination is also tied to this system, which is why you do other things and getting distracted. Scrolling social media is more rewarding than working on a spreadsheet. To beat procrastination you have to tie each task with a specific reward.

You want to make sure the reward is strong enough to overcome your procrastination rewards, but not bigger than the task itself. That means small but effective rewards for small tasks, big but effective rewards for bigger tasks. Things like taking a five-minute break or getting to eat that snack you’ve really wanted. You might read a book for ten minutes or call your friend for a brief chat. Sometimes crossing off a to-do list or filling in a chart can feel rewarding and satisfying, but you want to mix actual rewards in, too.

Take the time to really consider what you find rewarding. Perhaps buying those super cute socks after you finish a majority of your daily tasks is a good reward. Or going to see the newest movie after work. Different things motivate everyone, so don’t be afraid of what anyone else wants or thinks. Find the right rewards for you.

If you find that you’re not actually that excited about a certain reward, change it. The things you think might motivate you might not be as important or exciting as you thought. Give yourself the opportunity to be flexible. The only important thing is that you’re looking forward to whatever that reward is, no matter how silly or how small. And be sure to add larger rewards for milestones and larger achievements.

Motivation is key to being more productive. Procrastinating is tempting, but with the right rewards in place, you’ll be far more motivated to achieve your tasks all day, every day.

Conclusion

Procrastination happens. But it doesn’t have to stop you from reaching your dreams and getting the most out of your day. By understanding why you’re avoiding a task, you can find the right tools and tips to beat procrastination, unlock your productivity, and start achieving your Limitless goals—no matter what.

Watch this video for more tips on how to FINALLY beat procrastination:

HOW COLD WEATHER AFFECTS BRAIN PERFORMANCE

Have you ever wondered if cold weather affects brain performance? Some find winter weather invigorating. To them, the cold is energizing, making them sharp and at the top of their game. For others, it’s completely different. It makes them tired and sluggish. Cold weather aside, the shorter, cloud-filled days can induce seasonal depression.

Whether you’re a cold weather enthusiast or prefer your chilly days bundled up inside, research has been exploring if weather affects the way the brain works. Is the invigoration simply your perception? Or is there something else at play? They’ve found some surprising results.

Cold And The Brain    

It’s important to clarify that even though you put a hat on your head to stay warm, the brain doesn’t actually feel cold. Your skull and layers of protective tissue made up of the meninges and cerebrospinal fluid act as an insular heating system. Even if your head feels cold, your brain is warm. So, what is it about cold weather that produces either sluggish thinking or invigorated creativity?

There’s a pervasive belief in society that cold weather slows you down. Some of this belief stems from comparing human behavior to similarities in hibernating species. The cold makes your fingers and limbs slower, so it makes sense that your entire body reacts in the same way. But research is finding that this isn’t true. At least, not entirely.

In cognitive performance tests focusing on math skills and verbal tests, men performed better at cooler temperatures. However, the primary indicator of whether someone would perform cognitively better or worse was if they were comfortable. Comfort is one of the most important factors in cognitive performance. There are ways you can increase your comfort levels with the cold, and decrease the effect it has on you. Listen to our podcast episode with Wim Hof for more on that.

But cold weather does impact one key area in your body, which affects your brain.

Our Brain and Glucose

One key finding in cold weather studies is how cold weather changes glucose production. Again, while your brain doesn’t feel cold, keeping your body warm requires more energy. Glucose is your brain’s primary energy source. If you don’t increase the amount of glucose levels in your body to both maintain temperature and feed your brain, the result can be sluggish thinking and slower cognitive performance. Remember that your brain uses up to 20% of your total energy every day. If your body starts using more of that energy to stay warm, your brain will struggle to remain sharp, and cognitive functioning will slow down.

When your body temperature struggles to regulate, it can kick the thyroid into hyper-drive. The thyroid is important in maintaining your mood, weight, and energy levels. If lack of glucose causes your thyroid to work overtime, it can overproduce hormones trying to find the right balance, and this can lead to brain fog and feeling overly tired. Unfortunately, because this can also induce weight gain, it can trigger you to eat less, which only makes the problem worse.

In order to produce glucose, it’s essential to eat the right foods in the right amounts. Otherwise, your entire body can become unbalanced. This explains why you might crave heartier meals in the colder months. Your body and brain need the extra energy to function.

Other Key Factors

Researchers have also been studying the implications of winter and mental health, primarily as it relates to Seasonal Affective Disorder or seasonal depression. Almost one-fourth of the population will suffer symptoms of this disorder in their lives.

Seasonal depression has less to do with the weather and more to do with decreased exposure to sunlight, which leads to lower levels of Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps keep you healthy, but it also maintains the balance in your neurochemical levels of important mood hormones like serotonin and dopamine. Drops in these chemicals can cause depression and anxiety, both of which interfere with your cognitive functioning.

Lack of sunlight also impacts your circadian rhythms. With less of the blue light sun rays that stimulate cortisol production, the hormone that tells your brain and body to wake up and get moving, you can begin producing too much melatonin instead. Too much melatonin can lead to you feeling groggy throughout the day. If it’s too cold to exercise outside in the morning, you can help balance your circadian rhythm by adding a sunlamp to your desk.

When combined, this can make it seem like the cold weather is causing you to have slower reaction times, difficulty thinking, increased sleep, and other behavioral symptoms.

Conclusion

Whether you like cold weather or not is a personal preference. Your brain and body may function differently, but the temperature itself does not have a direct impact on the brain. It’s important to understand what causes negative reactions from the cold, however, and adjust both your nutrition, sleep, and exercise routines to help balance your increased energy needs.

Cold is a state of mind. If you’re taking care of your body’s needs, you can use the cold to your advantage through cold therapy training. No matter what the weather brings, you can take measures to ensure that you stay happy, healthy, and productive throughout the year.

For more on how to use cold to your brain advantage, check out our YouTube episode with Wim “The Iceman” Hof: