How to Become Smarter Every Day
When we think about how to become smarter, we often immediately call to mind substantial things like attending college or going to an industry conference. Indeed, those things increase intelligence. However, there are things you can do each day to boost your brainpower.
1. Read High-Quality Material
Can’t remember the last time you read a book? It’s best to change your ways if you want to work on how to become smarter. The techniques intelligent people use include reading a lot, and not just getting engrossed in the first pieces of content they find. Seek out material related to your curiosities, written by people who know more than you do.
In essence, understanding how to become smarter requires being willing to vet content, whether it’s online or something you hold in your hand. Find out about the authors and verify they have credentials indicating knowledge of their subjects and trustworthiness.
If you’re short on time, challenge yourself to read just one chapter of a book or a set number of blog posts per day. You’ll soon learn more than you expected.
2. Dig Deeper Into the News
Many people take part in daily rituals, ranging from random acts of kindness to connecting with friends. You can do another by catching up on the news each day, perhaps soon after waking up. Don’t just take everything at face value, though.
When reading something about an unfamiliar topic — whether it’s a crisis in a Middle Eastern country or the possible impact of a trade deal between two countries — use other sources to learn why something’s making headlines. Determine the deeper implications of the event. News stories often only scratch the surface.
It’s also useful to learn whether your favorite news sources contain political biases. If they do, the knowledge of such could alter your perceptions of what the outlets cover.
3. Pinpoint Ways to Maximize Productivity
Being smart includes streamlining your workflow to get more done without unnecessary struggles. That’s why it’s useful to incorporate productivity tips into your daily routine.
You might take care of smaller tasks before the bigger ones, become more dependent on your calendar app or reduce the time you’re around negative, toxic people.
4. Spend Time With People Different From You
Speaking of people, it probably feels most comfortable to be around those similar to you, whether concerning their beliefs, interests and professions. However, you’ll learn about yourself, others and the world when you engage with individuals who are different. They’ll help you exercise critical thinking, make wiser decisions and may increase your acceptance.
You could apply this tip to your workplace and make a point of sitting with colleagues from other departments during lunch breaks. There might not be many opportunities to interact with them otherwise.
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5. Listen to Podcasts
While reading is usually a very active activity, listening to podcasts allows more passivity. For example, you could launch a podcast that plays as you make dinner, clean the house or drive to work.
Choose podcasts related to what you what to learn, but also be mindful it’s ideal to have a diverse knowledge base. If geography and history represent two gaps in the things you know, look for podcasts that cover those things. You may also want to subscribe to podcasts through your app of choice to automatically get the new episodes.
6. Write in a Journal
A journal could be a place for recording new things you learned, as well as the things you’d like to know. Journaling also helps people practice reflection. Then, your self-awareness goes up, making you more intelligent.
Consider using journal prompts to spark inspiration. They’re great for helping you come up with things to write about you wouldn’t have thought of without encouragement.
7. Restrict Time You Spend on Social Media
Research shows social media may make people dumber by causing an effect akin to what happens when you’re around like-minded people too often. Scrolling through social media feeds may urge you to form opinions based on what you read and how people react to it, instead of what you really think. Then, you become out of practice in using the all-important skill of analytical thinking.
Try using an app that tracks your time on social media and alerts you about reaching a limit. That approach allows you to use social media without going overboard.
Start Strengthening Your Smarts Today
All these tips require an intention to stick to them to get results. Even if you don’t do all of them, pick a few and slip them into what you do each day.
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