Here’s Why YOU Should Write

Writing is something we have been doing ever since our childhoods. All we had to do was pick up a pen or pencil and scribble away. Back in our younger days, writing seemed fun, even transcendent. Now, many of us find it a boring to do, even worse so when we don’t have the option to type. Technology has rewired our minds to prefer things that are more efficient, simple and elegant. We hate apps that have an obnoxious design. Meanwhile, tech companies are try to make their devices and appliances thinner and lighter. Many of us fail to see the value of writing and dismiss it as a mere hobby or an ancient relic of the past. At most, we only write down what we need to get at the supermarket. What’s even funnier is that our vocabulary has gradually degraded overtime. In fact, I encounter many people who know no substitute for the word “happy” when chatting on WhatsApp. So why should we write then, given that technological advances have basically eroded the need for writing? In this article, I shall discuss this topic in greater detail. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!

#1: Writing Helps You To Express Your Feelings

Writing is a great way to release stress – a feeling we all know too well. We have become increasingly absorbed with our jobs and commitments, leaving us with little time for reflection. Many of us have become mindless robots, following a set routine – wake up, work, sleep, repeat. To many, the word “tomorrow” is no different to the word “today”. It’s all the same to them. Writing gives you a sense of time, a sense of what you have done in the present day and what you look forward for the next. This helps to break the monotony between days and allows us to better understand our deepest emotions. Often, we ignore these emotions, hiding them. And when they finally explode, our lives take a big hit. In summary, writing is a great way to understand your thoughts, thoughts that disappear and appear throughout the day. By penning them down on paper, you will be able to capture and study them.

#2: It Lets Your Creativity Run Wild

Much like drawing or painting, writing is a way to express your innate creativity. You can write anything you want. Love science fiction? Go ahead and describe the world of your dreams. It could even be something as simple as planning for your team project tomorrow. Point is, your paper (or text file, if you are using a computer or device) is an open canvas awaiting your ideas. Armed with ideas, a vivid imagination and your amazing brain, anything is possible. Meanwhile, writing activates both your left and right brain hemispheres. According to research, students who read and write extensively show greater creative performance than those who do not.

#3: It Improves Your Communication Skills

Those who write regularly are better able to understand their emotions and those of others. In fact, the ability to empathise is an essential skill in the social world. Furthermore, writing enhances your ability to organise and express your thoughts. This also leads to an increased fluency of speech. This will be useful in team projects of any kind, as you will be able to bring your messages across much more easily, thus allowing your subordinates and superiors alike to understand your ideas at a much deeper level.

Conclusion

Writing is something I would encourage all of my readers to try. Perhaps you could try to write a few lines or keep a personal diary. I hope that you did enjoy this article, and if you did, do consider giving it a like! Thanks for reading!

How YOU Can Improve Your Memory

Argh! I can’t remember what I’ve read yesterday! Ridiculous!” Ever experienced this? Sometimes we just find ourselves forgetting what we think we will never forget. Isn’t it annoying? So, what we can do about this? Is there anything that we can do to mitigate the process of forgetting? Or are we all destined to forget everything we have learnt? Well, both yes and no. In this post, I will show you how YOU (yes, you) can improve your memory. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter so you’ll never ever miss any new articles!

#1: Focus!

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In my previous articles, I touched on the fact that the brain is simply unable to multitask and that trying to do so will only kill your productivity. This applies to memory as well. Doing more than two things at once affects how your mind encodes information. Often, we find ourselves forgetting what we have learnt or read and we blame it on our mind’s inability to recall information. Let me ask you this question. How can your mind forget something that was not even stored in your brain in the first place? Well, stop blaming your poor brain. Instead, amend your bad habits. Let’s say that you want to study a chapter of Chemistry today. To facilitate a conducive learning environment, you should place all your electronic devices somewhere inaccessible, perhaps in a locked drawer. Furthermore, practice mindfulness when you study. This means staying focused and motivated with your work at hand. (No daydreaming!) This allows your mind to absorb information much more readily.

#2: Method of Association – Using Mnemonics and Acronyms

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The mind is an efficient machine. In other words, your mind will instantly delete anything it deems useless so as to ensure the healthy functioning of the brain. This also effectively prevents information overload as it allows the individual to only remember what he/she needs for survival. This can be both good and bad. Sometimes, your mind interprets what you think is useful as trash and the vice versa is true as well. Why is it that we can remember the embarrassing moments of the past without flaw, while we struggle to remember what we have read as recently as a day ago? This is because your mind places different degrees of importance on different memories. Let’s say you tripped and fell due to a plastic bag on the ground a year ago. I bet you will most likely recall this event today! In this case, this is because your brain has judged this memory as essential to your survival, thus effectively preventing you from making the same mistake again. Do you remember the times when people laughed at you? I can confidently say that you do as well! So why is it that your brain still retains such humiliating memories? In the early history of mankind, being part of a group was a matter of life and death. Being alone only increases one’s chances of being lost and being hunted by predatory animals. As a result, our minds have evolved to prioritise social cohesion and that aforementioned memory (the one about you being laughed to death by others) helps you to understand the minds of others and spurs you to fit in. Meanwhile, our minds have developed to appreciate humour, with the same purpose of helping one build friendships and social connections with other fellow humans.

So what does this have to do with improving our memory? To retain information much more effectively, we can learn to take full advantage of the evolutionary features of our brains. We can do this by using acronyms to represent lists or sentences. The funnier and weirder the acronym, the better the recall effectiveness. You could also utilise rhymes to remember certain information. For instance, “A knight on the rim is grim.” helps chess players remember that a knight is most powerful in the centre of the board.

#3: Taking Omega-3 Supplements

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Our brains are about 60% fat. The architecture of our minds are such that we require an adequate amount of fatty acids to sustain its performance. Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in this. Research has shown that consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids, which include Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), help to build cell membranes and prevent inflammation in the body. Meanwhile, Omega-3 fatty acids are key components in the myelin sheaths of neurones, which insulates nerve fibres and increases transmission speed of nerve impulses. This boosts memory formation and increases the processing speed of the mind. In fact, the consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to prevent certain psychotic disorders such as depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Conclusion

I hope that this article gave you insights into the inner machinations of the brain and how you can improve your memory. If you did enjoy this article or have found it useful, do consider giving it a like! Do follow me if you haven’t done so! Stay tuned for more articles and thanks for reading!

The Importance Of Silence

Noise is everywhere. Noise doesn’t just refer to its physical form, but it also refers to its non-physical form, which can be our anxiety, worries, burdens and other negative thoughts. We are pummelled by both physical and non-physical noise as we go about our daily lives. We have decreasingly less time to think for ourselves, to ponder and to reflect. We become too attached to the world and the mind fog that accompanies it. We notice less of the little things of life and become mindless machines. This is why silence is important. Shutting out distractions, taking a break and reflecting are just some of the things you can do to introduce some healthy silence into your life. You might be surprised, but many supposedly beneficial things in the world, such as friendship and money, can take away our capacity for happiness and drain our energy away. In this article, we shall discuss why silence matters in our lives and some ways we can harness its power. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!

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#1: Silence Promotes Concentration

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Silence allows us to give our full attention to a certain task, event or objective. Our brains are not designed to multi-task and we become easily distracted by background noise or certain types of music. Have you ever found yourself unable to focus on a single matter at hand and switching between tasks? A good way to improve your concentration would be to shut out all possible sources of distraction, such as your mobile devices and computer. For those of you who have read my previous articles, you might have read that listening to music can help to increase concentration. Some of you might say, “Hey, that’s contradictory! You just said silence improves focus!” The truth is both are able to improve concentration. However, be careful to music which are not distracting in nature. For example, listening to classical music can help to reduce stress and relieve anxiety. More details can be found at https://bestofwrite.com/2021/01/15/heres-why-you-should-listen-to-classical-music/. These two methods, help to remove mental noise – distracting thoughts which seek to pull our attention away.

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#2: Silence Allows You To See the Bigger Picture

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In the 21st century, we find ourselves moving from one event to another in rapid succession. We become so entrenched in the world’s events and our daily lives that we virtually have no time to step back and reflect. Reflection is a powerful tool in our path towards success and life in general. Every time you get a period of silence, do take the opportunity to think about what you have done for the day. Are you moving towards your goal? What could you do to be more productive? What were the setbacks I faced today? What can I do more for my loved ones? This thinking process helps us to plan forward and improve ourselves daily. This is how you and I can obtain success, step by step, only if we are ready to learn and reflect on what we can do better each day.

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#3: Silence Promotes Relaxation And A Healthy Mind

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Initially, some of us might find silence to be especially grating. This is indeed because we are so used to feeding our minds with countless distractions and overloading it with information. Consequently, we find ourselves craving for them and become unable to focus for long periods of time. Many of us suffer from short attention spans, as many of us have the bad habit of scrolling through social media and task switching. Silence gives our brain a chance to detox and get a hard restart. In fact, silence has been shown to promote neurogenesis, the production of neurones and improve sleep quality. For those of you who have trouble sleeping, you could try to meditate and take deep breaths at the same time. This should help you to feel calmer and better able to sleep.

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Conclusion

Sometimes, all of us need a break from the outside world. Silence is something that almost always eludes us. We must learn to understand its power and how we can utilise it. I hope that this article was a refreshing one and managed to convince you of the power of silence. If you did enjoy this article, do consider giving it a like! Do follow me and subscribe newsletter if you haven’t done so.

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App Review: Forest

Forest is an incredible app that brings procrastination to an end. In fact, its ingenious design has brought it to the number #1 spot in the App Store. This article will show you how this app works and how it is useful in our lives. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter. Without further ado, let’s hop right in!

How The App Works

Source: https://joesdaily.com/tech/forest-app-is-here-to-help-you-stay-focused/

The mechanics of Forest are pretty simple. First, select a timer between 10 to 120 minutes. As the timer runs, your tree would grow. When the timer ends, your tree(s) will be added to your garden. However, there’s a catch. If you unlock your phone before the timer ends, your tree dies. This dead tree will also be added to your garden and you must spend about 60 coins to delete that record. You are able to view your garden and statistics in the app as well. Also, you are able to plant a real tree in life for 2500 coins! How cool is that?

What I Like About The App

  1. It has a minimalistic design
  2. It’s simple to use
  3. The plants in the app look absolutely beautiful!
  4. It provides additional motivation to stay focused
  5. You can save the world by planting a real tree for 2500 coins!

How It Benefits Our Lives

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In the present world, staying focused has never been harder. With technology everywhere, it is easy to be distracted by our devices and surroundings. In fact, our mobile phones are major sources of distraction. One notification is enough to draw our attentions away. Forest is a solution to this problem. By using positive and negative reinforcement, focusing becomes easier and we are able to focus on our tasks at hand. Seeing the trees you have planted in your garden also provides a sense of satisfaction and joy.

Conclusion

We all need a break from technology and Forest does just that. In fact, this app is so powerful that I recommend it to all students and working adults. I hope that this article was helpful to you and if it was, do consider giving it a like! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next article! If you would like to learn how you can increase your productivity, do visit my article at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/12/19/heres-how-you-can-increase-your-productivity/.

Here’s How You Can Increase Your Productivity

It’s easy to get distracted. A notification alert from your mobile phone is enough to throw you off course. We end up procrastinating and we never get our tasks done. So, how do we increase our productivity? This article will show you exactly how to. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter. Without further ado, let’s hop right in!

#1: Clear Your Surroundings

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By getting rid of potential causes of distraction, you are better able to focus on your task at hand. Can’t stand that mobile phone? Put it in a separate room. Can’t stop fiddling with markers? Chuck them away. It’s that simple. Still find that you can’t focus at home? Find an environment that suits you. It could be the local Starbucks, a public sitting area or even the park.

#2: Download Apps That Lock Your Phone Temporarily

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For this, I recommend Forest. Forest is an excellent productivity that locks your phone for a selected time. While your device is locked, the app will “grow” a virtual tree, which will be added to your garden. However, using your phone before the timer ends kills the tree. This app provides you with additional incentive to complete your tasks and stay off your phone. At first, this might seem hard to accomplish. However, seeing your trees in your garden will provide you with an unrivalled sense of satisfaction and achievement.

#3: Listen To Music

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You might have thought that steps #1 and #2 were enough. However, the silence of your surroundings can be incredibly unbearable. Music helps to fill this void and quietens your mind, thereby providing you with concentration. Of course, the choice of your music matters too. Take care not to choose music that would distract you. For example, listening to rock music makes some people tap to its rhythm. I personally recommend listening to classical or orchestral music.

#4: Avoid Multitasking

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Believe it or not, when you multitask, you actually aren’t multitasking. Mind blown? What you really are doing is switch-tasking. By nature, the mind is unable to focus on two or more items at once. So, by “multitasking”, you are shifting your attention constantly from one item to another. Naturally, the quality of your work diminishes. The solution to this problem is completing your tasks in a straight line. In fact, this is a tactic used by Samurai warriors when they are outnumbered. They will position themselves in such a way that their opponents would move in a straight line towards them. This allows the Samurai to focus on one opponent at a time. This concept can also be applied to our daily lives. Instead of overwhelming ourselves, let us focus on one task at once.

Conclusion

So that wraps up 4 ways you can increase your productivity. We all know staying focused isn’t easy sometimes and that our distractions can get the better of us. I hope that this article was helpful to you and if it was so, do consider giving it a like! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next post!

Here’s Why You Should Listen To Music

Listening to music is something many of us do to counteract boredom and for good reason. Many of us subscribe to Spotify and Deezer, while others listen to the radio. Indeed, music is an integral part of our lives. Many of us wouldn’t be able to live without it. But did you know that it has many benefits? This article will show you why you should listen to music. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter! Without further ado, let’s hop right in!

#1: Music Brings Us To Other Worlds

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You could be listening to Vivaldi, Beethoven or Taylor Swift. Music offers us a break from our hectic lifestyles and brings us to other worlds. As you listen to Vivaldi’s pieces, you might imagine and contemplate the beauty of the four seasons. Meanwhile, Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries gives you the feeling of adventure and excitement. You could feel like Rambo eating that sandwich or Indiana Jones driving to work. I am unable to account for all genres of music, but you get what I mean.

#2: Music Boosts Memory

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The brain is a muscle. Use it and it grows; leave it and it atrophies. Music stimulates many parts of the mind. Like reading, listening to music ensures that our minds are in top shape and running well. Improved memory also comes with reduced stress and anxiety, which we will touch in point #3.

#3: It Relieves Stress and Anxiety

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Music shifts our attention away from our surroundings. Our feelings of stress and anxiety fades away as we listen to the music we love. For example, some intense orchestral tracks might make you feel like you’re saving the world. On the other hand, tracks with a slow tempo might help you to relax.

#4: Provides Concentration

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I think we can all agree that silence can be very grating and unbearable at times. We start to become distracted by just about everything in our surroundings. This is especially true when we feel unmotivated to complete our tasks or assignments. Slipping on a pair of headphones, however, solves this problem. The music you are listening to shuts out the world around you and focusing becomes much easier. Now Math homework feels like Mission Impossible. (Not because the Math is impossible, mind you, but rather because of the intensity of the movies)

Conclusion

Listening to music is part of being human. Our ancestors understood the value and significance of music as a form of communication, a form of enjoyment and a form of entertainment. What’s stopping us from doing the same? If this article was a good read, do consider giving it a like! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next post!

How to Get Rid of a Bad Habit

Bad habits are indeed like a comfortable bed; easy to get into, but hard to get out of. If left untreated, bad habits can escalate into an addiction. It is therefore important to get rid of these bad habits before they go out of control. In this article, let us see how we can effectively eradicate these habits. Before you continue reading, remember to follow me and subscribe to the newsletter.

Tip #1: Make it Hard

Source: https://breakthrough-sales.com/2019/01/18/a-sales-managers-most-difficult-task/

The first step to breaking a bad habit is making it difficult to accomplish. To do so, you must identify and destroy your cues. For example, if you are looking to quit smoking, throw away all your cigarettes and never go near a shop selling them. Most people relapse from their bad habits as they think that it wouldn’t hurt to just see it. But that isn’t true. It’s the same thing as a gambling addict watching people gamble. By putting yourself in temptation, it makes it very easy for you to relapse. At the same time, write down the negative consequences of the bad habit you are trying to get out of. For example, you could write “Smoking can cause lung cancer and kill me.” or “Gambling will cause me to waste my hard-earned money and destroy my family.” Every time you feel yourself slipping back into it, remember what you wrote and that should deter you from doing it again.

Tip #2: Replace it With a Good Habit

Source: https://www.inc.com/james-paine/5-billionaires-who-credit-their-success-to-reading.html

Introducing another habit such as reading will distract your mind and keep you occupied. The previous bad habit suddenly becomes less pleasurable and addictive as your body focuses on the new habit. Try to engage in something you love. Your mind does not have time to think about the old habit anymore and naturally quitting it becomes much easier. If you want to build a good habit effectively, check out my article at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/11/30/how-to-build-a-habit-effectively/ to learn more.

Tip #3: Reward Yourself

Source: https://www.surveymonkey.com/curiosity/to-reward-or-not-to-reward/

By rewarding yourself for quitting a habit, you make it much more enticing to do so. These rewards inspire and push you forward even when your motivation and willpower is low. Give yourself something you like to eat. Give yourself a movie.

Tip #4: If You Relapse, Get Back on Track Fast

Source: https://www.aconsciousrethink.com/12042/follow-give-up-on-dreams/

You might be tempted to give up when you relapse. You start to doubt whether your efforts are working and giving results. The truth is, all of us slip and fall sometimes. It’s okay to make mistakes, but what’s most important is to pick yourself up and push on further and don’t give up. By doing so, you avoid derailing your hard work and become one step closer to success.