Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Seven guidelines for a sharper mind

Seven guidelines for a sharper mind
1. Work on your own writing- play a new instrument, learn a second language, or pick up a taxi route. You can do it; you have lifelong neuroplasticity on your side.
2. Work on your wiring the Net Gen way- get fluent with the technology by immersing yourself. Try speed text messaging on your mobile phone (not while driving, of course), using IM and MySpace at the same time, or playing action video games.
3. Multitask wisely. Don’t answer every e-mail instantly; check it in chunks, ideally a few hours apart.
4. Know when it’s best to concentrate on just one task. Deep thought, reflection, critical thinking, innovation, and creativity are fostered best using a single task focus.
5. In today’s fast-paced, stressed-out world, take a cue from Net Geners and get in the right rhythm of serial focusing. Ramp up to peak performance, then give your brain a break and cool down before ramping up again. It’s as simple as: rinse, lather, repeat.
6. Practice scanning. Instead of trying to read the whole article, or even scanning it in the traditional way, try looking for key words to see whether it’s worth even a quick read.
7. Study how you learn the best. See environments, learning tools (online courses, language immersion programs), and professors, teachers, and mentors who best fit your approach to learning for your specific needs. Customize to maximize your learning capabilities and potential.

** Tapscott, D. (2009). Grown up digital: How the net generation is changing your world. New York, NY: McGraw Hill