Focus on smart practice

Focus on smart practice



Practice makes the man perfect! But its new-age version would read - Smart Practice makes a man perfect! Practicing without focusing will not give any result. According to a leading psychologist, Anders Ericsson, the perfection of an art or skill can be achieved with 10,000 hours of focused practice.

What is Smart Practice?

It involves

► Focusing -helps you notice/recognize obstacles and helps you remember how you overcame them in the future when the time comes to actually use those skills.

One thing at a time – focus on one mistake – correct it and only then go to the next one.

Curiosity -knowing what is happening in practice – helps you will realize the change that you need to adapt to perfect it.

Patience –Try, try and try again till you succeed. Then you practice more!

Smart Practice for your Brain

While we like to keep our bodies active through gym practice etc., the brain is usually neglected. The brain is an important part of our body, without which all body parts can never function.

The brain is working every day without a break. Unlike other organs, the brain never rests. To keep it healthy, one needs to give it ample practice and exercise. To keep your brain focus, you can do the following…

Break your regular routine at times. Set off on an adventure, experiment with new stuff, mix and match exercise, etc. to keep it healthy,

Take in brain food like salmon, Omega three fatty acids to make your brain strong.

Solve puzzles and word games. Start from a low level and advance as you can answer questions.

Stress –Keep stress under control to save your brain. Solve stress points as soon as possible so that sleep deprivation and prolonged stress does not affect the healthy working of the brain

Take good food and exercise your body, keeping it in good shape, playing games, etc., which provide multiple benefits to the brain.

Some special Brain games online

Games are appealing to both old and young alike. Putting Brains on Games can help improve memory and focusing ability at the same time. Brain training puzzles even help calm the mind. Brain games also provide Smart Practice to the mind to be a success in whatever job you are undertaking by:

Upping problem-solving skills,

Enhancing flexibility and

Increasing speed of processing information

Some games are available in print, and some are available online. Few games are free, and some need you to take a membership. Here is a list of some very good Brain games to improve memory and concentration:

Sudoku

Sudoku is a number placement game. It involves planning, focus, and short-term memory. It is a very addictive brain game for adults and youngsters alike. The challenging levels go on increasing as the player progresses from a lower level to a higher one.

The puzzle has 9 X 9 grid boxes with a few pre-typed numbers. The main objective of the game is to fill the other boxes of the 9 X 9 grid such that each row and column of 3 X 3 sub-grids contains all the digits of the numbers 1 to 9.

Sudoku is freely available in newspapers, websites, and apps on phones.

Crosswords

Just open the last few pages of your printed newspaper or its online version to access the very popular crosswords exercise.

Crosswords test your knowledge in whatever field you excel in. So there are endless crossword options that you can complete to exercise your brain and enhance its functionalities

Braingle

This website developer claims it is the biggest collection of brain games – about 10,000 games, challenges, and puzzles online.

It has an option with which you can create your own puzzles as well

Lumosity

It is a Brain training website also available on iOS and android.

One can open a free account on this website and play a maximum of 3 games per day. Purchase of games is not necessary. The website has brain exercises in the form of games that the developers claim help in significant improvement of cognitive skills for its users. The cognitive skills that are said to improve are

Information processing speed,

Mental flexibility,

Reasoning,

Attention – selective and divided,

Verbal,

Visual and Spatial and

Problem-solving skills

The sheer variety creates curiosity, interest, and admiration for this website.

Queendom

Queendom has personality tests, polls, some surveys, and a huge collection of quizzes, aptitude tests, etc., to challenge your brain.

The website helps you to discover yourself in an interactive mode even while keeping the fun element intact. All are high-quality content developed by professionals to help you understand your real potential. Feedback is also provided to help you assess yourself better.

This site is perfect for HR professionals, life coaches, therapists, athletic organizations, professors, marketing personnel, researchers, and businessmen.

Happy Neuron

The exercises in this website activate 5 functions of the brain that deal with language, memory, attention, visual/spatial, and executive functions. Free trial of this package available.

The site developers recommend completing 10 basic training exercises every day for the best results.

Brain age concentration Training

It is another app available on the Nintendo platform that can help you sharpen your memory, improve focus and attention and enhance calculation skills.

Elevate app

It is similar to Lumosity in the features, but its look is more colorful in design than understated Lumosity. This app helps develop comprehension, reading, listening, and writing skills through some 35 different games. It also helps enhance communication skills. You can track your progress on the app as well. Unlimited access is an added advantage.

MyBrainTrainer

This website is similar to Lumosity and has various exercises for the brain. You can find various games, puzzles, and activities to make you sharper.

Elementary Cognitive Tasks (ECT) is the interactive challenges that form the basis for these puzzles. Each ECT taps a particular part of the brain for exercise. When a particular part of the brain is stimulated by the ECT, it receives more oxygen, blood flow, and certain amino acids to improve neural connections resulting in higher brain processing speed.

Other popular brain training apps include FitBrains and BrainHQ. Brain games are a great way for smart practice. Challenging your brain can create great wonders for your confidence and skill enhancement. Keep practicing and growing every day.

2+ Opinions

  • mark
    Mark Jackson
    613 pts
    Motivator


    Life today is hectic. So much to do and so less time. You may have so many goals in life. But in spite of putting in a lot of effort, you are unable to achieve them. Do you wonder why?

    Achieving your goals can be possible only when you put First-things-First! To know why and how to read on…

    First-things-first.png

    Work done Priority-wise

    Every goal you aim for can be achieved by performing a set of tasks. Each task in this set has a different priority based on its connection to your goal.

    Doing First-things-First means focusing on tasks that have more value in achieving your goals. These tasks may be called Priority Tasks. Making priorities and acting on them is an important job whether you are a student, an executive, or even a member of the top management.

    Why you should do First-things-First

    Every moment in life is valuable. Most people are careless with priorities and waste their precious time on unimportant things in their daily lives.

    The result - work is delayed. Focus and attention on important things are completely lost. Consequently, it becomes too late to complete your Priority jobs.

    The reasons are many... The biggest reason is that we do not know which job is important and which is not. Sometimes, external things and the environment influence or exert undue pressure. They demand your attention even though they have no bearing on your goals.

    Doing First-things-First will help you focus on the most important tasks. Every moment is covered appropriately when doing so.

    Different methods to set priorities

    How to decide what a priority job is and what is not? There are many time-tested methods to understand and categorize your tasks based on priorities. Here are a few methods that you can adopt.

    Each method has different advantages and disadvantages.

    1. Setting Reminders

    This method is the basic one and is commonly used, even at the domestic level. The procedure has just two steps:

    Preparing to-do lists

    ● Setting reminders for the same

    These reminders call your attention to a task when it reaches its deadline. This method is easy to implement. But long-term planning cannot be completed with this method.

    2. Planning

    This method helps in setting deadlines for tasks while anticipating future events. Some tools that you can use here are the calendar and appointment books. This method has been effective for executives who have a lot of daily tasks and need to organize them based on priorities.

    However, deadlines and appointments bring your focus and attention only to official activities. Personal relations, etc., may be pushed to the background. A provision should be made for these tasks as well, which is ignored in this method. For example, an emergency call from home may not be encouraged during a meeting… So there arises a need to find better methods by including these factors also.

    3. Priority Setting and Planning

    This method involves:

    First, setting priorities based on goals and values and scheduling daily tasks. The tools used for this method are Personal Organizer and e-Planner.

    This method helps you focus on your set goals. However, situations may arise when goals are reached, but health issues and personal values like honesty, etc., may be bypassed.

    4. Time Management Matrix

    This is one of the most popular Time Management concepts of modern times, developed by President Dwight Eisenhower and made popular by Stephen Covey.

    The Time Management matrix can be applied for priority setting solutions at all levels - beginning from very minor tasks such as household jobs to high profile Management tasks such as Decision Making.

    Based on the ideology of this method, our daily activities can be classified into four quadrants. Each quadrant has tasks that seek your attention.

    But the focus should be more on the one box that can lead us closer to our goals.

    The four quadrants and explanation for each quadrant are as follows:

    Urgent Tasks Non-Urgent Tasks
    Important tasks
    1. Urgent – Important tasks

    Urgent work that is a few days/hours/minutes away from its deadline

    Activities that require immediate attention like fire fighting

    Tasks here to be done and dispensed with at the earliest!

    1. Important but not urgent tasks

    Tasks that are not very urgent but help in augmenting work quality

    Focusing on them now can take you on the right path to your goals

    More time to be spent here so Quadrant 1 and other tasks will reduce

    Your main focus should be on these tasks!

    Non-important tasks
    1. Urgent – not necessary

    Tasks look important and urgent

    Tasks are not your priority as you do them as an obligation to others

    They take your focus away from your goals

    Tasks here to be delegated to others

    Time Waster – not urgent

    Tasks are a time waste – avoid these tasks

    People enter this quarter after spending time in 3

    Avoid/Discard these tasks completely

    Quadrant 1

    Urgent – Important Tasks

    Examples: Deadlines, emergencies, important meetings

    All pressing issues (jobs that have arrived at their deadline) that have a linkage to your achieving goals are here. They need your immediate attention. These jobs have to be completed quickly so as to go to the next and the most important quadrant.

    Some people spending a lot of time in this quadrant are at the lower levels of the organization, accountants, etc.

    Quadrant 2

    Important but Not Urgent Tasks

    Examples: Planning, relationships, decision making, etc.

    This quadrant is one place where the most important people in the organization should focus on.

    The importance accorded to this area will improve the quality of tasks leading to the achievement of goals in a phased manner.

    The tasks in this area are not urgent but have a great bearing on the achievement of your goals. It is the area where one should focus on to achieve the most important goals, such as life goals.

    The importance of the tasks in this quadrant is realized only when these tasks gain urgency as they enter Quadrant 1.

    Take the example of your health. There is no sense of urgency when you are in the pink of health. But you should maintain health by eating right and exercising on a daily basis. Else you will enter Quadrant 1 – rushing to a hospital for surgery due to negligence.

    There are many reasons that this area is often ignored. One, it needs more time and attention from you. Two, the results of those efforts and time are not visible in the short run.

    This example can help you understand how imperative this quadrant is.

    A coconut tree planted today will grow only after 10 – 15 years. But, when it reaches maturity, it will give you coconuts for the rest of your life and even beyond!

    Quadrant 3

    Urgent but Not Necessary

    Examples: Regular phone calls/emails, less important meetings, etc.

    Do not confuse tasks in this quadrant with Quadrant 1 because, though the tasks here look important, they will not help you achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

    For example, doing a report for a friend may have no influence on your salary slip or promotion at all.

    Quadrant 4

    Time Waster – Not Urgent

    Example: Social media

    This quadrant creates no value at all and does not have any potential to lead you to goal achievement. Excessive time on social media can be slotted under this category.

    Synopsis of Time Management Matrix

    Experts have shown that most people waste their time in Quadrant 1, 3, and 4.

    Urgent things (Quadrant 1) keep coming up daily. We lose energy in fire-fighting and doing jobs for others while wasting time in Q4 tasks like watching useless TV shows that are not connected to our goals. To focus on your actual goals and achieve results:

    ● Tasks of Quadrant 4 should be avoided completely

    ● Delegate Quadrant 3 to someone else

    ● Finish Quadrant 1 quickly and spend more time/focus on Quadrant 2, which is the most important area.

    Conclusion

    Time is not limitless. Using it judiciously will help you achieve your goals ultimately. Doing everything is impossible. But it is okay to say no to a few things and concentrate on a few important things first using some priority-setting methods. Emphasizing on First-things-First is the only solution here.

  • oliver
    Oliver Walker
    1,015 pts
    Master

    Passionate about growth


    Planning is an essential aspect of life, whether you are a student, an employee, an executive, a manager, an investor, an entrepreneur, or even a homemaker. It is a method to show how to focus on the goal you have set for yourself. Planning can help you to achieve that goal even while making provisions for unforeseen occurrences in the process.

    One can break the long-term plans into daily and weekly plans to assess if our tasks are on schedule. But planning is done only after analyzing priorities.

    There is always an option of going with the flow. But life is very long and may cause severe distress if it is not lived according to some plans. The only time when prioritization can be given the least importance is when you are on vacation.

    Successful people arrest initiative and try to achieve goals within a period through an organization. The organization is possible only on prioritization.

    Prioritize-your-tasks.png

    Prioritizing your tasks

    Weekly planning involves setting up action plans throughout the week. All tasks do not carry equal importance. Some need your immediate attention. Some tasks are important but can be done later.

    Some are not even important, and you need not waste your time on such tasks at all. To establish these plans prioritizing is very important.

    How to prioritize

    So how do you decide which task is important and which is not? Here are a few basic points to understand prioritizing better.

    1. Find what you value in life most

    Priority can be based on the values you hold dear. The ones you value most can come at the top of the order, and others can follow based on the values you place on them.

    Some values that you hold dear may be one or many of these — freedom, joy, adventure, family, relationships, faith, learning, teaching, charity, and many more.

    2. What are your goals?

    You can prioritize based on the goals you have set for yourself.

    The goals could be concerning business setups, management issues, marketing strategies, teaching, domestic jobs, and more. The biggest goal which you have set for yourself will be given the first preference. Smaller goals can be given priority in the order of your preference for those goals.

    Once you have decided on your priorities, you can apply the priorities to your weekly planning diary.

    Here are a few steps to follow:

    Step 1: Check bigger goals and understand the goals for the week

    Priorities for your week will ultimately depend on the goals you have set to achieve. So you need first to assess the following before you start prioritizing for the week.

    1. Check out yearly goals and determine what part of it should be done this week.
    2. Check the monthly priorities to mark the task for the week clearly

    For example, if you wish to launch a new product - a new soap. And you want to do this within one year.

    1. Yearly goal (January – December): would be launching the soap
    2. The monthly goal for August would be marketing the product
    3. Your weekly goal could be promoting the product and the action plan for the same

    Step 2: List all the tasks you need to do this week

    1. Continuing the above example, you can list the tasks needed to promote the product in a particular area during the week.

    A sample product promotion plan could involve tasks surrounding promotion on social media through posts, product contests, launching the product during events, promoting the product by placing banners, etc., at some prominent stores in a locality or across the country.

    2. If you are a student, then plan for the week based on upcoming tests, assignment deadlines, or schedules provided by the teacher.

    3. Homemakers may require groceries, and they can list and source them for one week. For example, vegetables can be purchased for the week ahead and stored in the fridge.

    Step 3: Classification

    Prioritizing for the week’s tasks should focus on these factors, as well.

    ● Determining the day of the week and time you are going to work on the job.
    Similar tasks can be classified under a specific group

    ●One big job per day in the week can be planned so you can be focused to complete the job

    Once the tasks are listed out, classify them under the following heads:

    ● First urgent tasks

    ● Next important ones

    ● Things that have not reached their deadline

    ● Things that need not be done

    Prioritization at Work, School, Home

    Work

    As a leader, you will find it difficult to plan with constant change in orders and different market situations.

    However, well planned, you are there is an unknown factor that may have a diverse effect on your project. But planning needs to be done with known factors to manage time and team.

    ● All projects, complex or simple – need to be done by prioritizing

    ● Prioritizing can help you plan how to achieve your small-term and long term goals

    ● Start making a list, and you are on:

    1. Make weekly plans on the weekend and implement them in the coming week
    2. Make a list of priorities
    3. Rank them on the basis of how urgent they are
    4. Keep your list flexible for any changes or exigencies
    5. In case you come across new urgent ones, just add them on how important or less important it is
    6. Write down how you will achieve each priority – Action Plan
    7. Activities that can help you get there

    Continuing the example of product launch

    On the first day, priority can be given for posting on social media. The next day can be allocated to announcing and conducting a social media contest to grab attention.

    The following days can be used for promoting the product through direct interaction with customers.

    1. Monday – Post on Google, Facebook, and Twitter
    2. Tuesday – Social Media Contest
    3. Wednesday – Preview of the product on media
    4. Thursday and Friday promotions in various stores through the banner, handouts, etc., mentioning what the product is about and when it will be released in the market.
    5. Saturday – Event with info session at popular locations – either supermarket, retail stores, or even event locations
    Student

    Students have their work cut out throughout the year. Once the yearly plan of obtaining a diploma/certificate is made, the student can break it into weekly tasks and follow them based on these priorities:

    ● Give the priority to the assignments whose due dates are fast approaching.

    ● In case the assignment is a long one to be completed over a period of time, a weekly schedule can be prepared.

    ● If an exam is coming up, put it at the top of the list

    Home

    Domestic work involves cooking, washing, cleaning, meeting near and dear ones

    1. Food planning could be the first priority

    2. Planning household tasks like washing clothes, cleaning, dusting, etc., could be prioritized according to the time you can give to these tasks

    For example, you cannot allot a whole Sunday for cleaning the house, do it in bits like a room per day.

    3. Priorities can be set to visit friends/relatives or entertain them at home

    There are so many tasks to be completed to achieve our goals. But the time at our disposal is short. The best way to achieve our goals is to prioritize these tasks in a manner of importance. Each person, student, employee, entrepreneur, or homemaker has a different priority. Learning and understanding this will help any person to reach his goal faster and without failure.


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