Exercising your mind is healthy, and just like exercise, you don’t need a bunch of equipment or special programs to do it.
In fact, some of the best ways to exercise your brain involve nothing more than some concerted effort and three minutes of your time.
Boosting Your Attention
These attention exercises challenge your ability to focus and concentrate, as well as give you skills needed to make the most of your focus when you need it.
17. Pomodoro Weightlifting
Exercise your focus and attention like a weightlifter
Weightlifters build muscle strength by systematically increasing the demands of their sets. By increasing weight lifted slightly over time, these athletes train their bodies to become stronger.
Next time you sit down to do work or read at home, set a kitchen timer for 15 minutes. For that fifteen minutes, focus on doing one thing. Whether that is reading your book or writing off emails for work, focus on just that one thing. When the timer goes off, take a five minute break. After the break, set the timer again and repeat.
Keep track of how long you can focus on one thing. It could be shorter or longer than that fifteen minutes.
If you can focus for an hour straight, that should probably be your set length. If your attention wanders after 8 minutes, go ahead and slim down the set length.
16. Practice Good Listening Skills
By practicing attentive listening, whether in a social situation or while listening to a performance, you’ll improve aspects of your attention.
Listening actively on a social level requires more than paying attention to what is being said. Also pay attention to how they’re saying it.
15. Read Short Stories or Long Articles
If you’re an active internet user, you’re probably not a stranger to browsing bite-sized internet articles ad nauseum.
These articles can be a fun diversion, but it’s healthier for your brain to keep it engaged with longer-form articles that require focus on single subject or idea.
By regularly taking time to read works of over 3,000 words in length, you can increase attention.
14. Spoil Your Curious Side
Many legendary scientists changed the world simply by indulging their curious side. Darwin was even known to stare at single specimens for hours at a time.
Take a note from these individuals and take time to focus on one thing, whether it be a picture, an animal, or even a dot on the wall. Be sure to notice all the details, how they connect with each other.
Challenge yourself by setting a timer.
13. Have a Staring Contest With The Mirror
Make two marks on the mirror with a washable marker. Stare at these points for three minutes, taking care to remain motionless and expressionless.
12. For Those With Only Three Minutes…
Find an analogue clock or a stopwatch. Sit comfortably in a chair and watch the second hand revolve around the clock’s face. Sit as still as possible and continue for three minutes.
Continue to Page 2 for 11 More Brain Training Tips!