Cover image for Mind Performance Hacks

Book description

You're smart. This book can make you smarter. Mind Performance Hacks provides real-life tips and tools for overclocking your brain and becoming a better thinker. In the increasingly frenetic pace of today's information economy, managing your life requires hacking your brain. With this book, you'll cut through the clutter and tune up your brain intentionally, safely, and productively. Grounded in current research and theory, but offering practical solutions you can apply immediately, Mind Performance Hacks is filled with life hacks that teach you to:

  • Use mnemonic tricks to remember numbers, names, dates, and other flotsam you need to recall

  • Put down your calculator and perform complex math in your head, with your fingers, or on the back of a napkin

  • Spark your creativity with innovative brainstorming methods

  • Use effective systems to capture new ideas before they get away

  • Communicate in creative new ways-even using artificial languages

  • Make better decisions by foreseeing problems and finding surprising solutions

  • Improve your mental fitness with cool tricks and games

While the hugely successful Mind Hacks showed you how your brain works, Mind Performance Hacks shows you how to make it work better.

Table of Contents

  1. Mind Performance Hacks
    1. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
    2. A Note Regarding Supplemental Files
    3. Credits
      1. About the Author
      2. About the Developmental Editor
      3. Contributors
      4. Acknowledgments
    4. Preface
      1. Why Mind Performance Hacks?
      2. How to Use This Book
      3. How This Book Is Organized
      4. Conventions Used in This Book
      5. How to Run the Programming Hacks
      6. Using Code Examples
      7. Safari Enabled
      8. How to Contact Us
      9. Got a Hack?
    5. 1. Memory
      1. Hack #1. Remember 10 Things to Bring
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. See Also
      2. Hack #2. Use the Number-Shape System
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
        5. See Also
      3. Hack #3. Make Lots of Little Journeys
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
        4. See Also
      4. Hack #4. Stash Things in Nooks and Crannies
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
      5. Hack #5. Use the Major System
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
      6. Hack #6. Use the Dominic System
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
        5. See Also
      7. Hack #7. Visit the Hotel Dominic
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
        4. See Also
      8. Hack #8. Dominate Your Memory
        1. The Code
        2. Running the Hack
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
        5. See Also
      9. Hack #9. Memorize Numbers with Carroll's Couplets
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
        4. See Also
      10. Hack #10. Tune In to Your Memory
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. See Also
      11. Hack #11. Consume Your Information in Chunks
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
      12. Hack #12. Overcome the Tip-of-the-Tongue Effect
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. End Notes
        4. See Also
    6. 2. Information Processing
      1. Hack #13. Catch Your Ideas
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. See Also
      2. Hack #14. Write Faster
        1. In Action
          1. One-letter Speedwords
          2. Longer Speedwords
          3. Some auxiliary verbs
          4. Affixes
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
      3. Hack #15. Speak Your Brain's Language
        1. Learning Style Theories
          1. The VARK system
          2. Honey and Mumford's learning styles
        2. Leveraging Your Learning Styles
          1. VARK types
          2. Honey and Mumford learning styles
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
        5. See Also
      4. Hack #16. Map Your Mind
        1. In Action
          1. Creating the source list
          2. Assembling the mind map
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
        5. See Also
      5. Hack #17. Build an Exoself
        1. In Action
          1. Stack
          2. To-do-list software
          3. Your outlook
          4. MotivAider
          5. Backup system
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
        4. See Also
      6. Hack #18. Pre-Delete Cruft
        1. In Action
          1. Paper
          2. Computer files
        2. How It Works
          1. Clutter demands attention
          2. Clutter makes it harder to find things
          3. Clutter fills the future with the past
        3. In Real Life
    7. 3. Creativity
      1. Hack #19. Seed Your Mental Random-Number Generator
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
        4. See Also
      2. Hack #20. Force Your Connections
        1. In Action
        2. The Code
        3. Running the Hack
        4. In Real Life
        5. End Notes
        6. See Also
      3. Hack #21. Contemplate Po
        1. In Action
          1. PO-1
          2. PO-2
          3. PO-3
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
        5. See Also
      4. Hack #22. Scamper for Ideas
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
      5. Hack #23. Deck Yourself Out
        1. In Action
          1. The Oblique Strategies
          2. The Creative Whack Pack
          3. The Observation Deck
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
        4. See Also
      6. Hack #24. Constrain Yourself
        1. In Action
          1. Text
          2. Music
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
      7. Hack #25. Think Analogically
        1. In Action
          1. Tables of correspondences
          2. Kennings
          3. Filling in the blanks
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
        4. See Also
      8. Hack #26. Enjoy Good, Clean Memetic Sex
        1. In Action
          1. Seek partners outside your family
          2. Seek partners within your species
          3. Broaden your taste
          4. Make sure your partners are healthy
          5. Practice safe sex
          6. Gain experience
          7. Insist on satisfying sex
          8. Respect people's boundaries
          9. Have lots of kids
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
          1. Name tags
          2. Memetic orgies
          3. Old friends
          4. Memetic marriage
        4. End Notes
      9. Hack #27. Play Mind Music
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
      10. Hack #28. Sound Your Brain with Onar
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
      11. Hack #29. Keep a Dream Journal
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. See Also
      12. Hack #30. Hold a Question in Mind
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. End Notes
        4. See Also
      13. Hack #31. Adopt a Hero
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
        5. See Also
      14. Hack #32. Go Backward to Be More Inventive Going Forward
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
      15. Hack #33. Spend More Time Thinking
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
        4. See Also
      16. Hack #34. Extend Your Idea Space with Word Spectra
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. See Also
    8. 4. Math
      1. Hack #35. Put Down That Calculator
        1. In Action
          1. Rearrange
          2. Put down that burden
          3. Look for friendly numbers
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
        5. See Also
      2. Hack #36. Make Friends with Numbers
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
      3. Hack #37. Test for Divisibility
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
      4. Hack #38. Calculate Mental Checksums
        1. In Action
          1. Addition
          2. Multiplication
          3. Subtraction
          4. Division
          5. False positives
          6. Casting out elevens
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
      5. Hack #39. Turn Your Hands into an Abacus
        1. Counting
        2. Addition
        3. Subtraction
        4. Multiplication
        5. Division
        6. End Notes
        7. See Also
      6. Hack #40. Count to a Million on Your Fingers
        1. The Binary Numeral System
        2. In Action
        3. In Real Life
        4. How It Works
        5. End Notes
      7. Hack #41. Estimate Orders of Magnitude
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
          1. Checking calculations
          2. Work estimates
          3. Job interview
      8. Hack #42. Estimate Square Roots
        1. In Action
          1. Very large and very small numbers
          2. Higher roots
        2. In Real Life
        3. See Also
      9. Hack #43. Calculate Any Weekday
        1. In Action
          1. The year-item
          2. The month-item
          3. The day-item
          4. Adjustment
          5. What to do with the result
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
        4. See Also
    9. 5. Decision Making
      1. Hack #44. Foresee Important Problems
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
      2. Hack #45. Predict the Length of a Lifetime
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
      3. Hack #46. Find Dominant Strategies
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
      4. Hack #47. Eliminate Dominated Strategies
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
        5. See Also
      5. Hack #48. Don't Overthink It
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
        4. See Also
      6. Hack #49. Roll the Dice
        1. In Action
        2. The Code
        3. Running the Hack
        4. End Notes
        5. See Also
    10. 6. Communication
      1. Hack #50. Put Your Words in the Blender
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
        5. See Also
      2. Hack #51. Learn an Artificial Language
        1. In Action
          1. Esperanto
          2. Lojban
          3. Klingon
          4. AllNoun
          5. Solresol
        2. How It Works
        3. Design Your Own
          1. Models
          2. Sounds
          3. Alphabets
          4. Word building
          5. Grammar
          6. Style
          7. Language families
          8. Speaking and writing
        4. End Notes
        5. See Also
      3. Hack #52. Communicate in E-Prime
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
        4. See Also
      4. Hack #53. Learn Morse Code Like an Efficiency Expert
        1. In Action
          1. Letters
          2. Numbers
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
          1. Emergencies
          2. Assistive technology
          3. Secret communication
          4. Rapid communication
        4. End Notes
        5. See Also
      5. Hack #54. Harness Stage Fright
        1. In Action
          1. Make notes
          2. Imagine pitfalls
          3. Remove sources of stress
          4. Consider your audience realistically
          5. Keep perspective
          6. Mind your body
          7. Feel your fear
          8. Reframe your fear
          9. Use good body language
          10. Fake it till you make it
          11. Keep breathing
          12. Move on
          13. Finish well
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
      6. Hack #55. Ask Stupid Questions
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
      7. Hack #56. Stop Memory-Buffer Overrun
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. See Also
    11. 7. Clarity
      1. Hack #57. Learn Your Emotional ABCs
        1. Going Beyond the ABCs
        2. Disputing Irrational Beliefs
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
        5. See Also
      2. Hack #58. Avoid Cognitive Distortions
        1. Three Core Irrational Beliefs
        2. 12 Misinterpretations
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
        5. See Also
      3. Hack #59. Use the Fourfold Breath
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
      4. Hack #60. Meditate
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
        5. See Also
      5. Hack #61. Hypnotize Yourself
        1. In Action
          1. Set your goals
          2. Lie down
          3. Induce self-hypnosis
          4. Count backward from 100 to 0
          5. Test your depth of hypnosis
          6. Give yourself the suggestion
          7. Allow yourself to emerge from the trance
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
      6. Hack #62. Talk to Yourself
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. End Notes
      7. Hack #63. Interview Yourself
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. How It Works
        4. See Also
      8. Hack #64. Cultivate the Naive Mind
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
        4. See Also
      9. Hack #65. Employ Mental Momentum
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
    12. 8. Mental Fitness
      1. Hack #66. Warm Up Your Brain
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. End Notes
      2. Hack #67. Play Board Games
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. End Notes
        5. See Also
      3. Hack #68. Improve Visual Attention Through Video Games
        1. Shortening the Attentional Blink
        2. Raising the Cap on Subitizing
        3. How It Works
        4. In Real Life
        5. End Notes
      4. Hack #69. Don't Neglect the Obvious: Sleep, Nutrition, and Exercise
        1. In Action
          1. Sleep
          2. Nutrition
          3. Exercise
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
        4. See Also
      5. Hack #70. Get a Good Night's Sleep
        1. Sleep Hygiene
        2. Making Associations
          1. Object and location
          2. Time
          3. Behavior
          4. Structure versus flexibility
        3. Hacking the Hack
        4. End Notes
      6. Hack #71. Navigate Around the Post-Lunch Dip
        1. In Action
        2. How It Works
        3. In Real Life
        4. See Also
      7. Hack #72. Overclock Your Brain
        1. In Action
          1. Boost oxygen levels
          2. Optimize glucose supplies
        2. End Notes
        3. See Also
      8. Hack #73. Learn the Facts About Cognitive Enhancers
        1. In Action
          1. Glucose
          2. Ginkgo biloba
          3. Chewing gum
          4. Tyrosine
          5. Ginseng
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
      9. Hack #74. Snap Yourself to Attention
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
      10. Hack #75. Assemble Your Mental Toolbox
        1. In Action
        2. In Real Life
        3. End Notes
        4. See Also
    13. About the Author
    14. Colophon
    15. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly