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Archive for the ‘Memory’ tag

Cheat Meals, Bacteria, and Prioritizing Experiences Over Things (Sunday Reads #13)

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Welcome to Sunday Reads on Refocuser, a collection of weekly links from around the web to help you do incredible things.  These links span topics like creativity, performance, focus, exercise, nutrition, and positivity.

Join thousands of other readers by subscribing to this blog and email newsletter or by following @Refocuser on Twitter.  If you’re receiving this in your email inbox, spread the love and forward it to a friend.

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last two weeks; my family and I were traveling (without opening a laptop!) Next week there won’t be a Sunday Reads either as I will be participating in the StrongFirst Instructor Certification for three full days (Fri, Sat, Sun) – wish me luck!  Sunday Reads will be back the following week (May 3rd).

On Fitness, Nutrition, and Sleep

Greatist asks if cheat meals are hurting your health – or at a minimum being positioned incorrectly as something that is ‘bad for you’, resulting in guilt.  My personal experience is that cheat meals are a gateway drug that eventually opens the door to cheating more often – so I very rarely allow myself to have a complete cheat meal or a cheat day any longer (I’ve had two “cheat” meals since September).

Metabolic slowdown effects are seen when sleep is reduced by only a few hours.  In other words, you don’t need to miss an entire night’s sleep for your metabolism to be affected, all it takes is a few hours missed.

An apple a day doesn’t keep the doctor away based on a new research study.  But I will keep eating one because they’re tasty.

Dan John tackles what it takes to get stronger.  For those who don’t know of Dan, he’s one of the best strength coaches in the industry.  I listen to what Dan has to say.  I love this quote from Brett Jones in the article: “Absolute strength is the glass. Everything else is the liquid inside the glass. The bigger the glass, the more of everything else you can do.”

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Written by Mike Torres

April 19th, 2015 at 4:50 pm

Flexible Work, Boredom, and Protein Powder Drama (Sunday Reads #12)

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Welcome to Sunday Reads on Refocuser, a collection of weekly links from around the web to help you do incredible things.  These links span topics like creativity, performance, focus, exercise, nutrition, and positivity.

Join thousands of other readers by subscribing to this blog and email newsletter or by following @Refocuser on Twitter.  If you’re receiving this in your email inbox, spread the love and forward it to a friend.

Work-Life Balance, Boredom, & Creativity

In Work-Life Balance Is Dead, author Ron Friedman says that “providing employees with more control over their schedule—to the extent that flexibility is possible—motivates them to work harder, produce higher-quality work, and develop greater loyalty for their company.”  Anecdotally, this feels right to me.

Finding ways to cope with boredom may help make you more creative according to a recent study. In this study, participants who had been asked to complete a boring writing task were more creative afterwards than a control group who had done more interesting work.  In other words, being bored may prime your brain for creative work.

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Written by Mike Torres

March 29th, 2015 at 8:52 pm

Boosting Memory, Perils of Diet Soda, and Getting Unstuck (Sunday Reads #3)

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Welcome to Sunday Reads on Refocuser, a collection of weekly links from around the web to help you do incredible things.  These links span topics like creativity, performance, focus, exercise, nutrition, and positivity.  I’m posting this on Saturday this time to make sure email subscribers get this on Sunday.

Join thousands of other readers by subscribing to this blog and email newsletter or by following @Refocuser on Twitter.

High-Performance Work and Life

Fantastic post on the differences between a high-performer and a workaholic.  In my experience as someone who could maybe appear to be a workaholic from the outside, the conclusion rings true: “The big difference isn’t how many hours are logged, but how the individual feels on the inside about who they are in relationship to their work.”

When it comes to creativity, the “myth of epiphany” is commonplace.

An amazing episode of the Tim Ferriss podcast with Pavel Tsatsouline on the Science of Strength and the Art of Physical Performance.

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Written by Mike Torres

January 17th, 2015 at 9:20 am

Hack Your Memory: 3 Basic Tricks to Remember Anything

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A few years ago my wife and I went on a two-week trek through Italy.  Our final stop was Positano, a sleepy coastal town on the Amalfi Coast, and we read voraciously in the sun for days.  It was fantastic.  It was during this time that I read Mind Performance Hacks by Ron Hale-Evans (the picture is proof – that’s my 2006 self on a deck in Positano, with my then new glasses and a glass of Italian wine, reading this book.  Skip to the bottom of this post to see one reason why it was so much fun to read there!)

Italy

The book in general was a fascinating read – I took lots of notes in my Moleskine (which have since made their way into Evernote along with everything else).  The biggest takeaway I had, and something I’ve referred back to time and time again at work and play, relates to ways to improve short-term memory.  I’ve used some of these “hacks” during games with family where memory is the limiting factor.  I’ve surprised myself more than once with just how easily I’m able to remember things just by converting them to the visual representations described below.

Memory is critically important in everyday life, yet we’re outsourcing our memory to search engines, Wikipedia, and other tools on a daily basis.  For most of human history, people have been exercising brain power out of sheer necessity.  We didn’t have digital to-do lists and access to all the world’s information on our smartphones; if we wanted to speak intelligently about a subject, for the most part, we had to store that information in our brains (the horror!)

We’ve since gotten lazy.  And that’s OK for most things, but it means that when our memory is needed, it’s not always ready.  We haven’t trained ourselves to be able to recall things at-will, and that ultimately has an impact on our lives (where was I going with this again?  I can’t remember).

If you find yourself struggling to remember things – and if you feel this is impacting your life in a negative way – there are some things you can do to work around it.  With just a little bit of practice, you can improve your chances of remembering your landlord’s last name, your girlfriend’s phone number, or your credit card’s 4-digit PIN.

The basic idea is this: for thousands of years, our ancestors spent a lot more time processing spatial data than they did with numbers.  The difference in the size or color of a predator or plant made a big difference in terms of survival, but remembering sets of numbers or a list of Starbucks drinks to buy for friends didn’t.  So most of these hacks rely on your brain’s ability to remember a short static list of things (“pegs”) to start from, and clear images to go along with them that you “burn” into your mind. 

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Written by Mike Torres

January 13th, 2010 at 6:32 pm

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