Last month, I ran across this article: “24 daily habits that will make you smarter“, and I since I ask my husband at least once a week if he remembers when I used be smart*, back before we had kids, I thought I’d try it.
I wasn’t sure if the article was saying that I needed to do ALL 24 of these things every day, or just a few, so I decided to do what I do and just go all in and do them all.
Or, you know, try to… So here’s how it went.
1. Come up with 10 new ideas every day. Really? REALLY? Do you have any idea how hard this is to do EVERY SINGLE DAY? With 2 kids, a rental property to maintain, a household to manage, 2 businesses to run… Man. I have a LOT of shit going on, okay? By the 3rd day, my “new ideas” were centered around how I could incorporate my kids’ Snackeez in dinner prep.
2. Follow your questions. Which questions should I follow? The one I ask myself 4000 times a day: “Where did I leave my phone?” or the ones I ask my kids: “How many times do I have to tell you guys to throw away your mini muffin wrappers/not to eat ice cream for lunch when I’m doing a webinar/flush the toilet when you’re done?” And do I really want to see where they take me, if I do follow them?
3. Play devil’s advocate. I think almost every person that knows me would encourage me to NOT do this on a daily basis. That being said, oh hells yes, I upped my game on this. Pretty sure I’m approaching genius levels because of it.
4. Read a chapter in a book. I have a hard time reading just a chapter. My books are my trophies, and I’ve been known to read a book in day and can often be heard saying: “Just let me finish this chapter and then I’ll make dinner/come to bed/take you to school/insert whatever other important thing someone is asking me to do here.” Right now I’m reading this, just some light, fun summer reading!
5. Watch educational videos instead of TV. Law and Order counts as educational, right?
6. Read the newspaper. Believe it or not, I love reading the paper. We recently let our newspaper (yes! real paper, delivered to our house) subscription lapse and have been reading online. I sort of miss getting the paper, but I’m finding I’m reading a wider variety of news sources now that we don’t get it. But I won’t give up real books. You can’t make me.
7. Check in with your favorite knowledge sources. I do this via social media and a fair amount of texting/instant messaging. Quite a few of them are via Twitter and some other online forums, but I find that working from home, this is one way to also stay in touch with other life forms besides my cats and my kids 🙂
8. Share what you learn with other people. Considering it’s summer vacation for my kids, and they’re the “other people” I spend most of my time with, I try to do this every day. I’ll just say, it’s super awesome to be completely ignored
9. Apply what you learn. Well, what’s the point in learning something, if you’re not going to DO anything with it??
10. Write an “I did” list. I didn’t write the list; I did it this way.
11. Start a “Stop Doing” list. I did not do this one time. Not once. I thought it was a horrible idea. See #10.
12. Write down what you learn. Well, duh. If I don’t write it down, then I forget that shit approximately 11 seconds after I learn it.
13. Stimulate your mind. This I found to be very generic. Isn’t that just… life?
14. Take online courses. Does teaching them count?
15. Talk to someone you find interesting. I tend to find most people are interesting in some way, if you just shut up for a few minutes and listen to what they have to say.
16. Subscribe to feeds of interesting information. This one was easy. Medium is fun, Product Hunt usually has a few cool things. I like to read The Next Web, find that Refinery29 can be a delightful timesuck, and I’m a huge reddit lurker.
17. Play “smart” games. I love board games. We love some of the games from when I was little, Stay Alive is a big favorite here. And I just bought this, as politically incorrect and unsmart as it is, it cracks me up every time – my kids, notsomuch. Words With Friends is smart, right?. Peggle probably doesn’t count. I also play 2048, I’m not sure if it’s smart, but holy f**kballs, it’s addicting and if you just downloaded it, you’re welcome and I’m sorry.
18. Use a word-of-the-day app. I’m calling it: Words With Friends has a word of the day, so I get to cross this off my list.
19. Do something scary. I didn’t do this EVERY day, but I’ve done it once a week for the last 4 weeks. I launched my training program. I’ve laid open how we run Kildal Services to train my StacyKAcademy attendees on our tools and processes. Terrifying.
20. Explore new areas. New areas of what? My basement? My psyche? I did both, and I’m cool on exploring both for a while, thankyouverymuch.
21. Hang out with people who are smarter than you. I’ve been doing this all summer. I happen to think both my kids are far more intelligent than I am, and it’s absolutely fascinating to watch how their minds work.
22. Set aside some time to do nothing. Hahahahahahahahahahaha
23. Adopt a productive hobby you can practice on a daily basis. My hobby this summer has been perfecting the homemade slip and slide.
It’s killing our grass, which is bumming out my husband.
24. Exercise and eat a healthy diet. This, I do not to be smarter, but because I’m almost 41 and I have no freaking choice. I feel like I’m dying if I eat anything that is remotely unhealthy and if I don’t exercise, I sort of start to lose my mind. #goodtimes
So there you go. I found some of this ridiculous, some of it helpful, some of fun. Mostly, there’s just no way to do ALL 24 of these every day. I think picking a few is a good plan to create some balance, but as for getting smarter? I’m going to say not one bit. I still lose my phone 4000 times a day, and yesterday, I told my niece: “I’ll leave the booster seat here, so you can bring Arik home.”
Then I immediately walked out the door and did not leave the damned booster seat. It took all of 7 seconds for me to forget to do that. So, there’s that.