Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sharpen Your Brain (adapted from Reader’s Digest January 2008)

• Improve your memory
• Boost your spatial awareness
• Crunch more numbers
• Widen your word power

Improve you memory

Learn by heart a “to do” list of 10 or more jobs for the day that incorporates a route – it could be your stroll to the cafe, say, or the walk to your first class – and try to mentally link each job with one location: buying a newspaper at the shops, dropping off a housemate to class, calling home outside the café, etc.
Then ask yourself the following questions:

• What task follows buying the newspaper?
• What job precedes phoning home?
• The second job on the list is?
• Where on the list is sending your housemate?

The next day, come up with a new list and increase the number of items to 20 or so.

Boost your spatial awareness

Navigate your way around the house blindfold (best not done alone!). Then sit in a chair and mentally walk round your house, visualising your every move. Or put 12 objects on a tray, memorise their location, then get someone to move a few about. Guess which have moved.

Crunch more numbers

Do these exercises every day: add up in your shopping in the queue before you pay; divide up bills when they come in; estimate quantities of things you pass, such as people in a group or trees in a garden. Keeping your mind nimble and always on the move with numerical teasers will improve your mathematical sharpness.

Widen your word power

Go for as many of these as possible; learn a new word every day and use it often; make up anagrams of words. These will improve your understanding of the true meaning of words.

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