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You're already awesome, but sometimes you're tired, busy, or for some other reason can't be at your best 100% of the time. When you need to be, however, you can manipulate your brain and body to rise to the challenge. Here's how to fool yourself into living up to your full potential in a moment's notice. Wouldn't it be great if you could absorb a power star or some sort of video-game-style power-up when you needed to overcome an obstacle that you just don't have the energy for? It's an alluring idea, and in ways, it's more possible than you might think. Look at it this way: your reasons for avoiding everything from work to exercise to social activity are all self-inflicted.
The human body and its brain are pretty incredible. They're also fragile and dumb. Realizing this can make your life miserable, or you can look at it as an opportunity and take control. This weekend, learn a few built-in superpowers you may not have known you had. All they take is a little practice. Let's go piece by piece, from head to toes.
We all have that one friend or family member who's a constant drain on our energy. You want to keep that person in your life (or have to), but you could do without the huge amounts of stress. While you can't change who someone is, you can do a lot to remove the dysfunction from the situation.
Edit Edited by Gordon Hensley, BS, MFA, Jack Herrick, Ben Rubenstein, Krystle C. and 75 others Taking lecture notes is a major part of studying and it is important that your notes are thorough and accurate.
Change is rarely easy, but it is inevitable and it's important that you account for it. When you don't, problems arise because one part of your life is now different yet the way you go throughout your days is the same. Next time your life shifts in a noticeable way, create a change map to help you alter your regular routines so you can avert the disaster that comes with staying a doomed course. Here's how.
Ever wonder why you're having a bad day, or even a good one? Is there an ongoing problem in your life that you just can figure out? If you've got a free minute, just fill out this daily form to help you diagnose the problem by analyzing how you think, act, and feel. The aggregate of your moods from day to day is, to a large degree, your life.
Body language accounts for most of how we communicate and so it's helpful to know what certain cues can mean to gain a better understanding of what people are telling you. Here's a helpful infographic from blogger/illustrator Yumi Sakugawa that can teach you the basics in just a minute. The image covers your standard cues, such as eye positions that indicate lies, standing positions indicate interest, the difference between a fake and a genuine smile , and much more. If you want to learn more about non-verbal cues, check out our guide to uncovering the truth by reading body language . Here's the full graphic (click to expand or right-click to save): How to Decode Body Language | Secrets from the Yumiverse
Here's a little secret you might never have guessed: The people who can accomplish incredible mnemonic feats like memorizing the order of a shuffled deck of cards or hundreds of random numbers in minutes don't have photographic memories. They have normal brains like you and, yes, me. This past weekend I competed in the 15th annual USA Memory Championship —an olympiad of sorts where "mental athletes" test their power of recall. Lucky for me, I learned a few tricks from the reigning champ for the second year in a row, Nelson Dellis.
If you're ever nervous about going after a particularly risky opportunity (maybe starting your own business, climbing Mount Everest, or just pitching a new idea to your boss), remember this advice from a movie stuntman, someone who puts himself at risk regularly: Mentally rehearse until you see the situation perfectly. Darrin Prescott, who has coordinated and performed stunts in commercials and movies such as Moneyball , Drive , and Gone , says he pictures the entire scenario in fine detail at least 20 times from beginning to end. Visualization is nothing new, of course, but one key part of Prescott's preparation, which can take anywhere from minutes to hours on end (imagining himself jumping off a building or setting cars on fire) is this: Each time, I imagine it going perfectly. If negative thoughts creep in, I push them out of my head and start over again.
We feature a lot of do-it-yourself projects here at Lifehacker, but oftentimes they seem undoable because they require a skill you don't have. Thankfully, there are quite a few DIY skills out there that are much easier to learn than you think. Here are our 10 favorites.
You can make your goals more likely to happen by doing the same thing that large corporations pay billions of dollars for—and it will cost you roughly five bucks, or even nothing. Large corporations brainwash you with ad messages over and over again, until they are embedded into your subconscious. It's a simple formula: Whether you like it or not, if you're exposed to advertisements, they will be imprinted in your mind.
The moment you get effortlessly lost in work goes by any number of names: focus, concentration, escapism, flow, and countless others. It's the point where you're able to blur the world around you and calibrate your brain to pay attention to one single task. It's your sweet spot. It's when you Get Things Done.
Productivity guru David Allen—he of the popular Getting Things Done productivity system —writes on the New York Times about how technology overwhelms and damages our productivity. His solution: A five-step approach to prioritizing your focus. As Allen lays it out, technology helps us accomplish previously huge tasks in less time, but that also means workers are responsible for an increasing list of tasks and responsibilities, and the result is an often overwhelmed workforce.
Dear Lifehacker, I need a little help focusing. I know part of it is just a lack of discipline, but I can't help but kill time on sites like Facebook and even Lifehacker during the day when I should be working and getting things done. You guys post lots of great productivity tips, but how do I get myself focused and away from distractions enough to put them to good use? Signed, Slightly ADHD
Everyone's capable of being a jerk now and then, but a select few seem to have adopted the behavior as a lifelong career. Perhaps its an undermining coworker, a jealous friend, or a controlling boss that's the source of your frequent emotional abuse. Regardless of the situation, it's time to put a stop to it now . Here's what to do.