Here are 22 ideas I came up with this morning for ways that I can improve my mental performance. Some ideas will help me to more efficient, through better use of systems.
Others will boost my creativity and powers of observation.
As with all of these posts, I’m typing from the journal where I write them in stream-of-consciousness thinking. I’m not spending time editing, clarifying or anything like that.
1. Keep a list of specific triggers I notice during the day that take me off track. Triggers could be thoughts or actions, or even interruptions. Goal for now is to identify these so I can address them later.
2. Create a better system for logging ideas as they pop into my head, so that I capture and tag once, rather than needing to organize later by sifting through notepads.
3. Implement my digital filing system as I work. Allow time in my schedule to properly file the documents I create, rather than planning to do it after-the-fact.
4. Purchase Photo Mechanic app for managing digital photo library. I have thousands of photos and need a better way to tag and locate.
5. Create style sheets document in Google Drive so I have details about colors and project specifications available to me easily, wherever I am.
6. Create a structured task list card for each campus workday (M-Th), not just occasionally. This helps me manage the use of small bits of available time between classes, etc.
7. Start reading earlier in the evening.
8. Research 5 new recipes I can prepare for evening meals so I have better leftovers available for lunch. Already getting repetitive. Need to limit yogurt to 2x per week.
9. Order new ipod nano to make podcast listening easier in the car. Too much trouble to use iPad and streaming is not an option due to signal drops, lack of coverage during long drives.
10. Take advantage of access to Samford library for the rest of the semester, especially journal articles for recent research.
11. Reorganize office room at home.
12. Read one in-depth article each week from back issues of Scientific American.
13. In addition to 10-minute meditation breaks during workday, schedule a 5-minute idea dump using a white board or sticky notes, rather than writing in journal.
14. Visit art museums more often.
15. Browse photos online at the Library of Congress.
16. Spend at least 2 hours per week in the public library (not academic). Browse what’s on the shelf.
17. Read a children’s picture book each day, ideally in the morning. Focus on the visuals and use that as inspiration for the day.
18. Observe color combinations in nature and try to intuitively recreate these color palettes using color pickers, without using an eyedropper tool.
19. Spend an hour taking abstract photos around town.
20. Watch one movie each week from my DVD collection and write a blog post about something it inspires symbolically, without needing to literally reference the movie.
21. Pick a word at random each day and create an inspirational quote using that word.
22. Place a selection of colors in a jar and pull one out each day at random to be the theme color for the day and use the color in various ways. Notice the color in nature and in surroundings.