Getting smarter isn’t something that happens overnight. Instead, you have to build your intelligence every day through intentional daily habits.
In a recent Quora thread, “What would you do to be a little smarter every single day?”, readers shared their advice on good habits you can establish.
Here are some simple actions that could help you become a smarter person.
1. Come up with 10 ideas every day. Think about how to reduce poverty, how to solve a daily problem you have, interesting movie ideas, or anything. It doesn’t matter what subject your ideas fall into, as long as you’re working your brain and your idea muscles. Your list might even lead to a new startup idea or writing subject. —Claudia Azula Altucher
2. Read the newspaper. It will help you become more aware of the important things happening around the word. You’ll learn to form your own opinions and connect the dots between seemingly unrelated things. You’ll also have a lot more to talk about at parties or with friends. —Manas J Saloi
3. Play devil’s advocate. Take something you recently learned and generate a unique opinion on it that wouldn’t immediately come to mind. Try to support it with evidence, and be open to the idea that new evidence will change your opinion. Repeat this every day, and you’ll become much better at thinking outside the box.
If you’re feeling stuck, try reading and critically evaluating the editorial section of papers. They will help you understand how other people form arguments and express their opinions. —Peter DePaulo
4. Read a chapter in a fiction or non-fiction book. Aim to read a book a week. You can always find pockets of time to read, whether on your daily commute or while you’re waiting in line. Goodreads is a great way to keep track of everything you read and to also find a community of other readers.
Fiction books are great for understanding characters and getting absorbed into another perspective, while non-fiction books are great for introducing you to new topics, from politics to psychology. —Claudia Azula Altucher
5. Instead of watching TV, watch educational videos. Sometimes, it’s more fun to watch things about a subject you love than to read about it, and you can learn a lot from other people’s experiences.
You can find fun, educational videos on Khan Academy or watch TED talks. You can also find good ones on Youtube’s channel SmarterEveryDay. In videos, the information is often presented in a digestible, memorable way, so you can be assured they’ll stick. —Hendrik Sleeckx
6. Subscribe to feeds of interesting information. Follow interesting voices on Facebook and Twitter, so you’ll always learn something new when you look at your newsfeed or dashboard. For example, if you want to keep up with the latest news in science and technology, subscribe to the “I Fucking Love Science” page on Facebook. You can also follow email newsletters, such as Cal Newport’s Study Hacks and Today I Found Out. —Saurabh Shah