Mind Performance Hacks provides real-life tips and tools for overclocking your brain and becoming a better thinker. In the increasingly frenetic pace of today's information economy, managing your life requires hacking your brain. With this book, you'll cut through the clutter and tune up your brain intentionally, safely, and productively.
Grounded in current research and theory, but offering practical solutions you can apply immediately, Mind Performance Hacks is filled with life hacks that teach you to:
Use mnemonic tricks to remember numbers, names, dates, and other flotsam you need to recall
Put down your calculator and perform complex math in your head, with your fingers, or on the back of a napkin
Spark your creativity with innovative brainstorming methods
Use effective systems to capture new ideas before they get away
Communicate in creative new ways-even using artificial languages
Make better decisions by foreseeing problems and finding surprising solutions
Improve your mental fitness with cool tricks and games
While the hugely successful Mind Hacks showed you how your brain works, Mind Performance Hacks shows you how to make it work better.
Chapter 1 Memory
Remember 10 Things to Bring
Use the Number-Shape System
Make Lots of Little Journeys
Stash Things in Nooks and Crannies
Use the Major System
Use the Dominic System
Visit the Hotel Dominic
Dominate Your Memory
Memorize Numbers with Carroll's Couplets
Tune In to Your Memory
Consume Your Information in Chunks
Overcome the Tip-of-the-Tongue Effect
Chapter 2 Information Processing
Catch Your Ideas
Speak Your Brain's Language
Map Your Mind
Build an Exoself
Chapter 3 Creativity
Seed Your Mental Random-Number Generator
Force Your Connections
Scamper for Ideas
Deck Yourself Out
Enjoy Good, Clean Memetic Sex
Play Mind Music
Sound Your Brain with Onar
Keep a Dream Journal
Hold a Question in Mind
Adopt a Hero
Go Backward to Be More Inventive Going Forward
Spend More Time Thinking
Extend Your Idea Space with Word Spectra
Chapter 4 Math
Put Down That Calculator
Make Friends with Numbers
Test for Divisibility
Calculate Mental Checksums
Turn Your Hands into an Abacus
Count to a Million on Your Fingers
Estimate Orders of Magnitude
Estimate Square Roots
Calculate Any Weekday
Chapter 5 Decision Making
Foresee Important Problems
Predict the Length of a Lifetime
Find Dominant Strategies
Eliminate Dominated Strategies
Don't Overthink It
Roll the Dice
Chapter 6 Communication
Put Your Words in the Blender
Learn an Artificial Language
Communicate in E-Prime
Learn Morse Code Like an Efficiency Expert
Harness Stage Fright
Ask Stupid Questions
Stop Memory-Buffer Overrun
Chapter 7 Clarity
Learn Your Emotional ABCs
Avoid Cognitive Distortions
Use the Fourfold Breath
Talk to Yourself
Cultivate the Naive Mind
Employ Mental Momentum
Chapter 8 Mental Fitness
Warm Up Your Brain
Play Board Games
Improve Visual Attention Through Video Games
Don't Neglect the Obvious: Sleep, Nutrition, and Exercise
Ron Hale-Evans is a writer and game designer who earns his daily sandwich with frequent gigs as a technical writer. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Yale, with a minor in philosophy. Thinking a lot about thinking led him to create the Mentat Wiki at http://www.ludism.org/mentat, which led to this book. His multifarious and nefarious other projects can be accessed from his home page, http://ron.ludism.org, including his award-winning board games, a list of his Short-Duration Personal Saviours, and his blog. His wife Marty is a better man than he is.
The image on the cover of Mind Performance Hacks is a stopwatch, a timepiece that begins counting seconds at the push of a button and stops when the button is pushed again. Stopwatches are used to keep time when the measurement needs to be extremely precise, such as in races or scientific experiments. Although all stopwatches used to be mechanical, like the one on the cover, some now also come in the electronic variety, displaying the time they keep digitally on an LCD.
This is an extraordinary kit of clever ideas for those who are interested in improving their life and themselves. I'm a 22 year old guy, who grew up a "self parent", and essentially making use of the valuable knowledge I find. The one suggestion I have about reading MPH (Mind Performance Hacks)is to trust your own judgement and be open-minded. This book has remained a frequently used reference of mine, since I bought it roughly three to four years ago. The "hacks" provided are genuinely brilliant, and can essentially help the reader overcome any obstacles they may encounter, by creating the necessary mental tools they need. Although mastering and maintaining those tools is useful towards the understanding of "how we can make our lives easier". The more important meaning behind each new "hack", is the reader learns about "how we can make life more enjoyable". There is a great deal of gratitude towards the moment that I'm now more aware of, because of the collaborated information in this book. I'm pretty sure Levar Burton wouldn't call it "life changing", but shit I'm not hosting Reading Rainbow.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
I'm still reading parts and bits and almost every hack is right on the spot. Sometimes a hack is not for me but then it is still amusing to read. I recommend it to all my friends, whether they read English or not. Keep up the good work!
Full disclosure: I choose the 5 stars because I liked is tht much ;-)
Mind Performance Hacks is much more than a "hack" book. I didn't expect to read all of it since you normally only read the "hacks" of particular importance to you at the moment.
I did read the entire book though because it was so fascinating and helpful.
The first chapter was somewhat of a disappointment since many of the memory hacks only fit with a natural ability for visual or musical talent, which I don't have. And 1 or 2 of the hacks were so complicated that you'd have to need to memorize a huge volume of material to make it worth while to work hard at the hack to get good enough to find it useful. This is certainly not the
fault of the author since he was only letting you know about the hack.
But I loved chapter 2 on information processing, especially the map your mind hack. I've done mind maps before but this book mind it more "how to" to really assimulate the information. It also had a hack for speedwords that looks very useful which I hope to implement soon.
The Math chapter was also helpful if you need to develop more of a "feel" for numbers and get to an
approximate answer quickly.
The book has a nice format. Each hack starts with a brief overview. Then the In Action section explains the details. Then the How It Works section explains how your brain is using the hack. The In Real Life section gives an example of how the author used the hack. Finally, the hack ends with lots of external references to web sites and other books.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to have a non-technical understanding of how their brain works and how to get more out of it. If you are a creative person and need to get more out of your thoughts, this book is for you. If you are an analytical person and need to make better decisions or be more intuitive about numbers, this book is for you. If you are just curious on a few hacks to have better recall, this book is worth getting. I bet you end up reading the whole book, like I did!
A first-rate practical introduction to methods of working with rather than against your own brain: clear, readable, and extremely useful. I'd recommend it insistently for anybody who thinks -- and if you don't, it might just get you started.
This is a great little book, full of funky tricks and tips for improving, amongst other things, your mental arithmetic, memory, ability to brainstorm effectively and so on.
The hacks themselves are split neatly into eight sections: Memory, information processing, creativity, math, decision making, communication, clarity, and 'mental fitness'
Some of the hacks in the book are pretty intense, requiring a fair amount of legwork (or should that be brainwork?) to get them up and running. Some of the memory systems for example would clearly need you to remember the system before you could remember other things!
I loved the way that the hacks are set out - starting out with what the hack will achieve, how it would work 'in action', then applying it so that you can see how it would work 'in real life'
My favourite section was the Creativity section, with some great ideas and tips for getting the old grey matter ticking along. As with every O'Reilly book I've read, the author's style is friendly, clear and informative, not to mention funny.
You may not use all the hacks in this book, but I'll bet you a dollar you come out of it wanting to try more than a few. Top stuff.