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
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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 nonfiction 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 channelSmarterEveryDay. 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 F—— Love Science” page on Facebook. You can also follow email newsletters, such as Cal Newport’sStudy Hacks and Today I Found Out. —Saurabh Shah
7. Check in with your favorite knowledge sources.
Every day, scroll through Quora, Stack Overflow, specialty blogs, or any other sources that satiate your hunger for knowledge. This is an extremely easy habit, because other users are curating the content for you, so all you have to do is follow the ones who write about topics interesting to you. Try using Pocket to save articles for later reading, and then try to get through them before going to sleep at night. —Manas J Saloi
8. Share what you learn with other people.
If you find someone to debate and analyze ideas with, you can add to each other’s knowledge and gain new perspectives. Also, when you can explain ideas to someone else, it means you’ve definitely mastered the concept. You can even share what you learn without directly talking to someone. Many people like to start blogs so they can engage others in online dialogue. —Mike Xie
9. Make two “To Do” lists: one of work-related skills you want to learn now, and another of things you want to achieve in the future.
Google Docs is a convenient way to keep track of your lists. For both, decide what you want to learn, compile sources that will teach you these skills, and then work on them each day.
For example, if you work in a computer-science related field, your first list might suggest you learn something new in Python one day or that you try using MongoDB another day.
For your second list, you can think about long-term goals, such as whether you want to go into marketing or architecture. Write down the small steps you need to take to reach that goal, whether it’s by reading the experts in those fields or taking classes at a local college. —Manas J Saloi
10. Write an “I Did” list.
At the end of each day, write down what you completed. This will help you feel better about all the things you accomplished, especially if you’re feeling discouraged. It will also help you reflect on how productive you were and how you can re-structure your to-do lists for the next day. —Claudia Azula Altucher