17 Little Things To Do Every Single Day If You Want To Become Smarter

Your IQ is supposedly a measure of your intelligence, but it's not the end-all, be-all.

Last updated on May 11, 2023

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At one point in my life, I asked myself, “Is it even possible to get any smarter?” I was 25 at the time and had just broken off from a 9-year relationship that left me heartbroken, confused, and lost.

I came out of the relationship not knowing anything, partially because I had been sheltered most of my life and partially because I had been trapped in a relationship that didn’t allow me to do much other than stay home and cook.


I didn’t know how to set up the internet. I didn’t know how to book a flight. I didn’t know how to buy things online. I found myself incapable of even doing the basics.

Is it possible to become smarter?

It is entirely possible to become a smarter person.

While intelligence has a genetic component, studies have shown that cognitive abilities can be developed and improved through a range of strategies and practices.

Yes, some people possess the ability to catch onto things quicker than others, but you can train yourself to become more adept, though it does take some effort and won't happen overnight, either.


There are some key factors that contribute to becoming smarter, including: learning and education, mental stimulation, healthy lifestyle, cognitive training, and social interaction, to name a few.

Becoming smarter is a gradual process that requires consistent effort and dedication. While individuals have different starting points and capacities, everyone has the potential to enhance their cognitive abilities and expand their intellectual horizons through continuous learning and mental stimulation.

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This is what helped me and will hopefully help you too.

Here's how to become smarter every single day.

1. Always ask 'why' about everything.

If someone buys you coffee, ask why. If a friend shows up at your door, ask why. If you see the ocean and it’s green, ask why.

The more you ask questions, the sharper your mind and the more obvious people’s intentions become. By asking "why," you allow yourself to see and understand the world better for what it is and, over time, you’ll pick up on things you might not have noticed before.

2. Read this, read that, read everything!

Reading isn’t just for fun or for school. It’s to absorb all sorts of unique perspectives and insights to create your own.


“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more things you learn, the more places you’ll go.” —Dr. Seuss

3. When you want to learn something, ask others.

Most of the things you want to learn or do are things that someone else has already succeeded in. In this case, you should pick the brain, so to speak, of another person to learn what they know:

  • Interview them and understand why they’ve succeeded.
  • Ask them what they think is a waste of time to learn and their recommendations.
  • Ask them specific questions you have as you learn on your own.

Most people are friendly and are willing to help as long as you show that you’ve put in the initial effort.

4. Teach others what you’ve learned.

The best way to learn is to actually teach what you’ve learned.


Teaching others requires you to clarify your thoughts and to understand the basics thoroughly before teaching. It also really helps you remember the knowledge you’ve learned because you’re putting it into practice.

5. Brainstorm 10 ideas every day.

James Clear suggests brainstorming 10 ideas daily as a way to help writers come up with new topics. That advice applies just as well to people who aren’t writers:

  • If you want to grow your business, brainstorm 10 business ideas.
  • If you want to write an amazing post, brainstorm 10 writing topics.
  • If you want to become a better chef, brainstorm 10 recipes.

The idea behind brainstorming ideas daily is to exercise your creativity. Creativity is like a muscle — you have to keep working it out if you want to see improvements.

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6. Write down important things you’ve learned.

Most of what we learn this year, we’ll forget if we don’t put it into practice.

Write down the important things you’ve learned that you want to remember and refer back to it early and often. As you keep looking back on the notes you’ve taken, you’ll find it easier to remember the things you’ve written.

7. Watch educational videos instead of TV.

Educational videos, like TEDTalks and Great Big Story, teach you about things you can talk about in real life or use for your own personal gain. It’s still entertainment, but at least you’re learning something.

8. Surround yourself with smarter people.

The people you surround yourself with determines who you’ll become. Surrounding yourself with people smarter than you helps improve your thinking, build stronger ambitions and deepen your knowledge.


9. Try yourself before asking for help.

Knowledge has to be earned, not given. Before asking for help, you must first attempt it yourself.

If you constantly rely on others for help, you’ll never learn to do things on your own. You’ll never know how things work. And you’ll never have the ambition to do more.

As Albert Einstein once said, “Learning is experience. Everything else is just information.”

10. Try something new.

Maybe it’s listening to podcasts for the very first time. Maybe it’s traveling to a city you haven’t yet seen. Maybe it’s trying a new blend of coffee.

Whatever it is, trying new things gives you more perspective and understanding into topics you didn’t understand before. And it’s only by trying new things that you’ll discover what it is that you’re most passionate about.


11. Exercise regularly.

Exercising, in general, is always a great idea, but when it comes to your intelligence, no one really thinks about it. Exercising is one of the easiest ways for people to become smarter. In fact, there have been tons of studies that have found a strong connection between physical exercise and brain function.

Exercise can increase the activity within the hippocampus (the part of the brain that promotes neuron growth), which improves brain function.

12. Learn a new language.

Learning a language boosts intelligence — not because you can become bilingual, but because the process of learning a language exercises your cognitive abilities and improves how well you multitask.

Switching between languages, especially when learning, takes a lot of concentration, focus, and self-control. That is, your brain is working overtime. Studies have even shown that bilingual people are scientifically smarter than others.


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13. Meditate.

Meditation is a great resource and tool for increasing emotional intelligence and brain functioning. When done right and regularly, meditation teaches you to understand and take notice of your body and how it feels.

Doing this frees up space for your mind to explore new skills and tasks, since it is no longer worrying about your body or mental health. Meditation was found to improve executive functioning and working memory in a 2010 study from Consciousness and Cognition.


14. Play video games.

Video games help people quickly develop decision-making skills and improve their focus. Of course, everything in moderation; playing video games for eight hours a day isn't good for anyone, but playing for an hour or two every week can drastically improve these skills.

The type of video game can also make you smarter. For example, fantasy and adventure video games help with inferencing skills that can be carried over into real life.

15. Drink caffeine.

It's a known fact that caffeine helps give people energy; however, caffeine can boost concentration.

Caffeine stimulates your ability to concentrate, and when you can concentrate effectively you learn more information. Same as when you are alert — it helps you process and understand new information.


16. Stick to a good sleep schedule.

Sleep is one of the most important factors in cognitive functioning. Even experiencing slight sleep deprivation can lead to significant negative influences on your memory.

So get proper sleep and stick with it. Your brain will thank you later.

17. Socialize.

According to a 2018 study, "Socialization stimulates the mind and cognitive ability." This means that going out and talking to people can help make you smarter.

Volunteer or join a club to meet new people and talk about new things. All of this will lead you to a thoroughly stimulated mind.

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Tiffany Sun is an author and life coach. She is a top writer for Medium, as well as other publications like Fast Company, Matador Network, and more. Her work covers self-improvement, personal growth, technology, and relationships.