Be smarter about your online time
Every online break doesn't have to be about checking social networks and fulfilling your daily quota of cute animal pics. The Web is also full of great learning resources, like online courses, intriguing TED talks, and vocabulary-building tools for instance. So try replacing a few minutes of cute cats with something more mentally nourishing.
Write down what you learn
It doesn't have to be pretty or long, but taking a few minutes each day to reflect in writing about what you learned is sure to boost your brainpower. Aim to write 400 words a day on something that you learned so you know you understand it.
Have smart friends
It can be rough on your self-esteem, but hanging out with folks who are smarter than you is one of the fastest ways to learn.
Read a lot
Reading is definitely essential. Opinions vary on what's the best brain-boosting reading material, but everyone seems to agree that quantity is important than quality. Read a lot.
Explain it to others
This goes hand in hand with writing down what you learn because it helps you understand what you've learned and seal it in your mind. Make sure you've really learned what you think you have learned and that the information is truly stuck in your memory by trying to teach it to others. For everything you learn stay with it for as long as it takes you to be able to explain it to someone else. It's fairly easy to learn new information but being able to retain what you've learned and teach others is MUCH more valuable.
Do random new things
You never know what will be useful in the future. You just need to try new things and wait to see how they connect with other experiences later on. You can't always see how the dots will connect when you're looking ahead so in order to help the dots connect, you need to be willing to try new things, even if they don't seem useful or productive right away.
Learn a new language
You don't need to become fluent or run off to a foreign country to master a language. You can work away steadily from the comfort of your home and still gain the mental plunders.
Take some downtime
Give yourself space for your brain to process what it's learned, sit in silence. Spend some time just thinking, pause the interior chatter and just focus on one thing.
Find Your Passion
Following your passion enhances your memory and creativity. We can now gain a more colourful array of information and have far more unexpected encounters with knowledge and people, which will provoke an increase in creativity. If you want to increase creativity you have to genuinely take on knowledge; it is mandatory to really grapple with the material you are interested in to become more creative.
You need to have moments where you can think without being distracted and do more idea generation (which is a great way to understand what you're thinking about). Even arguing about things through email is a great way to get things to sink into your head. So start thinking over the stuff you care about. If you like cars or planes think about the physics behind how they work; if you like art, think about what makes a great painting.