In the early years of school we learn the basics of math. Those skills definitely are used in many aspects of our lives. However, as adults we tend to rely on other methods for calculating things. As a result our skills aren’t nearly as sharp as they used to be. Have you ever been out with friends for lunch and then struggled to divide the total bill three ways? Simple math can become a struggle if you don’t work on it.
One of the main reasons why this part of your brain isn’t as sharp as it used to be is that we have too many handy resources. We tend to use calculators for everything including balancing our checkbook and setting up our budget for the month. Most software programs have built in calculators too so that you don’t have to check the math as you create spreadsheets or other materials either.
The retailers do this for us as well. For example when there is a big sale on clothing many of the items have a percentage off on them. The sign on the rack may say 30% off the retail price. Instead of having to figure out that savings on your own though the will have a chart attached to the rack. This tells you the full price and then the sales price with that 30% reduction.
So how do we get that ability to do math very well back? The answer lies in taking the time to practice it. Do your math by hand and you will be able to strengthen that part of your brain. Put the calculator aside and do your math by hand. Many people are able to do it quickly when they can visually see the numbers they are working with.
As your skills significantly improve you need to challenge yourself to do more of the math in your head. This is more difficult but as you work at it you will find that you are able to do it in no time at all. This is going to come in time as you work at it. You will be able to quickly determine how much of the bill is yours as well as how much of a tip you should leave based upon your balance that is owed.
When you go back to doing math by hand and in your mind it is going to take you more time than before. This can be frustrating if you deal with numbers often throughout the day. However, keep in mind that such exercises for the brain really do have a significant purpose. You will be pleasantly surprised too as you notice your skills improving over the course of time.
If you aren’t confident in your ability to calculate things in such a way you can keep a calculator handy. However, make a rule that you only use it after you have made a very good attempt to get the answer on your own. You can use the calculator as a way to verify that your answers are correct.
The more your challenge yourself to do your math by hand or in your mind the more your mind is going to benefit. When we stop using a part of our brain functions we will lose them. Don’t allow that to happen and if it already has then you have the ability to change it now.