Listening to music

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Throw Yourself a Red Herring
Two minutes—that's how long to distract yourself when mulling over your options. It worked for decision makers in a Carnegie Mellon study who went on to make better choices—picking the best car in a set, for instance—after being sidetracked by a brief number-sequence-memorizing exercise. (Any light two-minute diversion—poetry recitation, music, even Angry Birds—may do.) Brain scans revealed that while the conscious mind focuses on the distraction, the unconscious mind continues to weigh options. The tiny break may freshen your perspective and prevent overthinking, which leads to bad choices.
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