4 really basic tips to increase your online productivity

Photo by br3nda

The internet has grown incredibly much in the past years especially because it appeals to people in a way that nothing else has appealed. There’s always something new to do, new people to meet, news to read, all sorts of stuff to do. But what do you do when you have work to do, and all these attractions (for others) become distractions (for you)? You have to know where to draw the line and when to say no. Otherwise you’ll just enter a vicious circle and tons of unfinished work will just clutter up.

  • Turn the TV off!
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    The TV could be the biggest distraction; you’ll probably just end up checking the latest news or results, or watching some show. Listening to music is OK, but do it from your computer or mp3 player, music videos tend to distract your attention. Actually, for some (including me) listening to music is a productivity booster.

  • Sign out from Instant Messaging!
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    Yeah sure your friends wanna chat with you and tell you the latest gossip, but it will totally screw up your work plan. Twitter can also become a pain.

  • Acknowledge the fact that you have to finish the job!
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  • Otherwise you’re just going to find excuses for yourself and find other “better” things to do. Finish your job, even if it may seem that you’re on a really long and winding road.

  • No youtube for you! Funny videos, bizarre, lol cats, that kind of stuff is a productivity killer, and you’ll get nowhere this way. Of course they’re fun, but it’s just about timing; work is work, and fun is fun. Nobody says you have to be all work and no fun, just that you have to know where to draw the line
  • The distractions are various, and vary from case to case, but these are the major ones which pretty much apply to everybody. The thing is that you have to understand that although it may seem like you’re just wasting a few minutes or even just seconds, these things gather up and disturb your own natural way of working.

    8 tips to help you think like a genius!

    Everybody wants to be a showman
    Yeah they all got another one
    Everybody thinks they got a genius
    Everybody got me on the run
    ~Kings of Leon~

    Not everyone can be a genius like Einstein or Thomas Edison, but certainly all of us can use their methods to train our minds and to create the best plans for our future. The following 8 simple strategies will help you increase your productivity and to find better solutions to problems faster as they are similar to the ones used by geniuses in art, industry and science throughout history.

    1. Try to see a problem in more than just one way!

    Find new perspectives no one else thought about before. Leonardo da Vinci used this method as he thought that the first perspective is always subjective. So be original! Don’t be afraid to find new solutions and to have a different vision about something. Different is not similar to wrong!

    2. Visualize!

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    Einstein used diagrams to solve problems as he didn’t think words and numbers were relevant in the process of thinking. So grab a pencil or just close your eyes and use your imagination. The answer might be just there.

    3. Be productive!

    Thomas Edison is known to have created more than 1000 inventions most of them useless. In fact, most great inventors did the same thing; however, they were not afraid of failure or mediocrity and this helped them succeed. So why not doing the same thing? There is nothing to lose!

    4. Combine ideas and solutions!

    As Gregor Mendel discovered the laws of heredity by combining Maths and Biology you can also improve your work by using all your knowledge and even the most unlikely solutions!

    5. Create connections!

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    Da Vinci made a connection between the sound of a bell and a stone hitting the water. This way he discovered the existence of sound waves. You may not discover a groundbreaking invention, but even the smallest discoveries can bring great rewards…so why not give it a try?

    6. Use opposition!

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    The physician Niels Bohr would bring together mentally opposing elements and then he would cancel his reason, thus discovering new perspectives. By using this method, your mind will go to another level of understanding.

    7. Think metaphorically! Aristotle thought that someone who could perceive the similarities between two separate areas of existence and bring the together is someone special. So save some time and look at the world around you with in a different way. Who knows what can come up?

    8. Manage your failure! Don’t let everything disappoint you, but try to analyze the situation and to understand what went wrong in order to improve your future attempts. This will help you be successful and more mature.

    The thing is you have to understand that you must become the change you want to see. So why not change the way you work and think about problems? It will make your life better, it will make you feel better, so go for it. Bring out the genius in you!

    Photo by pyza

    4 things to do when it’s raining

    Sunny days
    Where have you gone?
    I get the strangest feeling when you belong.
    Why does it always rain on me?

    ~Travis – Why does it always rain on me?~

    You casually look out the window and when you see the beautiful weather outside you feel like going outside and enjoying yourself. If it’s sunny out you get in a ‘sunny’ mood. If it’s windy then you’re probably going to be a bit agitated and anxious. But it’s by far the worst when it’s raining. If you’re like most people, you’ll feel apathetic, always tired and you could just sleep forever. The weather has a strong impact on people’s moods and you should keep that in mind whenever you organize your schedule.

    Credits photo

    Let’s say it’s raining for 2 days now. You’re already very tired, you miss your bed even though you’ve got up 5 minutes ago and you are so bored … What can you do? Continue reading

    Is reading really for dorks?

    I read your book
    And I find it strange
    That I know that girl and I know her world
    A little too well~Sheryl Crow – The book~

    When we started writing this blog, for the first article we had only two comments – one of them stated that reading is for dorks and after reading the article Andrei has written, I’ve got to a point when I must ask myself and I must ask you – is reading really for dorks?

    I think that now is the moment to try another type of article – educational, of course, but in other ways. If until now we gave some tricks to improve your life, how about some ideas to clear your thoughts? I don’t say you have to agree, but I’d like to know your opinions on different subjects.

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    You already know the first thing I’ll talk about and probably you infer my opinion Continue reading

    5 natural, non-nerdy steps for learning… anything

    study

    Photo by carloseduravier

    Get ur freak on
    Headbanger.. hit me, hit me, hit me, hit me

    Missy Elliot ~ Get ur freak on ~

    Nobody (or almost nobody) likes to study; I know I don’t. But it’s something we have to do, it’s a natural and necessary part of our development as human beings, not just for your school or carreer. But just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it has to become a drag; no way! You can make it acceptable at least, perhaps even rewarding. Studying should become a decent activity, here’s what you should do.

    1. Understand studying!
    learn

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    Learning is an unpleasant activity not just because it feels like you’re wasting your time or stuff like that; in most cases, it’s a subconscious response. That’s just a clever way of saying that your brain thinks studying is bad. Why? Well because of our society; when parents punish their kids, they often make them study. Also, the feeling that it’s too hard or pointless can actually make it pointless. If you want to learn something, you have to make yourself understand that first. Once you understand that you have to finish this and you stop kidding yourself, you’re half way there.

    2. Learn the right things!
    study

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    So you’ve motivated yourself, you want to do this, you’ve got the right attitude… what now? Make sure you have the right books, reference, whatever, and put them in the right order. Learning things in the correct order will actually speed things up. Sounds like a paradox? Not really. It’s just common sense; do it the wrong way and nothing will catch, and you’ll just waste a lot of time. Go back to 1. if that’s the case. Also, if you’re using the Internet, be careful, cause there’s a lot of wrong or partial information. Use the big boys (Wikipedia, Britannica, etc)for a bit more safety, but even there you’ll find some small mistakes. So be careful with the learning material.

    3. Learn the right way!
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    Photo by chotda

    So you have the attitude, you have the learning material and still not learning? Well if the TV’s on and the dog’s barking there and that kind of stuff… it’s really understandable. You need to find that learning place, that is different for different people. Whether it’s quiet or filled with music, bright or darker, there should be no distractions (window, TV, pet, etc). Also, try to estimate your time – a realistic approach. If you don’t have enough time…

    4. Turn useless time into productive time!
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    Useless time can actually be… useful. Good all around tips here, but for studying, it’s a bit different. You should especially pay attention to time used for transportation and bath time. When you’re on the bus or other ways of transportation, try and do a quick recap (which by the way is really important) or read something new. When you’re taking a bath, do a light read or something; nothing too big, because this way it won’t spoil your relaxation. Also if you want to gain more time, you should know yourself. Know what’s good for you, how you can focus, things like that. It’s important that you find your own way of studying. Make notes, write down the most important ideas, listen to music, whatever gets you going. Also, it’s really important to know if your auditive memory is better than your visual memory. If it is, it’s definetly a good idea to read the stuff out loud, record it, and then listen to it. This can be a good idea even if it’s not (you can apply it on the bus).

    5. Finish things up!
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    Photo by Fort Photo

    Even when you feel like you’re making progress, you have to do things all the way, otherwise it’s your loss. Even if it feels like you know bits and pieces and you can put them together when needed, you shouldn’t rely on that. Also, don’t delay everything until the last moment, that won’t get you very far. Start things right, work your way to the top, and be careful at the finish. That’s what the champions do.

    3 easy ways to make boring activities fun or useful

    ‘Cause we were never being boring
    We had too much time to find for ourselves
    And we were never being boring
    We dressed up and fought, then thought: “Make amends”
    Pet Shop Boys ~Being Boring~

    In life, you do things you don’t want to; things you may find useless, unpleasant, or just boring. You may also waste a lot of time when you’re say, taking the bus to school or work, or when you’re cooking or just don’t have what to do at work; and you probably sometimes feel like you just don’t have enough time to finish your work and really need to relax and unwind. The thing is that you have two problems which could solve each other! Sounds really weird, but filling these ‘gaps’ in your day to day time is really important, but mostly underestimated. Here’s what you can do.

    1. Take an mp3 player (ipod) or a good book with you.
    book
    Photo by D T Photo
    Or both! Put them in a small backpack or even in your pocket, it won’t really bother you. This way, whenever you’re don’t have anything really important to do, like cooking or just typing you can start listening to music. Whenever you’re in the bus, you can start reading, or during the lunch break after you’ve eaten. Continue reading

    More spare time! – how to improve your schedule

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    “Relax, take it easy
    For there is nothing that we can do.
    Relax, take it easy
    Blame it on me or blame it on you.”
    ~Mika~

    I am sure most of you reading this article found themselves at least once in the situation of not having enough spare time. Classes, endless hours spent everyday at work and then home sweet home…or maybe not. As soon as you return your phone starts ringing. When did you last do something just for your own entertainment? If the answer is “a long time ago” it is a clear sign that you must change your routine. And it’s not hard at all!

    STEPS
    1. Decide what your priorities are. Each morning create a schedule for the day in each you have settled some time for yourself. Do your best to stick to this schedule!
    2. Try to become more organized and to improve your time management.
    3. Keep an agenda of everything you do. See where you spend most of your time and decide on what you can change. It is also a method to become more efficient!
    4. Try to choose a certain order in which you will handle your errands. Try to solve everything at once in order not to waste time returning to town to buy something you’ve forgotten. Try to shop on the Internet as much as you can.
    5. Hire a maid or a gardener if you afford one in order to save more time. A few more hours for yourself can prove priceless!
    6. Make technology your friend. Use the cell phone, the e-mail and the Internet as much as you can to gain time and also to become more efficient.
    Continue reading

    Setting up a healthy morning routine for yourself

    morning routine

    Out of the dark and into the light
    When the morning comes
    I will be alright
    ~Coral~

    If your morning is great, you have a very good chance your whole day is gonna be great. You can enter that (rare) state when almost nothing can upset you, and you just feel great, and you can get a health boost too. Every morning can be just great, if you just set up some easy non time consuming goals for yourself. These have to be done regularly, but make sure they don’t become a drag! They shouldn’t, but if you have a strange schedule, the effect may not be the same. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t fall into the trap of monotony; when you feel it’s setting in, just do things a bit differently.These things are not hard to do, just something you can do with a minimum of time and effort. As strange as it would sound, if you want to have a good morning, you have to start things at night. Don’t eat (especially fat foods) for 3-4 hours before you sleeping time; and try to go to bet at a decent hour, so you can get enough sleep for the next day. Now, when you get up, the first thing you should do is wash your teeth and face. Make this become almost a reflex, something you do without thinking.

    Then, if you have the time (even 10 minutes would do), try to exercise. Drink some water, and then go for a little run, do some push ups, yoga, or just meditate. Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise, so reading something would be a very good idea. Swimming is also a great thing to do, but not something which is very easy for everybody. After that you definetly need to have breakfast; keep in mind that it’s the most important meal of the day.

    After you’ve eaten, take a shower and by the time you’ve finished it you should feel very refreshed. Bagging your lunch before going to work or school is a good idea, because it saves you time, money, and it’s healthier than eating at a restaurant or fast food. Now those things are definetly not too hard to do, it’s just up to you to make it happen. Do something good for yourself!

    Things that help you save money

    save money
    Photo by Daníel Starrason

    “Money it’s a crime
    Share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie
    Money so they say
    Is the root of all evil today
    But if you ask for a rise it’s no surprise that they’re
    giving none away”

    ~Pink Floyd~

    In case you’re not Bill Gates or something, you’ve felt at some moment in your life that you would have been better if you had some extra cash. The thing is that problem is always hard to solve, but there are still some things you can do which can save you money without causing you any trouble; in fact, as you will see, some of these tricks are even helpful aside from the fact that they save you money!

    The thing you can do which could save you the most money (but it’s pretty damn hard to achieve) is quitting some vices. If you’re a smoker, just make the math and find out how much you spend on cigarettes a week; that would be the first step, and of course you know the other health benefits which come from quitting smoking. But that can be quite a drag, so if you’re not down with quitting smoking, stay calm. There are still so many things you can do. Another easy and healthy thing you can do which saves you money is bagging your lunch and bringing it to work; instead of going to a fast food or restaurant, make your own sandwhich. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes, and it saves you money, and it’s healthier.

    Another thing which has been talked about a whole lot is turning off the appliances you are not using. Saving energy and water is really easy. This does not only save you money, but also helps the environment and it’s basically just a click away. Also, try not to drive when you don’t necessarily need it; this is also good for the environment and you can drink as many beers as you want (or can).

    Other things you can do include putting your spare change in a jar instead of losing it behind the couch or somewhere, buy only things you know you’re gonna need, and if you’re buying things such as shampoo, soap, and that kind of stuff, buy more, because that also helps you save money. But I have to underline the fact that getting rid of cigarettes is definetly the best thing here, and if you can do that, you’ve shot a whole bunch of rabbits with one shot. So by doing those things, you can save up to 50-100$ a week, and even more in some cases! Not quite the biggest amount of cash in the world, 100$ is a 100$.

    Escape from the daily routine; easy yet helpful tricks

    routine


    Photo by DreamValley
    Most of us (if not all) have felt at some point that the routine of the daily life is suffocating and even further, we wanted to get away from it; and it’s not necessarily that what you do is boring, even a 
    skydiver could feel caught up. But that’s not as easy as it seems, because vacation days are rare and it seems there never is enough time. But still, there are simple things you can do which can make all the difference in the world.

    Learn new things. If you keep doing the same things it will be harder and harder to escape from the routine. Instead, try to learn something new everyday of your life; learn from everything, even the smallest of beings and remember that nature is an endless pool of knowledge. During the process of learning, try to apply some of the things you’ve learnt; and try to travel, visit new places, you definetly have some place you would want to visit, so go for it.

    Of course, this would involve taking some chances. In fact, taking chances is the next important step in your victory over monotony in your life. Remember, the things which you don’t say are lost, so whenever you want to say something, say it. Hey, now if you want to swear a policeman or something, that wouldn’t be good. I’m talking about things such as telling a friend how much you appreciate him or her, asking that girl you can’t look enough at out, and that kind of things. You know better what you need to say, so quit sitting there, go out and do it!

    routine


    Photo by Conundrum37
    If things don’t go your way, just start from there. Don’t be upset because you made a mistake, learn from that and keep walking and don’t resign yourself with everything, believe in yourself and believe in the fact that you can do better. In fact, getting away from the daily routine means changing your life for the better, and if you truly believe that you can do that, you have already done half the job.