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!
  • Photo by Wesley Yendrys

    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!

    Photo by Seeding-Chaos

    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!

    Photo by schaaflicht

    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!

    Photo by niznoz

    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

    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

    Picture by sosarem

    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

    Photo by sidereal
    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!
    study

    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!
    study

    Photo by un4gtableann

    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!
    study

    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.

    Use colours to change your life!

    albastru.jpg

    “Yellow is the colour of my true love’s hair
    In the mornin’ when we rise,
    In the mornin’ when we rise,
    That’s the time, that’s the time,
    I love the best.
    Blue’s the colour of the sky
    In the mornin’ when we rise,
    In the mornin’ when we rise.
    in the mornin’ when we rise”
    ~Donovan~

    Even since the Middle Age sorcerers and healers would use colours to treat all kinds of
    deseases. Nowadays, modern doctors admit the fact that colours have a strong impact on
    human mind, and by this a strong impact on one’s health or mood.
    Some colours stimulate the body’s biological activity while others slow it down. By knowing what each colour really does it is simple to change your life in a simple and also pleasant way.
    So what colour should you choose?

    RED This colour is associated vith energy and power, thus having a stimulating effect. It
    can cure your sadness and it can fight the negative emotions. Red can stimulate the internalorgans and the muscle activity especially the feet. This colour increases blood pressure andactivates your breathing, giving a sensation of heat.
    So bring red to your life! Try to wear something red: a shirt, a scarf, anything. It is also useful to have a bright-coloured cup too. Continue reading

    3 ways to experience art therapy

    This is all so beautiful
    But how much of this will really be
    Enough to keep me on my feet
    ~Rachael Lampa – The Art~

    Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses art materials, combining traditional psychotherapeutic theories and techniques with a subtler, more modern way of getting rid of your psychological and even physical problems. Also it’s a favorite of more and more people because you can do it at home, with your friends or family or alone, it’s fun and you train certain skills. It’s especially good for teenagers, people in their 40s, junkies and really stressed out people, but it has shown incredible results for just about everybody who tried it.

  • Painting
  • painting

    Image by Petra
    The point of it is not directly to paint, but rather to know yourself better and to understand your most inner feelings, in a liberating and fun gesture. It doesn’t matter if you can’t paint or never painted at all, the only important thing is to be yourself and to try to express what you feel through lines, shapes and colours. You don’t need words to express yourself, and this is a great example. After you’ve finished a painting, take a look at it and say out loud what you think it means; then take a small break and think if it actually means that in your case. Continue reading

    Five spiritual day-to-day secrets of health

    There are still many things we don’t know about our bodies, so in some cases it’s hard to say what makes us healthy or unhealthy. Still, it’s obvious that despite a good diet, and exercising and that kind of things, there are other factors which have to be taken into consideration. In fact, recent studies have made it clear that there has to be a balance between the body and the soul are at harmony. The five principles necesary to obtain this harmony are written below, and they are not as hard as you would expect.

    1. Regenerate by sleeping

    sleep

    Photo by animefx
    This is the first and most natural way of regenerating your energy and mantaining a mental balance, and it is the best way to help the body be prepared. Nowadays we sleep a whole lot less than ancient times; since the discovery of the light bulb, the time alocated to sleep has grown smaller and smaller. Among the effects of a long period of time with insufficient sleep are high amounts of sugar in the bloodstream, high arterial tension, higher colesterol level, neurosis and a general state of discomfort.

    2. Use stress towards your advantage

    Stress is one of the things that causes most damage to us, due to the constant go-go and insecurities, among others. Still, what if you could use this enemy towards your advantage? Sounds weird? Not really. Just think: if you could live your life in your bed, without doing anything, just sitting there, would it really fullfil your needs? You may be inclined to say it would, but if you thought about it really careful, you would realize that it won’t. Here’s what you have to do, in order to make stress your ally:

  • Appreciate your ability to resist effort and stress as realistically as possible! If you don’t underestimate or overestimate your ability to resist, challenges could actually become very pleasant.
  • After a stresful and/or challenging period, take some time off. Charge your batteries, so to speak. There’s no better way of being prepared for whatever comes next
  • Do things that make you feel good, instead of making compromises and trying to please everybody. Your subconscious is way more active than you’d be tempted to think! Your innerself may be displeased with what you do, and so you will be feeling the effects.
  • Use efficient ways of relaxing! This is different for every person; you know (or should know) what makes you relaxe best. If you don’t have any ideas, you could try yoga, swimming, taking long walks, drawing, singing, gardening, etc
  • 3. Set up a (very) loose routine

    Routine is a two-way knife; it can either be helpful, in some cases, or it can make your life pretty unpleasant. As for myself, I’m the go with the flow and improvise kind of man; I’ve always been that way. But even so, I feel the need for some stability at some times.

    4. Love 

    love.jpg

    Photo by Levana’s Cats =^..^=
    Recent studies have shown that people who are in love don’t just feel better, they are better. The body works brilliantly and the brain has no problems. No need to talk about this… any kind of love will do!

    5. Detach yourself from some things

    flock

    Photo by Michael Mozzarella
    After a long day, or just a stresful period, try to detach a bit from your problems; everybody has problems, but it’s up to you to deal with them in the best way you can. If you want to solve them, try to analyze the situation and be as objective as possible. If you just want to relax, then try to find a method to take your mind off them. Try to meditate, or jog, or do whatever you feel is good. Do what suits you best!

    I hope you’ve realized by now that being healthy doesn’t reffer to just the body; the mind and soul have to be healthy too, even more than the body. Try to find a way to be happy with yourself, that’s the first step. Then, appreciate what you have!

    Accumulating ideas and feelings by relaxing

    I heard this old story before
    Where the people keep on playing for their metaphors
    But don’t leave much up to the imagination[…]
    Never knowing
    Shocking but we’re nothing
    We’re just moments, we’re clever but we’re clueless
    ~Jack Johnson~

    inspiration

    Photo by msoubhagya
    One of my favorite quotes is (I’m not sure exactly how it is) “life is happening while you are too busy planning your future”. A whole lot of people get bored, or just miss out on some very important things just because they don’t know what to seek for in other activities. Let me put this in a different way: If you were to watch a movie, a very fascinating movie, and you are kept tense, you’re imagining varios possible scenarious, trying to find explications, the tension and imagining of scenarios will probably last a while after the movie. If you are trying to find motivations in the protagonists’ actions, you will probably stumble on to a piece of thought which will be useful, or at least interesting for you.

    Even if the movie is not very serious, you can use your own mind to extrapolate the situations, to picture yourself as the main actor, and other things similar to those; this kind of activity will help you make 110% of that movie, literally. Have you ever wondered why some movies, or songs, or books are great, while others are just incredibly great? It’s because there is something about them which just makes you go to a certain place, they say something to you. If you listen to such a song, you almost certainly have a favorite lyric, which you just feel great saying, or the melodic line gets stuck in your head. This is the subconscious at work for you, sticking on to what it thinks is more important, even when you think you enjoy another tune more.

    life

    Photo by nicky’s_eye_view

    Which takes us to the initial quote; while you’re expecting for a song to come next in the playlist, another just pops in and makes you feel better than the one you were expecting for would have. This could happen in some cases. You should stop and feel the moment; get caught in the music, just by listening to it! Stop thinking about your day to day problems, just try to make the most out of your relaxation time. Find your inspiration from a fragment of a lyric, from a line in a tv show, or from the plot of a cinematographic mastermind, or even from a character within a book. Also, inspiration doesn’t have to come from certain places, it could come from everywhere, even from reading this!

    Let’s take the music of Jack Johnson, for example (if you haven’t listened to his stuff, you really should). I don’t know about you, but whenever I listen to it, it just takes me to a special place; it gives me a certain special feeling, and charges me with a positive energy, its effect is very calming and soothing. It may not do the same thing for you, but definetly there is some kind of music that has the same effect. Try to think and feel the music, don’t let it just pass through you! It’s very important, in virtually everything, from music and movies, to life itself. Feel life, instead of letting it feel you. Try to be aware about everything that happens to you, because if you do this, not only will you accumulate numerous ideas that will help you and feelings that will make you feel better, but just by paying attention to some small things in life, you will see things in a way that you probably never imagined before.

    beautiful life

                                                                   Photo by nature55

    Napping: good or bad?

    Puppies
    Photo by Back in the Pack

    So Sgt. Pepper took you by surprise
    You better see right through that mother’s eyes
    Those freaks was right when they said you was dead
    The one mistake you made was in your head
    Ah, how do you sleep?
    Ah, how do you sleep at night?

    ~John Lennon~

    The benefits of napping have been argued for years, by the world’s finest sleep statisticians and researchers, with mixed opinions. Some argue napping is bad for you, as it causes instability to your internal clock and sleep disorders, while other believe naps to be very healthy and quite recommend it. General thought is that for every two hours you are awake you accumulate one hour of “sleep debt”. (16 awake and 8 asleep fits nicely into a 24 hour day, eh what?) If you don’t pay off your debt during your nightly sleep, it carries over until you do get it paid off. Your nap probably serves to push back how early you can fall asleep at night.

    Lately a new term has been coined by specialists, called “power napping,” that consists in napping a full hour, during which your energy levels should be at a maximum. So in layman’s terms, grabbing an hour’s sleep during the day may be as beneficial as a whole night in bed, according to scientists. Of course some sleep during the night is needed, don’t think  it’s possible for a man, who hasn’t slept for over 24 hours, to recuperate a night time of sleep in the course of one hour. Even the brains agree, as experts say that a full night’s sleep is still necessary for many vital body functions, even though a short sleep may boost learning and memory.

    Continue reading