Task List

November 21, 2009  |  Time Management  |  2 Comments

Have you ever gone somewhere only to forget what you were doing there in the first place? A great way to avoid such problems is by writing a daily “to do list” also referred to as a task list.

A task list works somewhat as an inventory tool/alternative memory, it helps you to remember things without remembering them (i.e cognitively speaking).

Download Our To Do List

A good task list will enable your mind to forget about the particular things you wrote down in order to focus on other, perhaps more important issues.

Benefits

Blue Arrow Helps you stake out your goals.
Blue Arrow Saves time, energy and stress.
Blue Arrow Gives you something more to rely on than just your memory.

Methodology

There are two good ways to format your task list and they could be combined.

The first way of doing it is by applying the so called ABC method. You divide your tasks into those that go under the ‘A’ category (tasks that should be accomplished within a day) the ‘B’ category (accomplished withing a week) and ‘C’ category (withing a month) and so forth. You can expand or reduce the set of categories (as well as edit their respective time frame) to what suits your situation.

Another way formatting your task list is by assigning each task a number in accordance to its importance. The number “1” is the highest priority while 2 is less important and so on. If you for instance give the reading of my blog a number 1 and eating breakfast a number 2,
then this means that reading the blog precedes eating breakfast; the smaller the number > the more highly prioritized it is (and reading my blog is of course highly prioritized).

Further Notes

Get Yourself a Weekly Calendar: These are great to help you keep track on what to do and when to do what. Remember to classify each task into its relevant category, all educational related tasks go under one category, all the personal to another and so forth.

Digital Task Lists: If you tend to sit on the computer a lot then you might want to consider making your desktop background into a to do list (the writing of this article was on my desktop to do list), if you would like to do this without changing your present background you could always divide the picture into two halves. One half showing today’s tasks and the other showing your background picture. An easier and more effective way is to simply download Google sidebar, it comes with a to do list in widget form and it’s very easy to customize.

How To Mind Map

November 21, 2009  |  How to, Time Management  |  5 Comments

A mind map is a type of (radial) diagram that contains words, ideas or tasks that are linked around a central idea or keyword.

A mind map can be drawn by hand or by means of a computer, before a particular lesson, while attending the class or even after the lecture has finished.

Popular Usage

Blue Arrow Solving problems
Blue Arrow Brainstorming
Blue Arrow Note taking
Blue Arrow Resolutions
Blue Arrow Planning

Benefits

Gives you a good overview of important points and keywords (such as dates, facts or figures).
Organizes your topic in a way that let’s you write less and understand more. Thus making your studies more efficient.

Methodology

Always start out by placing your main idea or keyword in the center and then start pondering about anything that might relate to that keyword. List all the things you came up with on a piece of paper (not on the actual mind map) and then write them all down on the mind map by interlinking each idea to an appropriate category.

Remember that each line should carry only one keyword or one image and they should be of the same length as the keyword or image.

Obviously, there’s more than one way of mind mapping since the technique itself is very subjective. So even though I mention ways to form your mind map in this article, you should only take them as guidelines and nothing more. It’s more important that you develop your own style in order to fit your specific needs.

I recommend emphasizing certain elements in your mind map such as using different colors to make the mind map more vivid and easier to digest.

Let your ideas flow

Make sure that you don’t kill any of your ideas at the beginning. It’s a common problem that people try to edit their ideas before they’ve done collecting them. You can remove, edit and add as much as you’d like after you’ve finished listing them all.

Keep it clean

Another common mistake is to scramble in as much information as possible without keeping the format. If your mind map looks like clutter, you wont be able to understand it (maybe at the present moment but certainly not in the future). Finally, mind mapping is something you do to help yourself. Make sure that you can understand and interpret your own thoughts even if no one else understands it.

ou’ll find that it makes things so much easier. Look at the classes you have to attend, work out the time that you need to get to them and then set a realistic time every day so it almost becomes like part of your daily timetable. And how much studying do you need to do?

Well you can use a formula that goes something like this: for every hour of class, put in an hour and a half to two hours of study. Why the difference? Well, some of you might read much more quickly than others, some might take a longer time to absorb the same material. So it figures!

Just keep in mind that very often the ones who are slower tend to remember for longer, so it evens out! If you can study soon after your class, that makes it even better because everything is fresh in your mind.

Do take a quick break in between to relax. And remember – don’t push yourself. If you begin over scheduling your study hours, you’ll find yourself overexerting and that doesn’t really work too well in the end.

Manage Your Time

November 21, 2009  |  Time Management  |  72 Comments

Try and set a specific time to study every day and you’ll find that it makes things so much easier. Look at the classes you have to attend, work out the time that you need to get to them and then set a realistic time every day so it almost becomes like part of your daily timetable. And how much studying do you need to do?

Well you can use a formula that goes something like this: for every hour of class, put in an hour and a half to two hours of study. Why the difference? Well, some of you might read much more quickly than others, some might take a longer time to absorb the same material. So it figures!

Just keep in mind that very often the ones who are slower tend to remember for longer, so it evens out! If you can study soon after your class, that makes it even better because everything is fresh in your mind.

Do take a quick break in between to relax. And remember – don’t push yourself. If you begin over scheduling your study hours, you’ll find yourself overexerting and that doesn’t really work too well in the end.

Where to study

You probably will think it doesn’t matter but it does! We’re talking about the place you choose to sit and study. How do you know you’ve chosen well? Well, let’s tell you how to choose so you can concentrate on your studies and don’t get disturbed or distracted. Let’s go through a process of elimination first.

Don’t choose a place that may not be available always to you. Don’t go park yourself in a place where you know you will be interrupted or distracted. And don’t choose a place that’s either too hot or too cold or your mind’s going to be on the temperature, not on your books! Now for the ‘dos’.

Make sure the place you choose is well-lit and airy so it’s a pleasure to be in, not a drudge. Find yourself a comfortable chair – but not too comfortable so you fall asleep! Keep all your study material at hand so you don’t have to go up and down searching for it.

And try and have a large work area or desk so all your material is close by. Keep it neat so there is enough space for you to write comfortably. And last but not least, lock the door if you can and make sure no-one disturbs you.second. We started in a living room back in 2006 and have been steadily working to build our company into a world-class contender. Today we operate a set of popular marketplaces for digital goods, a family of leading tutorial sites and a series of niche sites and projects.

How To Study Effectively

November 20, 2009  |  Study Skills  |  14 Comments
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Check out the new edition of the Study Guide PRO and start FOCUSING on your studies TODAY!

What exactly is SQRW? Well, it’s a study method where you get the best out of textbook study. It’s a 4-step strategy and each letter denotes one step so let’s go through it and see how it could make your study life a little bit easier! Read More

Goal Setting

November 20, 2009  |  Study Skills  |  6 Comments

As any good student knows, if you don’t plan for success, you are in fact planning for failure. The core of good planning lies in knowing how to stake out your goals. These goals will then function as milestones, helping you reach your destination much quicker. Read More

Speech Tips – 10 Steps On Holding Inspiring Speeches

August 15, 2009  |  Study Skills  |  2 Comments

1. Confidence

You have to have a positive sensory orientation towards your speech, learn to have confidence. Unfortunately there is no secrets to this, you have to rehearse over and over again until your confident that you can make it. Read More

How To Concentrate

August 15, 2009  |  Study Skills  |  270 Comments

Do you have have problems concentrating? Believe it or not, you are not alone! The first thing we need to do – before we can discuss how to concentrate – is to define the term “concentration”. According to Princeton University’s WordNet, concentration means: Read More

Pareto’s Study Method

March 20, 2009  |  Educational Theory, Study Method  |  3 Comments

I recently had an encounter with an old professor of mine. As an expert in Environmental Science she is always quick in to remind me to view the whole picture, never to look at a certain pollution as an endemic phenomenon but instead as intricate part in a bigger cycle.

Thus, she claimed that a student as brilliant as myself (her wording was a little different) would benefit more if I actually attended her classes (what an outrageous statement, don’t ya think?). She -much like most teachers- claimed that the best way to study is by engaging all senses into the process, the more the merrier.

Here’s where I disagree. Read More

I am back

March 18, 2009  |  No Comments

As you might have noticed, I haven’t been around that much lately. Starting today, I plan to change that. You see, I’ve been a little busy at campus (it’s not always a smart idea to study more than the curriculum requires, that’s for sure ;)) and have thus not been able to update the site regularly. From now on, I plan to go back to the lovely old days where the blog was updated almost on a daily basis. Read More

Educational Quote #3

February 27, 2008  |  Education Quotes  |  7 Comments

Yes, you heard me right. It’s time for yet another installment of our Educational Quotes series. Today, I would like us to ponder this famous quote by an contemperary librarian at Yale.

“We’re drowning in information and starving for knowledge”

– Rutherford Rogers

These words were said a few decades ago and they are even truer in this time and age. We now have access to loads and loads of information, the indexed web alone is estimated to contain 40 billion pages! Considering all of this, one has to ask the question; has this overflow of information really made us more knowledgeble?

I personally do not think so, as knowledge does not equal information. Do you agree to the above quote or do you disagree? Please share your comments below 🙂