Tag Archives: productivity

Few would dispute the smartphone’s place as one of the true marvels of the modern world. These miracle machines combine instant, on-the-go connectivity with immediate access to the larger part of the sum of accumulated human knowledge. No wonder we take our phones everywhere, even those places nobody wants you to answer their calls. But in those moments when you wonder, “Is there anything my smartphone can’t do?” we can identify at least one very important shortcoming: your smartphone can’t help you study. Sure, you can access the web on your phone to look up important information or new vocabulary words. You can even use its timer to implement Pomodoro Technique-style planned breaks. But for all the time these phone functions might save you, the device itself may cost you much, much more. The key to getting more done in any area of your life is FOCUS. When we focus…

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Where does success come from? To paraphrase Will Durant paraphrasing Aristotle, we are what we repeatedly do. Success, then is not an act but a habit. Too many imagine the accomplishment of their most ambitious goals as a deviation from their normal routines, when such achievement is actually the culmination of what a person does day after day. Do you want to be successful? The surest way to improve the quality of your life and work is to emulate the example of other successful people: Read a lot Practice deliberately Work every day Minimize distractions Take care of your mind and body Obviously, successful types also follow more specialized strategies based on their fields; Olympic athletes train differently than, say, world leaders. But regardless of the scope of your ambitions, you will go much farther by heeding Michael E. Angier’s advice: If you develop the habits of success, you will…

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It’s been a long, long time since Sophocles asserted, “Success is dependent on effort,” but these words still ring true. We take for granted that exalted and inextricable connection between effort and achievement. And because effort is the engine that powers the machinery of success, we are supposed to focus our praise on exertion over outcomes, or at least link the two. But is effort all its cracked up to be? Effort is fuel burned. Achievement is miles traveled. Effort is hours of study. Achievement is grades earned. Effort is working up a sweat. Achievement is a job well done. Certainly, one depends on the other. Unfortunately, one does not guarantee the other. Too often, we see people mistaking the two: “I spend hours a day in the gym but still can’t bench 230 lbs/run 5 miles/fit into my old jeans.” From the outside, solutions may appear obvious, but the…

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Thomas Edison might have been estimating when he calculated that genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration, but he had a point. Most of our success stems from the hard work we put in ahead of time. That last percentage point is tricky, though. How much of an impact can inspiration really make on results? Would you believe 12%? Happiness and productivity share a really splendid relationship: more of the former leads to an increase in the latter. Happiness, in

Meet Rory, a bright, motivated high school junior who can definitely see himself as a doctor (or lawyer or professor or CEO…) someday. Rory, a three-sport athlete and AP student, has made the most of his school experience so far in an effort to present as an outstanding applicant to any college. Aware of the considerable benefits of prepping for the SAT & ACT early in junior year, Rory and his family begin tutoring in September with an eye on the December exams… Junior year these days demands far more of teenagers than most adults realize. Ambitious students don’t just take on advanced classes but also juggle a slew of activities in which they must show commitment, leadership, and excellence. Extracurriculars can be particularly stressful during pressure points in a season, especially when coaches demand absolute acquiescence to uncertain practice schedules. While Rory was excited about preparing for the SAT…

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Superlative notes bridge the gap from when you learn something to when you need it. Thus, learning the right and wrong ways to take notes sets you on the path to knowing what you need when you need it. And while effective note taking demands sharp eyes and keen ears, much of the magic is in your wrists, specifically the wrist of your writing hand! The temptation to bring a laptop or tablet to class for note-taking (and possibly recreational) purposes has never been greater. But studies show that the pen Is mightier than the keyboard. Psychology researchers Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer found that taking notes on electronic devices alone results in shallower processing, which in turn results in worse performance on conceptual questions than students who took notes longhand. Part of the power of writing notes down comes from the need to summarize on the fly, to paraphrase…

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