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The 10-Step Guide to Reading More

Posted by on Jun 25, 2015 in Books, Productivity | 6 comments

The 10-Step Guide to Reading More

I have always been an avid reader. When I was a kid, my parents joked that my books and I were inseparable. It was true – I carried a book with me everywhere I went and read whenever and wherever possible.

As I grew older, I found it more and more difficult to find time to read for pleasure. However, by following a few simple steps, I have managed to average about thirty books a year. This year I have decided to push myself even further, challenging myself to read forty books.

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The Most Important Lesson My Father Has Taught Me

Posted by on Jun 20, 2015 in Inspiration | 0 comments

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Tomorrow is Father’s Day, and I thought I would share with you a little of the wisdom my father has taught me over the years. Wisdom that I have carried with me throughout the many ups and downs of life. Wisdom that has had such an integral role in making me who I am today. I sit here poised at my keyboard and say to myself, “I’ll pick the most important lesson he has taught me,” and, suddenly I don’t know where to begin.

There is so much I could tell.

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Is Sleep Deprivation Sabotaging Your Grades?

Posted by on Jun 10, 2015 in Health, Productivity, Time Management | 8 comments

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Photo Credit: Photl

It’s easy to think that you are invincible in high school and college, that you can go hours upon hours without sleep, that you can effectually push your brain to its breaking point without suffering any negative consequences. The truth, however, is that sleep deprivation not only saps your health and energy, but also harms your brain.

I have always been a night owl so it was only a matter of time before I pulled my first all-nighter in college. I put every minute of that night to good use (at least, I thought so) as I hammered away at my keyboard, racing to finish a very important term paper. But in retrospect, those all-nighters and other nights of little sleep were far from wise decisions. I ended up barely able to stay awake in class, exhausted as I tried to finish my other homework projects.

Ultimately, I learned the hard way that being a night owl doesn’t make you smarter, and sleepless nights are not something to brag about. The myth of the successful and productive genius who only needs four hours of sleep at night is just that: a myth. In today’s post, I’ll be looking at the importance of prioritizing sleep and how to make sure you are well rested especially on those days when you have a crucial exam.

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5 Free Apps to Supercharge Your Productivity

Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Productivity, Technology, Time Management | 6 comments

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When I sit down to work on a blog post, one of the first things I do is log off of Facebook and email. This is because every time I stop to check a notification, I will undoubtedly fall into the procrastination wormhole that leads me meandering across the Internet and reading things that have nothing to do with my original blog post. According to this Wall Street Journal article, “It takes more than 25 minutes, on average, to resume a task after being interrupted.” Even worse, “It takes an additional 15 minutes to regain the same intense focus or ‘flow’ as before the interruption.” That’s forty entire minutes. And that doesn’t even take into consideration multiple interruptions.

Of course, interruptions are an unavoidable part of daily life. But we can limit them! And we can also find ways to make ourselves more organized and more productive so we will have a little more time left over once we finally find our way out of that wormhole. Today, I’ve put together a list of five of my favorite apps that help me work smarter and faster. All of these are absolutely free and some you can download right onto your computer.

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5 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise Every Day

Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Exercise, Health, Productivity, Time Management | 5 comments

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Photo Credit: Photl

Several weeks ago I caught a nasty head cold that left me absolutely exhausted. The sinus headaches made it difficult for me to concentrate on writing, and all I felt capable of doing (in between drinking copious bowls of soup and cups of green tea) was curling up on the couch and taking a nap. But what made it even worse was that I really wanted to work out, and I couldn’t! I was far too weak. As soon as I vanquished the cold, however, I couldn’t wait to start lifting weights again and going for long walks.

The funny thing is that I wasn’t always this motivated to exercise consistently every day. Especially in college, exercising often felt like a nuisance: just one more thing I had to squeeze into my already busy to-do list. What changed? How did exercising become a necessary part of my daily schedule, something I love doing and miss terribly if I skip a day? Today, I’m excited to share with you the tricks I’ve discovered for creating a truly addictive exercise routine.

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How to Resurrect Your Broken New Year’s Resolutions

Posted by on Apr 27, 2015 in Productivity, Time Management | 4 comments

cookies-and-comp

Back at my desk and ready to start writing!

Hello, scholars! I have finally returned!!

Yes, that’s right. I am alive and well and a bit ashamed to admit that this blog post has been sitting unfinished in my drafts folder for several months now.

I had intended to publish it in January as my very first post of 2015. In fact, I had a beautiful New Year’s resolution for Inkwell Scholars. I planned to update at least once a week and had started coming up with a list of possible topics I could write about. But somehow I became involved in other projects, and this post fell farther and farther down the list of things that I needed to finish.

But that’s not the worst of it.

The post was going to be about how to successfully achieve your New Year’s resolutions. So essentially the longer and longer I procrastinated over the post, the harder and harder it became for me to publish it at all. Each day that I delayed updating the blog, I was creating a chain of excuses that became nearly impossible to break. “Well, I missed the first week of January,” I said to myself. “I guess I’ll wait until the second.” That week came and went and then the whole month itself, and then I planned to publish it on a Monday, but the Monday went whizzing by along with several more months.

And if you’ve ever made a New Year’s resolution that you were very serious about and then failed to follow through with, you know how terrible you can feel and how difficult it can be to start afresh.

The good news, however, is that my list of New Year’s resolutions hasn’t been a total failure. I have managed to make nice progress with quite a few of them. And best of all, I finally sat myself down at my desk in front of my computer, refused to accept any more excuses, and forced myself to type out the rest of this post. So for any of you all that still have several daunting New Year’s resolutions that you have not yet gotten up the courage to tackle, this post is for you.

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5 Steps to Effective Note Taking & Acing Your Next Exam

Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in Study Tips | 8 comments

5 Steps to Effective Note Taking and Acing Your Next ExamNote taking is one of the most important skills to master if you wish to be successful in high school and college. When you are sitting all day in class, it is easy for your mind to start to wander, but if you are taking notes, you are forced to concentrate on the teacher’s words and think through the concepts he or she is discussing. Even better, the notes you jot down provide a written record of the most important information covered in class, making life much easier when it is time to study for the final exam.

In today’s post, I share five important steps that have helped me supercharge my note taking and use those notes most effectively when studying for exams.

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4 Essential Books on Writing for Every Writer’s Toolbox

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Books, Writing | 6 comments

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The seventeenth century writer Ben Johnson once observed, “For a man to write well, there are required three necessaries. To read the best authors, observe the best speakers: and much exercise of his own style.”

Johnson’s words emphasize that if we want to learn to write well, we must study the rules of grammar and the techniques of great authors. Before we can construct a palace with our own words, we need a foundation with which to build. In today’s post, I’m sharing four books that have served as several of my best writing teachers. They’ve helped me strengthen my knowledge of grammar and develop my stylistic technique. I hope they will also help you on your way to mastering the craft of writing.

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The Ultimate Guide to Creating an Inspiring Writing Workspace

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 in Creativity, Productivity, Writing | 6 comments

writingworkspaceMy parents recently surprised me with a wonderful gift: a beautiful leather office chair. Though I do all of my writing on my laptop (it’s easy to carry around so I can create a workspace nearly anywhere), I have found that I am much more productive when working in my room at my desk. Naturally, this new chair was the perfect addition to my little writing office.

Every writer needs a tranquil, comfortable place where he or she can retreat to, a private laboratory to experiment with new ideas and plan out new projects. The other day I was looking through the photos of the workplaces of a number of famous authors. They were all unique; some were large and sprawling while others were cramped and disorderly. But all of them shared five important characteristics that seemed essential when creating an inspiring workspace. Read on to discover these five important traits and how you too can create your own writing laboratory.

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5 Daily Habits to Feed Your Creativity

Posted by on Oct 21, 2014 in Creativity | 14 comments

5 daily habitsI have a confession to make: I’m obsessed with to-do lists. Writing up a list of everything I need to accomplish for the day makes me feel organized and in control. And, of course, it helps me meet deadlines and finish important projects. But sometimes I become so overwhelmed by all of the things that I need to accomplish that I forget to take time to recharge my creativity.

That’s when I thought to myself: why not add several activities to my list that will help re-inspire me after completing the other slightly more mundane tasks? By making sure to check them off my to-do list each day, they will quickly become daily habits. Without further ado, here’s a little peek at the most important section of my to-do list: five daily habits that feed my creativity. Add these five activities to your to-do list, and you’ll soon be leveling up your creativity too.

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