Today, I am sharing another excerpt from my recently released eBook Study Smarter (if you haven’t read it yet, make sure to snag a free copy at the end of this post!). In the book, I have compiled all of the methods, tips, tricks, and strategies that helped me maintain high grades in college, beat procrastination, organize my time efficiently, and work productively. All of the strategies in this book can be adapted to suit any learning style as long you have a mindset of success.
This mindset is rooted in a single concept: we have the capability to improve ourselves for the better if we are willing to put in the hard work. With perseverance and determination, we can make ourselves smarter and develop skills we never knew we had. Carol Dweck (a researcher at Stanford University) coined the term “growth mindset” to describe this way of thinking. It is essential to long-term success.
There are lots of ways you can record your to-do lists. You can write down your deadlines and appointments in a physical planner and remind yourself with post-it notes. Or you can keep everything on the computer with a helpful app.
Choosing which program to use, however, is not nearly as important as knowing how to keep a to-do list that will not sabotage your productivity. Yes, that’s right. Even though to-do lists are supposed to help us work more efficiently, if they are written up in the wrong way, they can actually end up doing more harm than good. In today’s post, I’m sharing five steps to follow to create a powerful to-do list that will supercharge your productivity.
Yes, scholars!! It’s officially here. I’ve just put the finishing touches on a brand-new eBook, Study Smarter: How to Maximize Your Study Time and Master Any Subject.
You probably noticed that the blog was unusually quiet this past July. That’s because I was busy working on this exciting project, and I can’t wait for you all to read it.
If you enjoy the posts on the blog, you’re going to love this eBook. In this step-by-step 40+ page guide, I have compiled all of the methods, tips, tricks, and strategies that helped me maintain high grades in college, beat procrastination, organize my time efficiently, and work productively.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My 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.
It’s easy to set goals. Sometimes it’s even easy taking those initial steps towards achieving them. Maybe we want to learn to play an instrument so we buy a guitar and sign up for lessons. The first few days are fun, but somehow life gets in the way, and it becomes more and more difficult to find time to practice. Or maybe we want to learn a foreign language. We buy several books that promise we will be fluent in a matter of months, but after memorizing a few phrases, our interest wanes and our goal is abandoned. What are we doing wrong? How do we maintain that original interest and energy that motivated us during those initial stages? In today’s post, I’ll share a fantastic fail-safe five-step approach called the S.M.A.R.T. method that has helped me transform my goals from dreams into reality.