Students grapple with many issues in their lives, and because of all of the competing things for your attention, it’s hard to concentrate on studying. And yet if you’re in school, you have to do at least a little studying in order to progress from year to year. The key to effective studying isn’t cramming or studying longer, but studying smarter. You can begin studying smarter with these ten proven and effective study habits.
1. How you approach studying matters
Too many people look at studying as a necessary task, not an enjoyment or opportunity to learn. That’s fine, but researchers have found that how you approach something matters almost as much as what you do. Being in the right mindset is important in order to study smarter.
Sometimes you can’t “force” yourself to be in the right mindset, and it is during such times you should simply avoid studying. If you’re distracted by a relationship issue, an upcoming game, or finishing an important project, then studying is just going to be an exercise in frustration. Come back to it when you’re not focused (or obsessed!) by something else going on in your life.
Way to help improve your study mindset:
Aim to think positively when you study, and remind yourself of your skills and abilities.
Avoid catastrophic thinking. Instead of thinking, “I’m a mess, I’ll never have enough time to study for this exam,” look at it like, “I may be a little late to study as much as I’d like, but since I’m doing it now, I’ll get most of it done.”
Avoid absolute thinking. Instead of thinking “I always mess things up,” the more objective view is, “I didn’t do so well that time, what can I do to improve?”
Avoid comparing yourself with others, because you usually just end up feeling bad about yourself.
2. Where you study is important
A lot of people make the mistake of studying in a place that really isn’t conducive to concentrating. A place with a lot of distractions makes for a poor study area. If you try and study in your dorm room, for instance, you may find the computer, TV, or a roommate more interesting than the reading material you’re trying to digest.
The library, a nook in a student lounge or study hall, or a quiet coffee house are good places to check out. Make sure to choose the quiet areas in these places, not the loud, central gathering areas. Investigate multiple places on-campus and off-campus, don’t just pick the first one your find as “good enough” for your needs and habits. Finding an ideal study place is important, because it’s one you can reliably count on for the next few years.
3. Bring everything you need, nothing you don’t
Unfortunately, when you find an ideal place to study, sometimes people bring things they don’t need. For instance, while it may seem ideal to type notes into a computer to refer back to later, computers are a powerful distraction for many people because they can do so many different things. Playing games, going online, IM’ing, surfing the Web, and answering emails are all wonderful distractions that have nothing to do with studying. So ask yourself whether you really need a computer to take notes, or whether you can make do with the old-fashioned paper and pen or pencil.
Don’t forget the things you need to study for the class, exam or paper you’re focusing on for the study session. Nothing is more time-consuming and wasteful than having to run back and forth regularly because you forget an important book, paper, or some other resource you need to be successful. If you study best with your favorite music playing, make sure your iPod is with you.
Dr. John Grohol is the founder & CEO of Psych Central. He is an author, researcher and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues -- as well as the intersection of technology and human behavior -- since 1992. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking and is a founding board member and treasurer of the Society for Participatory Medicine.
So what is this minimalism thing? It’s quite simple: to be a minimalist you must live with less than 100 things, you can’t own a car or a home or a television, you can’t have a career, you must live in exotic hard-to-pronounce places all over the world, you must start a blog, you can’t have children, and you must be a young white male from a privileged background.
OK, we’re joking—obviously. But people who dismiss minimalism as some sort of fad usually mention any of the above “restrictions” as to why they could “never be a minimalist.” Minimalism isn’t about any of those things, but it can help you accomplish them. If you desire to live with fewer material possessions, or not own a car or a television, or travel all over the world, then minimalism can lend a hand. But that’s not the point.
Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.
That doesn’t mean there’s anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions. Today’s problem seems to be the meaning we assign to our stuff: we tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves. Want to own a car or a house? Great, have at it! Want to raise a family and have a career? If these things are important to you, then that’s wonderful. Minimalism simply allows you to make these decisions more consciously, more deliberately.
There are plenty of successful minimalists who lead appreciably different lives. Our friend Leo Babauta has a wife and six children. Joshua Becker has a career he enjoys, a family he loves, and a house and a car in suburbia. Conversely, Colin Wright owns 51 things and travels all over the world, and Tammy Strobel and her husband live in a “tiny house” and are completely car-free. Even though each of these people are different, they all share two things in common: they are minimalists, and minimalism has allowed them to pursue purpose-driven lives.
But how can these people be so different and yet still be minimalists? That brings us back to our original question: What is minimalism? If we had to sum it up in a single sentence, we would say, Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.
Minimalism has helped us…
Eliminate our discontent
Reclaim our time
Live in the moment
Pursue our passions
Discover our missions
Experience real freedom
Create more, consume less
Focus on our health
Grow as individuals
Contribute beyond ourselves
Rid ourselves of excess stuff
Discover purpose in our lives
By incorporating minimalism into our lives, we’ve finally been able to find lasting happiness—and that’s what we’re all looking for, isn’t it? We all want to be happy. Minimalists search for happiness not through things, but through life itself; thus, it’s up to you to determine what is necessary and what is superfluous in your life.
Through our essays we intend to present to you ideas of how to achieve a minimalist lifestyle without adhering to a strict code or an arbitrary set of rules. A word of warning, though: it isn’t easy to take the first steps, but your journey towards minimalism gets much easier—and more rewarding—the further you go. The first steps often take radical changes in your mindset, actions, and habits. Fret not, though—we want to help: we’ve documented our experiences so you can learn from our failures and successes, applying what we’ve learned to your own situation, assisting you in leading a more meaningful life.
This is just our take on minimalism. For more, read our minimalism elevator pitch, as well as some of our friends’ explanations of minimalism:
If it’s truly SHTF and an intruder continues past the alarm trips wires. If he makes it past your property based booby traps. Then you might want to have a few traps set up on all your home entrances.
The Simple But Effect Nail Spikes
These simple to make burglar traps can be used at just about every entrance location. These work best if they are hidden and can be set up on front porches or outside beneath lower level windows.
The Unsuspecting Upside Down Rake Easy Booby Trap
Everyone’s heard of this “gag” and it might seem a bit silly. Yet, if you’ve ever actually stepped on an upside-down rake then you know how much damage it can do.
Place a few of these easy booby traps in likely travel locations and you might just knock someone out cold.
Front (or back) door home booby traps are set up to cause harm to one trying to enter without permission. These traps can be designed to have something fall on their heads or a triggering a device upon opening the door.
Electrocution Window Sills and Door Knobs
Using some large batteries and some wire you can electrically charge anything metal.
If you set this booby trap up correctly, then anyone who grabs the door knob or metal window sill will get a nice shock.
Use a bucket (or old paint can) and add some nasty chemicals to it. Then locate this can above the door with a wire tied to the can. When the door opens, the can tips and the chemicals fall onto the intruder.
The Shot Gun Booby Trap
The trigger of a shotgun is rigged to the action of a door opening.
The shotgun must be mounted securely for this to work. This is an extremely illegal and deadly booby trap. It’s not something you should set up under normal circumstances.
Everyday technology and the internet are part of our lives. Whether you are driving down the road follwing a Nav application, purchasing a gift online or booking your next vacation. Your online presence and your mobile devices can leave you vulnerable. October is Cyber Awareness Month, the government of Canada has produced a list of the 10 Steps to Protect Your Online Identity . Here is a summary of their article.
Protect Your Identity
Good strong passwords are your best first line of defense. Remember to use a combination of upper and lower case, numbers and special characters.
Turn on Your Firewall
Unfortunately, hackers will always be around with way too much time on their hands to cause grief to the general public. A firewall will provide your Internet connection with a gatekeeper. It will help to stop malicious attacks and viruses from entering your devices.
Use Antivirus Software
Antivirus software provides a further level of protection. Remember anti-virus software needs to be updated often so the virus protection code remains current.
Block Spyware Attacts
Spyware software can sit on your computer collecting sensitive information without your knowledge. Use spyware software to block access also remember to keep it up-to-date.
Install the Latest Operating System Updates
Keep the operating system software (like Windows) at a current level. You want to implement Windows Updates on a monthly basis.
Back Up Your Files
It is a very good idea to have a current back up of the data on your device. Some external drives will automatically do this for you. You can also use the cloud to back up your desktop as well as mobile device data.
Protect Your Wireless Network
May sure all wireless networks you access have strong passwords.
Delete Emails From Unknown Sender’s
Beware of emails from strangers. Don’t open them or any attachments. It is important to even be cautious of emails from known senders.
Surf the Web Safely
Be very careful of sharing personal information. Make sure the page you are using is secure before you enter sensitive information. The URL of a secure website page will start with the characters https:// versus http:// .
Get Expert Help
If you suspect an online theft or scam, report it to your local law enforcement agency as soon as possible.
Manage Your Identity
Every time we log onto the web we access (and add to) our own personal digital footprint that’s interconnected with plug-ins, links, and massive caches of personal data that follows us around.
Learn About Your Digital Identity
While none of us can control everything that’s known about us online, there are steps we can take to better understand our online identities and be empowered to share what we want, when we want.
The Internet Society developed three interactive tutorials to help educate and inform anyone who would like to find out more.
Each lasts about 5 minutes and will give a great foundation when it comes to making informed choices about our unique online identities.
Watch The Tutorials
ONLINE IDENTITY - AN OVERVIEW
PROTECTING YOUR PRIVACY
PROTECTING YOUR IDENTITY
This tutorial will explain some of the key differences between your online and "real life" identity, recognize the nature of digital identities, and understand the difference between online identity and personal privacy. Watch the tutorial now.
This tutorial will explain the key concerns related to online identity and privacy, recognize what kind of user information is collected and why, identify the ways of controlling the privacy of your online identity. Watch the tutorial now.
This tutorial will explain the challenges in protecting online identities and help you recognize the ways you can protect your online identity. Watch the tutorial now.