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The 3 Things Elon Musk Knows About School That All Students Should Copy

The 3 Things Elon Musk Knows About School That All Students Should Copy

Elon Musk (the real-life Tony Stark) has become a technological icon of our era, and he represents the pinnacle of both big thinking and the successful execution of game-changing ideas. So we shouldn’t be at all surprised that recently, he decided to disrupt traditional education, in his own backyard.

Now, we can’t all go out and design our own school, and hire our own personalized teachers, but here are 3 things we can all emulate, as students, when it comes to educating ourselves:

1. School should focus on problems, not subjects

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    “It’s important to teach problem solving, or teach to the problem and not the tools.” ~Elon Musk

    As Socrates discovered long ago, true discovery happens when we present ourselves with intelligent questions, rather than adhere to pre-determined answers- and this couldn’t be more true for students.

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    As Elon recognized, teaching students by giving them answers to problems that they haven’t yet had a chance to explore (or even understand) destroys creativity, narrows the mind, and leads to boredom.

    This is why he’s designed a “problem focus” into his Ad Astra school’s principles. I call this the Goldilocks Principle:

    Give yourself a question or set of answers that are too easy and you’ll get bored.

    Give yourself a problem that’s too complex or difficult, and you’ll get overwhelmed.

    But give yourself a tough problem- one that you can see yourself ultimately solving- and you’ll unlock endless motivation to find the answer.

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    2. Schools should be student-paced

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      “Some people love English or languages. Some people love math. Some people love music. Different abilities, different times… It makes more sense to cater the education to match their aptitudes and abilities.” ~ Elon Musk

      The complexities of the human mind make it such that students don’t fit into a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits all mold when it comes to learning. This is why you can have one student in class who is disengaged because they’re light years ahead, and one student in class who’s disengaged because they have no idea what’s going on.

      But that DOESN’T mean that their potential for learning is any different – and in order to make the most of that potential, a student’s education should ideally be individualized and paced in a way that takes advantage of their current interests and ability level.

      Without a huge bankroll, though, this can seem difficult to execute within the context of traditional grade school and college education…

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      But with the advent of YouTube, MOOCs, and other flexible learning arrangements, try to think of some ways you could customize your learning experience to fit your interests.

      Super interested in Quantum Physics? Take a dive down that rabbit hole.

      Not so thrilled with 19th century British history? Nothing wrong with just doing the bare minimum and moving on…

      3 . Schools should be so interesting that students WANT to come every day

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        “The kids really love going to school.” ~ Elon Musk

        Instead of watching the drudging droves of unsatisfied children walking into school each morning, imagine a world where kids ASK their parents to take them to school, and sprint into class, brimming with energy for the day’s activities…

        Well this is what Elon hopes to maintain at his school, and it’s a model we should try to emulate. Just think of how much FASTER you learn playing your favorite game or sport, than listening to a boring lecture in a class you don’t care about.

        And it turns out, from a psychological perspective, the first two component’s of the Ad Astra model, contribute to this level of educational enjoyment. The more you can (1) focus on interesting problems to solve, and (2) cater the process to your interests, the more exiting you’ll find learning, and the more productive you’ll be.

        Featured photo credit: Heisenberg Media via flickr.com

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        How to Be Productive: 11 Ways to Be Productive and Happy at Once

        How to Be Productive: 11 Ways to Be Productive and Happy at Once

        A lack of productivity leads to a lack of happiness.

        When you can’t see yourself making progress or getting things done, you get anxious and become stressful.

        There are also tons of things that contribute to unhappiness here too: Facebook notifications, emails, texts, and chatty co-workers are just a small fraction of the disruptions we’re bombarded with. These “little things” can stack up fast and lead to hampering your happiness and productivity levels.

        Learn how to be productive with the 11 tips below and reclaim your everyday productivity and your happiness, once and for all.

        1. Be happy now

        Life is too short. No matter what you’re doing or where you are, be happy now. Start by finding something to be grateful for; everyone has at least one thing to be grateful for.

        Most of the world still has trouble getting access to clean drinking water… yhat means you can even be grateful for that bottle of Aquafina you’ve got on your desk right now.

        2. Finish your day before it starts

        Proper planning is the secret to peak productivity, and it’s also a good idea to set daily goals. Get yourself a planning tool and prioritize your daily tasks with it.

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        Here’s a smart technique on planning and prioritization: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

        3. Celebrate the small wins

        Every time you check off a task from your to-do list, you release a “happy chemical” in your brain called dopamine. This gives you the motivation to move forward and do even more.

        For example, after I finish writing this article and I’ve crossed it off my list of things to do today, I’ll get a nice burst of “happy chemicals” releasing in my brain. The best part? Zero side effects!

        Learn from here: How To Celebrate Small Wins To Achieve Big Goals

        4. Leverage like there’s no tomorrow

        Look for ways to use the good old 80/20 rule by identifying tasks that you might be able to outsource or leverage out to a virtual assistant.

        Stop wasting time doing things that don’t challenge you or ignite your passion. Hire out or automate anything and everything within your means.

        Check out this guide to find out how to start to delegate: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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        5. Recharge your batteries

        Figure out how many hours of sleep your body needs and make sure you get it. Take time to stretch, walk, or relax—you’ll be glad you did.

        Here’re some simple ways to relax completely and get rid of stress.

        6. Become an early riser

        This is one of the most underused productivity “hacks” on the planet. Ever since I decided to start waking up at 5am every day, my productivity levels and happiness have gone up dramatically.

        Most people aren’t up that early, so no one can bother you or disrupt you from what you want to do. Use this time to exercise, meditate, or to get a head start on your day.

        Not sure how to wake up earlier? Here are 11 Ways To Become an Early Riser Like Most Successful People Do.

        7. Do work you’re passionate about

        Make it your goal to blur the line between work and play by doing more things you’re passionate about. This promotes happiness both inside and outside of the workplace.

        Find what you’re passionate about and do it, or learn how to enjoy what you do with these tips: How to Enjoy What You Are Doing No Matter What

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        8. Use time blocks

        For example, when I wrote this article, I gave myself a one hour time block. This prevents unnecessary dilly-dallying like updating your Facebook status and checking email.

        Use an app like Alarmed to keep you on track.  Here’s a snapshot of the app from my iPhone.

          9. Avoid interruptions

          Interruptions are among the biggest barriers to both productivity and happiness. Every time you’re interrupted in the middle of a task your level of productivity takes a hit.

          We’ve all been there: you’re fully immersed in an important project until all of a sudden the workplace chatterbox appears out of nowhere and starts talking about stuff that doesn’t matter. By the time she’s gone, you’ve already forgotten where you were and it takes 30 minutes to get back on track.

          Avoid this by letting people know that you’ve got important work that’s got to be done.

          Learn more about how to stay focus in this guide: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

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          10. Shut down the digital disruptions

          iPhones, mailbox notifications, twitter, facebook, and everything that pops, slides, or fades in and out of your screen has got to go. Shut them down and focus.

          It’s as easy as turning off the notifications or scheduling only a specific time to check all these notifications and texts.

          11. Measure your success

          Every now and then, it’s a good idea to measure your results and see how things are coming along.

          How’s your progress? Are you pacing in the right direction? Are things getting better? Worse? It’s always a good idea to track your progress regularly.

          With an app like Rescue Time, you can easily keep track of the time you spend throughout the day. It helps you to find out how much time you’re really on-task and so you can review your progress.

            With these 11 effective ways to improve productivity, you will get more things done timely and become happier.

            Start small and take up each suggestion one by one, you can boost your productivity and create your happiness too.

            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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