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10 Free Online Courses To Make You More Successful

10 Free Online Courses To Make You More Successful

Success is not an act; it is a slow process that involves growth, change and failure. It involves all aspects of your life, from how you manage your credit card bills to how to discipline your children. Here is a selection of free courses that cover all aspects of your life that you need to control in order to be successful. This list has all you need to know to be successful on a whole new level.

1. Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time Management for Personal & Professional Productivity

https://www.coursera.org/learn/work-smarter-not-harder

4-8 hours of videos, readings, and quizzes

Lots of people say that time is your most valuable resource. With this course at UC Irvine, you can learn how to use your time to make yourself more successful. This course covers personal and professional productivity, which is useful because a poor personal routine can undermine your efforts to be successful. Learn how to use your time more productively to reach a new level of success.Stick with this course to learn more about being a more productive person. 

2. Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills

https://www.coursera.org/learn/negotiation-skills

8.5 hours of videos

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Learn how to negotiate with a course from the University of Michigan. It teaches you how to work a negotiation to ensure you get the better deal. You will benefit from the tips, tricks and advice that have been gathered from studies into human behavior. It can help make you successful through teaching you how to negotiate your way into a better wage, mortgage, and into a better job. They work on the four steps to successful negotiation.

3. Love Your Money

http://loveyourmoney.org/

Ongoing

In a joint venture with the University of Tennessee and FINRA, you can figure out how to achieve all the success you want by managing your money better. The course teaches you how to be successful with things such as building wealth, setting budgets, setting goals, debt, pensions and so much more. It runs through many of the money issues you are going to face throughout your life and teaches you how to handle them to ensure your future success. Take this course to improve the way you use your money throughout the rest of your lifetime. 

4. Effective Altruism

https://www.coursera.org/learn/altruism

10-15 hours of videos and assignments

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With Princeton University you can learn how give away your money more effectively. Sometimes you can do damage with the money you give away if you don’t check out the background of the organization you are giving to. In addition, many people squander there money on risky ventures with family and friends. This course teaches you how to avoid such traps and make practical and unsentimental decisions giving away money.Throughout a lifetime of giving, you deserve to know that the organizations you are giving to are ones that represent your values. 

5. Psychology of Popularity

https://www.coursera.org/course/popularity

6 weeks of study at 1-2 hours per week

The key to success is often the ability to influence people, and with the University of North Carolina, you can learn how popularity works. You can discover the psychology behind popularity and how to use it. They feature the works of Steve Siebold, a famous public speaker, and with the help of the course, you may find how to capitalize on the predictable nature of popularity. While this type of popularity is different than the type worshiped in high school, popularity can be quite effective in your professional and personal life in making connections that are genuine. 

6. Behavioral Economics in Action

https://www.edx.org/course/behavioural-economics-action-university-torontox-be101x

6 weeks with 4 – 5 hours per week

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This is a course from the University of Toronto. The class gives practical ways to change how you behave in every aspect of life. For example, people in our time have been taught by the TV and media to spend money as soon as they get it. This is a behavior that you can change. The course gives you practical advice that you can use to change how you are programmed with regards to money and temptation. Master your mind, and you are one-step closer to success.

7. Personal & Family Financial Planning

https://www.coursera.org/course/uffinancialplanning

8 weeks of study for 5-7 hours per week

Success means being able to balance and manage your home life as well as your career. With the University of Florida, you can learn how to balance your home and work life and you can learn how to plan for a career. You no longer need to choose between having a family and having a career, with the help of this course you can have both. You can learn how to manage risk, work on your taxes and invest so that you have the money to fund your new family.

8. The Language and Tools of Financial Analysis

https://www.coursera.org/course/financialanalysis

4 weeks at 6 hours per week

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With the University of Melbourne, you can learn how investors, analysts and CEOs make their decisions. It teaches you computer skills along with financial decision-making skills. Learn basic accounting principles and combine it all to figure out how to manage and use your money more effectively. You can measure the value of your investments and figure out where to put your money where it will work its hardest for you. It is a core lesson in the productivity of the money you invest. If you start today, your investments will pay off in the long-run. 

9. Financial Markets

https://www.coursera.org/course/financialmarkets

8 weeks of study at 6-12 hours per week

With this course at Yale University, you can learn how the world markets work via guest speakers such as Hank Greenberg and Carl Icahn. You can learn the theory behind banking and the financial markets. They tie into everything from the rate you pay for your mortgage, to how much stock you should buy for the coming month. With this knowledge, you can make more informed decisions at home and in business. They even help you guess how the financial markets are going to change in the future.

10. Financial Evaluation and Strategy: Investments

https://www.coursera.org/course/investments

4 weeks of study at 4-6 hours per week

This is a very useful course you can take with the University of Illinois. It teaches key principles such as risk and return, optimization, and security pricing. It works well when trying to figure out your future investments, but it ties into hundreds of different aspects of your life, from how you make decisions about staff members to how you discipline your children. Learn how to look to the future and how you should invest in your own success and what risks you should take.

Featured photo credit: Gabriela Pinto / Project 365 via flickr.com

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How to Fight Information Overload

How to Fight Information Overload

Information overload is a creature that has been growing on the Internet’s back since its beginnings. The bigger the Internet gets, the more information there is. The more quality information we see, the more we want to consume it. The more we want to consume it, the more overloaded we feel.

This has to stop somewhere. And it can.

As the year comes to a close, there’s no time like the present to make the overloading stop.

What you need to do is focus on these 4 steps:

  1. Set your goals.
  2. Decide whether you really need the information.
  3. Consume only the minimal effective dose.
  4. Don’t procrastinate by consuming too much information.

But before I explain exactly what I mean, let’s discuss information overload in general.

The Nature of the Problem

The sole fact that there’s more and more information published online every single day is not the actual problem. Only the quality information becomes the problem. This sounds kind of strange…but bear with me.

When we see some half-baked blog post we don’t even consider reading it, we just skip to the next thing. But when we see something truly interesting — maybe even epic — we want to consume it. We even feel like we have to consume it. And that’s the real problem.

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No matter what topic we’re interested in, there are always hundreds of quality blogs publishing entries every single day (or every other day). Not to mention all the forums, message boards, social news sites, and so on. The amount of epic content on the Internet these days is so big that it’s virtually impossible for us to digest it all. But we try anyway.

That’s when we feel overloaded. If you’re not careful, one day you’ll find yourself reading the 15th blog post in a row on some nice WordPress tweaking techniques because you feel that for some reason, “you need to know this.”

Information overload is a plague. There’s no vaccine, there’s no cure. The only thing you have is self-control. Luckily, you’re not on your own. There are some tips you can follow to protect yourself from information overload and, ultimately, fight it. But first…

Why information overload is bad

It stops you from taking action. That’s the biggest problem here. When you try to consume more and more information every day, you start to notice that even though you’ve been reading tons of articles, watching tons of videos and listening to tons of podcasts, the stream of incoming information seems to be infinite.

Therefore, you convince yourself that you need to be on a constant lookout for new information if you want to be able to accomplish anything in your life, work and/or passion. The final result is that you are consuming way too much information, and taking way too little action because you don’t have enough time for it.

The belief that you need to be on this constant lookout for information is just not true.

You don’t need every piece of advice possible to live your life, do your work, or enjoy your passion.

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So how to recognize the portion of information that you really need? Start with your goals.

1. Set your goals

If you don’t have your goals put in place you’ll be just running around grabbing every possible advice and thinking that it’s “just what you’ve been looking for.”

Setting goals is a much more profound task than just a way to get rid of information overload. Now by “goals” I don’t mean things like “get rich, have kids, and live a good life”. I mean something much more within your immediate grasp. Something that can be achieved in the near future — like within a month (or a year) at most.

Basically, something that you want to attract to your life, and you already have some plan on how you’re going to make it happen. So no hopes and dreams, just actionable, precise goals.

Then once you have your goals, they become a set of strategies and tactics you need to act upon.

2. What to do when facing new information

Once you have your goals, plans, strategies and tasks you can use them to decide what information is really crucial.

First of all, if the information you’re about to read has nothing to do with your current goals and plans then skip it. You don’t need it.

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If it does then it’s time for another question. Will you be able to put this information into action immediately? Does it have the potential to maybe alter your nearest actions/tasks? Or is it so incredible that you absolutely need to take action on it right away? If the information is not actionable in a day or two (!) then skip it. (You’ll forget about it anyway.)

And that’s basically it. Digest only what can be used immediately. If you have a task that you need to do, consume only the information necessary for getting this one task done, nothing more.

You need to be focused in order to have clear judgment, and be able to decide whether some piece of information is mandatory or redundant. Self-control comes handy too … it’s quite easy to convince yourself that you really need something just because of poor self-control. Try to fight this temptation, and be as ruthless about it as possible – if the information is not matching your goals and plans, and you can’t take action on it in the near future then SKIP IT.

3. Minimal Effective Dose

There’s a thing called the MED – Minimal Effective Dose. I was first introduced to this idea by Tim Ferriss. In his book The 4-Hour Body,Tim illustrates the minimal effective dose by talking about medical drugs. Everybody knows that every pill has a MED, and after that specific dose no other positive effects occur, only some negative side effects if you overdose big.

Consuming information is somewhat similar. You need just a precise amount of it to help you to achieve your goals and put your plans into life. Everything more than that amount won’t improve your results any further. And if you try to consume too much of it, it will eventually stop you from taking any action altogether.

4. Don’t procrastinate by consuming more information

Probably one of the most common causes of consuming ridiculous amounts of information is the need to procrastinate. By reading yet another article we often feel that we are indeed working, and that we’re doing something good – we’re learning, which in result will make us a more complete and educated person.

This is just self-deception. The truth is we’re simply procrastinating. We don’t feel like doing what really needs to be done – the important stuff – so instead we find something else, and convince ourselves that “that thing” is equally important. Which is just not true.

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Don’t consume information just for the sake of it. It gets you nowhere.

In Closing

As you can see, information overload can be a real problem and it can have a sever impact on your productivity and overall performance. I know I have had my share of problems with it (and probably still have from time to time). But creating this simple set of rules helps me to fight it, and to keep my lizard brain from taking over. I hope it helps you too, especially as we head into a new year with a new chance at setting ourselves up for success.

Feel free to shoot me a comment below and share your own story of fighting information overload. What are you doing to keep it from sabotaging your life?

(Photo credit: Businessman with a Lot of Discarded Paper via Shutterstock)

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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