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Practical Ways To Make You Smarter Every Day

Practical Ways To Make You Smarter Every Day

If there is one thing that can make you feel great about yourself, it is without a doubt the sensation you get when you know you are the smartest person in the room. Of course, there is no guarantee that you are actually smarter than everybody else, but when only you can answer a tough question, or solve a puzzle, it make you feel like a star. However, being smart is so much more than puzzle-solving, and having facts galore at your disposal. After all, there are different types of intelligence, and they all tap into the potential of our brain.

Basically, any new skill you acquire, or simply honing an existing skill, learning a new piece of information and even discovering something new about yourself, are all factors that make you smarter in some way. The problem is, you don’t always get a chance to shine, so in the majority of cases we have no idea just how smart someone is.

We can either assume someone is either smart or not-so-smart based on a series of experiences we’ve had with that person. In other words, do not try to be smarter in order to boast, it can easily backfire. You should seek knowledge for knowledge’s sake, and these following approaches will make that possible.

1. Find a hobby that’s right for you

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    Hobbies are a great form of escapism, and they can improve you and fulfill you at the same time. Therefore, you should devote your time to something that you find both interesting and challenging. There are many hobbies that encourage you to use a lot of brainpower, like playing chess, video games, solving crossword puzzles etc. These can provide amazing brain gymnastics, and even reward you with a sense of achievement. As far as gaining information and insight is concerned, there will be little progress in this department, but these are not the sole determiners of one’s wits.

    2. Practice holistic learning

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      If you want to be a walking encyclopedia, you’ll have to master the art of holistic learning and use it whenever possible. This can come in handy if you are in college and trying to prepare for mid-terms and finals. Basically, holistic learning means you connect any new piece of information with something you already know.

      This means you need to think hard while learning, but, as a result, you get a solid database, which can turn out to be quite useful in the long run. The more you implement holistic learning, the more information you will gain with less and less studying. Your brain starts to turn into Wikipedia, and any topic slowly acquires more and more relevant links to it.

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      There are many techniques that can help you master the art of holistic learning, and an author named Scott H Young did a pretty elaborate piece on the topic.

      3. Let learning be your motivation

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        This is closely connected to the previous statement, however, the difference is that holistic learning is about being efficient at learning, and this is about learning to discipline yourself to crave new information. One thing that hinders our motivation to learn is the grading system. Sure, it was intended to motivate us, but we do not master every subject with ease. As mentioned, there are several types of intelligence, and none of us can excel in each field. Some are better at sports, others at music or math etc. However, a negative grade can be demotivating, and it makes us give up on something we could easily have found interesting.

        This is why I said you should gain knowledge for knowledge’s sake – if you flunked some subjects during your education, give them another shot, as every field of science has a lot to offer. You can check out the YouTube channel CrashCourse, or watch the first season of Cosmos – A Space Time Odyssey or Through the Wormhole. These are all amazing shows, and you will feel a lot better when you start to grasp some concepts that previously seemed too complex.

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        4. Admit when you do not know something

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          Maybe it’s just personal experience, but I feel that, due to peer pressure, we tend to behave like we know something, even though our insight in the matter is rather poor. And it makes no sense – why would someone judge you for not knowing how to do something, or not knowing a certain fact? However, we do feel like we are looked down upon, so we try to act “cool”. As a result, we only risk making a bigger fool of ourselves than we would by simply saying “Sorry, I don’t think I know what you are talking about.”

          If you don’t know something, but want to learn about it, why pretend in the first place? And if you are not interested in the topic, why pretend that you are?

          5. Don’t make reckless decisions

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            Now, you should not be the ultimate prude, and compulsively create scenarios before you make a minor decision. That kind of thinking will eat away at you, and cause a lot of stress. However, there are decisions that we can make on a whim, or in the heat of the moment. There are also things that drastically change the status quo in your life, and even though they are a necessity, you should think long and hard before rushing into these decisions.

            For example people are prone to get into debt in order to create the wedding of their dreams. If the happiest day of your life causes so many issues down the road, then it will only turn into a bad memory. You can always have a decent wedding now, and if you have enough resources some day, you can throw a party to adequately celebrate your marriage. Moreover, decisions to change your job, or entire career can be classified as reckless, so take as much time as you need to dwell on those thoughts before deciding to make the next step.

            6. Make lists

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              If you want to grow into a smarter individual, you need to have your own definition of smart. What kind of skills would you need, what kind of goals do you need to achieve, and what do you need to experience in order to stand out from the crowd. In other words, make lists. The list should contain everything you need to create the perfect version of yourself. It’s not a project that should be completed, rather it’s something you need to continually improve upon.

              7. Read books

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                Finally, the best way to become smarter is to read books on an everyday basis. Even reading an instruction manual makes you smarter, let alone a quality masterpiece. You can do some research on a website called Goodreads, and find a book that is perfectly suited to your needs and sensibilities. It is perfect for both intellectual and spiritual growth, and if you have attention span problems then you can always get an audio version, and follow the text as the voice actor reads the piece. That’s what I do, at least. Books are definitely the whole package when it comes to becoming smarter – you have a good story, you learn something new and, very often, adopt a better perspective on things.

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                Djordje Todorovic

                Blogger, Gamer Extraordinaire

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                Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                Imagine if you could use 5 simple shortcuts while working in Excel, and increase your productivity without wasting time for searching information in huge tables, writing long formulas, and sorting the data.

                Or even better:

                What if you would get 25 useful shortcuts… and each of them could simplify your work, so you could do much more every day?

                You’d definitely feel excited to read about them.

                Today is your lucky day because we are going to share with you in this article 25 great Excel shortcuts you can use in your work every day! This is your lucky chance, so go ahead and become a real professional in Excel without wasting your time.

                How important are Excel shortcuts for you?

                The most effective thing to check out if people really need something is to release a survey and look at the results. So, according to the anonymous survey, 99% of people said Excel shortcuts are critical or important for them.

                In general, there are more than 200 shortcuts in Excel. But when we have analyzed the data about how many shortcuts people know, we got the next results:

                • 26% of people know 10 or fewer shortcuts;
                • 61% of people know 10-50 shortcuts;
                • 10% of people know 50-100 shortcuts.

                As you can see, not so many people know a lot of shortcuts. Probably, some of them never think about increasing their productivity in such a simple way.

                Of course, it depends on how deep you use Excel. Some people use this powerful application just for making simple tables or graphs, others use it for everyday work to count something.

                Most of the accountants and businessmen use much more Excel functions for more complex tasks such as creating VBA macros, managing PivotTables, recalculating huge workbooks, outlining data, etc.

                But even those people who work with Excel every day very close may know a few shortcuts. Needless to say, they can do their job without shortcuts, but it usually takes for them much more time. T

                his sounds not funny, especially if you must finish a huge amount of work urgently. There is a great opportunity for you to increase your productivity in Excel and do your job faster with our useful shortcuts.

                5 Main reasons to learn excel shortcuts

                Many people don’t understand why they should use shortcuts if they can work without them. Of course, if you use Excel twice per year to make a simple table or a graph, it is probably not so important for you to know many shortcuts.

                But if you work in Excel every day, sorting huge tables and managing with tons of data, then shortcuts will help you to reach the next five goals:

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                1. Work efficiently and faster in Excel
                2. Manage big amounts of data easily and fast
                3. Stay calm and concentrated even while doing a tedious job
                4. Make your work accurately and properly without errors
                5. Get a better understanding of Microsoft Excel

                Who can use Excel shortcuts?

                There are a lot of people who can simplify their life with Excel shortcuts, and here are the groups that will definitely love using them:

                • People who work in banks, finance organizations, etc.
                • Businessmen who make tons of various reports and presentations in Excel for meetings and briefings.
                • Students who usually are lazy and impatient to make their homework because they don’t want to waste a lot of time working in Excel.
                • Private entrepreneurs who keep various data in Excel tables.

                Whether you are a student who hates Excel because it seems a time-wasting and boring application, or you are an accountant who must recalculate huge worksheets every day without making errors, we recommend reading and learning these Excel shortcuts to make your work simpler and save some time.

                With these simple but useful tricks, it is so easy to finish your job and get more time for yourself.

                25 Excel shortcuts to increase your productivity

                Here are 25 great Excel shortcuts you should learn and use for work or studying to make your job faster and simpler. Try to use them all and you will realize you were totally blind before while working in Excel:

                1. Format whatever object fast with Ctrl+1

                If you select any object in Excel – a cell, a chart, a chart axis, a drawing object – then press Ctrl+1, and you will get the Properties dialog for the certain object. This shortcut offers a very quick and easy way to format whatever object you’re working with.

                2. Use range names with Ctrol+G or F5 key

                If you use range names (which we strongly recommend to do) and you want to choose the range with a specific name references, press either Ctrl+G or the F5 key, which launches the GoTo dialog.

                If the name is simple, you can click on it in a list in that dialog. But if it’s at all unusual, Excel won’t list it; so you will need to type in the name. Then press OK.

                3. Use a range name in a formula with =sum( and F3

                Suppose you want to use a range name in a formula. For example, you want to sum the Sales range. Enter…

                =sum(

                …and then press F3.

                When you do so, Excel launches the Paste Name dialog. Just choose “Sales” from the list, press the OK button in the dialog, then enter the SUM function’s closing “)” to complete the formula.

                4. Launch Function Arguments dialog easily with Ctrl+A

                Suppose you want to check the help topic for a worksheet function. For example, you want to read about the MATCH function. In a cell, type…

                =match(

                …and then press Ctrl+A, or click the Insert Function (“fx“) button to the left of the formula bar.

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                When you do so, Excel displays the Function Arguments dialog, which might offer all the help you need.

                But if you still want to see the complete help topic, click the blue “Help on this function” hyperlink in the lower-left corner of the dialog. This technique works with all documented Excel functions.

                5. Copy stuff down the column without scrolling with Ctrl+D

                If you added a formula in a new column on the right of a huge dataset, and you want to copy that formula down without scrolling, do these steps:

                • go to the right to the column that has data (the column to the left of the new column with the formula);
                • press Ctrl+Down – to get to bottom;
                • move one cell to the right (with arrow key naturally);
                • press Ctrl+Shift+Up to select the new column, at the top of which is the formula you just created;
                • press Ctrl+D to fill down the formula.

                6. Quick access to any function with Alt+

                By customizing the quick access toolbar, you can create simple shortcuts to commands that you would otherwise have to find in the Ribbon tabs, or macros you have created yourself.

                The keyboard shortcut is simply selecting Alt+ (the number of the command you wish to select).

                For example, if you have customized your quick access toolbar to have Calc Sheet, Save, Open. To calculate sheet you would hit Alt+1, for save Alt+2, and for open Alt+3.

                A lot of people are unaware of this useful function, and it’s a great time saver.

                7. Format cells with Ctrl+1

                When you need to format cells, use Ctrl+1. Most people know this as the shortcut for the Format Cells dialog, but you can also use it to format almost anything in Excel, without a care about the state of the ribbon. Try this amazing and simple shortcut!

                8. Choose visible cells with Alt+

                When you need to choose visible cells only – use Alt+. This is the trick to copy only what you see. It is a priceless shortcut when you’re manually hiding rows and columns in the table.

                9. Use filtering

                Filtering – it is a powerful way to slice, dice, and sort through a huge table of information.

                It’s amazingly effective when you’re participating in a meeting to discuss something like a sales forecast, and everyone is looking in real-time at your spreadsheet projected on a screen (or on their monitors).

                To some people, you will be seen as the God of Spreadsheets, and this is not a joke!

                10. Insert or delete column/row easily with the Ctrl key

                Some people waste a lot of time even for simple operations, for example, when they need to insert/delete columns and rows in Excel.

                Use this shortcut to insert: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl+Shift ++.

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                To delete: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl + –.

                11. See formula results with F9

                If you want to check formula results within multiple formulas, highlight the formula and select F9 to see formula result.

                Don’t forget to undo before exiting the formula.

                12. Use ALT+Enter for more text within a cell

                If you want to add a second line of text within a cell, use ALT+Enter.

                13. Use EDATE to move a date on by a full calendar month:

                Here’s how to use EDATE:

                =EDATE(15/01/16,+1) = 15/02/2016 (15th Feb 2016)

                =EDATE (15/01/2016,-2) = 15/11/2015 (15th Nov 2016)

                14. Use EOMONTH to move a date onto the end of the month:

                Here’s how to use EMONTH:

                =EOMONTH(15/01/2016,0) = 31/01/2016 (31st Jan 2106)

                =EOMONTH (15/01/2016,-2) = 30/11/2015 (30th Nov 2015)

                15. Remove spaces with TRIM

                TRIM is a useful function known by few people. It removes any spaces at the beginning of a value. This is useful if you are pulling in values from somewhere else.

                16. Repeat commands with F4 or Ctrl+Y

                In many cases, you may need to repeat your last action. Use F4 or Ctrl+Y; you can repeat many commands like applying the same borders, format, or insert a worksheet again.

                17. Quick access to cells with the Ctrl key and Shift key

                When you need to go to the first or last cell of a worksheet, no matter where you are, use Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End combinations.

                And here is a pleasant bonus for you: add the Shift key to select everything on the way!

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                18. Use Ctrl+ to create a timestamp

                If you need a date stamp and/or a timestamp in your document, there is no need to type a date and time! Use shortcuts Ctrl+ ; (date) Ctrl+Shift+ : (time). It works like a magic and helps to save your time and nerves.

                19. Use autosum shortcut for sum function anywhere

                Autosum shortcut – use Alt =. It is a “magic” shortcut of Excel to automatically insert a sum function.

                You can use this shortcut to sum rows, columns, or even an entire table in one step without wasting your time.

                20. Use data validation

                This is an amazing but underutilized tool in Excel, which can be used for a variety of things:

                • Create dependent drop-down lists;
                • Create drop-down lists;
                • Protect/restrict data input of specific cells (without the need for VBA macros).

                21. Use conditional formatting

                It can be used for various purposes such as color format or cell format of cells, rows or columns based on dependent cell values or formats.

                22. Use formula auditing

                This is a great tool to analyze and trace precedent or dependent cells, check errors and evaluate formulas.

                The “Watch Window” is a feature to keep a snapshot of an area of the spreadsheet, and then move to another area of the workbook – particularly valuable if you’re managing large spreadsheets or don’t have a second screen.

                23. Use Scenario Manager to generate summary outputs of a spreadsheet

                Scenario Manager (under “What-if Analysis”) enables users to generate high-level, summary outputs of a spreadsheet – without the need to replicate the entire workbook.

                It will present multiple scenarios of a spreadsheet in a succinct, high-level summary worksheet.

                24. Use INDIRECT to set up large tables

                INDIRECT makes it easy to set up tables which reference larger tables without a lot of referencing work or cutting and pasting; especially for dynamic spreadsheets.

                25. Use OFFSET for complicated calculations or formulas

                OFFSET can be useful for things like calculating YTD numbers or creating formulas that take data in rows and using in columns.

                The bottom line

                As you can see, when you have a boring or tedious job to do, the best way to do it fast is not looking for a way how to avoid it, but searching for the shortest variant to do it!

                That is why we suggest keeping in mind these Excel shortcuts that will help you to save a lot of time and nerves.

                If it seems hard for you to remember all them, you can print out the list of shortcuts and keep it on your worktable. Use it to search for some help when you need it, and over time, you’ll remember all shortcuts easily.

                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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