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8 Free Online Courses For People Who Are Never Tired Of Learning

8 Free Online Courses For People Who Are Never Tired Of Learning

Learning new skills and knowledge is a great way to advance your career, increase your income and make sense of the world. Today, you have access to a large number of online courses to help you learn skills in many areas including preparing for exams, the basics of science and many business topics. In this article, you will learn about a variety of free online courses and how you can benefit from them.

As you learn through an online course, keep in mind that free online courses require focus. There was no professor, teacher or anybody else expecting you to pay attention or complete homework. That said, you can achieve a great through self-study. Scott H. Young completed the four year MIT computer science program in one year by working through MIT’s free online program.

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1. Develop Your Math Skills With Khan Academy

We all know that math skills and reasoning are valuable and well worth developing. Yet, you may feel embarrassed to ask for help or sign up with a tutor. That’s why the Khan Academy courses are so helpful. You can watch the videos multiple times. Even better, there is an online platform where you can practice your math skills with quizzes and get feedback. The best part of Khan Academy courses: each video lesson is short (5-10 minutes) so it is a great approach if you have limited time.

2. Mastering Data Analysis in Excel (Duke University)

In the corporate world, Microsoft Excel is one of the most popular and powerful business productivity applications. In fact, Excel is so popular that there are dozens of books and courses available on how to make the most of the application. This online Duke University course shows how to generate insights with Excel.

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3. Project Management Basics

As the author of Project Management Hacks, I believe in the value of project management. It is a great process to turn your ideas into products, services and other ways to make the world a better place. This online course will give you an introduction to project management concepts such as planning, scheduling and leadership.

Tip: To take your project management skills to a professional level, earn the Project Management Professional certification.

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4. Sales Power – 4 Questions That Will Close Your Next Sale

Sales is one of the most powerful and important business skills you can ever develop. Your ability to present, persuade and serve people is a big part of sales. Yet, you may not be comfortable with sales concepts, especially if you are an introvert. In this free course, you will learn a few questions that help you start the sales process and start to increase your income.

5. Achieve More in Less Time Using SMART Goals

Raw knowledge and skills become truly powerful when you apply those ideas toward important goals. For example, your project management skills may support your goal to be earn more money and get promoted. In this course, you will learn the basic principles of creating effective goals from Dr. Richard Feenstra.

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6. Learning How to Learn

Did you know that some study strategies are more effective than others? Finding study methods that suit your goals matter, especially when you are working through free online courses. This University of California – San Diego course is taught by Dr. Barbara Oakley and
Dr. Terrence Sejnowski. For example, this course will teach you manage your memory and break down course material with chunking.

7. Learn to Program: The Fundamentals

Software is a great way to make yourself more valuable in the marketplace. This introduction course from the University of Toronto is a great choice for students who have never programmed computers or software before. Over the course of this ten week course, you will learn concepts and techniques using the Python programming language.

8. Introduction to Programming in Java (MIT)

Java is one of the world’s most popular and flexible programming languages. In this free online course from MIT, you will learn how to develop programs using Java. The course includes lecture notes on topics such as loops, arrays and debugging. If you find this course structure helpful and valuable, MIT has a wealth of science, engineering and technology courses online at the MIT OpenCourseWare website.

Featured photo credit: Woman Reading/Unsplash via pixabay.com

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Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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