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These 5 Skills Are Actually Better Off Being Learned Online

These 5 Skills Are Actually Better Off Being Learned Online

Today, we use the Internet for pretty much everything: research, communicating, writing – so why should learning be any different? If you’re afraid that online education is inferior to face-to-face education, don’t be. In 2011, Babson found that online education is considered as good or better by more than 85% of US students.

The following 5 skills will add immeasurable value to your repertoire, all accessible from the comfort of your home.

1. Coding

In the lost interview with Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder was quoted saying “I think everyone in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you to think.”

Coding is a lot like applied science and math because it teaches you a repetitious method to solving problems and testing out new ideas. Coding isn’t especially easy to learn but that’s what makes it such an invaluable skill.

There are plenty of ways to learn coding online, one of the more popular options is here. There are several different courses offered such as JavaScript, Web Fundamentals, PHP, Ruby,  jQuery, Python, and APIs. Within every lesson is an explanation of the fundamental code and instructions.

Another panel provides an opportunity for you to try your hand at coding while also confirming that you’re doing it correctly. With hints and warnings of potential errors, it feels as though you are being guided through the learning experience with a personal tutor.

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2. Piano

I know what you’re thinking: how can learning piano online be any better than sitting down and learning in front of an actual piano? Well, there are several benefits. First, it’s much cheaper. Typically, a 1-hour class ranges from $50 to $250 depending on the teacher, this can range between $2,400 to $12,000 per year! In contrast, compare this to an App or platform such as this one, which is only $59.95 per year.

In addition, online piano classes help teach students to play their favorite songs, learn to play by ear, improvise, and even create their own music – doesn’t that sound better than a piano teacher breathing down your neck telling you that you missed a beat? In fact, the piano online education market has doubled since 2006, according to Google Trends’ search query volume statistics.

3. Language

There are thousands of reasons why we should learn foreign languages. In addition to impressing that cute girl at the bar, learning a new language will boost your confidence, increase your brain power, improve your decision making skills, and open your mind to empathizing with and discovering new cultures. It also makes traveling easier and more enjoyable – imagine being able to ask a Parisian which way the Arc de Triomf is in a perfect French accent.

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If you learn it online instead of sitting in a classroom at nights, you’ll be able to pick up the language much quicker. There are several reasons for this. First, unfortunately, classes typically move at the speed of the slowest learner. There are more levels than just beginner, intermediate, and advanced, but most classes don’t cater to those in between the main three.

Second, language fluency and conversation cannot be taught in a classroom, or anywhere besides a one-on-one environment where you are forced to adapt to a normal conversational speed. In the meantime, download an app or watch some YouTube videos. It will enable you to learn on your own time, which will go quicker than you think.

4. Excel

Microsoft Excel is something everyone should learn. It’s not only for brilliant financial analysts – it’s also good for budgeting personal finance, organizing client lists, planning social gatherings, assessing students, and pretty much anything that requires numbers. In truth, any person, from a stay-at-home parent to a small business owner, can benefit from learning Excel. It’d help you save massive amounts of time automating complex formulas and organizing information.

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In seconds, you can calculate a quick budget, see which students are performing better than others, contemplate how many more miles you need to run this week to reach your dream weight, etc. It’s much more intuitive than most people give it credit for – a quick online course can teach you the basics and help you learn from there. I’m sure, you’ll be making spreadsheets in no time.

5. Photography

Photographs serve an important purpose in our lives. By taking photos we have the ability to preserve a memory for eternity and share our world and past with the people we love. Learning a little bit of photography is a skill that everyone can benefit from.

Photography is also a form of creative expression. They say a photo is worth one thousand words so the images you capture tell a story. By taking an online photography class, you have the opportunity to learn new skills from the comfort of your home than can be an asset to both your personal and professional life.

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Whether you’re interested in photojournalism, street photography or just capturing family photos, every moment is an opportunity to tell a story.

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Yoav Vilner

CEO at Ranky

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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