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5 Online Courses To Equip You With Knowledge You’d Only Get After Years At Work

5 Online Courses To Equip You With Knowledge You’d Only Get After Years At Work
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Do you want to get ahead in your career, but need to bring your skills up to date? Thanks to the power of online learning, you can give your skillset a boost in just a few weeks. These courses are convenient and free, meaning that your learning can easily fit into your life.

If online learning sounds good to you, why not check out these five courses from Coursera, a hub connecting you with the best online courses provided by world-renowned universities and training organizations.

Learning How To Learn: Powerful Mental Tools To Help You Master Tough Subjects

Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5

This course will teach you how to learn. Why is this so important? Well, before you can hope to expand your knowledge in any domain, it’s useful to understand exactly how your brain picks up, stores and makes sense of new information.

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You will learn how to overcome procrastination and make the best use of your memory along, with other cognitive skills that will be useful in any line of work. The course is interesting and engaging, with users reporting that the presenters are likeable and that the activities (including quizzes) are fun.

Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills

Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5

This negotiation course has helped many people pick up the basics of positive negotiation. Even if your job role does not officially involve much negotiation, we all have to work with other people on a daily basis, in such a way that means we need to work out how to make sure everyone’s needs are met.

This course includes plenty of helpful video materials that demonstrate the skills vital for successful negotiation. As part of your learning, you will undergo a live negotiation process with a friend or online partner. This course really allows you to put what you have learned into practice.

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Effective Problem-Solving and Decision-Making

Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5

Whatever your job, you will need to undertake some degree of problem-solving and decision-making on a regular basis. Those who can think critically and use the information they have at their disposal to make well-informed, balance decisions will always be popular in the workplace.

Master this skill and not only will you be respected, but you will be seen as a reliable individual with leadership potential. The course contains real-life case studies that will help you appreciate the importance of critical thinking in day-to-day situations.

Successful Presentation

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

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There are few forms of communication more persuasive than a high-quality presentation, but many people find public speaking to be a daunting prospect. In this course, you will learn how to overcome your fears, put together a great presentation and make use of verbal and non-verbal cues in getting your message across.

This course is essential if you are looking to obtain a leadership position or wish to learn how to influence others in the workplace.

Influencing People

Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5

If you want to make an appreciable difference within your organization and ensure that your ideas are heard, you need to learn how to influence other people. This course will equip you with the skills you need to share your ideas with others in such a way that they take notice.

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You will discover how you can exert your own personal influence over your managers, those you supervise and other stakeholders. Once you learn how to influence other people, you will find your work much more rewarding, because you will be able to see the firsthand effect of your own personal power.

Online courses are increasingly popular as a cheap, effective way of broadening one’s set of work-related skills. If it’s been a while since you took steps towards your personal development, why not sign up for one or more of the above courses today?

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Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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