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12 Websites That Can Make You Incredibly Smarter

12 Websites That Can Make You Incredibly Smarter

Self-learning has been more popular as the amount of information available online is increasing, allowing us to broaden our views with any topics that interest us. As you can find almost any course you wish to attend online, on popular websites such as Coursera and Khan Academy, you can easily change your career and start learning about something that really inspires you.

We present you with a list of 12 websites that you can use to expand your knowledge base and seize new opportunities.

1. CreativeLive

creative_live

    If you strive to nurture your creativity, you can join live online workshops by CreativeLive about photography, video, design, music, crafting and so on. If you feel like a creative soul, this is the place where you can unlock your potential and be surprised with how much you can learn.

    2. Code School

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    code_school

      With entertaining content and experience instructors, Code School offers you over 60 courses on various programming languages. Every course is designed so as to feel like you are playing a game rather than boring you with a lot of information.

      3. Brain Pump

      brain_pump

        With Brain Pump, you can learn something new and interesting every day. You can learn about topics such as technology, chemistry, history, casual science, food, game design and much more.

        4. Guides

        guides

          Guides is a free publishing platform where different authors, teachers, bloggers and researchers can share their knowledge. With many different “How To” guides, you can learn everything about marketing, entrepreneurship, fitness, health, design and so on.

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          5. Chalk Street

          chalk_street

            Chalk Street presents you with more than 60,000 lessons on technology, business, arts and lifestyle, such as yoga, languages, smartphone photography, everything about Excel and many others.

            6. Psychology Today

            psychology_today

              If you want to work on yourself and improve your mental health, Psychology Today is the right website for you. This site gathers a group of psychologists, academics, psychiatrists and writers, thus you can educate yourself on a number of topics, such as anxiety, cognition, creativity, parenting, memory, and so on.

              7. MIT OpenCourseWare

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              mit_ocw

                MIT OCW is a place where you can find course content of more than 2,000 MIT courses that can help individual learners enrich their knowledge base. Some of the most popular courses include: Introduction to Computer Science and Programming, Artificial Intelligence, Linear Algebra, Introduction to Algorithms, Introduction to Programming in Java, and so on.

                8. Investopedia

                investopedia

                  If you are looking for a website to improve your knowledge on finances, Investopedia is the right place for you. You can learn everything about investing and personal finance from a team of data scientists and financial experts.

                  9. Makezine

                  makezine

                    For those of you who like to play with technology and craft their own invention, step-by-step articles on Makezine will become your favorite pieces of writing.

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                    10. Quora

                    quora

                      Quora’s mission is to connect people who have knowledge with the people who need it. You can ask almost any question and people will give you useful pieces of advice and their insights, or you can look at previous discussions and find the answers you are looking for.

                      11. Udacity

                      udacity

                        Udacity focuses on active learning and its mission is to bring higher education to people around the world so as to help them with improving their careers. It has a long list of available courses from the field of programming, business studies, web design, marketing and so on.

                        12. Highbrow

                        high_brow

                          You can always spare 5 minutes per day to learn something new, and 5 minutes is all Highbrow asks from you. You can have 5-minute lessons delivered to your inbox daily, and learn how to improve your brain health, boost your emotional intelligence, about body language, SEO, HTML, CSS and many other topics.

                          How to make the most of self-learning

                          In order to get the maximum from self-learning process, you first need to set goals, and ask yourself why you want to know more about a certain topic. First set mini goals, and after you meet each goal, cross it off your goal list and that’s how you can track your progress. This is also a great motivational tool since it creates the sense of accomplishment. The next step is to make a schedule – how much time you want to spend each week learning and when do you plan to finish a course, and stick to it.

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                          Last Updated on September 30, 2020

                          Effective vs Efficient: What’s the Difference Regarding Productivity?

                          Effective vs Efficient: What’s the Difference Regarding Productivity?

                          When it comes to being effective vs efficient, there are a lot of similarities, and because of this, they’re often misused and misinterpreted, both in daily use and application.

                          Every business should look for new ways to improve employee effectiveness and efficiency to save time and energy in the long term. Just because a company or employee has one, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that the other is equally present.

                          Utilizing both an effective and efficient methodology in nearly any capacity of work and life will yield high levels of productivity, while a lack of it will lead to a lack of positive results.

                          Before we discuss the various nuances between the word effective and efficient and how they factor into productivity, let’s break things down with a definition of their terms.

                          Effective vs Efficient

                          Effective is defined as “producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect.” Meanwhile, the word “efficient ” is defined as “capable of producing desired results with little or no waste (as of time or materials).”[1]

                          A rather simple way of explaining the differences between the two would be to consider a light bulb. Say that your porch light burned out and you decided that you wanted to replace the incandescent light bulb outside with an LED one. Either light bulb would be effective in accomplishing the goal of providing you with light at night, but the LED one would use less energy and therefore be the more efficient choice.

                          Now, if you incorrectly set a timer for the light, and it was turned on throughout the entire day, then you would be wasting energy. While the bulb is still performing the task of creating light in an efficient manner, it’s on during the wrong time of day and therefore not effective.

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                          The effective way is focused on accomplishing the goal, while the efficient method is focused on the best way of accomplishing the goal.

                          Whether we’re talking about a method, employee, or business, the subject in question can be either effective or efficient, or, in rare instances, they can be both.

                          When it comes to effective vs efficient, the goal of achieving maximum productivity is going to be a combination where the subject is effective and as efficient as possible in doing so.

                          Effectiveness in Success and Productivity

                          Being effective vs efficient is all about doing something that brings about the desired intent or effect[2]. If a pest control company is hired to rid a building’s infestation, and they employ “method A” and successfully completed the job, they’ve been effective at achieving the task.

                          The task was performed correctly, to the extent that the pest control company did what they were hired to do. As for how efficient “method A” was in completing the task, that’s another story.

                          If the pest control company took longer than expected to complete the job and used more resources than needed, then their efficiency in completing the task wasn’t particularly good. The client may feel that even though the job was completed, the value in the service wasn’t up to par.

                          When assessing the effectiveness of any business strategy, it’s wise to ask certain questions before moving forward:

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                          • Has a target solution to the problem been identified?
                          • What is the ideal response time for achieving the goal?
                          • Does the cost balance out with the benefit?

                          Looking at these questions, a leader should ask to what extent a method, tool, or resource meets the above criteria and achieve the desired effect. If the subject in question doesn’t hit any of these marks, then productivity will likely suffer.

                          Efficiency in Success and Productivity

                          Efficiency is going to account for the resources and materials used in relation to the value of achieving the desired effect. Money, people, inventory, and (perhaps most importantly) time, all factor into the equation.

                          When it comes to being effective vs efficient, efficiency can be measured in numerous ways[3]. In general, the business that uses fewer materials or that is able to save time is going to be more efficient and have an advantage over the competition. This is assuming that they’re also effective, of course.

                          Consider a sales team for example. Let’s say that a company’s sales team is tasked with making 100 calls a week and that the members of that team are hitting their goal each week without any struggle.

                          The members on the sales team are effective in hitting their goal. However, the question of efficiency comes into play when management looks at how many of those calls turn into solid connections and closed deals.

                          If less than 10 percent of those calls generate a connection, the productivity is relatively low because the efficiency is not adequately balancing out with the effect. Management can either keep the same strategy or take a new approach.

                          Perhaps they break up their sales team with certain members handling different parts of the sales process, or they explore a better way of connecting with their customers through a communications company.

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                          The goal is ultimately going to be finding the right balance, where they’re being efficient with the resources they have to maximize their sales goals without stretching themselves too thin. Finding this balance is often easier said than done, but it’s incredibly important for any business that is going to thrive.

                          Combining Efficiency and Effectiveness to Maximize Productivity

                          Being effective vs efficient works best if both are pulled together for the best results.

                          If a business is ineffective in accomplishing its overall goal, and the customer doesn’t feel that the service is equated with the cost, then efficiency becomes largely irrelevant. The business may be speedy and use minimal resources, but they struggle to be effective. This may put them at risk of going under.

                          It’s for this reason that it’s best to shoot for being effective first, and then work on bringing efficiency into practice.

                          Improving productivity starts with taking the initiative to look at how effective a company, employee, or method is through performance reviews. Leaders should make a point to regularly examine performance at all levels on a whole, and take into account the results that are being generated.

                          Businesses and employees often succumb to inefficiency because they don’t look for a better way, or they lack the proper tools to be effective in the most efficient manner possible.

                          Similar to improving a manager or employee’s level of effectiveness, regularly measuring the resources needed to obtain the desired effect will ensure that efficiency is being accounted for. This involves everything from keeping track of inventory and expenses, to how communication is handled within an organization.

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                          By putting in place a baseline value for key metrics and checking them once changes have been made, a company will have a much better idea of the results they’re generating.

                          It’s no doubt a step-by-step process. By making concentrated efforts, weakness can be identified and rectified sooner rather than later when the damage is already done.

                          Bottom Line

                          Understanding the differences between being effective vs efficient is key when it comes to maximizing productivity. It’s simply working smart so that the intended results are achieved in the best way possible. Finding the optimal balance should be the ultimate goal for employees and businesses:

                          • Take the steps that result in meeting the solution.
                          • Review the process and figure out how to do it better.
                          • Repeat the process with what has been learned in a more efficient manner.

                          And just like that, effective and efficient productivity is maximized.

                          More on How to Improve Productivity

                          Featured photo credit: Tim van der Kuip via unsplash.com

                          Reference

                          [1] Merriam-Webster: effective and efficient
                          [2] Mind Tools: Being Effective at Work
                          [3] Inc.: 8 Things Really Efficient People Do

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