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5 Ways Technology Can Help You Balance School and Life

5 Ways Technology Can Help You Balance School and Life

Technological advancement has made life easier for us. Imagine living in the 1950s. While some may call it the golden era, the truth is that it was extremely difficult to live back then. Electricity was scarce, and there were no amenities such as mobile phones or the internet.

Today, most of these facilities are considered a necessity. Even though many experts argue that the use of technology has created an imbalance between school and life, the truth is that if used properly, technology can help you bridge the gap.

A lot has changed in the last few decades, but education is the most important thing if you wish to be successful. A lot of people today are balancing education with work. Some have weekend classes while some juggle work with online courses. But how do you manage life with education? The truth is that technology can help. How? Here are some tips:

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1. Let Technology Help You Manage Your Commitments

Over 4 million people aged 35 or older are enrolled in colleges. More and more Americans are waking up to the need for more education. They have realized that it is never too late to get a more training. However, most of these are married and have other commitments. This often prevents them from giving their 100% which disrupts their ability to focus on learning. Fortunately, technology can help.

You need to make a list of things that matter to you. These include family, education, work and of course your hobbies. Tools such as Google Calendar can greatly help you prepare a schedule and manage your time. Another great app is Instant. It keeps track of where you spend most of your time, including your sleep patterns so you can manage things better.

If you want a more detailed look at your schedule, you can use something like OfficeTime. It presents data in the form of graphs for a visual view of what you do. Once you have this data, you can see where most of your time goes and how you can change it, based on your priorities. For example, if you are spending 10 hours working and need more time for your education, you can set goals that include completing your work within 8 hours and using the time saved for your education.

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2. Use Technology for Better Communication

Communication is very important in every aspect of life, and thanks to technology it is easier than ever before to communicate. Save time by turning notifications on for your emails, but only for the urgent ones that you really need. This will allow you to respond to important emails instantly. Similarly, prevent useless apps from communicating. Most apps send push notifications regarding updates and special offers, and most of them are usually useless to you.

According to reports, most people spend around 90 minutes on a phone every day. And sadly, a lot of it goes into doing things that are of no use, including useless communication. So make sure to use technology to communicate effectively and efficiently and block out distractions.

Structure your responses properly so that there is no time wasted in replying and clearing things. If something cannot be made clear via text, use voice notes or simply call using one of many tools such as WhatsApp or Skype.

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3. Enjoy the Perks of Being a Student

Remind yourself about the perks of studying. Having advanced skills will help you carve out your niche and have a better life. Also, while you are studying, you may be eligible for student discounts and other offers that are only for students.

Technology has made it easier to see the benefit of everything. You can predict your worth with a certain degree or where you will be career-wise ten years down the line. Such information will help you stay motivated.

4. Find New Ways to Get An Education

Technology has made it easy to study. You do not necessarily have to attend classes physically thanks to eLearning and other training programs. Virtual learning is one of the fastest growing concepts due to its benefits. It allows incredible flexibility so that anyone and everyone can pursue further education.

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It is a 100 billion dollar industry today and is expected to grow even more in the future. While many question the quality of education, reports indicate that eLearning is as good as traditional learning, if not better.

5. Technology Will Allow You To be On Time

You can use technology to stay organized and on schedule. Use alarms to make sure you wake up on time and get timely reminders. Most mobile devices have this function built-in so there will be no need to install new apps. However, for better functionality, you may try some third party apps as well, such as Wunderlist. It lets you schedule due dates/times and tasks. It can send reminders, including push notifications and also emails. You can also check off items once you complete one task to make sure you keep a tab on all your tasks.

Make sure to make proper use of technology to ensure that you live a balanced life. Apps can help you organize and do things in a better manner.

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Ahmed Raza

CEO of Samurais.co

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

When you try to think of a leader at your place of work, you might think of your boss – you know, the supervisor in the tasteful office down the hall.

However, bosses are not the only leaders in the office, and not every boss has mastered the art of excellent leadership. Maybe the best leader you know is the co-worker sitting at the desk next to yours who is always willing to loan out her stapler and help you problem solve.

You see, a boss’ main priority is to efficiently cross items off of the corporate to-do list, while a true leader both completes tasks and works to empower and motivate the people he or she interacts with on a daily basis.

A leader is someone who works to improve things instead of focusing on the negatives. People acknowledge the authority of a boss, but people cherish a true leader.

Puzzled about what it takes to be a great leader? Let’s take a look at the difference between a boss and a leader, and why cultivating quality leadership skills is essential for people who really want to make a positive impact.

1. Leaders are compassionate human beings; bosses are cold.

It can be easy to equate professionalism with robot-like impersonal behavior. Many bosses stay holed up in their offices and barely ever interact with staff.

Even if your schedule is packed, you should always make time to reach out to the people around you. Remember that when you ask someone to share how they are feeling, you should be prepared to be vulnerable and open in your communication as well.

Does acting human at the office sound silly? It’s not.

A lack of compassion in the office leads to psychological turmoil, whereas positive connection leads to healthier staff.[1]

If people feel that you are being open, honest and compassionate with them, they will feel able to approach your office with what is on their minds, leading to a more productive and stress-free work environment.

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2. Leaders say “we”; bosses say “I”.

Practice developing a team-first mentality when thinking and speaking. In meetings, talk about trying to meet deadlines as a team instead of using accusatory “you” phrases. This makes it clear that you are a part of the team, too, and that you are willing to work hard and support your team members.

Let me explain:

A “we” mentality shifts the office dynamic from “trying to make the boss happy” to a spirit of teamwork, goal-setting, and accomplishment.

A “we” mentality allows for the accountability and community that is essential in the modern day workplace.

3. Leaders develop and invest in people; bosses use people.

Unfortunately, many office climates involve people using others to get what they want or to climb the corporate ladder. This is another example of the “me first” mentality that is so toxic in both office environments and personal relationships.

Instead of using others or focusing on your needs, think about how you can help other people grow.

Use your building blocks of compassion and team-mentality to stay attuned to the needs of others note the areas in which you can help them develop. A great leader wants to see his or her people flourish.

Make a list of ways you can invest in your team members to help them develop personally and professionally, and then take action!

4. Leaders respect people; bosses are fear-mongering.

Earning respect from everyone on your team will take time and commitment, but the rewards are worth every ounce of effort.

A boss who is a poor leader may try to control the office through fear and bully-like behavior. Employees who are petrified about their performance or who feel overwhelmed and stressed by unfair deadlines are probably working for a boss who uses a fear system instead of a respect system.

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What’s the bottom line?

Work to build respect among your team by treating everyone with fairness and kindness. Maintain a positive tone and stay reliable for those who approach you for help.

5. Leaders give credit where it’s due; bosses only take credits.

Looking for specific ways to gain respect from your colleagues and employees? There is no better place to start than with the simple act of giving credit where it is due.

Don’t be tempted to take credit for things you didn’t do, and always go above and beyond to generously acknowledge those who worked on a project and performed well.

You might be wondering how you can get started:

  • Begin by simply noticing which team member contributes what during your next project at work.
  • If possible, make mental notes. Remember that these notes should not be about ways in which team members are failing, but about ways in which they are excelling.
  • Depending on your leadership style, let people know how well they are doing either in private one-on-one meetings or in a group setting. Be honest and generous in your communication about a person’s performance.

6. Leaders see delegation as their best friend; bosses see it as an enemy.

If delegation is a leader’s best friend, then micromanagement is the enemy.

Delegation equates to trust and micromanagement equates to distrust. Nothing is more frustrating for an employee than feeling that his or her every movement is being critically observed.

Encourage trust in your office by delegating important tasks and acknowledging that your people are capable, smart individuals who can succeed!

Delegation is a great way to cash in on the positive benefits of a psychological phenomenon called a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, a person’s expectations of another person can cause the expectations to be fulfilled.[2]

In other words, if you truly believe that your team member can handle a project or task, he or she is more likely to deliver.

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Learn how to delegate in my other article:

How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

7. Leaders work hard; bosses let others do the work.

Delegation is not an excuse to get out of hard work. Instead of telling people to go accomplish the hardest work alone, make it clear that you are willing to pitch in and help with the hardest work of all when the need arises.

Here’s the deal:

Showing others that you work hard sets the tone for your whole team and will spur them on to greatness.

The next time you catch yourself telling someone to “go”, a.k.a accomplish a difficult task alone, change your phrasing to “let’s go”, showing that you are totally willing to help and support.

8. Leaders think long-term; bosses think short-term.

A leader who only utilizes short-term thinking is someone who cannot be prepared or organized for the future. Your colleagues or staff members need to know that they can trust you to have a handle on things not just this week, but next month or even next year.

Display your long-term thinking skills in group talks and meetings by sharing long-term hopes or concerns. Create plans for possible scenarios and be prepared for emergencies.

For example, if you know that you are losing someone on your team in a few months, be prepared to share a clear plan of how you and the remaining team members can best handle the change and workload until someone new is hired.

9. Leaders are like your colleagues; bosses are just bosses.

Another word for colleague is collaborator. Make sure your team knows that you are “one of them” and that you want to collaborate or work side by side.

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Not getting involved in the going ons of the office is a mistake because you will miss out on development and connection opportunities.

As our regular readers know, I love to remind people of the importance of building routines into each day. Create a routine that encourages you to leave your isolated office and collaborate with others. Spark healthy habits that benefit both you and your co-workers.

10. Leaders put people first; bosses put results first.

Bosses without crucial leadership training may focus on process and results instead of people. They may stick to a pre-set systems playbook even when employees voice new ideas or concerns.

Ignoring people’s opinions for the sake of company tradition like this is never truly beneficial to an organization.

Here’s what I mean by process over people:

Some organizations focus on proper structures or systems as their greatest assets instead of people. I believe that people lend real value to an organization, and that focusing on the development of people is a key ingredient for success in leadership.

Learning to be a leader is an ongoing adventure.

This list of differences makes it clear that, unlike an ordinary boss, a leader is able to be compassionate, inclusive, generous, and hard-working for the good of the team.

Instead of being a stereotypical scary or micromanaging-obsessed boss, a quality leader is able to establish an atmosphere of respect and collaboration.

Whether you are new to your work environment or a seasoned administrator, these leadership traits will help you get a jump start so that you can excel as a leader and positively impact the people around you.

For more inspiration and guidance, you can even start keeping tabs on some of the world’s top leadership experts. With an adventurous and positive attitude, anyone can learn good leadership.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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