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3 Unusual Ways To Get More Out of Your Old Books

3 Unusual Ways To Get More Out of Your Old Books

As a regular reader, it’s natural to have book shelves overflowing with books, both new and old.

Even after reading books, to some extent, it’s great to still have them around for reference purposes, to revisit them occasionally, or to give them out to friends or family if a need to arises.

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Other times, however, there’s a need to dispose of them or donate them to prevent them from merely collecting dust. At such points, instead of tossing the books, the vital information within them, and the dollars behind them, there are better ways to get rid of them and also derive benefits at the same time.

That said, below are some efficient ways to get more out of your old books.

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1. Use book buyback services

Book buyback services offer the ability to get rid of old books and still derive benefits; these services buy used books and resell them to low income earners or to industries that recycle papers for various purposes.

This remains the most lucrative way of getting rid of used books. The only problem, however, could be finding a reliable vendor who would offer a decent price. Platforms like BookScouter or Amazon are built to solve this problem, as they serve as an extension to connect you, the seller, with reliable vendors.

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2. Creative DIY home crafts

On the other end, however, the used books occupying your shelf might be a little outdated, and may even lack an ISBN number. In such cases, book buyback services might not be the perfect option.

Instead, consider turning them into unique and attractive home tools that’ll leave friends and family in awe.

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Below are few options to consider:

  • A book clockWith a little effort and inexpensive kits, you can start keeping track of time in style by turning your once favorite book into a sophisticated modern day clock; the only problem: Be ready to provide answers on the “how-to” when friends inquire about it.
  • Books lamp standMaybe all you ever wanted is to be unique. Well, consider piling up a bunch of old books in an attractive manner after which a lamp will be mounted on the top. Now you can start illuminating darkness, and uniquely, too.
  • Book safeCreate a new home for your treasures where no one will ever imagine to look for them. Reach for a used textbook (a large textbook will be more effective) and make a neat hollow space within. Afterward, you can neatly place your treasured possessions within and lay back with no worries — who would randomly search for stuff in a textbook?
  • iPhone charging dockHow cool to know that your regular charger can be instantly turned into an amazing doc stand with the help of used books? Without spending a dime, just a little touch here and there, and you have your fancy doc stand.

3. Use for decorations and fashion

Arts may not really be your thing, or you might not really fancy any of the above DIY crafts. However, who wouldn’t like a little touch of attractive decorations in their home or office? Your old books can become handy here.

Below are some interesting decorative projects you should consider working on with your used books:

  • Book picture frameWith your old books, you can turn your memorable moments into a place to explore for your friends and guests. It’s time to use your old books to create new memories.
  • Blackout poetry: With some pages from a used book, you can take a pencil and underline words or phrases as you stumble through the book. Afterward, use a dark ink to strike out the unwanted words. Assemble the pages in a journal or a smaller book and you just created an inexpensive, awesome piece of poetry your friends would be delighted to receive as a gift. You can also place them on the walls as a decorative piece.
  • Paper necklace: Perhaps you have a quote from your favorite author. Consider cutting out the piece neatly. Afterwards, enclose them within a beautiful glass pendant. Friends and family will be amazed at your creativity.

Do you have any other ideas on how to get more from your old books? I’d be happy to hear your views.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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