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Successful People Make Self-Learning Their Daily Habit By Using These 20 Apps

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Successful People Make Self-Learning Their Daily Habit By Using These 20 Apps

When’s the last time you learned something new?

Do you motivate yourself to learn new skills, tips, and hacks, or do you prefer to let learning happen naturally or only when the need arises?

Mobile technology has created new pathways for all types of learning styles to help people discover new information however they learn best. Whether it’s performing a quick Google search on the go or getting a daily dose of brain buster exercises, there exist a multitude of free apps that can help you learn valuable new things every day.

Knowledge Is Power – Get Both With These 20 Best Apps

If you want to take initiative to teach yourself new things, these 20 apps for motivated learning styles will put you in information paradise.

General Knowledge

TED

Motivated learning styles aren’t just about active learning. If you’d rather sit back and listen to new ideas, the TED app gives you instant access to thousands of “TED Talks” that showcase what’s happening in various industries. These short lectures can deliver insight into new technology, discoveries, art, science, design, and a range of other topics.

Coursera

Perhaps one of the biggest advancements in the history of e-learning, Coursera has teamed up with top schools like Duke, Stanford, and John Hopkins to bring you direct access to real college courses in psychology, computer science, business, and technology. Each course features pre-recorded videos, projects, and quizzes, just like you would receive inside the classroom.

edX

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Similar to Coursera, users can access higher education courses without the higher education expenses. You can enroll in courses and participate in quizzes, lectures, and assignments at your own pace.

Khan Academy

While Khan Academy doesn’t offer authentic university courses like edX and Coursera, they do feature well-crafted educational lessons that can fuel your passion for learning. With more than 4,000 videos ready to watch in a tap’s notice, you can brush up on a variety of topics ranging from grade school math and science to art, economics, and computers.

The Fact App

Sometimes, you just don’t know what you don’t know. And the Fact App can show you some truly helpful information your brain has been missing. The app delivers daily fun, useful facts and questions on a variety of topics, including American economics, politics, and social circumstances that are geared towards helping you make informed decisions about the world around you.

Brain Training

Lumosity

One of the most popular brain training apps available, Lumosity features three-game sessions that target many different area of brain activity: memory, speed, problem solving, and thinking flexibility. Each day you can engage in a timed session to sharpen mental prowess and track your progress over time.

Fit Brains Trainer

Users can access over 360 unique puzzles and games geared toward improving mental skills. The games start out easy, then become increasingly complex to give your brain an effective workout. You can track your performance with integrated progress tools and benefit from training recommendations.

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Brain Trainer Special

Much like Lumosity, users can engage in simple activities, such as sequencing, math problems, and memorization, that focus on stretching your mental agility. You can choose from a range of skill levels to prevent brain burnout.

Eidetic

If you struggle to remember or memorize information, Eidetic’s spaced recognition focus can help prime your brain for stronger recall. This one differs from other brain training apps in that it uses information in context and meaning, such as phone numbers, bank accounts, interesting quotes, and other details.

Language & Travel

Duolingo

If you’ve ever wanted to learn a new language but didn’t know where to start or couldn’t afford Rosetta Stone, you need to check out Duolingo. This app teaches more than dozen languages by breaking up exercises into mini games. The developer of Duolingo claims that 34 hours of learning in this app equals a full semester’s worth of school.

iTranslate

This app serves as the voice translator for dozens of languages. It works in two directions: translating your native language to another, or translating a foreign language into your native language.

USA Factbook & Quiz

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No matter where you travel in the USA, a landscape of state facts and information await you at your fingertips. This app delivers details about all 50 states, including capitals, population, state nicknames, and photos. You can take quizzes to test your knowledge of states, US presidents, state capitals, and more.

Technology & Engineering

Lynda

Similar to Coursera, Lynda focuses more on building work skills and technology knowledge. They teach you things like coding, website design and creation, music recording, and Microsoft Office. While you can score some of their courses for free, you can get full access to everything for $25/month.

Tynker

Learn the basics of coding via puzzles, then create your own games using step-by-step tutorials. This app is also praised as an effective introduction to coding for children.

Tinkerbox

Fun for kids and adults of all ages, you can tinker with physics to build your own mechanical gadgets. You’ll learn the role of physics in engineering while you expand your creativity and construct your masterpiece out of boxes, balls, levers, and other mechanical pieces.

Maths

PhotoMath

If you want to sharpen your complex math skills, PhotoMath is your teacher. The app uses your phone’s camera to read any equation, then shows you step by step how to work out the problem. Not only do you get the right answer, but you also get to see how to get the answer. You get all the basics with the free version, or you can go pro for step-by-step instructions and in-depth explanations.

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Mathspace

If you have a middle school or high school student at home taking common core math, or if you simply want to brush up on your own math skills, Mathspace is the place to get expert guidance. You can work full problems online and get instant feedback and help on each one. They feature over 30,000 interactive questions that cover algebra, geometry, graphing, basic math, and statistics.

Science

Amazing Science Facts

The perfect tool for the science geek in all of us, you can learn new science facts and trivia whenever the mood strikes. You’ll get a notification every day, along with the option to explore the app for specific topics for more learning experiences.

EarthViewer

Ever wonder what Earth looked like a million years ago? There’s no better way to know than to look for yourself. EarthViewer takes you on a digital journey to see how the landscape and face of the planet has evolved over the past 4.5 billion years. You can scroll through eons with a swipe of your finger and view climate changes, sea level adjustments, or the evolution of famous landmarks and cities.

The Night Sky

Download the Night Sky app and learn what exactly you’re seeing every time you look up into the sky. You’ll learn how to quickly identify planets, constellations, stars, and satellites simply by opening the app and holding your phone into the sky. Users can also land on the moon and tour the Apollo 11 and Apollo 15 landing sites. It’s the closest thing to magic you’ve seen yet.

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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