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Published on November 15, 2017

Book-Street Smart Is the New Sexy

Book-Street Smart Is the New Sexy

The world is full of people who are either book smart or street smart. Book smart people are well-read and possess a wealth of knowledge. They’re experts at recalling, recognizing, and analyzing information. Characterized by their love of learning, book smart people are organized and prepared for any situation.

The street smart among us have worldly experience, which they use to make informed decisions about situations they encounter. They learn from their own mistakes and trust their judgement about people and circumstances.

Book Smart vs Street Smart

    They way you learn has the biggest influence on whether you are book smart or street smart.

    If you recall your time in school, you can identify book smart and street smart kids. Book smart students were disciplined and tried to follow rules. They usually made straight As. They spent most of the time in libraries reading and studying.

    The street smart kids were rebellious. They prioritized interactions with others over studying and reading. Class clowns are almost always street smart.

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    Book Smarts Read to Learn

    Book smart people learn from successes and failures of others through reading. They benefit from theories, models, and the insights of other people.

      But they may lack experience since they’ve spent most of their time intellectualizing situations. Their adherence to rules narrows their vision and prevents them from innovating. When faced with sudden changes, they have trouble reacting.

        Street Smarts Walk to Learn

        Street smart people adapt. Excellent situational awareness allows them to understand their environment, the people in it, and how they can use these things to accomplish their goals. They think freely without being held back by rules and solve problems creatively.

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          But they are likely to repeat mistakes made by other people because they didn’t learn from others’ experiences. They may trust their judgement too much and fail to see other options too.

            When Book Smart and Street Smart Are at the Wrong Place

            If you didn’t give a book smart person guidelines or the ability to research, the person wouldn’t know what to do. When they can’t sift through information, they panic. Imagine going to a foreign country where you can’t speak the language, don’t have a cell phone, and don’t have a guide book, and you’ll know the feeling.

            Street smart individuals don’t adapt in structured situations because they can’t use their knack for improvisation. Educational environments are often oppressive for street smart people. Street smarts often act out in school because they’re forced to learn in ways that don’t make use of their talents.

            Book smart people are most successful when expectations are clearly-defined. Government work and school settings are good for book smart people.

            Street smart people excel without rules or where they can make their own. Creative types, entrepreneurs, and working in start-ups are street smart.

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            When Book Smart and Street Smart Go Together

            A competent person has positive qualities of book smart and street smart people. This person possesses a strong grasp of facts, information, and precedents like book smart people. He or she could learn from others’ mistakes without repeating them.

            The street smart aspects of this person enable him or her to be adaptable and sensitive to the environment. They know the rules and understand when they need to be broken.

              Whether you’re prone to book smart or street smart, you can work a bit to become both and achieve big.

              1. Read What You Need

              Reading allows you to learn from others’ mistakes and emulate their success. When you read, the mental stimulation keeps your mind sharp and makes you better at solving problems. Analyzing details from books is excellent practice for tackling problems in the real world.

              Getting lost in a book helps you develop the habit of concentrating on one thing at a time. Increased focus translates into doing more work in less time. Find out more here about the Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day.

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              Choosing the right books and reading with purpose allows you to maximize your time. If you aren’t sure how to kickstart reading the good ones, check out this article How to Read Books You Aren’t Interested in but Are Useful for You.

              2. Put What You’ve Learned Into Action

              Consuming the written word doesn’t guarantee that you’ll use what you’ve read. Make connections to what you’ve read and put it into practice right away.

              The more often you make use of the information, the easier to remember it. If you don’t put what you have learned into actions, you can’t experience in your own way. Only with experience will you truly understand something and know how to react when things don’t go the same way as in the book or theories. Here’s a way to get you to learn really fast: The Only Way to Remember Everything You Have Read.

              Have the Best of Both Worlds

              You can be book-street smart and combine the positive aspects of both learning styles.

              Instead of ruling out one school of thought, focus on learning, taking actions based upon what you learn, and accumulating experience. Get feedback so that you can revise what you’re doing and act again. Focus on improving yourself through many avenues, and you’ll achieve new levels of success.

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              Brian Lee

              Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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              Last Updated on September 17, 2018

              How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

              How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

              Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

              Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

              All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

              Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

              How bad really is multitasking?

              It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

              Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

              This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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              We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

              So what to do about it?

              Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

              Now, forget about how to multitask!

              Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

              1. Get enough rest

              When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

              This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

              When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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              2. Plan your day

              When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

              When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

              Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

              3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

              I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

              I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

              Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

              4. When at your desk, do work

              We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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              Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

              5. Learn to say no

              Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

              Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

              By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

              6. Turn off notifications on your computer

              For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

              Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

              7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

              Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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              You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

              The bottom line

              Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

              Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

              Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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