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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 May 20, 2019

              How to Prevent Inaction from Leading to Regret

              How to Prevent Inaction from Leading to Regret

              Time.

              When you think of this construct, where do you see your time being spent?

              As William Shakespeare famously wrote “I wasted time, and now doth time waste me…”

              Have you used your time wisely? Are you where you want to be?

              Or do you have unfinished goals to attain… places you want to be, things you still need to do?

              The hard truth is, that time once passed cannot be replaced–which is why it is common to hear people say that one should not squander time doing nothing, or delay certain decisions for later. More often than not, the biggest blocker from reaching our goals is often inaction – which is essentially doing nothing, rather than doing something. 

              There are many reasons why we may not do something. Most often it boils down to adequate time. We may feel we don’t have enough time, or that it’s never quite the right time to pursue our goals.

              Maybe next month, or maybe next year…

              And, before you know it, the time has passed and you’re still no where near achieving those goals you dream about. This inaction often leads to strong regret once we look at the situation through hindsight. So, take some time now to reflect on any goal(s) you may have in mind, or hidden at the back of your mind; and, think about how you can truly start working on them now, and not later.

              So, how do you start?

              Figure Out Your Purpose (Your Main Goal)


              The first important step is to figure out your purpose, or your main goal.

              What is it that you’re after in life? And, are there any barriers preventing you from reaching your goal? These are good questions to ask when it comes to figuring out how (and for what purpose) you are spending your time.

              Your purpose will guide you, and it will ensure your time spent is within the bounds of what you actually want to accomplish.

              A good amount of research has been done on how we as humans develop and embrace long-term and highly meaningful goals in our lives. So much so, that having a purpose has connections to reduced stroke, and heart attack. It turns out, our desire to accomplish goals actually has an evolutionary connection–especially goals with a greater purpose to them. This is because a greater purpose often helps both the individual, and our species as a whole, survive.

              Knowing why it is you’re doing something is important; and, when you do, it will be easier to budget your time and effort into pursuing after those milestones or tasks that will lead to the accomplishment of your main goal.

              Assess Your Current Time Spent

              Next comes the actual time usage. Once you know what your main goal is, you’ll want to make the most of the time you have now. It’s good to know how you’re currently spending your time, so that you can start making improvements and easily assess what can stay and what can go in your day to day routine.

              For just one day, ideally on a day when you’d like to be more productive, I encourage you to record a time journal, down to the quarter hour if you can manage. You may be quite surprised at how little things—such as checking social media, answering emails that could wait, or idling at the water cooler or office pantry —can add up to a lot of wasted time.

              To get you started, I recommend you check out this quick self assessment to assess your current productivity: Want To Know How Much You’re Getting Done In A Day?

              Tricks to Tackle Distractions

              Once you’ve assessed how you’re currently spending your time, I hope you won’t be in for too big of a shock when you see just how big of an impact distractions and time wasters are in your life.

              Every time your mind wanders from your work, it takes an average of 25 minutes and 26 seconds to get into focus again. That’s almost half an hour of precious time every time you entertain a distraction!

              Which is why it’s important to learn how to focus, and tackle distractions effectively. Here’s how to do it:

              1. Set Time Aside for Focusing

              One way to stay focused is to set focused sessions for yourself. During a focused session, you should let people know that you won’t be responding unless it’s a real emergency.

              Set your messaging apps and shared calendars as “busy” to reduce interruptions. Think of these sessions as one on one time with yourself so that you can truly focus on what’s important, without external distractions coming your way.

              2. Beware of Emails

              Emails may sound harmless, but they can come into our inbox continuously throughout the day, and it’s tempting to respond to them as we receive them. Especially if you’re one to check your notifications frequently.

              Instead of checking them every time a new notification sounds, set a specific time to deal with your emails at one go. This will no doubt increase your productivity as you’re dealing with emails one after the other, rather than interrupting your focus on another project each time an email comes in.

              Besides switching off your email notifications so as not to get distracted, you could also install a Chrome extension called Block Site that helps to stop Gmail notifications coming through at specific times, making it easier for you to manage these subtle daily distractions.

              3. Let Technology Help

              As much as we are getting increasingly distracted because of technology, we can’t deny it’s many advantages. So instead of feeling controlled by technology, why not make use of disabling options that the devices offer?

              Turn off email alerts, app notifications, or set your phone to go straight to voicemail and even create auto-responses to incoming text messages. There are also apps like Forrest that help to increase your productivity by rewarding you each time you focus well, which encourages you to ignore your phone.

              4. Schedule Time to Get Distracted

              Just as important as scheduling focus time, is scheduling break times. Balance is always key, so when you start scheduling focused sessions, you should also intentionally pen down some break time slots for your mind to relax.

              This is because the brain isn’t created to sustain long periods of focus and concentration. The average attention span for an adult is between 15 and 40 minutes. After this time, your likelihood of distractions get stronger and you’ll become less motivated.

              So while taking a mental break might seem unproductive, in the long run it makes your brain work more efficiently, and you’ll end up getting more work done overall.

              Time is in Your Hands

              At the end of the day, we all have a certain amount of time to go all out to pursue our heart’s desires. Whatever your goals are, the time you have now, is in your hands to make them come true.

              You simply need to start somewhere, instead of allowing inaction waste your time away, leaving you with regret later on. With a main goal or purpose in mind, you can be on the right track to attaining your desired outcomes.

              Being aware of how you spend your time and learning how to tackle common distractions can help boost you forward in completing what’s necessary to reach your most desired goals.

              So what are you waiting for? 

              Featured photo credit: Aron Visuals via unsplash.com

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