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Working Efficiently From Home

Working Efficiently From Home
Home Office

    If you have realized your dream of being able to work from home, then you would have realized by now that it is not as easy as it seems. Whether you write for a living or have an Internet business or sell some specialty that you have expertise in, what you need is some space for yourself where you can pursue your home career.

    A designated place for working is required, even if you are working from home since that is the only manner in which you shall be able to concentrate fully on what you are doing without getting distracted by the daily chores of the household and the hustle bustle if there are other people around. If you are lucky to have the house to yourself, finding this place shall be easy because you can choose any corner that provides you inspiration. But if there are other people in the house and you need to create time and space for your work, you will need to keep a few things in mind to choose the right place.

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    The place that you choose to work could be a separate room or an area in a room set aside to be your workplace. There are a few things that you should avoid while choosing the right place. Ensure that you pick a place that is not in the middle of high activity. Places close to the front door and rooms that are visited by other people in the household should be avoided. These tend to distract you and do not allow you to focus on the task at hand. When you know that you can snatch only a few hours away from the rigmarole of housework and other commitments to your children and husband, make sure that you make the best of it.

    To make the best of available time, try and keep all distractions at bay. Try to avoid being in the same room as the television and if this cannot be avoided, do not give into the temptation to switch it on. Keep the latest bestseller that you are currently reading away from your workstation.

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    Once you have made sure that the negatives are debarred from your workplace, start to make the best of the available place that you have chosen and create an environment that helps in making your creative juices flow. Discover what works best for you. Does background music help you in relaxing and think clearly or does it clutter your thoughts? Even if you prefer to have music around, ensure that it is not jarring and interfering. An instrumental piece scores over songs with lyrics that are more likely that not distract you from the job at hand.

    Good working conditions include good lighting. Aim to work in a place that has natural light. Dark interiors with minimal lighting can result in a throbbing headache after a few hours. If natural lighting cannot be achieved, ensure that the area you are working in is well lit and bright.

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    To ensure maximum productivity, keep all the objects that you may need close to your workstation. These could include a fax machine, a telephone, a printer, writing instruments, paper and reference books.

    You should also give some thought to adding a personal touch to your place by adding a motivation placard or a poster. These can go a long way in motivating you when the going gets tough. Flowers and soft toys on your desk can freshen up and make the atmosphere more exuberant.

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    Maintaining a clean, structured environment not only provides you with the motivation to work efficiently but also gives a signal to everyone else that with the home-office that you have, you are serious about what you are doing.

    Vishal P. Rao runs the Work at Home Forum, a community of those who work from home.

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    Last Updated on September 28, 2020

    How To Study Effectively: 7 Simple Tips

    How To Study Effectively: 7 Simple Tips

    The brain is a tangled web of information. We don’t remember single facts, but instead we interlink everything by association. Anytime we experience a new event, our brains tie the sights, smells, sounds and our own impressions together into a new relationship.

    Our brain remembers things by repetition, association, visual imagery, and all five senses. By knowing a bit about how the brain works, we can become better learners, absorbing new information faster than ever.

    Here are some study tips to help get you started:

    1. Use Flashcards

    Our brains create engrained memories through repetition. The more times we hear, see, or repeat something to ourselves, the more likely we are to remember it.

    Flashcards can help you learn new subjects quickly and efficiently. Flashcards allow you to study anywhere at any time. Their portable nature lends them to quick study sessions on the bus, in traffic, at lunch, or in the doctor’s office. You can always whip out your flashcards for a quick 2 to 3 minute study session.

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    To create effective flashcards, you need to put one point on each flashcard. Don’t load up the entire card with information. That’s just overload. Instead, you should dedicate one concept to each card.

    One of the best ways to make flashcards is to put 1 question on the front and one answer on the back. This way, you can repeatedly quiz yourself into you have mastered any topic of your choice.

    Commit to reading through your flash cards at least 3 times a day and you will be amazed at how quickly you pick up new information.

    As Tony Robbins says,

    “Repetition is the mother of skill”.

    2. Create the Right Environment

    Often times, where you study can be just as important as how you study. For an optimum learning environment, you’ll want to find a nice spot that is fairly peaceful. Some people can’t stand a deafening silence, but you certainly don’t want to study near constant distractions.

    Find a spot that you can call your own, with plenty of room to spread out your stuff. Go there each time you study and you will find yourself adapting to a productive study schedule. When you study in the same place each time, you become more productive in that spot because you associate it with studying.

    3. Use Acronyms to Remember Information

    In your quest for knowledge, you may have once heard of an odd term called “mnemonics”. However, even if you haven’t heard of this word, you have certainly heard of its many applications. One of the most popular mnemonic examples is “Every Good Boy Does Fine”. This is an acronym used to help musicians and students to remember the notes on a treble clef stave.

    An acronym is simply an abbreviation formed using the intial letters of a word. These types of memory aids can help you to learn large quantities of information in a short period of time.

    4. Listen to Music

    Research has long shown that certain types of music help you to recall information. Information learned while listening to a particular song can often be remembered simply by “playing” the songs mentally in your head.

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    5. Rewrite Your Notes

    This can be done by hand or on the computer. However, you should keep in mind that writing by hand can often stimulate more neural activity than when writing on the computer.

    Everyone should study their notes at home but often times, simply re-reading them is too passive. Re-reading your notes can cause you to become disengaged and distracted.

    To get the most out of your study time, make sure that it is active. Rewriting your notes turns a passive study time into an active and engaging learning tool. You can begin using this technique by buying two notebooks for each of your classes. Dedicate one of the notebooks for making notes during each class. Dedicate the other notebook to rewriting your notes outside of class.

    6. Engage Your Emotions

    Emotions play a very important part in your memory. Think about it. The last time you went to a party, which people did you remember? The lady who made you laugh, the man who hurt your feelings, and the kid who went screaming through the halls are the ones you will remember. They are the ones who had an emotional impact.

    Fortunately, you can use the power of emotion in your own study sessions. Enhance your memory by using your five senses. Don’t just memorize facts. Don’t just see and hear the words in your mind. Create a vivid visual picture of what you are trying to learn.

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    For example, if you are trying to learn the many parts of a human cell, begin physically rotating the cell in your minds eye. Imagine what each part might feel like. Begin to take the cell apart piece by piece and then reconstruct it. Paint the human cell with vivid colors. Enlarge the cell in your mind’s eye so that it is now six feet tall and putting on your own personal comedy show. This visual and emotional mind play will help deeply encode information into your memory.

    7. Make Associations

    One of the best ways to learn new things is to relate what you want to learn with something you already know. This is known as association, and it is the mental glue that drives your brain.

    Have you ever listened to a song and been flooded by memories that were connected to it? Have you ever seen an old friend that triggered memories from childhood? This is the power of association.

    To maximize our mental powers, we must constantly be looking for ways to relate new information with old ideas and concepts that we are already familiar with.

    You can do this with the use of mindmapping. A mind map is used to diagram words, pictures, thoughts, and ideas into a an interconnected web of information. This simple practice will help you to connect everything you learn into a global network of knowledge that can be pulled from at any moment.

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    Learn more about mindmapping here: How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

    Featured photo credit: Alissa De Leva via unsplash.com

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