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Level Up Your Knowledge with These 6 Excellent Websites

Level Up Your Knowledge with These 6 Excellent Websites

Building knowledge: For some people it is a passing interest, for others it is a hobby, while for some it is an obsession. Regardless of where you stand on the spectrum, chances are that from time-to-time you look to learn something new. Luckily, for all of us there are a series of websites that can help us learn a thing or two about… well, anything. You are likely find an answer at one of these websites no matter what your interest or need is.

TED

If you are not just looking for information, but also inspiration, then TED.com is the website that will fulfill your needs. The Technology, Education, and Design oratory forums that take place in California are a collecting of inspiring and innovative minds. In fields ranging from architecture, dance, science, history, sociology, to philosophy and beyond, TED invites all great minds to present their concepts in 20-minute presentations.

It is hard to find a single TED oration that is not filled with inspiring concepts, motivating ideas, and worthwhile tidbits of information. As a whole, TED is a great way to both learn and be inspired to learn more. That is more, with TED gaining popularity, there is only more and more information being presented to feed the curious mind.

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If you’re keen to learn more Finance-related information, do check out post on “16 Great Personal Finance Resources & Blogs”.

Answerbag.com

While a rather informal website, Answerbag.com provides a great service to anyone who “just can’t remember how buoyancy works,” or “Am not sure who was the best baseball player of the 1970s.” Answerbag has a very simple concept and the right answer will be found sooner or later.

It is a committee source website, which allows anyone to answer any question. Think of it as a worldwide way of just shouting out a random question to a group of friends. The best part is that when a proper answer comes across, it is likely multiple people will verify that it is the case.

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One of the best parts of Answerbag.com is that since it is informal, you do not have to be embarrassed if your question is rather random or silly. The thousands of individuals who frequent Answerbag likely have either an answer, or some useful insight.

How Stuff Works

For those who are scientifically or design-oriented minds, HowSTuffWorks.com is a great site to answer the fundamental questions. You can simply type in your inquiry on the search page, and more than likely there will be a like, or similar, question that has already been answered. You can also browse through a great range of topics and areas of study. For the inquisitive mind, this site is a treasure-trove of interesting and practical facts.

    Khan Academy

    For those with a thirst for learning, who just found the lectures and dedication to be too much work, KhanAcademy.org has found the answer. Fit into small YouTube-sized videos are now information that is ever-growing, presented by the founder Mr. Kahn. You can learn about astronomy, how RNA turns to DNA, or learn about art history.

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    The library of the Khan Academy is growing each week. With the growing of the site, so to can your knowledge grow.  Of course, these “classes” should not take the place of actual education, but they are great for studying for tests. There are also fantastic brainteasers, which test the mind and general knowledge.

    Project Gutenberg

    For those who have a love of reading, Gutenberg.org is a true Godsend. With over 38,000 books on tap, each is fully free and available for anyone to read at any time. With the advent of Kindles and IPads, which allow for comfortable digital reading, there has never been a better time to have the literary bug.

    There truly is a book for any genre and style of writing one could hope for. Not only can one read great classics, but there are thousands upon thousands of lesser-known books spanning across literary time. This adds an element of true excitement for the bibliophile.

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    Brain Pickings

    If you are feeling like rolling the dice on what it is you might learn, then brainpickings.com is the site for you. Made by an MIT fellow, BrainPickings is a hodgepodge of art, history, science, anthropology, and so on. While the site itself may be a bit off-putting due to its rather highbrow nature, the site truly carries quite a punch when it comes to knowledge.

    Articles like “7 Must-Read Books on Emotions and the Brain” and “Mapping European Stereotypes” will entertain as well as inform. Soon, one will forget all about the “highbrowness” of the site and be thankful such well-informed individuals are also capable of quality writing.

    Photo credit: Idea via Shutterstock

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    Level Up Your Knowledge with These 6 Excellent Websites

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    Last Updated on November 18, 2019

    How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

    How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

    Everyone of my team members has a bucketload of tasks that they need to deal with every working day. On top of that, most of their tasks are either creativity tasks or problem solving tasks.

    Despite having loads of tasks to handle, our team is able to stay creative and work towards our goals consistently.

    How do we manage that?

    I’m going to reveal to you how I helped my team get more things done in less time through the power of correct prioritization. A few minutes spent reading this article could literally save you thousands of hours over the long term. So, let’s get started with my method on how to prioritize:

    The Scales Method – a productivity method I created several years ago.

    How to Prioritize with the Scales Method

      One of our new editors came to me the other day and told me how she was struggling to keep up with the many tasks she needed to handle and the deadlines she constantly needed to stick to.

      At the end of each day, she felt like she had done a lot of things but often failed to come up with creative ideas and to get articles successfully published. From what she told me, it was obvious that she felt overwhelmed and was growing increasingly frustrated about failing to achieve her targets despite putting in extra hours most days.

      After she listened to my advice – and I introduced her to the Scales Method – she immediately experienced a dramatic rise in productivity, which looked like this:

      • She could produce three times more creative ideas for blog articles
      • She could publish all her articles on time
      • And she could finish all her work on time every day (no more overtime!)

      Curious to find out how she did it? Read on for the step-by-step guide:

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      1. Set Aside 10 Minutes for Planning

      When it comes to tackling productivity issues, it makes sense to plan before taking action. However, don’t become so involved in planning that you become trapped in it and never move beyond first base.

      My recommendation is to give yourself a specific time period for planning – but keep it short. Ideally, 10 or 15 minutes. This should be adequate to think about your plan.

      Use this time to:

      • Look at the big picture.
      • Think about the current goal and target that you need/want to achieve.
      • Lay out all the tasks you need to do.

      2. Align Your Tasks with Your Goal

      This is the core component that makes the Scales Method effective.

      It works like this:

      Take a look at all the tasks you’re doing, and review the importance of each of them. Specifically, measure a task’s importance by its cost and benefit.

      By cost, I am referring to the effort needed per task (including time, money and other resources). The benefit is how closely the task can contribute to your goal.

        To make this easier for you, I’ve listed below four combinations that will enable you to quickly and easily determine the priority of each of your tasks:

        Low Cost + High Benefit

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        Do these tasks first because they’re the simple ones to complete, yet help you get closer to your goal.

        Approving artwork created for a sales brochure would likely fit this category. You could easily decide on whether you liked the artwork/layout, but your decision to approve would trigger the production of the leaflet and the subsequent sales benefits of sending it out to potential customers.

        High Cost + High Benefit

        Break the high cost task down into smaller ones. In other words, break the big task into mini ones that take less than an hour to complete. And then re-evaluate these small tasks and set their correct priority level.

        Imagine if you were asked to write a product launch plan for a new diary-free protein powder supplement. Instead of trying to write the plan in one sitting – aim to write the different sections at different times (e.g., spend 30 minutes writing the introduction, one hour writing the body text, and 30 minutes writing the conclusion).

        Low Cost + Low Benefit

        This combination should be your lowest priority. Either give yourself 10-15 minutes to handle this task, or put these kind of tasks in between valuable tasks as a useful break.

        These are probably necessary tasks (e.g., routine tasks like checking emails) but they don’t contribute much towards reaching your desired goal. Keep them way down your priority list.

        High Cost + Low Benefit

        Review if these tasks are really necessary. Think of ways to reduce the cost if you decide that the completion of the task is required.

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        For instance, can any tools or systems help to speed up doing the task? In this category, you’re likely to find things like checking and updating sales contacts spreadsheets. This can be a fiddly and time-consuming thing to do without making mistakes. However, there are plenty of apps out there they can make this process instant and seamless.

        Now, coming back to the editor who I referred to earlier, let’s take a look at her typical daily task list:

          After listening to my advice, she broke down the High cost+ High benefit task into smaller ones. Her tasks then looked like this (in order of priority):

            And for the task about promoting articles to different platforms, after reviewing its benefits, we decided to focus on the most effective platform only – thereby significantly lowering the associated time cost.

            Bonus Tip: Tackling Tasks with Deadlines

            Once you’ve evaluated your tasks, you’ll know the importance of each of them. This will immediately give you a crystal-clear picture on which tasks would help you to achieve more (in terms of achieving your goals). Sometimes, however, you won’t be able to decide every task’s priority because there’ll be deadlines set by external parties such as managers and agencies.

            What to do in these cases?

            Well, I suggest that after considering the importance and values of your current tasks, align the list with the deadlines and adjust the priorities accordingly.

            For example, let’s dip into the editor’s world again.

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            Some of the articles she edited needed to be published by specific dates. The Scales Method allows for this, and in this case, her amended task list would look something like this:

              Hopefully, you can now see how easy it is to evaluate the importance of tasks and how to order them in lists of priority.

              The Scales Method Is Different from Anything Else You’ve Tried

              By adopting the Scales Method, you’ll begin to correctly prioritize your work, and most importantly – boost your productivity by up to 10 times!

              And unlike other methods that don’t really explain how to decide the importance of a task, my method will help you break down each of your tasks into two parts: cost and benefits. My method will also help you to take follow-up action based on different cost and benefits combinations.

              Start right now by spending 10 minutes to evaluate your common daily tasks and how they align with your goal(s). Once you have this information, it’ll be super-easy to put your tasks into a priority list. All that remains, is that you kick off your next working day by following your new list.

              Trust me, once you begin using the Scales Method – you’ll never want to go back to your old ways of working.

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              Featured photo credit: Vector Stock via vectorstock.com

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