Another Year Over…

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Time Management

As enthusiastic as you are about completing your new years’ resolutions, don’t be too hasty. The running joke of never keeping new years’ resolutions has some merit. There are many reasons that people don’t end up keeping those yearly promises to themselves but a lot of it comes down to time management.

Most people say they will start going to the gym right away and eat healthy. As these are good goals to have, you need to be more realistic in allowing yourself enough time to reach them. The same goes for anything. Time management is an important skill to be able to have in every aspect of life. Whether its school or work or personal health, you will find that managing your time properly will actually make you more successful.

FullSizeRender (1)By breaking up your large goals into smaller more manageable ones, and setting more realistic schedules in which to keep these goals, you will find that you can and do accomplish those otherwise improbable resolutions. In fact, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

 

 

Group Work

An important skill, that will always be useful, is being able to work well with others. Group work is about compromising and communication. Whether your ambition is to become a nurse, teacher, store manager, or film director, working well with others will continually play a large role in your professional and academic career.

Unfortunately, there are some people that do not have the same motivation as you do and whom you will be required to work with. The most important thing to remember when dealing with these people is to communicate the issue or project and their relevance to it as best you can. This gives them an opportunity to redeem themselves and contribute to the project if they are able at another time. However, it is important not to be pulled down or use them as an excuse for not completing a project.  You are always in charge of how much you contribute.

Working well with others can be a learning experience, whether good or bad.

 

Personal Branding

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Your image is always changing. The decisions that you make today may be different than yesterday and will go on to shape the person you become and will perceive to be. Who you are now has changed throughout your life and will continue to change according to the decisions that you are constantly. As Walt Disney once said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

Whether it’s the colour of your hair, your profession, or your language, there are some perceptions that you will always be challenging throughout your life. By being aware of these presumptions and branding your own personal image to who you are and want to be, you can effectively emulate the professional behaviour you strive.

So whether you choose to be a model, an academic, or a writer, holding yourself to a professional standard in all aspects of life will lead you in the direction of an accomplished professional.

Goals

Throughout life, you have responsibilities and obligations involving family, academia and your career. Most people undergo these obligations because they are expected to do so, without giving them much personal consideration. If more people thought thoroughly about what theyIMG_1914 want and set goals towards achieving this, they would be a lot more motivated and fulfilled in life.

Setting goals for yourself can be a fun, challenging and life altering process. It can also put into perspective what you really want out of life, school, and your career. In your academic career, the main goal is usually to pass and graduate. Nevertheless, breaking that larger goal down into personal milestones can make the attainability of these goals seem less menacing. Setting well formulated goals sets your life in a specific direction with an objective that is reachable. You also need to look at these goals, whether they be for school, work, or personal happiness, and make sure they are SMART.

SMART goals involve being Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. This means that your goals should be detailed and meaningful to your life. They should be representative of what you hope to achieve. They should also be trackable and manageable. Creating SMART goals allows you to be motivated and optimistic.

Breaking down these goals into smaller, more obtainable, milestones should help you to stay on track. These milestones should give you a chance to reflect and review your goals as you reach them. They give you a chance to ask yourself whether or not they are attainable and whether or not you should modify them or the time you gave yourself to complete them. Also, rewarding yourself when you reach these milestones is important and encourages you to continue.

Prioritizing your time, using time management skills, to complete these short and long term goals is essential. Whether its using day to day or week to week goal setting strategies, time boundaries are important to your success. Unfortunately, feeling overwhelmed can decrease the likelihood of you completely your goals.

However, sometimes you will come across unforeseeable obstacles along your journey. Knowing your strengths and resources to fight these obstacles is necessary. Whether these obstacles are in your control or not, you can usually find a way to use your resources in your favour to complete your goals.

It helps to write down the goals you create. As the variety of goals ranges, this could be with an academic counsellor, with your partner, or a bucket list of your own making. Day to day scheduling is necessary for all students and working professionals. Therefore, having a journal or diary to keep track of this scheduling and goal making is important and helps you to manage your time.

IMG_2353It is common for people to set New Year’s Resolutions and bucket lists, but the difference between setting the goals and completing them is up to the people themselves. If you use these tips and set goals that are SMART, you could be on your way to reaching your goals today.

Take Note

Note taking has become a unique process but learning the basics is a great way to stay on top of things and know your options for a better learning experience. There are many different types of note taking which can work differently for everyone. Although writing notes by hand is proved to be typewritera better method for studying, taking notes using a computer has become more and more popular. If you are one of these people, OneNote is an excellent application that helps to organize your notes. Quip is another application that not only helps you take notes, but helps you organize them and your time by means of to-do lists. This article will highlight some of the best ways to take notes and prepare for class so you are not falling short or becoming overcrowded with notes when it comes time to study for a test.

First of all, the lesson plans for most teachers are given or posted at the beginning of the semester. This means that you should never be surprised by what the teacher is talking about in class that day. Being mindful of this plan is the best way to stay ahead of the game. Therefore, if you know you have a lecture on a certain subject, you should have already read the chapter in the text for this lecture. By being aware of the lesson plan you can keep one step ahead.

Reading a textbook cover to cover can be dry and boring, but breaking up the text into sections can help. Most textbooks are sorted by chapters and main sections within the chapters. When taking notes from the textbook, read full paragraphs or short sections to fully understand the point the writer is trying to make before writing anything down. By doing this you can highlight the main points of the text, section by section. Once you have read the section, write down what you believe the main idea is and the main points to support the idea as well as new definitions. Always remember to use point form and abbreviations, as well as using your own words. Be selective and condense what you choose to add to your notes, details are not as important as the main idea. Also, try and understand the material so you’re prepared for the up coming lecture.

Once you have prepared your notes for class, its time for the lecture. This is the chance to actively learn and identify the main points that your teacher is teaching. Before you can give your full attention to the lecture, you must get rid of internal and external distractions. This involves getting a full night’s sleep, eating healthy, not over stressing, turning off your electronics, and avoid socializing during class time. By doing this you are able to give your full attention, listen to the teacher, understand the material, participate by asking and answering questions, and pick up on important cues from the teacher.

Now that you are fully prepared, the first thing that should be at the top of your notes is the date. Dating your work is another key element to organization. There are many different methods to note taking. The most used method is the Outlining Method. The Outlining Method involves placing the information related to the topics and subtopics to the right by indenting. However, although the Outlining Method is the most common, the Cornell Method is proved to be much more effective. With this method, the page is sectioned off for different types of information. On the right is the main area where general notes would be taken, a column on the left highlights the key point and concepts taken from the main area, and the bottom section of the page is where you would summarize the page of information. With this method the most important terms and concepts are clearly distinguishable. Other methods include, The Two-Column Method, Mapping Method, Charting Method, and the Sentence Method. Which ever you choose to use, listen, look, think, understand, paraphrase, then write.

After class you should have a clear page of notes to work with. This is where you would review your notes, highlight or underline key points, compare them with your previous textbook notes, and organize them into your binder. This is specifically important to do as soon as possible after the lecture. What’s on the test should never be a mystery. By following these note taking strategies, you should have a clear understanding of the material, and personalized decisive notes.