How to study 400% faster

We all need to learn and study in some part of life. Life is learning, studying and learning again even if you don’t realise it. Whether you’re studying for your Bachelor degree, Masters or simply expanding your knowledge base, these tips will help you get the most out of your study time. We uncover that it’s not necessarily about working harder, but how to study smarter.

1. Set Study Goals.

I make a list of study goals and tick them off when I complete them. Not only will it motivate you and give you a sense of achievement, it will help you feel in control and reduce any study stress. This I found to be very good. It gave me a feel good feeling when I completed a topic. The feeling allowed encouraged me to keep going and learn more.

2. Get good partner

Make sure you get on with the person and they’re motivated to learn. Ideally get someone who is good at the topic or you know picks things up quickly. This is one of the best things I did when trying to study. Naturally we picked up different things when reading the material so we were able to teach each other afterwards. I cannot recommend this enough. I found it great for breaking down complex information into plain English. This is the only way I learn.

3. Study in short intervals

Short and sharp intervals are the best I have found. My brain is able to process information much better than lots of information in long sessions. I always break the sessions up into 30 minutes ‘studying’, 15 minutes review/chat about the topic afterwards and then 15 minutes rest. A short walk or cup of tea is great for this. I find it best to get the blood flowing though as I feel it awakens my body and get my senses going for learning again.

4. Get moving and get in the zone

I like to exercise before I get down to some serious study as I believe it works for me. Its important to create the ideal study space where you are comfortable and have a place to write and talk in peace. That is why i don’t like to study in libraries, I believe it is so important to discuss the topics being studied to embed the knowledge into your deeper consciousness. You’ll be more likely to recall something in an exam if you have discussed it beforehand whereas for me if I have just read the material I may not recall it all. Make sure you have everything you need – correct books, pens etc. Also, limit distractions – leave your phone alone and stay off social media!

5. Sleep well and Eat Well

This is key for live in general but a lot of people don’t do it. I found that I take on more information when I’m alert, have eaten correctly and have had a decent amount of sleep – and of course I perform even better after I’ve exercised. I find that it’s important to make sure you’ve eaten the correct foods to get your brain fired up and ready to learn – food such as fish, nuts, berries and yoghurt. It also pays to stay hydrated so get at least 2 liters of water into you per day studying. Also don’t forget to get up to move after every your 45-minute session.

6. Write Notes on the topics

My brain stores information better when i take notes after have read or heard it. Have you ever understood something in the moment but then later on find it hard to recall what was said? Just write it down. An interesting system I have used is the Leitner System. This system utilises the ideas of spaced repetition and increasing intervals. Give it a go and see if it works for you.

7. Connect with Other Topics or Ideas

I found that making connections between different topics allows me to better understand the subject i am covering. When I understand it I find it a million times easier to remember. I also try use Word Association technique to learn a list. The best example I have for this is Silly Old Harry Caught A Herring Totally Over Arabia. SOHCAHTOA! If you don’t understand what I mean google SOHCAHTOA. If you need to remember 7 names/principles/titles etc, take each name individually and associate it with a random word and make up a funny sentence that you won’t forget. The when asked about the principles you will be able to say your sentence and associate each random word to the principles and therefore learning the principles asked.

8. Test yourself with your partner

There are always questions in text books or the slides you’re studying. If not you will find some online. With you study partner test yourselves. Practice tests are a good way to see where you’re at, and where you might need to focus. I found if you come across something complicated when studying, make a note of it and remember to test yourself later for a challenge. Your partner may be able to help you out with the problem.

9. Teach it

If you really know something you an teach it. Tests have shown that people who study material to teach it to others, absorb the information more logically than those who are merely studying for themselves. So therefore try and teach a topic to your study partner. This will in turn reinforced it and develop your understanding of the topic.

10. Read aloud and recall

Read your notes allowed. Get away from the computer screen and whether it’s by yourself or with your study partner, read your notes out loud. Repetition is the key here. Say it over and over again and try to visualise what you are saying. If you can see it in your mind you will be able to recall it.

11. Get away from the computer screen

As said in my last point, GET AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER! Not only re here a million and one distractions but it has been proven in England at the University of Leicester that it’s harder to remember what you’ve read when reading from a screen, rather than a book or piece of paper. So therefore I would say buy the book or print out your lecture notes or online articles, and give those eyes a rest! It will stand to you in the long run.

Let me know what you think of the article below. I hope it helps you guys when studying. 🙏

How to keep you mind healthy

There are many things that school doesn’t teach us and one of those is how the us and our brain operate. How do we manage and train our brain for healthy living?

Here are the eight tricks for a healthy mind.

1) Listen to music. Music can repair brain damage and returns lost memories. Don’t be afraid to take time out of your busy life to relax and play some tunes. It’s always feels good to play your favorite songs.

2. Simply smile more often. Smiling, even in a bad mood, can immediately improve your mood because these muscles are enough to trigger happy chemicals in the brain. This means if you even pretend you’re happy you will be happy. Actively smile right now and see do you feel better.

3. Don’t be afraid to talk to yourself. I’m not joking. Talking to yourself can make your brain work more effectively. Therefore chatting to yourself might actually help you get the job done.

4. Always listen to your gut. A “gut feeling” is a chemical signal that your stomach creates to warn the brain of danger. 9 times out of 10 your gut feeling will be right so go with it.

5. Get out and exercise every single day with no excuses. “Neither the body nor the brain can function optimally without movement. In fact, sitting for more than 10 minutes at a time increases fatigue and reduces concentration.” – Rae Pica

6. Just let things go. Holding grudges is not only bad for your mental health, but it also has a physical impact on your brain. Take a deep breath, relax and let that shit go.

7. Neurologists claim that every time you resist acting on your anger, you’re actually rewiring your brain to be calmer and more loving. The next time you feel yourself getting angry. Take ten deep breath from the depths of your belly and then say your reply.

8. Finally if you are struggling with sleep, stress or just over thinking cuddling with your partner could be the answer. Cuddling before bed helps the brain relax so get into that spoon position and get your partner to help you out!

Change your life in a Month

The Happiness Advantage

  • Write a Gratitude List (3 things you are greatful for)
  • Journal (Something good that happened to you today)
  • Exercise
  • Meditate
  • Random act of kindness

Try doing these simple tasks for a month and see does it make a difference for you.

Positive people are happier and happy people outperform always.

Watch Shawn Achor’s Ted Talk below..

Ted Talk – The Happy Secret to Better Work

Daily Affirmations

So what is it that you want? Have you some goal or objective you have been trying to reach for years but you never seem to quite get to it?

Try writing down your goal 15 times every morning for the next month. Example: I, Dennis Higgins will become a business owner. Once you have written this down 15 times then say it 15 times allowed and then 15 times in your head.

This helps to focus your mind and your memory on a very specific thing. ‘I, Dennis Higgins will become a business owner’. This is said to allow one to notice things in your environment that might have already been then and you just haven’t noticed them. Through memory and repetition trick allows extra information in.

‘What you know doesn’t mean shit! What do you do consistently? – Tony Robbins

The Secret to Personal Growth as a Leader … George Raveling

Someone asked me what has been one of my most significant challenges throughout my life. My response was to live a disciplined life. Much of our personal behavior is predicated on how we view the world. We tend to prefer information that confirms our existing beliefs. We like to believe adding new processes, policies, procedures, and habits will transform our lives without retiring old mindsets and ways of living that no longer serves us. When you add anything in life, you must subtract somewhere else. Each day you must be brutally honest with yourself as it relates to who you are, what you want, what you need and how you serve others. The challenge is not just to do good in life, but to be good and at peace within.

There is no better use of a life than to be attentive to other people’s needs. I have come to realize that everyone is always in need of something that another person can give. Be it undivided attention, a kind word or deep empathy. The reality is this, most of us spend more time following than leading. More than ever we desperately need sterling leadership. The fundamental characteristic of leadership is the ability to manage oneself. The secret to personal growth as a leader is always to remain curious. A great way to learn is to teach. Learning happens when you acknowledge what you do not know. When one teaches, all parties end up growing and winning.

Self-imposed fears and your unwillingness to be uncomfortable will always present barriers to your success and leadership. Your choices always have real consequences. So do not hide your best self from others. Understand anything that deviates from the status quo is frightening but worthwhile. On your journey of self-discovery you will be taken through front doors, back doors, side doors, and no doors. No matter what lies ahead keep moving forward and never give up!


– Coach George Raveling 

10 lessons in how to build your professional network…

A Twitter thread by

@davidspinks

🤝

1. Build community. There’s no better way to improve your reputation in a field than to be the one bringing people together.

Offline is key: Host events. Big or small. Conferences, meetups or dinners all work.

2. Do great work. If people recognize the work you do before they meet you, they’ll respect you a lot more.

The best connections you’ll make are with the people you work with directly. Choose them wisely.

3. Support people at the same stage as you.

I used to wonder how all these successful people knew each other and would ALWAYS promote each other. It’s because they came up together. My most valuable connections are ppl I became friends with 5-10 years ago before they “made it”.

4. Close the loop when people help you.

If you get advice, follow up later to thank the person, and let them know how it went.

If you get introduced to someone, or make an introduction to someone, follow up and thank them after the meeting.

5. Help every chance you get. The ability to help others is a privilege. Constantly build good karma but giving, with no expectation of returns.

6. Participate in intimate events. Choose the smaller coworking space. Attend the smaller dinners. Join the smaller online communities. Smaller groups will give you a chance to develop deeper relationships.

7. Write consistently. Share what you’re learning along the way. Tweet, blog, video, whatever your format, just keep sharing. Writing a book is the ultimate reputation booster.

You’re never too young to write a book (see: https://t.co/7Og05aeHAA by @erickoester)

8. When you go to networking events, try to talk to less people, for more time. One or two deep conversations are exponentially more valuable than ten quick conversations.

9. If your industry has a big hub in a city, live there for some time. This isn’t going to be possible or easy for everyone, and it’s becoming less important, but it’s still extremely valuable.

The serendipity of running into people in SF has been huge for me.

10. Be transparent in your work, writing, and conversations.

Transparency makes people feel like they know you better, like they can trust you, even if they’re just following you online. It brings them into your journey.

5 Things To Know Before Skiing For The First Time

  1. Skiing is tough. Make sure you are prepared for a bit of exercise. The boots (that make you walk like you are on the moon) are very rigid and carrying the poles and skis can be very awkward. I would suggest you do some warm up exercises before hitting the slopes each day as you can get very stiff if you are not used to this type of exercise.
  2. Learn the basics. Read the maps, understand how the chairlifts work and know how to carry and put on your equipment. Technique is everything. Watch Youtube videos. A great one I found was HOW TO SKI | 10 BEGINNER SKILLS FOR THE FIRST DAY SKIING. Get lessons for at least 3/4 days depending on how you are advancing.
  3. Enjoy it. Don’t be scared or nervous and always remember to lean forward into the slopes. Once you master how to do the snow plough and parrallel turn you can take on most green, blue and red slopes depending on your fitness. Know your limits though. You can pick up incredable speeds on the slopes and I have seen people take risks and have serious falls.
  4. Accomodation. Make sure it is close to the slopes. In Top Apartments Casso del Tonale we were able to ski right to the back door. This saved us any walking in ski boot and hauling gear around. A few years back I went skiing in Whistler, Brittish Columbia, Canada and we stayed 45 minutes bus journey from the slopes. I would not recommend this. It gets very very hot in all your ski gear while sitting on an over crowded bus.
  5. Take in the views. Even if you dont feel comfortable enough doing the big slopes try get a non skiers pass and go up to the top. The views are spectacular. Something I never used to appreciate but some of these are just amazing.

5 Things To Do While In Berlin

5 things to do in Berlin.png
5 things to do while in Berlin

A buddy of mine lived in Berlin for a few years so before we went on our Christmas Markets in Berlin trip last month I gave him a shout to get some recommendations for the city at Christmas. Here is what he said to me..

‘Unfortunately a bunch of my best stuff to do was in the summer but Berlin is still an amazing city in winter. I’d say expect snow anyway it’s freezing there! Also the Christmas markets are great this time of year. The best in my opinion is weinachts zauber gendarmanmarket, it’s really traditional. Get some  Gluhwein (Mulled Wine) and racclette!’

This makes me think that I will have to visit the city again in the summer. I love the warm summer days but that being said we really enjoyed the Christmas markets even though they were freezing! 

‘If your staying in berlin I always think your best call is to stay on the east side. Everything’s cheaper and it’s more arty. There are some really cool areas in the east like neukoln or freidrichsein that have a nice buzz, or there’s a lot of good nightlife near somewhere like warschauer strase.

But most importantly I’d say that you should stay near an ubahn/sbahn station (preferably on the ring) and you’ll fly around the city no bother! Berlin is really big so the train is the only good way to get around. They run till one every night and 24 hours Friday and Saturday. Get yourself a map and suffer the cost of looking like a tourist haha.’

As for stuff to do there’s always things happening! Have a look online and I’ll bet you’ll find some great stuff the weekend your there!


The 5 Things To Do While In Berlin are:

1. East side gallery (the Berlin Wall) and all the other touristy stuff. I’d give the TV Tower can be hit and miss depending on the weather and the queue in but the Reichstag gives you a great view of the city at night (you have to book it free a day or two before) and the Brandenburg gate along with the Jewish memorial are right around each other and their all well worth the trip up there to get your fill of history. I’m pretty sure the train stop is just called Brandenburg tor.

2. I was a big fan of all the parks in Berlin. There’s a bunch but if one I’d highly recommend is visiting Mauer Park on a Sunday. There’s a huuuuge market there that sells all sort of cool stuff and nice food. But best of all is the open air karaoke that happens right outside the market. (This is only on in summer). Get a few drinks and sit in the sun (sorry wrote this for a summer trip haha) and watch some of the best amateur singers you’ve ever seen, and some really bad ones. I promise if you go you’ll love and it’s Mc’d by some legend from Dublin.

3. You have to see Potsdam! Potsdam is about 40 minutes outside berlin. It’s a huge park where the Kaisers used to build their summer palaces so you can imagine what it’s like. Very cute town beside the park that’s a different buzz from what you’ll get in Berlin so it can be a nice break. It’s definitely worth a day trip.

4. Check out Berlin’s gorgeous really nice, cheap restaurants. Unfortunately most I found I couldn’t tell you the name just a vague description of their location. But Burgermeister and Bird have the two best burgers in the city hands down. There is a lovely Thai Indonesian place called Tranzit, and a Korean wing spot called angry chicken but I don’t know if it will satisfy an Asian food aficionado such as yourself! But if you wanna be a true Berliner stay away from the Currywurst and stick to the kebabs!

5. Go to the Clubs! Even though I am more of a pub and gaf man myself. YAAM is a top Rasta bar to go in the summer. It’s a big beach bar with a real good buzz. Also you can always buy weed there if any of your mates are that way inclined haha. As for clubs Greusmuller was my favourite and there’s lots of bars and clubs around Warschauer Strase (it’s a stop on the Sbahn) that you’ll all definitely get into if all else fails (being refused from a club more likely than you’d think). Besides that I like Suicide Circus and Renata. Just stay away from Matrix at all cost!


What is there to do in Vancouver? 

So this year I decided to start my travels in Vancouver, BC. What an amazing city it is! The summer sun kicked in as soon as I arrived on the 16th May which made it even more incredible. On wednesday 17th May, my first day in the city, we decided to do a Free Walking Tour with Tour Guys in order develope an understanding of the history and culture of Vancouver, BC. There is three options of tour to do. We did Granville Street and Gastown tour with the Beared Guy! He was an amazing tour guide and would definately recommended doing one of his tours if you’re ever in Vancouver. We started outside The Pacfic Center and made our way down Granville street towards Waterfront station and then on to Gastown where the tour concluded. The interesting points I took from the tour were:

  • Vanvouver was named after Captain George Vancouver who explored the harbour of Burrard in 1792.
  • Granville street was once lined with neon lights (as was the fashion) but was totally renovated when Vancouver won their bid for the Winter Olympics in 2010.
  • Gastown gets its name from Gassy Jack. A proprietor who was broke and only had one barrel of beer left. He stood on two stumps in front of the Hastings Mill workers in now whats known as Gastown and promissed the workers he would sell them alocohol if they would build him a tavern. The next day the tavern was built. 1867

We enjoyed the tour so much we decided we would do another one the next day around Chinatown. Unfortunately I messed up the starting point and ending point and we missed the tour. So instead of letting the day go to waste we strolled down to the Vancouver Library where we enjoyed a relaxing coffee and embrased the magnificent arcitecture.

From there we walked to the courner of Robson and Homer where we got the free shuttle to capilano. The driver was very imformative telling us good places to eat and informing us that the Guiness family built the Lions Gate Bridge during the great depression in the 1930s and sold it back to the City of Vancouver at cost price. The Guiness family also owned a lot of land in North Vancouver and needed the bridge to transport items to their Marine Building on Burrard street.

In Capilano the Bridge was amazing. I must admit I do not like heights so walking on a suspension brigde would not be one of my favourite pastimes but the views we amazing and well worth it. We did the tree top walk and the cliff walk (which is literally along a cliff!!) After we had some food in Bridge House Cafe. The food was very basic and kind of pricey if you ask me!

On Friday 19th May I got my coordinates right and we managed to do another Tour Guys walking tour this time of Downtown and Waterfront. This tour was taken by a canadian women by the name of Ali. She was nice but probably a bit too Canadian for me. She knew her facts though! We went to the Vancouver Arts Gallery and saw outside that there are 4 ships on the roof each a different colour and representing a different race or event. Go on the tour to find out all the info!!

We then walked down towards the waterfront where we learned that a building here was built for $1 Billion Canadian dollars!! Crazy money!! But the cool thing about it is that it has the highest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) with apiary on the roof along with all kinds of plants etc grown there. All the water for the building is supplied by the rain water that hits the roof! I was amazed by this. Incredable stuff if you ask me. Finally we got a picture with the picsulated Whale (Sea Orkid or something).

That night we went to a gig by the ‘Comedy Mix’ at the Century Plaza Hotel & Spa which was really good fun. After all the laughs we decided to go to Doolins Irish bar for a few and then off to bed.

On Saturday 20th of May we did so much. In the morning we hired bikes and cycled Stanley Park, then went to a Whitecaps game followed by a few drinks in the Lamplighter Bar in Gastown.

We hired bikes on Denman and West Georgia for 12 bucks for 3 hours! How can you go wrong. We got helmets and bikes for as long as we liked. We cycled to stanley park and upon arriving it was obvious which way you were meant to cycle as everyone was going ani clockwise around the outside of Stanley Park. The sun was splitting the skys and there was also a nice gentle breeze to keep you nice and cool. We got about half way around and decided to stop at English Bay beach and chill out, sun bathe and go for a paddle. It was just perfect. Great company, great weather and great location with the views of the mountains of Whistler in the backdrop. Just amazing. We then finished up the cycle and decided to go to the Vancouver Whitecaps game.

The Whitecaps were playing against Kansas City who were top of the Western Conference at the time. The Whitecaps won 2-0 in a fairly poor game if im honest but I was entertained. We got tickets for the singing section and it was great fun! Here’s their song I just can’t get out of my head!

Just Can’t Get Enough (YouTube of similar Celtic chant)

A tweaked version of the Depeche Mode classic.

When I see you, Whitecaps,

I go out of my head,

I just can’t get enough,

I just can’t get enough,

All the things you do to me,

And all the things you said,

I just can’t get enough,

I just can’t get enough

Here in the Southside, I’m falling in love,

And I just can’t seem to get enough of

(while bouncing)

Do do do-do-do-do-do,

Do do do-do-do-do-do.

After all that singing and fun we decided to meet friends of James and hit the Lamplighter Bar in Gastown. It was a good night but what is the story with bouncers in Canada getting this power trip and making you wait an age in the que when there is nobody inside the club! In Ireland the just open the gates and we all flock in.. and I like that way!!

Anyway enough ranting. I had a great night but probably drank a little too much and couldn’t really do much the next day.

Sunday 21st we chilled out for most of the day and Kev introduced me to The Office US. I know its 12 years old or whatever but I don’t watch an awful lot of tv. I ended up watching up to season 3 ep 3 before I left their house 🙂 haha. Its great and I would recommend it to anyone. Anyway we decided to go to the Japanese Botanic Gardens later in the day once everyones hangover had eased a bit. It was $11 entrance but it was totally worth it in my opinion. Achres of beautiful flowers, shrubs and trees.

There was also an Apiary which I thought was pretty cool. I might even have one myself someday if I can. Anything you can make or grow yourself I believe is probably better for you!

On Monday the 22nd I got a lift out to my brothers place in Burnaby. Pretty cool spot he has but I must say it could do with a tidy up. We caught up for a while and then we went to Lynn Creek for the afternoon. It’s a beautiful place when the sun is shining. We did a small hike along by the river and finished up at the car park. A nice day out for my last day in Vancouver. If you are going to Vancouver I would definitely recommend going to Lynn Creek and Canyon. It’s free and enjoyable for all the family. Bring a packed lunch and eat it beside the river!