Identify Your Five Weekly Wins Every Week – TUB-Thump 020

tub-thump-logo-small

 

Do you feel overwhelmed with the number of tasks on your list each week?

Do you struggle to work out what the most important issue is in each area of your life?

On today’s TUB-Thump, I talk about finding five weekly go-to points so you can easily identify your big wins.

Whether it’s the academic, the social, the personal, the career, or anything else, you can target what’s important to you, each and every week.

Ready to dive in?


Here are the show notes for the 7-min episode:

  • 01:10 – One academic win. The most important focus-point for each week. Sure, there’s plenty of work to be done, but this will ground you. Sometimes that’s all you need to stop procrastinating on the thing that’s actually so crucial to your academic week.
  • 01:50 – One social woo. If you can’t fit any other fun in your schedule, make sure you have at least one event to look forward to.
  • 02:40 – One personal upgrade. Around the home, to do with a hobby, improving a personal skill…When you specify a single area to make progress in, you commit to pushing further than the minimum expected of you. Go on, do it for yourself!
  • 03:20 – One career boost. No matter how big or small, with 52 weeks in the year, that’s 52 different steps in the right direction. Reach out to someone, write a blog post, do some job research…it all helps. And it doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time in the week.
  • 04:20 – One wonderful wildcard. What is important for you? Add this one thing to the mix each week. Be creative, be methodic, be however you wish to be with this wildcard. As with the other schedule pointers, this helps to ground you in scheduling actions each week, and can also help you develop habits.
  • 05:30 – This method also assists in avoiding overwhelm. Instead of a huge list of tasks, you have your five big wins for each week.

Music for TUB-Thump is Life, by Tobu, which is released under a Creative Commons license. Check out more of Tobu’s great sounds on Soundcloud, YouTube, and his official site.

TUB-Thump is part of the Learning Always Network.

Keep being awesome!

How to Build an Idea, Quick!

build-an-idea-quick

Need to force yourself to start that essay?

Want to make a good start on your coursework the second it’s announced?

I’ve got a good way to get the creative juices flowing.

It’s a quick way to throw an idea out there before you do any detailed research. No matter how much you end up using, the idea is to wrap your head around the work in a way that practically prepares you.

Spend 10-20mins writing out what you *think* you want to say in the essay. That’s it. Forget the need to back up your point with references. Don’t worry about getting it “right”.

Just let rip on your initial thoughts around the topic.

Don’t worry about how strange it sounds when you get the words down. The words may turn out to be rubbish. But that’s not the point of this exercise. No judgement here!

The aim is to have something written. It’s a start.

There’s something magical in firing up the mental process, even when you end up submitting something completely different.

And that’s okay. You may decide to discard all of this later down the line. But for now, this is a great route to building an idea quickly. Much better than fearing the blinking cursor on a blank white page. There’s no time for that when you’re jotting down the first ideas that come to your mind.

Your initial point of view is all that matters:

  • What is your take on the subject?
  • Does one view speak more to you than others? Do you want to look in several directions?
  • Does the whole concept confuse you?
  • What other feelings do you have? What interests you about the question? Where are the open-ended thoughts?
  • How does this reflect on what you’ve already been learning in the course/module so far?

When you do start the detailed research and assessment, you can see how your hypothesis compares with your findings. You can compare your ideas now with how they started off.

The point is, you get started with an idea that takes you no time at all to create. You form an argument that gets you thinking. And it saves you time further on in the process.

time-1247009_640

Armed with this quick start, you may feel like you’re on a roll. Raring to go, it shouldn’t take you long to write down even more thoughts to bolster up your idea.

When you are full of inspiration like that, crack on for another 20-30 minutes and draft a simple outline:

  • Think about how you would marry up the argument with the essay.
  • Write a potential introductory paragraph.
  • Attempt a conclusion based on your initial thoughts.

It’s unlikely your final draft will look like your first thoughts, but this is a chance to see how realistic your view feels. Your first steps into further research will soon tell you when you’re onto something.

Finally, note down a few points you want to explore in the main content of the essay. This will be a good starting point for finding references and supporting material.

In no more than an hour or so, you may be well on the way to a solid framework. No more starting on a blank page, and no more overwhelm when considering where to begin.

As your confidence builds, you may find this method a good one to return to. That hour can get you several hundred words and a prepared mind.

That’s why, even if you scrap most of the content, the process spurs you on.

From an essay title to a potential idea and a few words. It’s surprising how much you can get done in such a short space of time.

sand-timer

Why does this work? Because you either:

  • …know what you want to say and don’t know how feasible it sounds until you write it up in draft.
  • …don’t know what you want to say and need to create a something based on a little guesswork and hope.

The worst that can happen is that you’ll end up doing something else entirely. No big deal, because the process doesn’t take long at all.

And anything positive you get out of it is a bonus. Worth investing the small amount of time and effort it takes.

The more confident you are about the content, the more likely you’ll find some gold straight away too. What’s not to like?

Next time you’re given some coursework, I bet it’ll feel good to have some ideas, an outline, and maybe even a few hundred words written practically straight away.

All this before you’ve put another research-step forward…

Make Unique Lecture Notes With Pen & Paper – TUB-Thump 019

tub-thump-logo-small

 

Happy New Year to you!

Now it’s around the time of return to the academic side of life, it’s time for another TUB-Thump.

And what better way to celebrate than to look at how to engage with your lecture notes?

Okay, there may be better ways…But hey, this’ll come in useful. Don’t sass me. 😉

Today’s episode tells you to forget the laptop and the tablet. Pen and paper notes rule.

Why? Because unique notes and personal viewpoints are better than getting it down verbatim.

Get the lowdown below.


Here are the show notes for the 5-min episode:

  • 00:40 – Why pen and paper rules compared to typing notes on a laptop/tablet/phone.
  • 01:30 – Why it’s better NOT to have every word of a lecture written down.
  • 02:30 – Episode 002 of TUB-Thump: Take Lecture Notes Using These Two Rules
  • 03:15 – Why is it so difficult to engage with the lecture content in your notes when you’ve not put your own take on things?

Music for TUB-Thump is Life, by Tobu, which is released under a Creative Commons license. Check out more of Tobu’s great sounds on Soundcloud, YouTube, and his official site.

TUB-Thump is part of the Learning Always Network.

Keep being awesome!

good-year-2017

5 Useful Things You Can Do During the Christmas Break – TUB-Thump 018

tub-thump-logo-small

 

It’s the final TUB-Thump of 2016.

That means you’ve either finished, or you’re just about to hit campus for the last time before the holidays.

Today’s episode looks at 5 things you can do over the break, so you can hit campus in 2017 with confidence.

No matter how crazy or quiet the next few weeks are set to be, let’s get set for what’s coming next.


Here are the show notes for the 10-min episode:

  • 01:50 – 1. Take Stock: Step back and think about where you are at the moment. (1st years 02:30, 2nd years 02:55, final years 03:25)
  • 04:20 – 2. Plan: What do you want to do over the rest of the year?
  • 05:10 – 3. Relax: University encapsulates everything. Instead of feeling the anti-climax of stepping away from everything, let now be a time to recharge. Get back in the New Year with a bang.
  • 06:30 – 4. Revise: Short bursts of work will bring you up to speed and help you feel more confident for your return.
  • 07:50 – 5. Tidy Up: You start university with loads of stuff. You collect more stuff. Now it’s time to work out what you *really* need.
  • 09:20 – TUB-Thump returns on Monday, January 9 2017. You know, so long as my computer doesn’t blow up again…!

Have a fantastic break. I hope your New Year celebration is full of the winningest win.

Music for TUB-Thump is Life, by Tobu, which is released under a Creative Commons license. Check out more of Tobu’s great sounds on Soundcloud, YouTube, and his official site.

TUB-Thump is part of the Learning Always Network.

Keep being awesome!