Thursday, April 30, 2009

A new site, a new start

Hey all,

I started a new site. Study Successful
I wanted a wordpress site, a real domain name (without and a new name.
This name, Study Successful is a new which resembles more what I'm writing.

So, I'm moving on! I hope you all move with me!
Start with the About StudySuccessful page!

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Why ready, fire and aim (doesn't) work

I couple of weeks I read on Zen College Life about 'Ready! Fire! Aim!'  and I thought it was great. The actual meaning, as I interpretate it, is to get started, get into action, modify what you do later. I read another article, on Study Hacks, about 'getting started is overrated' and I want to talk about both the views.

Why 'Ready! Fire! Aim!' does work.
  • The wheel starts to roll. As Kevin said it, a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. If you keep thinking about how to make that first step, you will never walk. If you keep thinking about whether you should make the journey or not, you will never start!
  • You have to modify. Alright, you made a mistake, but you don't want to turn around and go back anymore, that means you waste your time. You are going to change your way and keep on walking, keep on going.

Why 'Ready! Fire! Aim!' doesn't work.
  • You waste time. If you are going to put everything in action, immediatly, there is a big chance of failing on the way. If you don't decide which way you are going to take on your thousand mile journey, you may end up on the wrong way. Maybe, as Kevin said at the end, you find a shortcut and you reach your goal more efficiently. But on the other side, you may find that you are walking on a road which ends dead. And you have to walk back. (I ain't that pessimistic, I think I'll find a shortcut)
  • You don't really know what your are doing. You don't know how you are walking. Maybe you are putting your feet completely wrong on the ground and you will have an injury after 50 miles. This is the danger with instant action, you can go wrong, and this means your whole idea can go wrong.
  • You can lose credibility. When your action involves other human beings, your action, without overthinking, can lead to loss of credibility. If you come up with the plan 'I'm going to walk thousand miles' and the other person asks 'what kind of shoes are you going to wear?' and you don't have an answer, it is most likely the other guy won't even believe that you are serious about your plan. 'How are you going to walk thousand miles without any good shoes, haha!'
Ready! Fire! Aim! is a great way to get you on the road, get your wheels rolling, start the action. But when it involves other people, you should worry about your credibility, you do have to overthink something, have some sort of plan, it only has to be sketches, that will do.
Make some sketches of your plan, and put it into action!

image by watchsmart

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How to make a presentation, quick

8 p.m. you finished all your homework, and you feel satisfied and check your agenda once again, and then, there it is: 'Presentation English.'

Do you recognize this? You think you are on schedule, and suddenly there is a big presentation left.
Here is how you make a presentation, quick

  • First, find your subject. Maybe you already know it. If you don't, find a subject and think about it. Think about it while you are doing things you normally do at the end of the evening, pack your back, make lunch and think about the subject.
  • Next, write everything down. In the direction that you want to say it during your presentation. Just write your presentation down. But, don't look for every fact on the internet, that's something you can do later. Just write [OVERLOOK AGAIN] or something like that behind it.
  • Color or highlight everything that supposed to be in the powerpoint presentation. Do this while you are writing things down.
  • After you wrote it all down, look for all the facts, and write them down. 
  • And now, make the powerpoint, choose a theme quickly and write everything in it which you highlighted before. This is going really quick now.
  • At last, practise you presentation once or twice before the mirror.

Now you can be really satisfied, you finished all your homework, AND made a presentation in less than two hours! That's fantastic.
Good luck with it!

Further reading:

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

How to give Feedback

I discussed getting feedback, or how I like to call it, a smack in the face, a couple of days ago.
And now I would like to explain how you should give feedback.

When I asked some friends about feedback, they all say. 'But it should be nice feedback, not only negative.' Of course, feedback contains good things, and bad things.
Only bad things would make you feel miserable, only good things doesn't help you at all.

How should you give feedback

Make it a real 'feedback' talk. Don't just give some tips, but make it serious. It isn't a bad thing to make it take ten minutes. Write things down, and explain, with examples, what you are thinking about what the other person is doing.
Like, if someone is your group-leader in some sort of project, take some time at the end of the week to talk about how he is doing. Write, during the week, things down which you want to say to him at the feedback moment. Schedule that moment, make it the weekly feedback moment!

Be sure it is constructive criticism. You have to be sure that the other person is able to turn your feedback in action. If someone says to me: 'Stefan, you are sitting like a bag of salt, go sit straight!' It is something I can't do anything with. It makes me angry towards that person.
Say instead of those angry words something like this: 'Stefan, do you know that you aren't sitting straight? Try to stretch your back more.'
First, the question. Probably I don't know at all how I sit, so ask first if the person is familiair with the problem, than give tips how to do it better.

Be realistic. If you are giving feedback to someone who is really shy about a presentation in class, don't give tips like 'try to walk more, make it more vivid' and all, because that person is having a hard time standing in front of the class. Give tips about being confident to talk to the class instead. Now who you are talking to, now their capacities, now what limits they have, and of course, now which limits you should cross ;)

Now you understand how to give feedback, give some feedback to me. Just give it in the comments, I would like to read it ;)

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