We’ve all had the should-I-post-it-should-I-not moment where our finger hovers anxiously over the ‘Post’ button. Fear not! There are ways to nip this in the bud. Try to give the idea space or, rather, give yourself time away from the idea so you can return with fresh eyes. If a post seems too controversial, ask yourself if it’s really important to face the backlash from it. If it’s not enticing enough, try adding different elements like quotes or anecdotes. Don’t let the fear of posting keep you from actually posting. Check out the rest of CopyBlogger’s tips here and blog on.
I know you’re only reading this because you’re putting off that paper you have to write. Or that test you need to study for. Or that project you need to start. But that’s okay because I’m here to put you back on track. Do you find yourself mindlessly wandering the Internet to escape the daunting burden of academia? Wander no more. Turn your procrastination into production! Instead of getting lost on the web, try looking for inspiration, something that will spark an idea to get you working again. Talk to your friends and try to explain your ideas.
I seem to find that this helps the most when trying to unstick your thoughts, putting things into words really focuses what you’re having trouble with. A new mind to look at the problem never hurts either. Most importantly, take a break. Get outside. Get away from the computer screen. A bit of fresh air will do you good, and maybe you’ll find new ideas with new surroundings. If you’re to click any link next, it should be this one to Lifehacker to learn more about how to be a productive procrastinator.
Whether you’re a quick scanner or thorough drudger, we all save articles to read for later. We simply don’t have time right now. Hey, that’s okay. There’s an app for that. Actually, there are a few. Pocket, Instapaper, Readability – but how do you choose which one is best for you? If you’re looking for a free app, then Instapaper is out. However, if you want to export an article into an ePub format, Instapaper is the only one that can do that. And Pocket is the only one that can save an embedded video from an article to watch online. And if you’re looking for the app with the best layout, look no further than Readability. Compare and contrast the features, prices, and layouts of the top bookmarking apps in this Lifehacker article.
Do you have a hard time feeling motivated? Is it tough to get out of your bed in the morning? Maybe you should invest in the Tikker. It’s what sci-fi movies have been promising for years: knowing the exact day you’ll die, down to the last second. It’s an approximation of course, but it’s based on whatever health information you provide (so if you lie, you’re only cheating yourself). Although this sounds incredibly morbid, it’s supposed to be extremely motivating. By knowing how much time you have left, you should be able to live more freely and live each day how you want rather than wasting time on what you don’t. On Tikker’s Kickstarter page, the creators say, “If you know that time is ending, you make every second count.”
“It’s not how much time you have, it’s what you do with it.” As you can see, the creators have taken a more positive spin on this chilling concept. By using your time on this earth more productively and fulfilling your own dreams and aspirations, happiness will be well within your grasp. Tikker is exactly what you need to be as productive as you can be! If you need something to kick your butt in gear, there’s nothing more persuasive than a timer strapped to your wrist that’s counting down the seconds left in your life. Oh, and it also tells the time. Check out more about Tikker at The Verge.
Nowadays, it’s a rarity to come across a town that doesn’t have cellphone service or Wi-Fi at the nearest coffee shop. Green Bank, West Virginia is one of the last quiet zones. You can’t find a bar worth of cell service or a hint of Wi-Fi anywhere. It’s blissfully ping-free and it’s all thanks to this lovely structure.
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory houses the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, or basically the largest rotating telescope in the world. Protected by the West Virginia Radio Astronomy Zoning Act from 1956, the radio telescope reads really small energies that require a quiet area. Cellphones and Wi-Fi emit energies that could interfere with those readings.
Not only does this force you to abandon your smartphone, but the telescope also cannot work with radio signals. So if you were hoping to jam out to some tunes in the back woods of West Virginia disconnected from the world, you’re out of luck. All of the radio stations eerily disappear in Green Bank. However, there is one radio station that broadcasts at a low enough frequency to avoid being banned, Allegheny Mountain Radio. Luckily, they don’t stick to one music genre so you won’t have to worry about your ears bleeding. The resident’s frequent use of HAM radios might though.
Despite all of this, the observatory was forced to stop taking readings because of the government shutdown. The quietest place in North America is probably a little louder now. Listen to NPR’s full story here.
PhD student Lorelei Blackburn received the Kairos Teaching Award for Graduate Students earlier this year. Professor Ellen Cushman praises Blackburn’s attentiveness to her students and her effective teaching methods: “Lorelei is a masterful teacher: reflective, flexibly structured, and responsive to her students’ needs. Her assignment arcs not only represent well the shared learning outcomes of our programs, but seamlessly integrate to give students robust, project based learning experiences. Whether its first year writing or project management courses in the professional writing major, Blackburn delivers the goods and her students learn.” Ohio State University’s Distinguished Humanities Professor Cynthia Selfe nominated Blackburn for this award.
Stereotypically speaking, writing is somewhat of a solitary activity. Unfortunately for the introverts attracted to the field, writing often needs to be paired up with marketing – a decidedly extroverted activity. Personal branding can be tough, especially if you find putting yourself out there exhausting. Luckily, there are some ways you can make it easier.
Social media is a fantastic tool for marketing, and it takes much of the pressure off. You have time to reflect and compose your message carefully, without an audience standing right there waiting on you.
Another tip: use subtle clues. Seemingly small details can make a big impact. Simply hanging up diplomas and certifications in your workspace can shift how others perceive you.
Finally, know your limits. Networking is important, but it’s okay to say no to events or dinners when it’s time to recharge.
So introverts, don’t be intimidated! Take advantage of the wonderful tools available, and check out these other introvert-focused branding tips at Lifehacker.
Joss Whedon, the famous screenwriter behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, gave a commencement speech to the class of 2013 at Wesleyan University. He shared the words of the speaker at his own graduation, Bill Cosby, “You’re not going to change the world, so don’t try,” and promptly turned that advice, along with the clichéd advice you hear at almost every graduation, on its head.
Whedon tells us to embrace the contradictions. He touches on the way our body seems to directly contradict our brain’s ambitions (it just wants to make babies and turn into mulch, apparently). He also muses on the tension and contradiction that inherently exists as part of human connection, and asks us to see the value in it. And finally, he asks us to accept the contradictions that exist within us all. “You have, which is a rare thing, that ability and the responsibility to listen to the dissent in yourself…To accept duality is to earn identity.”
As for changing the world?
“[T]hat’s not even the question, because you don’t have a choice. You are going to change the world, because that is actually what the world is.”
You can hear the speech for yourself, or read some more of the transcribed sections over at brainpickings.