While entangled in the depths of college, some of us can’t imagine, or don’t want to imagine, taking more classes on the side. However, there are many people who haven’t had the chance to receive a college education or even a high school education. Heck, there are plenty of us who can’t afford the education we’re receiving right now. Luckily, nowadays knowledge in some capacity is easily accessible with a simple Internet connection. LifeHacker has compiled an impressive list of websites, institutions, and collections of colleges and universities that offer free classes or courses online to further your education or satisfy your simple curiosity.
Do you want the most elite of the free online courses? Chance a glance at LifeHacker University or edX which both offer numerous, free online courses from prestigious institutions across the country such as Yale, MIT, Stanford, Harvard, and Berkeley.
Maybe your belief lies in the masses – you should try the University of Reddit, a subthread of Reddit, whose wealth of knowledge is built through crowdsourcing and is run by Reddit users with expertise on certain subjects whom post modules regularly in the subthread.
University of Reddit
Are you always exhausted, feeling back pain, or tired of a stiff neck after working at your desk? Stop letting your workstation control your productivity. Most likely your workstation isn’t organized in a way that can increase production. Lifehacker offers 10 DIY office upgrades guaranteed to give you a better working experience.
For example, you can make a pretty awesome, large desk out of an old door, which you can customize to fit your room perfectly. Another tip is to avoid bad ergonomics and save a few bucks by building your own monitor stand using a wooden shelf and some doorstops or furniture legs, which is pretty cool. If your curious to see how crafty you can get, take a moment to DIY, and enjoy an incredible office that fits your personal needs and conveys your creativity.
“Water can flow, or it can crash,” Bruce Lee said. “Be water my friend.” Now, you may just write off Bruce Lee’s advice as similar to Mr. Miyagi’s wax-on-wax-off nonsense. If you read between the lines, you may find there is more truth to Lee’s metaphors than at first glance. A mix of martial arts and philosophy, Jeet Kune Do was one of Lee’s greatest legacies. The motivation behind the art was to cut away the unessential and focus on simplicity. One of the ways he achieved this was by paying attention to how he interacted with others. By reflecting not only on how he reacted to others but how he communicated with them, he was better able to understand himself.
Of course, it helps to be more aware of your surroundings, the people and elements around you. Being able to adapt to your ever-changing environment is essential to learning and growing as a person. Of course, this comes back around to “be water my friend”. Just like water takes the shape of the container it’s in, so must you with every environment you find yourself in. Taking into account the people and circumstance you are in, you can better interact with others and learn from your situation. Learn more about Bruce Lee’s legacy at Lifehacker.
Brainstorming is a great way to generate ideas. And it’s not only for writing papers or giving presentations, it’s great for meetings. If you have a meeting waiting right around the corner and you were thinking about winging it, reconsider. Lifehacker advises not to brainstorm during meetings, but instead be the golden employee and come prepared with ideas that are ready to be presented. Avoid wasting time gathering up ideas when you could be working as a team to build on the different ideas and knock out the bad ones. Another benefit to brainstorming is that it puts your team ahead of the game and results in quick and short meetings. The next time you have a meeting, instead of checking your Twitter five minutes before, pull out a sheet of paper and brainstorm great ways to identify and accomplish goals.
If you’ve ever stared at a blank Word document, you know that achieving inspiration is harder than it sounds. Ideas don’t come easily, especially when you force them. Instead, allow yourself to be lazy. Let the ideas come to you. Or, get feedback on the ideas you already have, even if they aren’t very good. Knowing where or how your best ideas come to you is highly beneficial. And no matter how you go about searching for inspiration, make sure you have a strategy for documenting your ideas at any moment.
But what is inspiration? Well, there are a lot of brain waves and neural connections involved, but basically, the more you work your brain, the better it becomes at generating ideas. Our brain is a map of connections, each thought attached to another in a never-ending field of associations. The more we use those connections, the stronger they become and the easier it is to create new ones. Keeping your brain active is essential to this process. We’ve all heard of the numerous benefits of exercising and meditating. However, here’s an excuse to be even lazier: reading and playing video games also offer opportunities to create new neural connections. “Dude, how do you have time to play Assassin’s Creed 4, again?” “I’m strengthening neural connections and establishing new pathways in my brain every time I kill someone.” Yeah, you’re welcome. Read up on inspiration at Lifehacker.
As the literary world moves closer and closer to a wholly digital reading experience, new reading devices seem to crop up every day. As delightful and convenient as ebooks can be, it’s frustrating when you can’t find the right format for a book that you want to read. Bookbub can help with that. By signing up with your email, you can receive daily offers on free or discounted ebooks. The website supports numerous digital platforms including, but not limited to: Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and Google Play Books. They provide links to download the book of your choice for your preferred ereader. Learn more about Bookbub at Lifehacker. Happy Reading!
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.