Archive for the ‘Study’ Category

Mindstorming–Kickstart your Creativity


Creativity, in many people’s opinion, is something a select few are born with!

And most go through life without touching their creativity button.

Many people assume creativity to be the cornerstone of an artist’s and writer’s arsenal. Not so. Creativity touches every aspect of your life- and how you differentiate yourself from the others.  A very good trait that can help drive your career or your child’s thinking in directions that not many have taken the trouble to tread on.

While other tools are available, I find the exercise of Mindstorming to be one of the best I have tried out. I read this in a Brian Tracy book – and since then found out many other well known authors and professional recommend it as well. 

So, here’s how you do it!

Start with a clean paper.

  1. Step 1: Write down the Key Question for which you are looking for a solution.
    • Make this as focused and precise as possible- this will lead to better quality of answers.
  2. Step 2: Start writing down the answers – 1 to 20.
    • Let the thoughts flow.
    • Some of them may be like repetitions but don’t stop
    • Don’t look for original ideas from the first point.
    • Don’t stress yourself out trying to force your brain to churn out those ideas …  let this be an enjoyable exercise.

Simple enough?

For most of you, the first 5-8 answers will just pop out. These are typically the ideas that people take & get to work. These are also the ideas that are most common and most others would also come out with. Now is when you persist!

Till you come to 15, it will be a stretch – but the ideas will still come out.

This is when you don’t give up! Keep at it and squeeze every drop from your brain.  The next 5 will come from the depths of your brain, which will surprise even you!

List out the 20 answers. Identify the answers that address your question and give you solutions that may not have been apparent to you otherwise.

Great. Ready to go.

So, how does this apply to you?

In every aspect of your life (work or personal).

If you are faced with a problem today, try this out.


Very precise questions will lead your brain to lead down a very precise path. Vague questions will let your brain wander around :)

E.g –  From – “How do I get promoted?” to – “What are the things I can do to get promoted in the next 6 months”


From: “ what can I do for my daughter’s birthday?” to “What can I do differently for my daughter’s birthday that will make it memorable for her?”

Try this out.

8 Tips to Help You Study Better and More Effectively + Mindmapping


This is a wonderful article I saw earlier today in the “Life Optimizer” site – and by Amber Hensley.  Great summary of what to do to ensure you study better!  I want to add a couple of things (with all credit to Ms. Hensley)..  After following the 8 tips, it is ideal to focus on how best to remember what you have read- and have a system of tracking and remembering what you have studied!  Mindmaps are the tools that help in these cases. 

Another skill that can be used to build your ability as a super student is to get into Speed Reading – but that is a different topic & I will get to it soon! 

Read on- great article.

By Donald Latumahina (follow me on Twitter) , September 11, 2009

Note: This is a guest post by Amber Hensley of Online College

While you might already be ahead of the game if you are studying at all, you might as well make the most of the time you spend preparing for class and ensure that all those hours you put into reviewing notes and reading chapters actually pay off. Here are some tips that can help you learn to study better and get more out of what you’re studying so you can spend less time pouring over books and more time enjoying life at school.

1. Find some peace and quiet. Studies have shown that just 20 minutes of highly focused, quiet time can help you learn and remember more than hours of working with distractions and while multi-tasking. So, to get the most out of your study time retreat to a place where you won’t be bothered by loud music or talking and can just focus in on your work.

2. Get organized. If your papers and materials are all over, you’ll spend just as much time looking for what you need as actually reading through and absorbing material which doesn’t make for a very productive use of your time. Keep one notebook just for notes for a class and ensure that all your papers are in a place you can actually locate them. It might take more planning up front but it will pay off in the long run.

3. Take breaks. Studying intensely can really take a toll on your brain and eventually make it hard for you to think clearly at all. That isn’t much of a help when you’re trying to understand difficult concepts or learn new things. Take short breaks during your study time so you can rest your eyes and mind and come back refreshed and ready to learn.

4. Have a schedule. The problem with the way that many students study is that they wait until the last minute and begin cramming the day before a big test. This really isn’t the most effective way to learn or remember new information. While it might not be fun, spending time in the weeks leading up to a test reviewing the material will be much more beneficial and might actually help you remember the material after the test as well.

5. Consider the subject. Each subject has a particular way in which it will be easiest to learn and remember. Subjects that require memorization may be more easy to learn with flashcards and timelines while subjects like math that require problem solving might be better served with doing the practice problems in your book. Spend some time figuring out just how you learn each subject best and then use that knowledge to maximize what you get out of your study sessions.

6. Study more frequently. It isn’t the duration of your study sessions that really makes a difference, it’s the frequency. You’ll learn a lot more through repetition, so break up your study time into shorter sessions every day rather than trying to cram it all in at the last minute.

7. Write it down. For most people, writing things down helps big time when it comes time to recall things on a test or even just during study time. Take notes in class and use methods that require you to do something to actively participate in learning the material– not just reading it over and over.

8. Be realistic. You’re not going to be able to memorize an entire month’s worth of material in only one night of intense studying. You likely won’t remember a good chunk of it. Be realistic in how you break up your study sessions and tackle only the amount of material that you’ll actually be able to benefit from studying– not the whole book at once.

This post was contributed by Amber Hensley, who writes about the accredited online college. She welcomes your feedback at AmberHensley1980@

Getting started with Examination Prep Work


So we are ready to go!

Steps to take:

1. Set clear Goals – It is too early for most of the students to plan for this at this stage of their life. However, it is still very important to set some clear goals.  I realize it is not easy for students to grasp the concept of setting goals. Nevertheless, I will put a few tips for you to see how best you can set some goals that will help you.  Goals need to be something that excite you, set you moving in the right direction, and moreover gives you a a clear vision of where you are going.  Goals are always written in Present tense.  E.g- "I am in the Top 2 of the class, and have got an average of 85% in the Exam. I see myself being congratulated by the Principal & my friends, who are shaking their heads in amazement and my overall performance. I am simply the best in the class."

2. Take Stock : This is an important element of the entire process. Take stock of where you are- and what you have to study! Many students do not know how much they need to do, and how many days they have to achieve their goals.  This is therefore an important step, to ensure that you know how much you need to prepare!

3. Set up your Calendar:  Set up a calendar (a softcopy will be part of the e-book that I will get ready over the next 1 week or so).  This should be planned carefully so that you are clear about what to study when- rather than get rattled and try to do too much – thereby attaining – nothing! 

4. Plan your Weekly & Daily Goals : Plan your weekly and daily goals.  Also set a weekly checkpoint to see what is working and not working. 

These are high level pointers- and there is a lot that you have to do over the next few days to get yourself moving in the right direction. 

Exams are round the corner..


Technically no. They are NOT round the corner.

Are they??

Think again.

With most of the students getting ready for exams over the month of March, and many of them getting ready for what is called the most important exams for children in India – the "Board Exams", there are many children walking around stressed out about what to do.

I had the opportunity to talk to a couple of my nieces, who are appearing for their 10th standard ("Board" exam), and they are not sure where to start and how to go about it.

Think about it. Most schools spend so much time and energy completing their portions by March. Then, then prepare, and make the children go through "preparatory" tests for almost 3 months. 

Not ONCE, do they spend time, teaching these children "HOW" to read. "How" to build their memory, how to PLAN the time they need to use- and WHAT they should study.

I went through my school (looking back, I am not sure how :)), but things have not changed! 

The goal of this blog is to try and ensure that I share what I can with the broader audience. If some of the students are able to use the tips- then I will consider this to be a worthwhile effort.

This is obviously work in progress- and therefore, do spend the time to look at all the entries- as sometimes, I suspect they may not follow a particular order.  I will also try to upload some files, which I hope will be useful to you.

All the best.. Students & hmm.. parents!