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Small Ways To Study Better

Whether it’s for an exam for school or college or simply to learn a new skill for your career, studying is always going to be a chore. As much as we like to think we enjoy learning, the act of studying is never much of a favorite and we often end up spending so much time studying that we forget who we are! If we want to make sure we are able to do well on our exams or learn a new skill effectively, study is super important and we need to get better at it. Here are some of our top tips to help you in your study and make things easier this year.

Have a walk

Before you try to knuckle down and study for the day, make sure you take the time out to go for a walk. Walking in the local park or the countryside is always a good way to reset the mind and clear our head before a big study session. It can also wake us up and increase our chances of remembering important facts when we are in the middle of our study. It is also a great excuse to get out of the house for a little while!

Read out loud

One of the things you may already know about learning is that you need to read out loud rather than reading in your mind to retain more information. As we process information reading silently, we aren’t retaining the same level of information because our brains aren’t having to process the information very much, however when we read aloud our brain needs to form words and this can cement what we are learning into our minds more easily.

Listen

If you are really struggling with a certain subject and you feel as if you need that extra magic touch, you can record yourself talking about the subject and listen to it as your sleep. As we sleep and we are listening to speaking our brain is unconsciously processing the information and it is allowing us to carry on learning subliminally. Even if we aren’t aware, our brain is retaining information and after a week or so of doing this if you revisit the subject, you should find it much easier to grasp.

Study online

Study tips aren’t just about the method and the speed, it can also be about the way we decide to study and when. If you want to have the best study schedule for you which will fit around your life you can visit this website to look at online courses. No one likes sitting in a classroom for hours and you don’t need to fit classes into your life with online work. It allows you to work at your own pace which is always a good thing for us and the way we are able to learn.

Eat chocolate

YES. You read that right. Chocolate is actually exactly what you need to eat before you go into an exam or a big study session due to the chemicals it contains. Chocolate is a mood booster and it will make us feel calm and relaxed and also allows us to retain more information by activating the brain. Eating chocolate an hour before an exam can make a big difference to your performance, and it’s an excuse to eat your favorite candy bar!

Take a break

Never study for more than an hour without a break. Even if you think you are on a roll with your studies and that you are nailing it, you are most likely doing yourself more harm than good if you don’t give yourself time to process and reset. Our brain needs time to process information and consolidate it, and we need to do this regularly if we are to retain the information properly. After an hour, take 5-10 minutes to sit and do something else or go outside for a few minutes of fresh air. You can then come back feeling fresh and ready to continue,

Teach

If you want to retain information better and also make sure that you are able to understand the whole theory of what you are reading, you need to teach someone else. Find someone who is totally new to a subject and teach them a chapter of your subject. If they can understand the theory and be able to get questions right afterward, it means that you are on the right track. You can even think about teaching a group of people to see how much you can push your knowledge.

Short bursts

As we mentioned earlier, the last thing you want to do is spend 3 hours sat down staring at a book. Instead, you need to think about studying for an hour here and there and doing other things in between. You could study for an hour then go and hang the washing out, study for another hour and go for lunch… make it part of your normal day but don’t let it take over everything.

Play a game

If you want to learn in a more fun way, you can either come up with a game to play or you could even think about doing a quiz with other people who are studying the same thing. Study games Can be super fun to do and they can turn what would normally be a chore into something which is actually really enjoyable for you to do with your friends.

Use a friend

Speaking of friends… we all know that two heads are better than one, and even if your friend isn’t studying with you it doesn’t mean that they can’t help you with it. A friend, your partner or family member can be a driving force for you to work and they can set you challenges as well as make sure you are staying on track by giving you the motivation to work. If you are lazy they can overpower you and make sure that you aren’t procrastinating. They’ll hold you accountable and you will benefit from the push.

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Buying Your First Home

Buying your first home is a big step. Being such a complicated process, it’s not uncommon for first-time home-buyers to overlook things and make costly mistakes. Here are just several expensive blunders to avoid.

Not shopping around for mortgages

Many first-time homebuyers spend a lot of time shopping around for property, but very little time shopping around for mortgages. In fact, some homebuyers may settle for whatever their bank offers, without comparing other lenders. This could result in you paying much more in debt than you need to.

In many cases, you’re much better off using a broker than a bank. Why use a mortgage broker vs a bank? Brokers compare multiple mortgages for you and can give you expert advice helping you to understand complex terms and work within your budget. They may even have access to exclusive deals that you can’t find on the market due to having close relationships with lenders. Some mortgage lenders will charge a small fee for their services, but generally you’ll still save a lot of money by using them.

Only budgeting for the down payment

When saving up to buy a property, most people focus all their energy on being able to afford the down payment – this is the most expensive upfront cost. However, there are many other upfront costs that need to be budgeted for too such as conveyancer fees, surveyor fees, van hire/removals hire and first month’s mortgage payment. These extras can cost thousands altogether.

On top of budgeting for these upfront costs, it’s important to also not ignore your monthly mortgage fees – there’s no use taking out a mortgage with an affordable down payment if you can’t realistically afford the payments each month. Bills, home repairs and taxes are just a few other monthly expenses you’ll have to budget for too.

Failing to hire a surveyor

A property surveyor is always worth hiring because you commit to making a purchase on a property. Surveyors check the property for any hidden problems that could be costly in the long run such as signs of structural damage or subsidence. They can give you an idea of how much money you may need to put into repairs and whether it’s worth your while. Surveyors may charge few hundred dollars, but hiring them could save you thousands in many cases. It’s best shopping around to find a surveyor within your budget who also has a good reputation.

Allowing yourself to get rushed into a purchase

Buying a property is not a process that you want to rush – it could be the most expensive thing you buy in your life time. A lot of people within the trade may try to rush you into making decisions. Agents for example may often try to push buyers into a purchase by claiming lots of other people have viewed the property, whilst mortgage lenders may try to push you into taking out a loan from them there and then. It’s important to not let them pressure you into making a purchase until you feel confident that this is the right option for you. Of course, you don’t want to spend too long deciding whether to make a purchase on a property, otherwise it could get snatched up by someone else, however you shouldn’t ever make a decision there and then – give yourself enough time to compare multiple properties/mortgages and mull over the pros and cons of each one.

Not considering the future

Your future circumstances could change in which the case the perfect property for you now may not be the perfect property for you in a couple years. For example, if you’re a couple, consider whether you’re planning to have kids and whether the home has enough space. Also consider whether you’re likely to change job soon and whether this may affect your commute or your income.

It’s important to also consider what you may be able to do with a property in the future in terms of renovations. You may find a property that’s got a few imperfections, but it could be under your budget allowing you to make future improvements and fix up the property to your specs. You may be able to knock down interior walls or replace an ugly bathtub or change the layout of a kitchen – the beauty of buying versus renting is the fact that you can make these modifications.

How To Make Your First Place Your Own

We all love the idea of independence. Whether its university dorms, your first shared pad with your significant other, or a flat you live in independently, having a space to call your own is a great feeling. When it gets to the point in your life where you have your own place, then you may be desperate to get stuck in and make it your own. Below are some handy tips to get you inspired for making your first place your own through some simple and easy solutions.

Thinking practically…

DIY projects are a great idea

Simple DIY projects are not only a fun way to spend your time but are also great for anybody who needs to save money. They allow you to put a personal touch to your furniture. Some fun ideas include putting in your own shelves in a window space for plants, upcycling a clothing rack for closet space, and making your own jewelry organizer you can tuck away and keep out of sight.

Think of space-saving solutions

Get creative with shelving as this can be a real space saver, and add hooks here and there to keep your space from getting too cluttered. It can be easy to get carried away with decorating your first home and not think practically. Consider some additions that will help you with everyday living, such as an allocated space for your mail, a closet for your coats and shoes, and savvy additions such as nesting coffee tables.

Think of a colour scheme… and stick to it

Many people get ahead of themselves when they move into their first place. It can be easy to get overexcited and purchase everything in sight when you hit a home store, leaving you with confused décor and clashing colours. Rather, stick to a set theme of several complementing colours, and slowly but surely find key pieces of furniture and décor that tie into this theme. See your place transform over time into a calming space, where yourself and your guests can feel at ease with an aura of balance and tranquility.   

Make it personal…

Invest in cozy additions

Feeling cozy and at home is paramount once you finally move into your own space. To achieve this, consider features that will add style and comfort to your home, along with a modern touch. This could be as simple as modern kitchen appliances, to heating solutions such as bench radiators. After all, what could be better than a comfortable, warm space that also offers the latest in décor for you to enjoy? Head to www.warmrooms.co.uk to get inspired and find out more.

Decorate the walls

Nobody likes a blank wall. Take your time to find some pieces of artwork that really appeal to you, or spend a chilled afternoon collating your favourite photos to put in a multi-picture frame to hang in your living room. Whether you use wallpaper, shelving, houseplants, photos or artwork, give your space a touch of personality and it’ll soon transform into an ultimate cozy pad where you enjoy spending all of your time.

Millennials: How You Can ‘Adult’ Better

You may have graduated from college nearly ten years ago, found your first grey hair , or be a homeowner, but still don’t really feel like you’re an adult. It seems that after a certain point, life is pretty much the same, and it flies by, leaving you feeling like you’re still like you’re in your college days, but just a more adult version. But spoiler alert, no one really ever feels like an adult. You may have all of the ‘qualifications’ to be a fully-grown adult, but because of some sort of imposter syndrome it doesn’t always make you feel like you are one. So learning to adult more can be something that can help you to feel more ‘adultier.’ Here are some of the things that you could do to help.

Plan a Routine

There is a reason why children crave routine so much, and really, we all do. But because of certain times in our life, routine can sometime fly out of the window. But to help you be better, be more organized, and get your stuff together, a routine can really help. You can be more efficient with a routine, you know what is coming next, and you can get things done. If you always feel like you’re running around like a headless chicken, then this can be the thing that can help you to feel more in control.

Make Plans For the Future

Guess what guys? The future isn’t too far away. If you look at how fast the past ten years have gone by, then you can only imagine how another ten, and then another ten, could go by. Which is why there is no time like the present to make plans for the future, through things like a will and life insurance. Sure, it isn’t a very fun way to spend money, but it is going to be so beneficial in the long-term, and what is more ‘adultier’ than that? It doesn’t just have to be your future you’re planning for either. If you look at an article like Selfgrowth’s guide to home care for the older generation, then you could see how beneficial it could be. So for your parents, it could be something to look into. Because if you are getting older, they certainly are too.

Organize Your Home

Your home can say a lot about you. So have a look around; what does that say about you? Is it screaming hot mess because there are things all over the floor and the dishes haven’t been done in days? Or are you someone that knows where everything is, even if that does mean all over the floor? Having a home that is organized can give you peace of mind, less stress, and it can be good for your physical health too. So focus on a deep clean of your home, alongside some major organizing.

There are so many other things that could have been added to the list, so it would be great to hear what else you think could work? Thanks for stopping by.

3 Simple Ways You Can Protect Your Data

If you are head up a small startup that has only just launched, you may be wondering why a cybercriminal would come anywhere near your company. The data that you keep is relatively mundane, you have minimal assets, and you don’t have a wealth of valuable customer data to steal. However, it is precisely because you are an unassuming business entity that you could be targeted. Hackers may assume that your firewall isn’t up to scratch, that you don’t maintain your technical protection or that you don’t deliver training to your staff. Take a look at these simple ways that you can protect your data.

Backup

Firstly, you will never be able to protect your business assets from the most determined hacker. With the technological advancements of the twenty first century, they will eventually be able to crack your systems and install a virus, a piece of spyware or a worm of some sort. By ensuring you backup your data every day, you can avoid disruption to your day to day activities. Without a backup, you won’t be able to fulfil orders, your customer data may be compromised, and your business will lose any integrity that it had.

Get The Basics Right

If you have staff, even if it’s only one or two employees, ensure that they are aware of your cybersecurity policy. Yes, you really should have one, and get them to sign up to the requirements of the document. By doing this, they have taken on a deeper responsibility for their own conduct online. If they are taking their laptops home at night, ensure that they cannot access your most sensitive files away from the office.

Passwords should always be at least twelve characters long and should never be based on a first pet name, the road they live on or their mother’s maiden name. Nonsensical and random patterns of numbers, letters and symbols are virtually unhackable. Refresh them every month and tell your staff to leave the dodgy looking emails alone.

Go One Better

Anyone who has access to your data should be willing to undergo an ID verification process. Netverify’s verification solutions provides real time document verification and uses facial recognition software to ensure that an individual doesn’t have to wait forty eight hours while ID is being double checked. Add to your Firewall protection and outsource elements of your cybersecurity to a specialist firm. Although your startup will never be one hundred per cent secure, you can ensure that you do everything in your power to deter the hackers.

The world of cybercriminals used to be a shadowy underground network of spotty teenagers in their bedrooms, whereas now many hackers are state sponsored and hacking is used as a weapon in cyber wars amongst nation states. Some of the best hackers in the world are also the wealthiest criminals in the world. While your startup might not be worthy of such a scheme, it’s vital that you protect your data by implementing as many security measures as possible.

Gifts that Will Make Your Friend Feel Special

If you have friend’s birthday coming up, and would like to make it memorable, you will need to stay away from the chocolate and sock department. Create a day out or a special personalized gift that will make them remember how caring and thoughtful you were on the day. In case you are stuck with ideas, check out the below ideas to give you some inspiration for the special event.

Something for Their Home

If your friend just moved into their first home, you might want to surprise them with a special canvas of the best moments together. Alternatively, you might ask a local company to design a special personal friendship plaque that will look great on their wall and make them remember the times you spent together and the things you’ve been through. This will help them feel more at home in the new house and personalize their space.

Personalized Jewelry

It can also be a good idea to order a special name necklace or other personalized jewelry that they will love and wear every day. Instead of simply walking into the store and choosing a standard design, pay attention to the special details that will make the item truly theirs. Add a quote, their name, or simply friendship, and make it easy for them to wear. If you get a pendant and they already have a necklace, they are more likely to wear what they get for their special day.

Days Out

Sometimes, experiences are the best way to celebrate special days and friendship. You will already know what they are interested in and what they enjoy doing, so all you have to do is find a place where they can engage in their favorite activity. This can be a day out horse riding, a day-long go karting session, or even a supercar driving experience. You might go to a zoo to see their favorite animal or the safari park to have a picnic outside.

Theater Tickets

You know their taste and interest, so if you would like to have a nice dinner and some entertainment on the night, you could surprise them with some theater tickets. Everyone loves dressing up smart on their birthday, and planning a night out is a best way to express your appreciation to your friend.

Skills Training

Chances are that your friend always wanted to improve their skills, just never found the time and money to do so. You can sign them up for an advanced golf training course, or a sport club membership. If they are interested in cooking or crafts, you can get them a membership to a local club where they can improve their skills and meet like minded people.

Special friends in your life deserve a special present for their big day. Think about what they enjoy doing and make sure that they are free on the day you are planning the surprise. The more personal your gift is the more they will appreciate your care and thought.