Archive for the ‘For Student’ Category

GTD for student

Summary – Last resort method for student to get things done

The life of a student has always been like a tug war between being motivated and plain lazy. I know. I’ve been there. Some time, we become so motivated, we even seek for extra work just to enhance our learning. Another time, there are no motivational speech in the world that will make us wake up from that comfy bed.

When that laziness attacks and you have so many things to do, what would you do?

These are a few tricks that I tried as my last resort to get things done. Most of the time they worked. Try them and tell me how it goes.

1) Read standing up
Sometimes I have trouble waking up when I read my notes. So what I did was reading the notes while standing up. If you can walk that would be even more effective to combat those drowsiness. However I found out that my concentration deteriorates even faster walking.

2) One page at a time
This is my last resort to almost anything. If I have to read 20 pages of notes, I will force myself to read 1 page. That’s it. I promise myself that after that 1 page is done and I fully understand or memorize the page, I can stop studying altogether.

Usually by the time I understand the subject, I will be more in the studying mode and thus page 2 🙂

3) Report your failure to other people
This also should be used as the super last resort. Make yourself accountable. Not to anyone but to your parent. I know.. it may sound very childish reporting yourself to your parent but believe me it work.

All you need to do is to write an email (if your parent read email of course) reporting every assignment need to be done, and notes to be studied. And each day, you should HONESTLY write a progress email detailing your progress. If you didn’t touch anything on the subject, confess to your parent and give reason why.

If the shame of not doing anything didn’t move you to finish your work, I don’t know what will.

4) Bet with your lecturer
How about if you prepare one letter signed by you and give that letter to your lecturer when you started the semester.

Put it in writing that everytime you are unable to deliver your assignment in time, you will wash his car FOC. The lecturer will definitely make use of this offer. He will look for your assignment first everytime. And you will feel more driven to do your assignment.

5) Red card of wealth
This is a system I created just to give me an extra push with money. However, being a student I don’t have money. Not much anyway. So what I did is creating about 20 red cards per month. I put value to the card at about $10 per card. So if by the end of the month I still have 20 cards, that is like an extra $200 in my pocket.

Whenever I want to push myself to work, I will just warn myself that 1 card will be burnt down (literally burnt) if I didn’t do the work.

Where will the money come from, my current salary of course. Once I start working, I am entitled to spend the red cards guilt free 🙂

6) When motivated, do extra
There will be times when you just super motivated for no apparent reason. How? Still a mystery to me. What I did when I’m in that state is to do extra work. Maybe study those subject not yet covered by lecturers, do past year questions etc.

Why I do this? Because there will be times when I’m just super lazy and all the above will not change it. By doing extra work when I’m motivated, I will feel less guilty being lazy sometime later. 🙂

– I wonder –
What do you do as your last resort to get things done?

——– Personal Note ———
I still have a few more techniques, but a bit abstract to describe here. Maybe next time 🙂

Now that I work, I actually still practise some of the methods. I honestly give report to my manager on what I have done and what I still don’t do. He may not even care, but I am so ashame to report on task not completed, I usually will finish them all. Well most of them anyway 🙂

Photo Credit – Orangeacid

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Cute girl

Summary – Persuade your mind to want to remember

A few days back, one reader by the nick SilentReader had asked me one question to be discussed here – How to improve long term memory. Shall we?

First of all, allow me to interest you with some articles I’ve actually written on the subject.

To tell you the truth, I actually did quite a lot of thinking on the matter. And at the end of the day, I’ve concluded that there is only one way to be able to memorize something and remember it for the rest of your life.

You must want to remember.

Seriously, I can list down every technique known to mankind – Chinese One Syllable Technique, Association, Repetition, Funny Images, House Mapping etc. But they will prove ineffective if you just don’t want to remember.

However trying to make yourself want something is not an easy thing to do. Why? It’s because the mind is always behaving like a child.

What will happen if you ask a child to work instead of playing? He will first disapprove and will try to wiggle his way out of the task. If that didn’t work, he will do the job lazily, hoping that you will give up impatiently. What would you do?

The same goes to the mind. It will goes exactly through the same phase as the child, disapprove, wiggle and lastly do the job lazily.

How to negotiate with the mind? Well treat it like a child of course.

1) Always slow talk
Never raise your voice to your mind. The more you force yourself, the more reluctant the mind will work for you.

2) Visualize what will be achieved.
Just like a child, you must describe how they will benefit visually. Maybe draw a car that they will be able to buy if the child gets good grade and be successful. For the child, the word successful doesn’t mean much.. but if he knows that with good grade, he will get to be a pilot and buy a car. That will push him in the right direction.

Research where your graduated seniors are working now. And how much are their salary. Imagine your dream laptop that can be bought easily with your one month salary should you follow their foot steps. In short, motivate yourself (visually)

3) Join in to do the hard work.
If you put a child to work under the hot sun while you sip cold drink under the shade, the child will immediately realize he is being bullied and may stop working altogether. If you work with him under the hot sun, he will do the work more willingly.

Work together with your mind. How? for a start, when you read, you read. Don’t read with your mouth while you are thinking about how hot your girlfriend is. 🙂

4) Reward
Every child demand some reward if they do a good job. They may not say it out loud, but they really want it. Some would settle with a pat on the back, some may want cash.

Figure out the reward for your mind. It can be as simple as a 30 minutes nap or $50 to be spent on anything.

5) Make it fun
Cleaning up the house is never fun for children. But if you assigned each child to a room and whoever can clean up the fastest will win one week of no work, I’m sure the work will be done in no time.

In the case of your mind, make it fun by maybe substituting the character described in the history book with your real life friends and family. Of course don’t let yourself be the hero. Hero always get killed in history books 🙂

6) Don’t plan too far ahead.
Children hate it when you gave them 20 things to do. Most probably they will just drag the first task to avoid doing the other 19.

For your mind, try to implement this trick. Only plan to do two things at any time. It is a great Getting Things Done (GTD) tools.

– I wonder –
Any other resemblance between a child and the mind?

———- Personal Note ———–
I just love children. Just watching them play can make me smile. They have no idea what they’re playing, what’s the rule or the goal but they can still make the game looks insanely fun 🙂

I guess one of the price we have to pay growing up, is losing that sense of having fun. What do you think?

Photo Credit – Hamed Masoumi

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Summary – Get the most out of your internship

This time around a lot of my blogger friends (younger friends anyway) are doing their internship. Basically internship is a part of their requirement to get a college degree where they need to work at a company for a period of time and learn all there is to learn about working experience.

Today’s post will be dedicated for them. A collection of my own experience on what the hidden lessons in internship they need to acquire to get the most out of the program.

1) Learn real people skill
Working people are quite different from students. They often view other people competitively, or sometimes they are too self-centered that they just ignore you completely. Yet there are still people who is kind hearted. Colorful people.

You should learn what is the best way to introduce yourself to them. And more importantly how to get their coperation on your task at hand. Basically you need to

  • Befriend one quick and get the inside story of everyone (of course casually)
  • Identify who people listen to, who people hate, who people like etc.
  • Your aim is to get your task done, and if you ask them for help (what ever group they are), they will more than happy to help. Find out how exactly to achieve this.

2) Learn how a boss become the boss
Once you had observed your colleague, you should start monitor your superior or your boss. Try to pinpoint what quality he has that makes him the boss. If for example, to be a boss you will need to have certain specialization certificate, jot that down. You now know what you need to get to sit on his chair someday.

  • Study how he handle people
  • Observe his working attitude, can you do that?

3) Secure your future career
The next thing you should question yourself is whether or not you would want to work in the company after you graduated. Well, you should because job hunting after you graduated can be a very tiring thing to do.

  • Obviously you will need to perform well in that internship.
  • Do some research on the company’s hiring process. It will be a good idea too to get to know the HR manager of the company and casually hinting to him about your intention of working there.
  • Insist on a recommendation letter from your superior. This will help a lot in your job hunting later on.
  • Take note on the details of other similar companies, such as contact person, type of industry. You may very well be working there.

4) Learn surviving work
One great thing about internship is that how ever you do, be it good or bad, you will stop working there after your internship is over. So do take up some experiment. Here’s a few ideas

  • Identify what motivates you to come to work
  • Try out the many ways to manage your stress
  • Get involve in the office politics
  • Make mistake, get yelled at by the boss and learn how to get up from that
  • Experiment with management system of the company such as 5S, or Decluttering etc. See which works on you

5) Learn how to manage your money
Most of the time, intern are underpaid, so this is a great challenge. How to survive with that small amount of allowances.

As easy as it sounds, this may be one of the hardest thing to do. It’s almost come naturally that when we have money, we will spend more. This is the basis of all budgeting.

  • Start by analyzing your expenditure everyday. Keep track of them and make a summary by the end of the month
  • Categorize your expenditure to maybe food, entertainment, travel, phone, bill, etc.
  • Now find a way to cut down 10% of expenditure in every categories.
  • You are now saving 10% of your salary. Keep increasing the percentage.
  • Other tips on managing your finance


Internship can be heaven or hell. However, since we must undergo it, why not take full advantage of it. You know people will take advantage of you.

– I wonder –
Any interesting stories from your internship?

———— Personal Note ————-
I actually did my internship at a petrochemical company. Unlike most universities, I worked there for 7 months. Hate waking up early then to catch the bus. Love the continuous supply of hot milo 🙂 Can’t forget the time I hitchiked a car to go to work, Good times good times

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Summary – 10 things students need to say to themselves

We all have been there. The life in which all you should do is actually study study study. It a strange new world where every problem seems to be the most critical problem on earth. And every seconds seem like torture but when you think about it, it was the best time of your life.

However in this life (student life), you will faced some of the most challenging task in life. Hopefully these words will help you cope with the situation.

Listed below are 10 of the most common situation faced by students. And of course its corresponding responses. Just say it out loud when you are stuck in that situation.

When you are feeling lazy to study

  • If I don’t study now, I will have to do it later. At least now.. I will have more time and can study with minimum concentration

When you are doing something else besides studying

  • This isn’t helping

When you fail an exam

  • Wow.. failure sucks. Now where exactly can I improve

When you succeed

  • I will definitely remember this feeling. Now where exactly did I do right?

When you are shy to ask questions in the classroom

  • Years from now, I most probably won’t meet these people again my entire life. What they think won’t matter then, and should not matter now.

When you have that butterfly in your stomach just before the exam

  • I’ve done what I can, and I shall fail or succeed entirely up to my preparation. Nothing else. So get off me you silly butterfly

When you are so busy with your study, it overwhelm you.

  • Stop right there.. Breathe. Let me do this one at a time. In the end, everything will be done.

When you have so much free time

  • This is not supposed to happen. Either I am extremely efficient or I’m missing 2 or 3 classes

When you think you just can’t study anymore.

  • I better rest. There is no such thing as information overload, it’s just that I’m tired. My brain is better than this.

When you have so many problems, you think your head is going to explode

  • Millions of galaxy, each with millions of stars, each possibly with a series of planet orbitting, and assuming one of the planet may have millions of people like earth, that will total up to almost infinite amount of people, each with their very own problem. How can my problem be any bigger than this.

/end list

– I wonder –
Any other situation I might miss?

——— Personal Note ———-
I think you would agree that distraction work at its most efficiency during studying time. Suddenly there’s your favorite songs playing in the radio, or friends coming to chat. I’m not sure why, maybe because deep down we always prefer to do other things besides studying.

During my time, my only distraction is Internet Relay Chat (IRC). I actually almost fail one of my subject due to this. Anyway I learnt my lesson the hard way 🙂

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