Creative block is over, if you want it. If you’re stuck without ideas in a brainstorm or a project, you just need to use this simple system: consume things, take notes, and bring those notes with you. Here’s how to do that effectively.
Tagged With preparation
“If I was setting up curriculum at a university,” says engineer Foone Turing, “I’d make an entire semester-long class on the Challenger disaster, and make it required for any remotely STEM-oriented major.”
Because, says Foone, the disaster was a lot less random or simple than people tend to think. In a thread of 102 tweets, which you can read in essay form here, Foone explains the real reason behind the Challenger disaster, the 2003 Columbia disaster, the sinking of the Titanic—and the last time you melted down from anxiety.
Whether you're headed out in support or dissent, you should know what you're getting into before you go and join a protest. Even if you think the event is purely peaceful, someone else, another protest group, or the police may all have different ideas. Here are some tips to prepare before you go out to have your voice heard.
Death is the most natural thing, yet it seems surreal, which is why most of us don't bother planning for it (plus it's kind of a bummer). We've told you how to prepare for the practical stuff, but there's the emotional side to think about, too. Consider writing a "last letter".
A lot of unexpected things can happen in the course of a day at the office, so the SimpleProductivityBlog recommends putting together an office survival kit in preparation for the unforeseen. The author's must-have tools include a sewing kit to mitigate a popped button or tear and a stain remover for those times you bring lunch back with your clothes. The author's toolkit is rather small, so let's hear what you would add to the ultimate office survival kit in the comments. While you're at it, you'll never be unprepared with a solid go bag. Photo by aokettun. The Office Survival Kit
Most of us have enough to do filing tax forms and getting our day to day paperwork under control, let along thinking about future events like writing a will. But preparing a legally sound will now will save your loved ones from having to deal with the tidying up your affairs after you're gone. The Wise Bread blog gives a sad example of the toll this burden took on a widow who spent years trying to finalise the will and estate of her late husband:"After three years of toiling to resolve his estate (which appeared uncomplicated at the onset) and paying off the ensuing bills which ended up being over $100,000, my friend wanted a divorce from her late husband."If you're interested in finding out more about how and why to prepare a will, the Law Society of NSW has some information here. There are also some cheapie, do it yourself will kits which you can buy for around $30 - I've even seen them at the Post Office.Estate Planning - Why Me?
The Public Speaking Blog never met a tip it couldn't share—or so it would seem from an extensive roundup of suggestions, dos and don'ts posted there. You might not want to sit down with the entire list before your moment at the mic, but a few of them are worth writing down somewhere, including this bit of speech-prep zen:Present 70% of what you prepared. Keep the rest for emergency purposes, e.g. during Q&A or when you need to show off.One of the tips, of course, is to never stick too hard to such rules, and to adapt to a crowd's response. One more great tip? Don't kill your audience with PowerPoint. Photo by eschipul
Productivity blog Lifehack.org has come up with an intriguing way to get rid of those awkward um's and ah's we are all susceptible to when speaking in public: punctuation codes. Make a note whenever you are doing a presentation that every comma you encounter should have a pause attached...The end of a sentence requires twice as much pause. There is a time-delay between hearing your words and registering their meaning. Don`t cut over this step by blurring together your sentences...Underline key words and phrases and double underline especially important ones. It helps you understand where to slow down and emphasise an individual word. This is a super easy idea to implement, and could really up the quality of your presentation.
There's nothing worse than realising five minutes before you have to walk out the door that you've forgotten something. Often you *know* you need to prepare things beforehand - like printing out the directions for where you're going -but you don't actually get around to doing it.
In these situations, a calendar or to-do list doesn't quite cut it - unless it reminds you *ahead of time* of the tasks you need to do to be ready for the next day. Certainly programs like Remember the Milk or Google Calendar can send you reminders, and you could schedule a reminder for 24 hours before. But to ensure that even on days when I don't check my calendar or set reminders, I still get ready for the next day, I set up a small, specific list of "things to do for tomorrow".
I decided to use the ToDo gadget on the Google Homepage so that every morning when I fire up my browser, the list will be right there in front of me, letting me know the tasks I need to complete today in order to be ready for the next day. This will allow me to end each day with an empty to do list on my home page - a nice feeling!
Why a separate list of things to do for tomorrow?
It gets you thinking through what you'll need to do the next day, giving your brain a chance to go 'hang on, you'll need to print out a map' or 'I should call Doug and see if he wants to share a cab to that event', and importantly, gives you time to set these things up ready for the next day.
It gives you peace of mind. You wake up knowing everything is in place for whatever your day has in store. When I have to catch an early flight, I sleep easy knowing that my clothes are laid out for the next day, my bags are packed, my ride to the airport is booked, and I have all my flight details printed out and stowed in the back pocket of my diary.
I chose to use the iGoogle To Do gadget because it's simple, easy to use and sitting there on my home page so I can't avoid seeing it. But avid To Do list fans may have a more elegant solution. So if you have a suggestion for an automated or manual way to remind yourself of tasks you need to complete for tomorrow, please leave them in comments.
Get your home ready for potentially damaging winter storms with eHow's detailed guide. Tips include rounding up outdoor furniture and items that might fly around in high winds, having a supply of flashlights and candles on hand, and stocking up on emergency foodstuffs. What's your best tip for preparing for a big 'un? Thoughts in the comments.
How do you get ready for an onslaught of people staying at your house and eating your food? Financial blog The Simple Dollar has three suggestions to address this problem. First, it's all about prep. The more you can do ahead of time (i.e., freezing), the better. Second, use cooking methods that don't require a lot of input from you—the crock pot works well for this. Last, focus on food and recipes that are simple to prepare, simple to eat, and simple to clean up after. You don't want to be stuck in the kitchen preparing the latest gourmet repast while all your friends are chattering away in the other room, after all.