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Got Some Spare Time?

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

No matter how busy our schedules, you’d be surprised how much of time you can find in little hidden pockets if you really pay attention. A half hour here, and hour there, and you’ll find a few hours that were playing hide-n-seek with you every single day. How do you find them? Pretty simple! Just write down what you do all day in a breakdown of hours (or better yet, half hours). Let’s say you get up at 7 am every morning, and sleep around 11 pm each night, write down your office timings, your travel times, your getting ready in the morning and meal times, and figure out just how much spare time you have left in the rest of the day. You’ll probably average about 2-3 hours every day at the very least. If you’re lucky, it might even go up to 4 or 5 hours (though that’ll probably be rare). Our point being, if you take those hours, and focus even one of those hours every day, you could do so much with it. Like what, you may be wondering. Well, that’s where we come in.

Here are some great ideas as to what you can do with one hour every single day and an internet connection (and maybe some tools, depending on what you plan on doing).

 

1. Learn a language

The world is way bigger than you can imagine it to be, and each country, and sometimes each state, comes with either its own language, or even its own dialect. With options from apps to online websites, to even books and audio recordings, the methodology options are as varied as the options as to which language you can start with first.

Image Source - Irish Times

Image Source – Irish Times

 

2. Take a course

You’ll be surprised to learn how many global universities offer online courses, and the pure plethora of course options that exist. Whether you want to learn management, gardening, or music theory, it doesn’t matter where your interest lies, you will definitely find courses that suit what you’re looking for. While some websites offer courses that you have to pay, there are endless options for free courses, many from some of the top universities (even Harvard has an online university option with free courses that you can register for). Time to go on the hunt, no?

Image Source - The Dimension's Edge

Image Source – The Dimension’s Edge

 

3. Learn an instrument

Ok, we agree, this will require that you either buy, rent, or borrow the instrument in question, but still, if this is what you’ve always wanted to do, why not? Who said time is the only thing you can invest in your interests. You’ll find numerous options to learn whichever instrument you want (even singing), and all you have to do is put in the time and practice, practice, practice. Piano, guitar, violin, cello, ukulele, harp, water glasses, djembe, the options are absolutely endless!

Image Source - msretailer.com

Image Source – msretailer.com

 

4. Pick up crafting

It might be considered only a “hobby”, but if it brings you happiness and peace of mind, it’s totally a worthwhile way to spend your time. And there are so many options within crafting too. And if you do it often enough, it can even turn into a nice little side business (in some cases, people have gone on to leave their jobs to pursue their so-called “hobbies” full time, as they had turned into such a revenue generator). You never know. So whether you’re into painting, quilling, miniature creation, jewelry making, or even origami, go for it!

Image Source - Relentlessly Purple

Image Source – Relentlessly Purple

 

5. Take up a freelance job

Ok, so we admit, this is probably suited to those who have 4 or more hours free each day, otherwise you probably just want to Netflix and chill after a certain point. But seriously, there are so many part-time job options available online that don’t even require much time, and the extra pay ain’t all bad either. Whether you’re translating documents, proofreading student assignments, creating graphic designs, or tutoring online, the options are pretty endless.

Image Source - Freedom Lifestyle Today

Image Source – Freedom Lifestyle Today

 

All the best to learning something new!

It’s Only Words

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

It’s the age of communication, and there seems to be no getting away from it. And with social media being a permanent and inescapable part of our lives, nothing can drive this point home more.

But are we unequipped to deal with the sudden requirement for us to sound intelligent no matter what we do? We have to comment on a friend’s status update. We have to tweet at our favorite celebrity. We have to find that perfect caption for our latest Instagram picture. And what about those lovely people who seem to login to various sites purely to correct other’s mistakes in spelling or grammar? How do we possibly escape them? And let’s not even begin on how we have to reply to our boss’ emails at work in the most diplomatic way possible.

The trick is simple really. We have to do that one thing our English teacher in school kept telling us to do – improve our vocabulary! (And this holds true for all languages by the way, not just English).

So all those years of ignoring our teacher seem to be coming back to bite us in the, err, rear, while our old teachers are sitting at home probably creating fake profiles just so that they can correct us in public domains. (Dear teacher, that was a joke, not an invitation to do so)

So, here’s how you can fight back, and improve that vocabulary!

 

1. Use the dictionary

Sorry. There’s no getting around this one. Unfortunately, if we don’t understand what a word means, we can’t use it correctly. The good news is that you don’t have to lug around the actual book though. Just download any dictionary app, and use it every time you come across a word you don’t quite understand.

Image source – Unilad

 

 

 

2. Read more

Ok, sure, the last time you were told this, you probably had a mountain of text books in front of you. But here too, there is good news. It doesn’t matter what you read, just that you cultivate reading as a habit. So, cultivate away, but towards your individual tastes and interests, whether that’s the latest automobile magazine, Bollywood gossip column, Harry Potter book, or even an Archies comic, or Tinkle digest! Even newspapers, political blog posts, sports magazines, industry journals, or a self-help book count. Though you should draw the line at Whatsapp forwards. Those don’t count. Just 20 minutes a day is more than enough!

Image source - Reading Ahead

Image source – Reading Ahead

 

3. Play word games

Yes, you read that correctly. And it works too! It doesn’t matter whether the games are in a newspaper, or puzzle book, or board game, or even on an app on your phone. Crosswords, word jumbles, Scrabble, they all help you keep your word count up!

Image source - Chemistry World

Image source – Chemistry World

 

4. Stop using the word ‘very’

Unfortunately, the word ‘very’ has a tendency to become a bit of a crutch for those suffering from a poor vocabulary. We miss out on using so many alternative ways of expressing things just by hiding behind this one little word. ‘Very angry’ could be ‘furious’, ‘very pretty’ could be ‘gorgeous’, and ‘very bad’ could be ‘atrocious’. Our language tends to become a bit colorless and bland if get used to just using ‘very’ everywhere.

Image source – SankeiBiz

 

5. Don’t think you’re too old to learn

Just because you’re no longer in school, doesn’t mean you know everything. And it also doesn’t mean that you should. Every situation you face in life will try to teach you something, you just have to be open to it. And even teachers themselves should be constantly learning new things. Don’t use age as an excuse, but rather as an opportunity!

Image source – Telegraph

 

But above all else, never be ashamed for where you stand in terms of your knowledge. As long as you are working to better yourself, you are the master of your fate. Don’t forget, no one out there is perfect, and we are all learning something every day. The power is in realizing this, and staying humble. More power to you!