Speed Reading For Education

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Robby Leonardi, Creator of Interactive Resume, Shares His Insight of Print Book vs e-Books

Robby Leonardi

One of the things that expert speed readers know how to do is to pick out the most important information from a page of text. An employer looking through a stack of resumes uses the same techniques to find keywords related to the skills they’re looking for – but if you want to be the successful candidate, you’ll need format your resume to highlight those same skills and stand out from the crowd. Of course, you could always write a small video game to present your credentials, right? Well, that’s what Robby Leonardi has done. We talked to Robby recently about speed reading and information management.

7SR: Yours is the first “interactive resume” we’ve seen here at eReflect. How did you come up with the idea?

I always want to create an interactive resume because I saw that some designers already did that. I also wanted to create a game at that time. So I decided to combine those into one single project. I never saw anyone did game theme resume, so I thought this would be a very unique project.

7SR: You’ve worked for a major TV channel doing graphic design and website content development. How do you arrange information on the webpage or screen to make it easy to read and understand?

I arrange them based on the priority of those website elements. I tend to put everything important at the top and less important at the bottom. But sometimes I shift those elements a bit if it is better visually.

7SR: It seems like every company has multiple media streams directed to their clients and potential customers, and that’s a lot of information that those people have to read. How do you handle this information overload, and what are your coping strategies for reading and processing all of those emails and other mailings?

To tell the truth, I still have no strategy how to handle this. I still read those messages from many different media stream.

7SR: What are your top three tips for making a website’s text attractive and easy to use?

Combine 2 or 3 different fonts and play with their sizes.

7SR: With all of your involvement in online media, do you still read printed books? What’s your opinion of print media vs. e-books?

I rarely read printed books nowadays. Usually it is almost always e-book. Print media will still exist, but it will be very few in the future.

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Slow Down For Better Productivity

Sometimes, fast-paced lifestyles don’t cut it. You’d think that reading, eating and working faster would catapult your productivity into a new level of efficiency, but the truth is  that such an energy-depleting way of living can lead to burnout instead.

There’s only so much stress and pressure one person can handle. While power drinks and coffee might offer you that desperately needed push, sometimes to be productive you must slow down. Yes, I said slow down.

Before you dismiss my proposal as impossible, hear me out. It might sound ironic but it’s true; we’ve been trained to think that the faster we engage with tasks the better our results. But this is only partially true. If what we’re after is long-term, sustainable productivity then the key is to slow down a bit. With less stress burdening your shoulders you boost your clarity and efficiency, ultimately allowing yourself to be more productive.

Thanks, but no thanks

It’s important to turn down extra projects, overtime work, and anything else that puts extra strain on your already packed schedule. If people come to know you as the “yes, of course I will” person, then you will soon find yourself overwhelmed by the amount of tasks and responsibilities constantly deluging you, and you’ll find it increasingly harder to say “no.”

Saying “sorry, no” reminds people of your own humanity and limitations, and its nurtures others’ respect for you. Fewer responsibilities mean less workload, which then equals better productivity. Simple math here.

It’s all in the present moment

To manage to be productive even at a slowed-down pace requires that you practice mindfulness. Stop worrying over others’ future expectations and opinions of you. Rather, focus on what you need and should accomplish right now.

You can do this by focusing in the present moment. Forget the bigger picture and just be at peace with what you didn’t manage to do (your past) and what you should do (your future). This way you are mindful of what you’re capable of achieving right this moment.

This realization is what will boost your productivity, even if you are working in what it seems to be ridiculously slow-motion.

Sleep, what’s that?

It shouldn’t be optional, period. Sleep has been found to be more important than exercise and its essential role in your well-being is unquestionable. Sleep helps you better control your diet and food intake, while sleep deprivation makes you prone to mistakes and less resistant to fatty and sugary snacks.

With more sleep, you will achieve a consistent and enhanced brain functionality, increase your alertness, and overall perform better with less effort. No project, event or circumstance is more important than sleep.

Our society fosters fast-paced lifestyles; we’re expected to speed read, touch type at 150 wpm, and constantly multi-task so that we can fit everything we need to do into a tight 24 hour time frame. While this increased speed can improve our productivity in the short term, slowing down is important for both our well-being and work performance.  Having overwhelming schedules is not obligatory. It’s an option, and a choice we make each day.

You can change this by being more mindful of your daily routines, focusing more on your health and well-being by resting, turning down more responsibilities, getting enough sleep, and just slowing down from time to time, to recuperate.

Helping Children Learn to Spell Through Reading

The more children read, the more words they learn, and the more words they’ll be able to spell correctly. Even if a child does not actively try to learn the correct spelling of a word, the more times they see it while reading, the faster that spelling will be stored in their memory. If a child is not old enough to read for themselves, parents can start the learning process by reading aloud and having the child follow the words on the page.

Parents can encourage independent reading by helping children realize that reading is fun, and not just something they are required to do at school. If your child is interested in a particular activity or hobby – dance, skateboarding, music, computers – then you can help them find books on those subjects at the local public library. Instead of taking them to the toy store with their holiday money, lead them to a good bookstore instead. They’ll get into the habit of finding their entertainment in a book, and will start reading more on their own.

Keep children engaged in the learning process while they read by asking questions about the book. To help them work on their spelling, try asking these questions in e-mail messages that require them to write a response. If you make this a regular pattern, and show your interest without making the children feel like you’re testing and grading them, they’ll be happy to share what they’re learning.

While it’s possible to figure out the meaning of words just by reading them in context, there will be words that your child doesn’t know. Help them learn how to use a dictionary to look up words. When you’re traveling or walking around town together, point out interesting or unusual words, especially if they have uncommon spelling patterns. For example, if you’re at the zoo, you might visit the aardvark, the leopard, or the rhinoceros. When you’re back home, ask your child to draw a picture and write the name of the animal below it, and help them understand that there may be differences between the way a word is spelled and the way it’s pronounced.

Above all, stay involved in your child’s education – your support and encouragement will motivate them to learn!

The Different Types of Books and Which Type Increases Intelligence

If you want to read more, but don’t know what books will benefit you most, here are a few tips that can help you pick genres that will offer you invaluable knowledge you can use right away. Let’s explore the basic types of books and which one you should go for first.

Books are often broadly classified as either fiction or non-fiction. In the former category you find books such as novels. Non-fiction is everything else – broadly speeking, non-fiction is not a made-up story, but is based on true facts. “Self-help” is a popular non-fiction genre and so are philosophy, science, and biographies.

What books should I read to be smarter?

This is a tough question and the answer is hotly debated. Some people see no difference between genres when it comes to the benefits of reading. If it’s a magnificently well-written book, you will benefit from it whether its a made-up story or a fact-based narrative, they say.

That being said, there are some genres that are traditionally considered superior to others when it comes to the return on the time investment you make by reading.

Science – Popular Science

This genre helps you understand new or past concepts and developments in the fields of science and then make use of them in any way that’s applicable to your life or work.

Whether you’re reading a science book on biochemistry, the environment, or human genetics, the insights you get not only enrich your knowledge but stimulate your curiosity to learn more of this ever-changing, fast-evolving field, and of the world around you.

Science lets you understand and marvel at the natural world and realize your own capacity, origin, and ultimate destiny.
Philosophy and Poetry

These are two completely different genres, but their value is equally tremendous. Discovering the truths stated by great philosophers of the world helps you understand your fellow humans and yourself a little better, and gives you powerful tools you can use in your daily life. From better analytic thinking to a critical approach to problem-solving, philosophy can help you elevate your mind and spirit.

Poetry, the other side of this coin, offers both the pleasure in reading and the thought-provoking content. Poetry encourages you to think, question and evolve.

Poetry is far more than love sonnets (or greeting cards). Poetry is the culmination of human intelligence and creativity. Poetry combines the wonder of language and the power of words with questions, teachings, and imagery no other genre can evoke.

Whether it teaches you something or just makes you smile, philosophy and poetry will sharpen your mind and speak directly to your soul.

History and Biographies

The greatest achievements of the greatest men and women are described in valuable resources we all have access to. They’re called history books. Whether you pick up a biography of a famous person or about the era in which they lived, you will have in the most condensed form the wisdom and knowledge of people, cultures, and civilizations around the world.

History books let you understand what others before you did right, and what they did wrong. Read about what they did that worked well, and you can use that wisdom and power to navigate your own life. If you’re in a place to inspire positive action in people and communities, reading history books is an absolute must. It will not only make you smarter, it also makes you more astute in how you perceive the world and its workings.

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Want To Be Happy? Do These 5 Simple Activities Every Morning

What does it take to be happy? The exact answer is different for everyone, but many people find that adopting “happiness-generating” habits is a good place to start. Happiness is not always something that just happens to you. It’s something you can create. Here’s how.

Express gratitude

You can multiply your happiness by showing gratitude for all the things you’re already happy and grateful for.

Your family, your house, your job, your friends. Each morning, wake up and bring to mind everything you’re grateful for, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. You’ll discover that you already have enough and that you already are enough, and that moment of realization is your day’s source of happiness!

Invest time and energy in those who matter

Happiness doesn’t exist in a vacuum. We’re social beings and we take great pleasure in socializing and engaging in activities that are challenging, new, or exciting.

Invest time and energy in your partner or spouse, your friends and family. Spending time with your loved ones is always a moment of happiness that make your stress and worries seem insignificant.

Take care of  yourself

If you want to be happier, be sure to take good care of yourself. Exercise as many days of the week as possible and stick to a healthy diet, avoiding eating out and drinking too often. Meditate to relax, work out to vent your stress and build your strength, and nurture your body with wholesome foods.

Choose the positive and promising over the sad and catastrophic

Every day is a new day. This simple premise will give you a reason to smile every single morning. Repeat it to yourself throughout the day to remind you of all the possibilities and great things that could happen that day, and every day.

Keep things simple

Don’t over-consume, don’t over-think, don’t do things without  a clear intention or end in sight.

Keeping things simple is a way to unburden your mind of unnecessary noise and make room for noble feelings: feeling of gratitude, happiness, joy and optimism.

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What Happens In April Around The World

This April is filled with exciting music and art events, and if you’re lucky enough to be traveling to some of the world’s big cities, you’re in for a treat.

Traveling Optional – Great Food A Must!

As if we needed yet another excuse to eat hearty and delicious foods, April comes with a fine assortment of national and international food days.

You might start the month with a witty practical joke or prank, but don’t forget to prepare for some savory delicacies, because April is National Fresh Celery Month, National Grilled Cheese Month, and National Soft Pretzel Month.

Apart from the month-long national food observances in the United States, you can also celebrate on April 2 (Peanut Butter and Jelly Day), on April 3 (Chocolate Mousse Day), and on April 4 (Baked Ham and Pineapple Day).

If you’re a pecan fan, mark your calendar for April 14th, and if you love peach cobbler, make this mouthwatering dish on April 13 for you and your loved ones.

For anyone looking for a way to add more Cherry Cheesecake into their diet, you can do it guilt-free on April 23 when that dessert gets its own special day. As you can tell there’s no shortage of food days, both sweet and savory to celebrate in April. But that’s not all …

Music, Plays, and the Arts

On April 1 you can attend two musicals in London, England: “Les Miserables” or “Mamma Mia.” Or you can head up north to Edinburgh for the International Harp Festival. Other must-see plays include “The Book of Mormon,” “The Lion King,” and “The Phantom of the Opera,” all of which take place in the British capital.

If you head a bit further east to Rome, Italy, make sure you attend an opera concert such as the “La Serva Padrona” and while you’re at it, take a tour of Bernini’s Rome through a baroque concert and guided tour in the Sant’ Agnese church.

Fun (and Plain Absurd) Days

Ever heard of the Walk Around Things Day? Well, apparently it’s a thing and it takes place on April 4.

On that same day, another quite bizarre and certainly not very well known day is National Hug a Newsperson Day. According to National Day Calendar: “Each year this day gives everyone the opportunity to say thank you, and if possible, a hug to their local newsperson.”

Will you do it? is there a local newsperson or journalist you find the need to appreciate this April?

Or consider April 7 which is presumably the greatest day for many people, as it celebrates beer and not doing housework. What more can one ask for?

Raising Awareness – Helping Our Home, Earth

Apart from attending some cool cultural events and festivals, you can use this month for self-improvement. The first Wednesday of April is the National Walking Day, a nice reminder to get off the couch and turn off Netflix and go for a walk to the nearest park or seafront.

April 22 is our planet’s day. If chocolate covered cashews deserve a national day, Earth surely deserves one too. On April 22 international and national projects take place to raise awareness of how people can adopt environmentally conscious habits and practices and make more widely known the risks of mindless environmental pollution coming from factories to cars and even your own carbon footprint.

What are you celebrating this April?

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