efficiency

When I was little, I always sided with the villain. Actually, if I’m completely honest, I still do. They were always so smart, so diligent, so meticulous. Obviously I never liked what they were doing, but I loved the way that they did it. The way that they saw the world as a chess board, manipulating all the pieces so brilliantly, is something that I have always admired.
—  Submitted by anonymous

Ok, so it’s Monday and you want to have a productive week but also spend the weekend with your friends/dog/pokemon go. Where do you start?


Make it easier to start studying. We’ve all had those times when we sit down fully intending to study but the desk is messy so we HAVE to clean it or there is no way we can focus right? Organise your workspace at the start of the week, file all your loose papers into nice folders or boxes and have your most used stationery, chargers and other study equipment in easily accessible places. “My laptop is about to die and my charger is in the other room, therefore I cannot study” is no longer a valid excuse.

What do you want to achieve? Write up a simple to-do list for the week, and break the tasks down into chunks that you can complete each day. Be disciplined and stick to the lists. Don’t do more than you’ve assigned yourself unless you finish unreasonable early. No one wants burnout.

Estimate your study time and set deadlines. So now you have a list of tasks, review each task and approximate how long they should take to complete. Set deadlines for each task, as well as a deadline to complete study at the end of the day. Stick to these! If you can’t finish a task in time, start the next one and return to it later if you have time.

When are you most productive? Work better in the morning? Wake up earlier and schedule your study accordingly. Night owl? Plan for that! There’s no point getting up to study at 6am if you are going to fall asleep at your desk and vice versa.

Eliminate distractions. Literally walk into another room right now, turn off your phone and put it in a drawer. Don’t even think about checking your notifications while you’re studying. You will have breaks, and it’s not the end of the world if you don’t reply to a text within 30 seconds. If you’re using a computer to study, install a distracting website blocker if you think you will be tempted to procrastinate.


Time to study! Now all of that is out of the way, how can I get all of this work done??


Start with the important concepts. Think you’ll be tested on X and only covered Y in class for 10 seconds? Focus on understanding X before you bother with Y.

Multitasking is evil. “I know most people perform worse when they multitask but I am not most people.” Nope. Noooope. Don’t even think about trying to work on two things at once, it doesn’t work, even if you think it does. Even looking away from your work for 30 seconds to check an email is enough to break your concentration. Train your brain to focus on one task at a time and you will be amazed at what you can achieve in a short time.

Avoid perfectionism. Your essay might be worth 20% of your final grade but that doesn’t mean you should put off all your other assignments just to make sure you leech every single mark. Do the best you can but don’t spend hours trying to create a masterpiece.

Minimize time sucks. Sometimes we do things that seem productive but don’t actually get us anywhere. For example, checking emails, organising computer files or researching productivity (my personal fave), seem like you’re being productive, but you’re taking time away from actually getting things done. Schedule 30 minutes a day maximum on these things and get on with the real work.

Schedule mini breaks. I really like the pomodoro technique because it takes your break time into account and you aren’t forced into studying for prolonged periods of time. Study for an amount of time you feel comfortable with and take a 5 minute break. After a few of these, take a longer break to recharge. Bonus points: go for a short walk between study sessions to improve your focus.

Reward progress. You might be in the mindset of feeling bad when you don’t meet all your goals or expectations, but don’t forget to celebrate your wins, no matter how small. Small progress is still progress. Reward yourself when you complete tasks and take time out to relax at the end of the day.

Schedule “me time”. I always felt bad when I wasn’t studying, even when I know logically I can’t study 24/7. If you’re in the same boat, schedule a few hours a week in your calendar dedicated to something that you enjoy, even if it’s just sitting on the couch watching tv. Don’t even try to feel guilty for not studying.

Fotamecus, bending time for you

I notice there is a distinct lack of Fotamecus here at Tumblr; searching for it, all I could find was two fairly old posts… I think it’s time to change that.

First, an explanation might be in order; what is this Fotamecus I’m speaking of? Where does it come from, what does it do, why is it important? Well, first of all: it’s an egregore, a thought-form; a magic sigil that’s gone viral and taken an independent form (if you’re new to chaos magic and/or sigils, this still probably won’t tell you much; I’ll explain in a second). Secondly, it isn’t really that important, but it sure is useful.

Here’s why:

Fotamecus let’s you compress and expand time. Assuming you give it a lot and a lot again of energy, you could potentially have longer nights of sleep, shorter work hours, increased amounts of time for having fun, studying and/or procrastinating, just relaxing around, having meaningful conversations… Faster traveling… More efficient working if you don’t mind longer work hours…
 Everything to do with controlling time. Of course you won’t be doing all that because it would take tons of energy given to Fotamecus… Right? Well, it’s really your choice, who am I to judge. Become the co-master of time for all I care. ;)

Now that I’ve piqued your interest, here’s what:

Fotamecus began as a sigil (the symbol just above is the original form of it) and afterwards became a servitor; Finally going viral (or rather, intentionaly made viral) and growing into an egregore by sharing and usage by many (the viral form of the sigil can be seen below). Here’s a link to the original article explaining Fotamecus and its use:
 http://www.chaosmatrix.org/library/chaos/texts/fotamec1.html

That’s about all about Fotamecus for this post; and then for the explanations of the concepts I promised I’d explain here:
 A sigil is a form of magic (a magical tool if you will) done by converting a sentence into a simple (or not so simple, google for hypersigils or hypersigil explanation)
 A servitor is a magical being that someone - or maybe a group of people - has created. It has a clear purpose and most often has no mind of its own, simply carrying out orders made by its creator(s). The more defined its “programming” is, the more likely it is that it’s going to stay as a “bound” servitor; that is, it’s less likely it gains a personality and wants to go independent.
 An Egregore is an independent thought-form, an astral being, a spirit, a servitor that’s gained enough power and personality to either break free or negotiate its way to independence. It’s pretty much a person without a physical body, still most probably having a clear intention of doing whatever it was made to do… just within it’s own terms now.
 If there was anything else you want to ask, ask away. All I ask is for you to do is to share this, to get this as far and wide as possible to give Fotamecus more power and influence over time, and to make more people recognize the possibility of bending time to their bidding.

Will you use Fotamecus?

Peter Drucker said ‘There’s a difference between doing things right and doing the right thing.’ Doing the right thing is wisdom, and effectiveness. Doing things right is efficiency. The curious thing is the righter you do the wrong thing the wronger you become. If you’re doing the wrong thing and you make a mistake and correct it you become wronger. So it’s better to do the right thing wrong than the wrong thing right. Almost every major social problem that confronts us today is a consequence of trying to do the wrong things righter.
I hate to read out loud. I read much faster than I could possibly speak and due to that I tend to stumble upon my words. People mistake this as me not being intelligent enough to read or for a lack of skill. It’s highly irritating to be taken for a fool too dimwitted to read when I’m actually just ahead of my own voice.
—  Submitted by anonymous

I love aesthetic notes. I’m a super-visual learner, so if my notes don’t look nice, my grades will drop fast. On the other hand, I don’t have a lot of time on my hands. I have extracurriculars every day, so I’m rarely home before 7:00. Then, I have to eat dinner, take a shower, and do my homework for the next day. Because of all this, I don’t really have time to redo my notes. I would love to make my notes all pretty, but I simply don’t have time. Instead, I make my notes really simplistic. I do outline notes and make a pretty, but concise study guide. Here is some stuff I do to be neat and organized while still being productive!

Make your notes in class really, really neat, without spending too much time on them either. Use bullet points, arrows, indenting, whatever. Make your headings really clear! You don’t need little drawings, you don’t need fonts; you really don’t need anything special as long as your notes are clear. Of course, if doodles and fonts work for you, go ahead!
upgrade your notes!

Headings can be pretty simple. Banners are cool for headings, but they might be time-consuming to draw in class. You can use them, but I also like wreaths, drawing three little teardrop shapes on either side of your text (I’ll post an example of this later), or even just underlining or writing in all caps!
how to draw banners!

Outline notes will save you. Believe me, it is so nice to look at the notes you took on a reading and just see what’s important. Also, it makes you think about what really matters in the reading.

Use different color highlighters. For example, if it’s for a history class, use one color for places/names/dates, one for concepts that aren’t specific to what you’re studying (ex: empire building is a concept that can be applied to many, many civilizations), one for what happened, one for archaeological evidence, and one for what the people at the time believed. It may seem like a lot, but it makes you think and take a lot less time than you’d imagine.
smart highlighting!

Practice your handwriting. You won’t see this enough on studyblr, but it is so frustrating to look at your notes and realize you don’t know what you’ve written. You can do this on the way to school, in between classes, whenever! It really helps, especially when you need to write fast. Similarly,

Find the right pen. I write in pen, though pencil might work better for you. Find one that isn’t too thin or too thick, that has a nice ink flow without there being blots of ink everywhere. Personally, I like a Pilot V5. A nice pen can make writing so much more fun.

Study guides are your friends. Condense your class notes and your homeworks. Mention your readings. Highlight stuff you didn’t remember. This is important even if you want to spend a lot of time, but if you have a limited amount of time, it’s even better. It doesn’t require too much formatting, and can honestly help so much, especially if you write it by hand.

Listen in class! Okay, so this sounds like such a no-brainer, but it’s really important. I used to have some classes where I wouldn’t listen at all and just teach myself the night before the test. And guess what? Learning an entire unit in one night is not only time-consuming, but stressful.

Have some masterposts!
be more productive!
why aesthetic studying can be helpful
good study tips!
stop procrastinating!

So there you go! Ironically, I was not at all efficient in making this post, but I hope it helps :)

Electricity efficiently generated via seawater, freshwater, and novel membrane 3 atoms thick - Osmotic power

Proponents of clean energy will soon have a new source to add to their existing array of solar, wind, and hydropower: osmotic power. Or more specifically, energy generated by a natural phenomenon occurring when fresh water comes into contact with seawater through a membrane.

Researchers at EPFL’s Laboratory of Nanoscale Biology have developed an osmotic power generation system that delivers never-before-seen yields.

…“The potential of the new system is huge. According to their calculations, a 1m² membrane with 30% of its surface covered by nanopores should be able to produce 1MW of electricity – or enough to power 50,000 standard energy-saving light bulbs.”

READ MORE ON EUREKALERT | AAAS

Ref: Single-layer MoS2 nanopores as nanopower generators. Nature (13 July 2016) | DOI: 10.1038/nature18593

ABSTRACT

Making use of the osmotic pressure difference between fresh water and seawater is an attractive, renewable and clean way to generate power and is known as ‘blue energy’. Another electrokinetic phenomenon, called the streaming potential, occurs when an electrolyte is driven through narrow pores either by a pressure gradient or by an osmotic potential resulting from a salt concentration gradient5. For this task, membranes made of two-dimensional materials are expected to be the most efficient, because water transport through a membrane scales inversely with membrane thickness. Here we demonstrate the use of single-layer molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) nanopores as osmotic nanopower generators. We observe a large, osmotically induced current produced from a salt gradient with an estimated power density of up to 106 watts per square metre—a current that can be attributed mainly to the atomically thin membrane of MoS2. Low power requirements for nanoelectronic and optoelectric devices can be provided by a neighbouring nanogenerator that harvests energy from the local environment—for example, a piezoelectric zinc oxide nanowire array or single-layer MoS2. We use our MoS2 nanopore generator to power a MoS2 transistor, thus demonstrating a self-powered nanosystem.

I get really annoyed if people ask stupid questions, or questions that have been answered before. If people need to ask questions the answer to which they could easily figure out on their own, or if they don’t listen properly, I don’t feel like talking to them at all, because it appears to be a waste of time. This is why I always have to be very aware of my answers in order to avoid being rude.
—  Submitted by anonymous
One Year in American Junk Mail

It arrives in the mailbox and often goes straight to the garbage. Here’s why it’s worth stopping the endless cycle.

The mailbox ritual goes something like this—open the box, and out spills a slew of envelopes and catalogs. Bills get separated from coupon mailers. Holiday cards and invitations get dug out of a tangle of credit-card offers and other solicitations.

No one loves it, but everyone gets junk mail. It’s a relentless tide of paper that comes to your doorstep unbidden and often ends up in a garbage can moments after entering the house.

The production, distribution, and disposal of all that junk mail creates more than 51 million metric tons of greenhouses gases annually, the emissions equivalent of more than 9.3 million cars. That’s more than all the cars registered in Los Angeles and New York City combined.

MORE WAYS YOU CAN:  Shrink Your Waste

There are ways to cut back on mailbox clutter. CatalogChoice.org allows users to search for the catalogs that come to an address and opt to stop getting them or reduce the frequency. For example, if you only want to see the Crate and Barrel catalog for holiday shopping, you can opt to get only the seasonal publications. You will need to enter the customer number or key source code from a copy of the mailer at the website page.

Doing a little paperwork there and on sites such as dmachoice.org and optoutprescreen.com can reduce a lot of future paper clutter.

Besides, the trees are more worth keeping around than the flood of marketing materials. Yale researchers estimate that since the dawn of humanity we have cut down half the trees on the planet, and there are about 3 trillion left—which leaves us with about 400 trees a person.