5 Tips to Study and Write Like a Pro

5tipsforstudyingBack-to-school season is in. You might have made it through your first day of school, but as the year continues – you’ll need more than a new outfit and a good breakfast to keep you motivated and focused.

Whether starting high school, finishing college, or tackling a PhD, writing and studying are a part of daily life. Although these things may never be easy, these are a few tips and tricks you can use to make achieving your goals as painless as possible. Read more

How to Make Your Dream School Year a Reality

5ef15-imgAs the first day of school looms around the corner, it’s time to do a resolution reset. Whether you’re starting a new chapter of school or trying to finish strong, now is the time to think about what habits you need to change to make this year better than the last. Too often our productivity and success suffers as a result of online distractions, procrastination, and poor time management.

Here are some of our favorite articles on everything from procrastination to habit formation and the best tools and tricks to make your dream school year a reality. Read more

Avoid These 3 Habits to Have a Great School Year

As temperatures and humidity levels peak and the month of August draws to a close, the thought of school starts to loom in the distance.

Whether you’re entering or finishing high school, trying to maintain your GPA for law school, or attempting the daunting task of writing a PhD dissertation, the end of August signals a new beginning – a time to review and reset resolutions.

Regardless of your age, school, or goals, there are common problems that plague all students. Distractions, procrastination, and poor time management are often the prime suspects in any loss of productivity, motivation, and success.

The good news is that often it’s not a lack of innate ability or resources that prevent you from achieving all your academic goals, but rather a simple need for improved strategy and technique.

Here at Freedom, we know you have what it takes to make this school year the most fulfilling yet, and we’re here to help. Read more

What Negative News Is Doing to Your Health and How You Can Stop It

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

NO NEWS CAN BE GOOD NEWS

At some point recently, you have probably felt as though the world was coming to an end. It is almost impossible to get online without being force-fed news of the latest world disaster. Buzzes, tweets, notifications, news feeds and “fake news” all create a constant barrage of headlines detailing shootings, terrorist attacks, hate crimes, plane crashes, political upheaval, and human rights violations that seem almost impossible to escape.

Our exposure and awareness of such tragedies is unprecedented. Our 24-hour news cycle now seeks our attention incessantly through a multitude of channels, and with a speed and frequency that was previously unimaginable.

We no longer just receive the daily paper or watch the six o’clock news. Instead, we are bombarded by notifications and alerts, our attention held hostage by headlines in news feeds and timelines, and in many cases we find ourselves assaulted by our peers’ angst, anger, and disappointment in the form of statuses, tweets, and captions.

Although there are benefits to being better informed, the amount and frequency of such negative and emotionally-charged news can take a serious toll on our mental health. Read more

Productivity’s Power Couple: Freedom + The Pomodoro Technique

photo-1434493651957-4ec11beae249

By now, you have likely at least heard of the Pomodoro Technique. The philosophy was developed in the 1980s by a man named Francesco Cirillo who used a tomato-shaped kitchen timer, (pomodoro means tomato in Italian,) to split his work into manageable chunks.

The technique is simple at its core – set a timer, work until it rings, and then take a break. In return, this technique promises to improve mental focus, agility, creativity, and reduce anxiety – benefits that would appeal to most of us.

However, the Pomodoro technique promotes more than just working in blocks of time, it encourages four basic principles:

  1. Work with time not against it – instead of dealing with the usual stress of deadlines and cramming, the Pomodoro technique teaches you keep track of your time and therefore how to use it more efficiently.
  2. Reduce burnouts and mental fatigue – with short scheduled breaks, the Pomodoro technique gives your brain the time it needs to rejuvenate and maintain peak productivity.
  3. Reduce time-wasting distractions – whether at work or at home, distractions can steal your precious time and attention. The Pomodoro technique stresses the importance of mono-tasking, prioritizing your obligations, and the notion that most distractions can wait until you’re ready to deal with them.
  4. Create a better work-life balance – when you’re unproductive at work, it’s easy for your guilt to blur the line between work and play – making it difficult to enjoy your time off. However, with the Pomodoro technique you can reduce procrastination, improve your time-management, and create a better work-life balance.

Read more

3 Things To Help You Get Your Focus Back When You’ve Lost It

static1.squarespace-1

“One way to boost our will power and focus is to manage our distractions instead of letting them manage us.” – Daniel Goleman

It took me a long time to write this piece.

I found myself researching quotes (finally settling on the very appropriate Daniel Goleman one above), which led me to other websites that had nothing to do with what I was really writing about. Then I started to think about the things I haven’t been focusing on as much as I should. Inevitably, this led me to think about what things I should set aside in order to focus on the right things.

After these thoughts, I came back to my senses, sat down, and began writing this post. Luckily I didn’t travel too far down the rabbit hole of diversion (which is born from distraction or disruption) and didn’t have to call on any of the three things I do use to get focus back when I’ve lost it.

We all lose our focus at times. It’s inevitable. The key question is, what do you do to get your focus back? Next time you find yourself losing focus and simply feeling your way back doesn’t work, give one (or all) of these three things a try. Read more

Tips for Freelancers: Procrastinate Less, Produce More

photo-1463171379579-3fdfb86d6285

At Freedom we are lucky to have many of our users write about their experience. From tweets to published articles – the Freedom community is buzzing with productivity strategy, advice, and experiments for a more focused, fulfilled life.

This week’s articles focus on productivity, procrastination, and the tools and strategies you can use to reach your full potential as a freelancer.  Read on… Read more

How Freedom Can Help You Study For Your Exam

static1.squarespace-2

Studying. An inevitable and often dreaded part of school life. Whether studying for a high school quiz, the LSAT, the GREs, or finals, we’ve all experienced the strain, stress, hard work required.

Today, studying can seem harder than ever – not because the material is harder, but rather because we have to fight off the entire internet and our impulses every time we sit down to study.

With a few clicks and buzzes, studying can quickly turn into binge-watching and distracting conversations.

“With a few clicks and buzzes, studying can quickly turn into binge-watching and distracting conversations.”

But with Freedom you can make those time-wasting online tangents a thing of the past!

Freedom enables you to block your most distracting websites, apps, or even the entire internet across all your devices for a set period of time.

Freedom also allows you to schedule blocks to help you commit to studying ahead of time, or even schedule recurring blocks for specific times or days to help make productivity a habit. Read more

How Becoming Unavailable Makes You More Valuable

static1.squarespace

For many of us, the internet has generated a renaissance of productivity, innovation, and creativity. We have more resources, tools, and information at our fingertips during every part of our day than ever before.

However, with our newfound ability to always be connected, we have inadvertently created an always on-demand culture that in many ways forces us to be available and responsive at all times.

With the whole internet constantly competing for our attention, we are often left treading water, trying to stay afloat in the constant stream of information and communication.

“We feel busy and productive, however we’ve traded ‘deep work’ and meaningful conversations for shallow tasks and distracting IMs.”

This flow of information and communication, once delivered daily in the form of newspapers and mail, is now being delivered constantly in notifications, buzzes, and pings – filling our inboxes and feeds.

We feel busy and productive, however we’ve traded ‘deep work’ and meaningful conversations for shallow tasks and distracting IMs.

And it’s not entirely our fault. Much of the tech we use for work and communication is designed to steal our attention and keep us coming back for more. Read more

J.T. Ellison: Productivity Advice, Work-life Balance, and A Million Books in Print

 

static1.squarespace-1

MEET J.T. ELLISON (AGAIN!)

Known for her dark psychological thrillers, J.T. Ellison is the New York Times bestselling author of fifteen critically acclaimed novels, including WHAT LIES BEHINDWHEN SHADOWS FALL, and ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS. She is also the coauthor of the Nicholas Drummond series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter.

With over a million books in print, Ellison’s work has been published in twenty-five countries and thirteen languages. Her latest thriller, FIELD OF GRAVES,  is set to release this June 14, and has already received rave reviews – (read the first chapter – here!)

With over 30 novels and short stories written and published, we figured we’d let her tell you how she finds the time and focus to make it all happen!

Did you miss Part 1 of the interview? Check it out here! Read more