All posts by pmai

3 tips to boost your productivity for a successful semester

Stressed out by tons of assignments coming constantly? Here are 3 tips to help you reorganise your schedule and study more effectively for a successful semester!

Prioritise based on importance and urgency

In his best-seller “7 Habits of Highly Effective People“, Dr. Stephen R Covey proposed a method of prioritisation that ranks tasks to be done each week based on their levels of importance and urgency. While people normally prioritise both important and urgent tasks first, this problem-minded approach is ineffective in the long term. Instead, we should become more opportunity-minded by focusing on important yet non-urgent tasks, so that our schedule will not be clogged up in the future.

Prioritisation Chart for Effective Time Management

Focus more with the Pomodoro technique

The main principle behind this technique is to break your work time into 25-minute intervals with short breaks of 3 to 10 minutes in between. This technique helps us fully concentrate on the task at hand, especially when we are so often distracted by many things nowadays.

Steps of the Pomodoro Technique

Save time with visual book summaries

Productivity Game is a great collection of short videos which perfectly summarise books with various topics. Whereas these books normally take you weeks to finish, Productivity Game lets you get hold of the books’ most important insights with only around 20 minutes. These videos are also presented in a visually attractive way, making it much easier to follow.

Have you tried any of these methods before? Were they effective? Don’t hesitate to comment your experience below! 

A homeless tour guide for your London visit: Why not?

Think there’s nothing you can learn from a homeless person? Think again! 

Now you can book a tour around some of London’s coolest areas with a homeless tour guide. Pioneered by Unseen Tours – a social enterprise aiming to tackle homelessness in London, this concept has proven to be a huge success with hundreds of positive reviews on TripAdvisor.

So how is a homeless tour actually like? 

I booked a homeless Brick Lane tour during my stay in London in December 2016 out of curiosity. My tour guide was Pete – a previous advertiser who lost his job, became homeless and has had to sleep rough around Brick Lane for over 10 years. Along with his easy-going nature, Pete also wowed me with his extensive knowledge about the cultural and social issues around Brick Lane as well as in England. During the tour, Pete told us mind-blowing stories about the famous criminal Jack the Ripper, the suffrage movement in the early 1900s and the multicultural development of Brick Lane following Jewish and Muslim people’s immigration.

I was also blown away by Brick Lane’s brilliant street arts. Having worked in the advertising industry before, Pete explained to us a great deal about how street artists here cleverly delivered subtle messages of social struggles through their creative artwork.

Brick Lane street arts
Amazing 3D piece of art on the streets of Brick Lane

In short, my experience with the Brick Lane homeless tour went far beyond my expectations. If touristy attractions in London are not what you’re after, Unseen Tours will be perfect for you!

4 FREE attractions in London that you don’t want to miss!

Planning to visit London with a tight student budget? I’m sure you’ll love these 4 amazing free attractions in London!

1. Horse Guards Parade

Whereas tourists often flock to Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guard ceremony, you will save much more effort to visit the equally impressive Horse Guards Parade on Whitehall Street. As this Horse Guard Parade is not so crowded, it’s much easier to watch it at a closer distance and take more photos with the guards. But be careful: The horses bite!

Tiny me standing next to a Horse Guard

2. Wallace Collection

My most favorite gem in London, the Wallace Collection features a remarkable collection of art, arms and armour, paintings and porcelain in a beautiful town house in Manchester Square. You can also try a medieval armour on and take a selfie with it here.

3. Camden Market

Open every day from 10am, Camden Market hosts over 1000 stalls selling everything you can imagine from exotic Asian food, vintage art, handmade accessories to organic cosmetics. Don’t forget to bargain before you buy though!

A street artist at Camden Market place
The scenic canal at Camden Market
You’ll get overwhelmed by the variety of products to buy here

4. Parliament Houses

Entrance to Parliament Houses is free, but be prepared to stand in the queue for up to an hour. If you are here at certain times, you can even watch live debates at the House of Commons or House of Lords.

The Lords Public Gallery

Have you visited any of these free attractions in London? Or do you know any other that should also make it to this list? Don’t hesitate to let me know by commenting below!