Here are this week’s Life Pro Tips.
01. Chrome extensions I wish I knew of back when I started college
Cite This For Me: Web Citer: The extension adds a button to the top of your browser that you simply click, and it will automatically cite whatever website or article you are on. From my experimentation with it, it seems to work just as well as EasyBib or any of those other sites and it is much faster to go through.
Google Dictionary: If you get this extension, you will have no excuse to not know a word that is on an article or textbook (online). It’s very simple. Double-click or highlight a word you don’t know and it will define it for you. I imagine any science or legal majors will love this one in particular.
Grammarly for Chrome: I often use bad grammar and I know it. This extension gives me sh*t for it all the time, but it helps. It highlights grammatical or spelling errors for you anywhere and allows you to quickly correct it.
Readability: This extension simply aims to trim the fat off of articles to provide you with the main point. I would not trust it for anything in depth, but if you are running low on time and need to skim an article I’d give this a shot.
SpeakIt!: I know I can’t be the only lazy sh*t who sometimes does not want to actually use my eyes to read textbooks or articles. This app lets you highlight over text, you click a button, and a pleasant voice reads it to you.
It works in several different languages and accents (if you somehow understand German-English accents over the default one). You can also control the speed that it talks to you in words per minute. I could see myself playing it out loud randomly just to try and feed the information into my brain, but I would still recommend reading like a normal person every once in a while too.
Block & Focus: Type in the websites that distract you and let this thing keep you away. Manage your workflow and control when you take breaks and when you work. There are others like this one and they are all probably worth a shot.
MolView: I haven’t tested this one out but it looks amazing for those who are in O-Chem or higher. It allows you to draw up molecules and look at them 3 dimensionally. I was one of those losers that bought an actual molecule set for $40 to understand what I’m looking at, so this might save you money if you have trouble visualizing molecules.
Use sleepyti.me for your late night studies or binges. It’s a simple interface that aims to sync you up with your rem cycles for the best sleep possible. I cannot say it works every time, but this site has saved me some cranky days as I stayed up too late studying.
Use RainyMood to destress yourself. I’m sure many of you know about it but I love this one.
Use f.lux to dim your PC screen to prevent eye strain and help you fall asleep.
I’m sure I have missed a lot of good extensions and tips. Feel free to tell me any I should try out!
02. When you have a laptop for college…
Make sure you make two accounts, one for studying and one for all other things. A clean desktop and lack of games (you can remove them per user) can really limit distractions. Put a website blocker on the browser of the account for studying, this will prevent you even more from procrastinating.
03. You can stop a sneeze by…
Slowing your breathing dramatically when you feel it coming on. I do realize most people hate the feeling and it might not be the best idea, but there are times its necessary like when serving food or during a meeting.
04. If you’re new to working out…
The type of exercises you do matters less than being persistent and consistent with them. Don’t try to optimize your routine prematurely and give up because you can’t find the best one.
I feel like some people will always try to point out things like “these exercises won’t get you ripped” – as a reason NOT to do them, and I think this also demotivates others, completely unnecessarily. But if you’ve never done consistent working out before (or your record is spotty) – almost any reputable exercise is worth doing, and sticking to, and being persistent.
In fact, there is no magical exercise that can get you ripped in a short period. Consistency, persistence and pushing to advance exercise difficulty when you can are the keys.
05. Narrower cutting board
Use a cutting board that’s narrower than the width of your kitchen trash can. It makes scraping vegetable stems, etc., into the trash so much quicker and easier, and nothing will get on the floor.
If you want a very efficient way to handle vegetable scraps. Keep collecting them into Ziploc bags and put them in the freezer. Then once you have a nice amount take them all and throw them in a big pot and boil them hard. Once it’s nice and ready let it cool down completely then little by little take your veggie scrap soup into the blender and blend it. Once that’s done strain it and throw away the solids in your compost. When you’ll be done you’ll have yourself a very tasty and natural broth to use for cooking. For easy accessibility you can freeze it in an ice cube tray and when you’re cooking just grab a couple and throw them in your pan.