How to Use the Full Focus Planner

How can college students keep themselves focused and organized, so they’re in the best position to get the highest grades possible—preferably while studying less than most other people? My recommendation to students is, use the Full Focus Planner.

full focus planner

The Full Focus Planner is a paper planner.

“Paper?” you’re thinking. “Come on, that is so low tech! What next—are you gonna tell us to chisel our appointments and task lists into stone tablets?”

Ha ha ha ha ha.

Don’t laugh at paper planners!

Top productivity gurus like Michael Hyatt are telling us—paper planners are the best. Especially the ones with lots of room to write.

Paper planners are quiet—without beeping distractions and pop-up notifications.

And, because all your notes and thoughts are right there in front of you—in your own handwriting—you don’t have the “out-of-sight-out-of-mind” problems that plague people who try to do their daily planning on electronic calendars.

You can see a short helpful video about the Full Focus Planner here.

Yes, I know Michael Hyatt has gray hair—but don’t let that throw you!

I’ve followed Michael Hyatt for years. He really knows what he’s talking about when it comes to high achievement and cut-to-the-chase, lean productivity.

(You can see me thanking Michael personally in the acknowledgements section on the very last page of my book.)

Once you’ve seen this video, order your Full Focus Planner for $10 off using my special link:

https://www.talkable.com/x/Mwm2VB

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Is “Advanced Placement” the Best Way to Earn College Credit In High School?

Every year, millions of high school students are fed this line: “Hey, you should take Advanced Placement (AP) classes! They’re way harder, but if you do well on the test at the end, you’ll get free college credit!”

It sounds like a great deal. But is it actually true?

Advanced Placement

Actually, Advanced Placement (AP) classes are the least dependable way for students to earn college credit in high school.

Shockingly, fewer than half the students who take AP classes actually end up getting the low-cost college credit they were promised.

This Atlantic article goes so far as to tell parents bluntly, “AP classes are a scam” and “AP students are being suckered.”

The well-respected Atlantic said that? Wow.

To learn which early college option tends to be far better than APread on.

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7 Reasons Your MIDDLE SCHOOLER Needs A College Study Skills Class

And Where to Find One

To get straight to my study skills class information, scroll to the red writing below.

LIve class coming August 27th!

Something magical happens when a middle schooler takes a college study skills class. I’ve seen it a thousand times.

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Could Your Kid’s College Texting Habit Cost You $28,000?

A Simple Way to Make Sure It Doesn't

texting

Quick. Picture your son sitting in a college class.

Got that picture in your mind?

Let me guess what you just imagined. You pictured him absorbed in his college lecture. You pictured him paying close attention to every word the professor is saying. You pictured him diligently filling page after page with carefully organized notes.

You may have just imagined wrong.

The typical college student squanders one-fifth of his class time doing this.

Texting. Emailing. Checking Facebook. Surfing the web. Playing games on a phone, tablet, or laptop.

A 2015 University of Nebraska-Lincoln study of 675 college students across 26 states reveals that nine out of ten students report that texting is “their main diversion during class.”

About 75% of students polled admitted to emailing or checking the time on their phones. 70% reported scrolling through Facebook and other social media during the time they were supposed to be learning. Nearly half surfed the web during class, and one in 10 spent class time playing games.

What’s the cost to parents? Let’s do the math.

Let’s say your son attends a private university that charges $5,880 for a 3-credit course. If your son texts, emails, checks social media, surfs the web, or plays games during just one-fifth of his class time, which is a lowball estimate, that diversion will end up costing your family $1,176 for each class he takes. If your son takes 18 credits per term during every term other than his first one on campus — as I advise students to do in order to graduate faster — this seemingly innocuous habit will cost your family $7,056 per term. $28,000 or more over the course of an entire four-year college career.

Not to mention the cost to your son when that knowledge base isn’t available to him when he tries to enter the workforce later.

It’s no wonder today’s college students are having trouble getting real jobs after college.

I have a magical way to solve this problem.

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Hear Jeannie Burlowski Interviewed on the “Hey, Sister!” Podcast

I was recently interviewed by Krista Gilbert on her “Hey Sister!” podcast. It was a great conversation, almost an hour, full of practical tips for anyone who loves a kid age 12 – 22.

To listen to the podcast, click on Episode 19 here.

Some of the topics we covered include:

  • Strategies not just for getting your child into college, but for getting him or her through college debt-free.
  • Why your local state university is probably not your child’s bargain college option
  • Why the lowest college prices may be at private universities that look only at the FAFSA financial aid form
  • Why “dual enrollment” is better than AP when it comes to earning inexpensive college credit in high school
  • How to spread the scholarship application process over 8 years rather than trying to do it all during the senior year of high school
  • How moms and dads can navigate the emotional difficulty of “letting go” of college-bound children with grace and faith and hope.

podcast

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Want More Scholarships? GPA Matters Less Than You Think.

You’d love for your college-bound teen to get more scholarships, but you worry that his GPA just isn’t high enough. Am I right? Well, worry no more.

Good news. There are thousands of college scholarships available to students with GPAs as low as 2.50.

I’ll give you tips for finding more scholarships to apply for at the end of this post.

The question for today is: Besides high grades, what can your college-bound teen do to make himself or herself a powerful, attention-getting applicant who will get more scholarships than most other people?

The answer might surprise you.

scholarships

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YOU Can Raise Creative, Confident, Innovative Kids

 

creative

The last thing you want to do is raise a child who’s just a dull drone, pouring out memorized facts as though facts have the power to save the world. You want to raise a child who will be valued in a future workplace for being creative, confident, and innovative.

But how can you build creative, confident, innovative ability into your child (and yourself!) right now?

In this fascinating 8-minute video, former Yahoo! executive strategist and bestselling author Tim Sanders provides brilliant research-based insight into where creativity and innovation actually come from.  

Here’s how I believe you can make these principles of creativity and innovation come alive in your kids:

1. Let your kid know that genius isn’t necessary to accomplish great things.

Sanders says that it’s a myth that great innovations come from lone wolf inventors who have sudden “eureka moments” strike like lightening from the sky and change the world. “We want to be heroes,” Sanders says, “so that’s how we tell the story.” Actually, though, Sanders says, true genius creativity comes from another place altogether. It comes from collaboration.

2. Explain to your kid the tremendous value of collaboration.

It can be liberating to a 12–22 year old to realize: “Hey, I don’t have to have all the answers! It’s OK if I have one piece of the puzzle and someone else has another piece of the puzzle. It’s even OK if 20 other people are also contributing pieces of the puzzle. We can work together, and in doing so accomplish something bigger than I could ever do on my own.”

As Sanders says: “Little ideas combine with other little ideas, and these improve into game-changing ideas.”

This realization—that it’s OK to have only one piece of the puzzle—helps kids to relax. It relieves pressure and anxiety that can actually stand in the way of creativity and innovation.

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Top 5 Lies We Tell Kids About College

Read This When Your Kid's in Middle School.

This post is a scary one. But read all the way down to the red print at the bottom and I’ll give you a boatload of hope about college.

college

1. “If you don’t get into a good college, you won’t be able to get a good job when you graduate.”

This statement is completely and utterly false. Let’s all be honest for just a minute. Don’t you know people who went to so-called “bad colleges” and they have great jobs? Let’s get even more honest. Don’t you actually know many, many, many people who went to so-called “bad colleges” and they have great jobs? Why do we purposely scare kids with this lie?

2. “You, of course, shouldn’t even consider technical school.”

The bias against technical school gets communicated to kids from the age of 12 on up in a thousand insidious ways.

The subtle message kids hear is: “Tech school is for kids who aren’t as smart as you.” “Tech school is for kids who can’t get into real college.” “We won’t even show you a catalog of job training programs available at a technical school. We don’t care if tech school would empower you to make really great money after only two years of training. We won’t even suggest the possibility of going to technical school first and then perhaps four-year college after that. You’re smart and you come from a good family—that automatically means four-year college or university for you.”

(To see my post on “Could Your Kid End Up Wealthier and Happier by Not Going to College?” click here.)

3. “Of course you’re going to take out $40,000 in student loans to go to college. Don’t worry, you’ll easily be able to pay those loans back with the excellent job you’ll get after you graduate.”

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Top 10 Ways to Help Your Kid Get More College Scholarships (Starting in MIDDLE SCHOOL)

The dad waited in a long line to get to shake my hand. He was beaming.

scholarships

“We squeezed into a packed high school auditorium to hear you speak about scholarships last year,” he told me. “You inspired my son to go home and apply for 20 scholarships he thought he’d never get. He won eight of them, and now has over $20,000 extra to help pay his college bills. I just wanted to say thanks.”

I beamed back at him. Nothing excites and energizes me like seeing students achieve things they thought they never could. And when they rake in the scholarship money? That’s the best feeling ever.

Winning college scholarships is only one very small piece of the puzzle when it comes to getting kids through college debt free. In all honesty, other strategies that I provide to parents can net even greater return for families.

If you want to maximize scholarships, though — here are just a fraction of the scholarship strategies I recommend for students and parents.

1. Don’t assume your kid won’t qualify for scholarships because of grades or test scores. 

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Could Your Kid Get a Tech School Degree, and THEN a Bachelor’s Degree!?

This article was originally posted on this site on April 4th, 2016. It was updated on January 10th, 2018.

In 2015 I wrote about how some students could end up wealthier and happier by not going to four-year college after high school. It was a life-changing post for many. If you missed it, be sure to read it here.

But what about this great idea? Your kid could go to community or technical school in a fantastic, in-demand career field for two years and gain excellent, immediately-employable job skills . . . and then start work on a bachelor’s degree in a related field at age 20.

“Wait, a minute . . .” I can hear you objecting. “Who wants to go to college for six straight years, and not get finished until age 24? The credits my kid would earn in technical school probably wouldn’t transfer to a four-year college, right?”

technical school

You’re right, college credits don’t generally transfer from technical schools to 4-year bachelor’s degree programs. But imagine this. What if your 18-year-old teen had already completed two full years of bachelor’s degree college credit in high school at state expense—as I explain here? That teen could complete two years of technical school between age 18 and age 20, and then finish up a bachelor’s degree between the ages of 20 and 22.

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