Hello guys !
By now, all of us have gotten back to school/college and things are starting to get serious. If you’re managing to do everything you want to do, keep-up with school AND not be stressed about it, GOOD FOR YOU (and also, I’m sure you don’t exist). I’m admirative and I’ll forever strive to be like you. I know last year was rough for me, I had a LOT of classes, I wasn’t organized and didn’t keep up with my lessons either because I was exhausted or because I procrastinated and let reading, blogging and everything else come first. So when I had to prepare for my exams it was one of the most traumatizing things I’ve ever experienced, I’m not even kidding, and despite the fact that I passed all my classes with no hick-ups, I promised myself never to do that again.
What do I do and how do I do it? I spent quite sometime thinking up ways to balance everything and minimize the stress (because let’s face it, I will never get rid of it) and even though I still haven’t tested all these things for long, I still decided to share them. They may be of help to some of you. It will be a mix between studying/blogging/reading.
I have no idea what I would do if I didn’t have a daily to-do list to work with. I would probably do nothing and freak-out, which is an art I mastered last year. This not only keeps you organized but it also gives you a goal to work toward, which is quite motivational. To me anyway. Being able to tick off each task as I do it has proven to give me quite a kick when I need it. So I’d suggest doing that. Having a planner, to-do lists and the like.
I know that EVERYONE says that scheduling is the key but it’s like a myth to most of us. It used to be one to me up until recently when I realized that I can’t keep up with having my internship the morning, classes until 6 p.m., reading, working-out, socializing AND blogging everyday. I just can’t. And yes, I like to do a lot of things and I’m not giving up on anything anytime soon, so I found that this works best for me. I have an overview of my month’s posts and I write them up whenever I have sometimes which is generally on the weekends. Luckily this September, I have a week’s worth of holiday in which I wrote all of the month’s posts (this one included). Crazy, I know. I reached a level of organization I didn’t think myself capable of.
This can be pretty helpful too. If you get a post idea when you can’t reach your laptop, put it on your phone right away, pour out everything that comes to mind on the topic right there and then so it’ll be easier to flush out and edit before posting. God knows how many ideas I’ve forgotten just because I got them at the wrong time and also because I never thought of using my phone to draft posts.
This is a BIG one. It takes me quite sometime to make graphics from scratch, valuable time that I could be using on my school work, reading or even scheduling another post. So, by having premade graphics, it only takes me 2 minutes to change the background and/or text before using in my new post. I have my templates set for every kind of post I have and that definitely has made my post writing and editing process go by smoother.
I know some people say “I am not a night reader” but if you train yourself, of course you can do it! To be honest, I’ve always done all my reading at night so it comes naturally to me. But if you don’t read at night and are not willing to try, you won’t get much reading done (unless you spend a decent amount of time in common transportations) because between all the other things, to most of us, night time is the only free time. That is why I dedicate at least 30 minutes of my time every night (which turns into 2 hours but shhh!!) to read. Plus, it’s better than to spend the night staring at a screen, scrolling to endless pages in social media – Don’t deny it, we’ve all done it.
The teacher/professor is late to class? Read. You’re waiting for your friend to join you? Read. You’re waiting for your lunch order? Read. You’re in your doctor’s waiting room? Read. Waiting for your train/bus/bicycle/helicopter/camel? Read. You’ve got it, any spare time is an excuse to pick up that book where you left it off. May it be 10min, 20min or an hour. Just do it. Think of it for a second, if you have little breaks of 10min 4 or 5 times a day (which is average) by the time you get home you would have read 40 to 50 min which depending on your reading speed can make for 50 to 100 pages. Doesn’t seem so short now, does it?
What I mean by that is to pick up the books you most excited about first. Ain’t nobody got time for meeh books. This way, you’re less likely to waste precious time because you’re less likely to dislike the book. Simple logic.
Seems obvious, right? But how many of us actually do this? Probably 0.1% (Clearly making that up). The thing is we usually do school work when we’re pressed by time or just when we feel like it, and we almost never feel like it. So, dedicating, let’s say… 2 hours everyday to read through your notes and search for things you didn’t understand, start working on that essay that’s due in a comfortable amount of time, should be mendatory because it will make sucha huge difference in time and stress management. You’ll thank me later.
This one’s my favorite to be honest. I’m that girl who has fun taking notes and making them pretty and colorful. I don’t know any other way. When I tried to study straight from the books, I struggled A LOT because not all of the information registered into my brain and I ended up redoing the same chapters more times than necessary. Plus, it has been proven that writing things helps with memorizing them, which means it’ll take you less time once you want to go over the chapters. And I SAY that having pops of color helps even more. AND since they are YOUR notes, they will have your own writing and thinking style to them which will be more familiar to you thus making it easier to retain.
I’m guilty. You’re guilty. The neighbor’s guilty. The neighbor’s dog’s guilty. You got it, we all to this more often than not. That essay is due in a month? “I’ll do it in the last week” and then the last day comes by and you have to scribble down some mediocre thing that isn’t worthy of you, dropping your grades and making you have to work harder. If you refer to 8, you should be set to write a great essay and even have some time to spare. Same thing goes for blogging, winging a post in a rush will make for an average or even a less than average post, so if you have enough time on the posting day then that’s fine but if you have 30 minutes to scramble something together, then believe me, you’re better off without.
This applies to EVERYTHING. Focus on studying one or two chapters a day and getting the most out of them instead of just rushing through 6 chapters and getting next to nothing stamped into your brain. This goes for the number of posts you do per week as well as the books you read. I know we sometimes get caught up in the amount of books we read, when we see how many some people are able to go through in one month (Read: 15-20) that makes us want to do the same, even if that means we don’t enjoy the story the way we should and that kind of competition can also make us neglect some other priorities and responsibilities to others, but primarily to ourselves.
I can hear you saying “WHAT?” from here, followed by “What’s that gotta do with studying and reading?” but hear me out for a second. I must say that I love working out and that I do so 3+ times a week for 1hour or so but that’s not what I’m asking you to do here, because I know some people don’t like it and I’m not here to make you do anything. What I mean is, you should try to go for walks, just for 30 minutes and you’ll see a difference in your focus and energy levels. Sometimes we tire our brains to fry and keep on going nonetheless, which is useless because once your brain shuts down there’s no use in trying to do anything. When that happens get out of the house, get on that bike that has been sitting around for years, do some yoga, try some dance classes or any other physical activity you think you’d enjoy. It also helps immensely with stress management, to me, that’s the only thing that works and it is also scientifically proven because the body releases hormones that reduce stress and make the brain more alert.
Well that was a lengthy post, but I hope you enjoyed it and could get some use out of it.
That’s it until next time.
Do you do any of these? If not, what are some tips and tricks you apply on a day to day basis?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.
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