“Oh, I’m Just Too Busy”

“Hey, are you free to catch up with me on the weekend?”

“Oh, sorry. I’m just too busy.”

We’ve all had that conversation, or something extremely similar. The frank reality is that it’s generally very far from the truth. Yes, maybe you have a lot on but most of us spend more time telling people we’re ‘too busy’ than actually, you know, doing the things we’re ‘busy doing’. Whilst it’s definitely vital to not overwork yourself, you shouldn’t work up a mindset that you’re always ‘too busy to do anything’ because you’ll miss out on opportunities that you’ll very likely regret missing later. We all have the same amount of hours in the day, it’s how we choose to use them that actually matters. I’m a firm believer in having wind down time, so definitely let yourself have an hour of Netflix each day, however, don’t tell somebody you’re ‘too busy’ and then proceed to watch Netflix for five hours. I myself am definitely an over-committer, I reached this conclusion when I realised I’d double booked myself for the about the tenth time, I’m not suggesting my approach, it suits me as I like being busy, however probably isn’t the healthiest approach to time management. What I am suggesting is saying yes to a few things every once in a while, go on that jog with a friend, sign up for that school club or say yes to the volunteer opportunity you’ve been wondering about. This is an approach I’ve adopted within the last year and it’s meant I’ve had some amazing opportunities to do some things I wouldn’t have generally experienced. You’re very unlikely to regret giving things a go but you will regret not taking the opportunity, and on that corny note, have a great week!

 

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The Benefits of Being Organised

Organisation. It brings me joy. Yes, I think I’m funny, yes, I know I’m not. Anyway, being organised is so important in achieving a productive lifestyle. If you’re living in a mess of a bedroom where you can’t even see the floor, you definitely won’t be prodcutive. It’s so important to keep your spaces tidy so that you don’t waste time searching for things.

There’s a few simple ways you can keep your spaces organised but it all starts with organisng your things in the first place, I love to use the bed method, which means I get everything out and put it on my bed, ready to sort through it. I go through and declutter, then place everything back in an organised way. After you’ve actually organised your space it’s very important to then keep it that way. This requires getting into the habit of putting things back were they were, do I sound like your Mum yet?

When you’re organised, everything goes smoother, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and it will be one hundred times easier to get things done. When you’re sitting at your desk doing your math homework, it’s so much easier to quickly grab your calculator that’s sitting neatly in your drawer than search through the pile of clothes sitting on your floor, plus you’ll save so much time, which means you’ll get your work done much quicker and have more time to relax. Being organised is just so important for living an easy and productive life.

2019’s School Organisation System

Near the end of last year, I published a post outlining how I organised my school notes. However, my system has since changed…

This year, my system includes five 30-ring binders, five lever arch files and one sectioned folder. Yes, I realise just how excessive this sounds but I promise it’s justifiable.

For each subject I have that requires note-taking, I have a 3-ring binder from Muji that is filled with Muji paper. These are essentially my notebooks for each class and I take these to school each day, based on what subjects I have that day.

Another thing I take to school is a folder with six separate compartments. In this folder I keep worksheets and handouts that I receive for all my classes, this also comes to school with me everyday.

I also have a lever arch file for each subject. When I finish a topic at school, I take all my notes out of my binder and place them into my lever arch file, I also hole-punch my worksheets and clip them in as well. If I ever need my past notes to revise at school, I can just place them back in my binder.

This system is currently working well for me, despite my bag looking pregnant but apart from that, I’m pretty happy with it!

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger

De-stressing

After a long week, you know the kind I mean; three tests, an essay and two extra sports trainings, collapsing on the couch and basically lying there for the whole weekend is often what we tend to do, however, there are certainly better ways to de-stress.

Take care of yourself: Wash your hair, moisturise, put on a face mask. Doing these things will make you feel clean which will help you feel less stressed. I personally have one night a week where I do my full on shower, I wash my hair, shave my legs, have a Disney singalong using my hairbrush as a microphone (we’ve all done it!) It’s good to take care of yourself and your hygiene plus you’ll feel amazing afterwards!

Treat yourself!: Have a little ‘you time’ binge-watch Brooklyn nine-nine and all the Harry Potter movies, or any other movie or show you like they’re just my personal favourites! Read a book. Eat your favourite food, even if it is a little unhealthy. After a week of self-restraint from Netflix and chocolate, we surely deserve to be a little indulgent!

Do something creative: Forget all those math equations for a couple of hours, don’t forget them altogether or else that math test you have next week might not go all that well! Instead, put your brain power towards something creative you enjoy doing; bullet journal, do some calligraphy, write a song (if you’re musically gifted, unlike me) or even scrapbook! Doing something artsy will get your mind off everything going on for a little while.

Exercise: Look, I’m a pretty honest person so I’m not going to pretend I do this as much as I should but exercise is proven to have positive benefits on your mood and is definitely a good way to get out the stress. Head out for a jog, swim a few laps, invite your friends over for a game of volleyball or kick a football with your brother or sister. Exercising will help you feel less stressed.

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger

 

 

My current favourite pens

Let’s be honest, pens can make me happy or make me sad, depending on their quality. I would label myself as a bit of a pen snob if I’m being truthful. I have collected a lot of pens over the years and have a few that are my go to favourites, I’ll also provide links to all these products on Amazon in case anyone is looking for new pens to try, keep in mind some of these might be only available in Australia but majority of them should be able to be purchased worldwide.

Zebra Mildliners

My number one go to. I love these so much, they’re dual end highlighters that come in a range of beautiful colours that set a beautiful palette for note taking. These are quite pricey but definitely worth the money! Link to purchase.

Tombow brush pens

I can’t stress the quality of these enough, if you’re into brush lettering these are a must have. They have two tips, one brush tip and one thin marker tip, they’re great for headers and calligraphy. The only downside is they are quite pricey so I wouldn’t try to collect every colour, only the ones you like. Link to purchase.

Staedleter Triplus Fineliners

These are great for subheadings when taking notes, the colour range of them matches that of the mildliners which makes it easy to colour code notes, they are super smooth to write with and come in packs with lots of different colours. Link to purchase

Muji Gel Ink Pens

I only recently tested the muji pens but I’d definitely recommend them, they’re not ridiculously expensive and write very smoothly. A bonus is that their ink dries quickly so they’re great to highlight over the top of. Link to purchase

Zebra Sarasa Gel Ink Pens

These are quite similar to the muji pens but they’re also amazing for note taking, they flow very well and overall are of a great quality. The ink does take a while to dry so if you’re highlighting over them make sure to wait a few minutes. Link to purchase

I definitely have a pen problem but it’s okay hey? Whatever makes me happy 🙂

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger

My desk organisation

As much as this is an extremely dorky thing to say, my desk is one of my favourite places. The layout works for me and I have a colour theme that is very ‘me’, it makes me happy to sit down at my desk and this motivates me to do my work. My system may not work for everyone but here’s a simple outline of how it’s laid out.

Let me start with my desk. I have the Ikea Micke Workstation, it has so much storage space and I’d highly recommend it.

Above my desk

Above my desk is purely for aesthetic, up here I keep little decorations and knick knacks that add to the overall feel and vibe of my desk, my desk theme colour is teal so these objects go with that.img_2816

Top shelf

On the top shelf I have all my pens in acrylic organisers from MUJI, I’ve organised my pens by type of pens, for example I have all my mildliners together in one section. This system really works for me as it’s very easy to grab whatever pen you need. I also have my bullet journal down the side of the organiser because that was the best place to fit it.img_2817

Middle shelf:

The middle shelf is where I store a few things I need easy access to when at my desk. Here I store my pencil case for school, a box for my flashcards, my sprocket printer, a checklist pad, a pen pot filled with washi tapes along with a cup that contains a ruler, scissors, erasers etc.img_2819.jpg

Bottom shelf:

This shelf contains my hole punch, stapler, tape and sticky notes which are in a box.img_2818.jpg

Main desk:

My main desk is very minimal so that I have optimal room for workspace. It consists of only my alarm clock and a magnet board with a few things pinned up on it.img_2820.jpg

Drawers:

I really believe I’m not using my drawers that well for storage as I prefer to have everything I’ll need within reach but I do like to use my drawers to store extra stationery I’m not currently using such as paper and pens.

Cupboards:

My cupboards contain old school work from the previous year.

Shelves on bookshelf:

Two shelves on my bookshelf contain my binders I take to school, display files for other paper and my lever arch files I store old work in.img_2821

Hopefully this post has successfully outlined my desk organisation and has helped you in some way. I could definitely improve on how to use my cupboard and drawers for optimal storage space but oh well. Anyway, thanks for reading my blog!

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger

Study Sustenance

We all love food, or at least I do, whereas we don’t all love study but we could love it a little more when combining it with food. It’s important to keep yourself sustained when studying and healthy snacks are the way to do this.

My favourite snacks for studying are:

  • A piece of wholemeal toast with a healthier spread such as peanut butter or vegemite
  • Dried fruit; cranberries, sultanas etc.
  • Nuts; my favourite are almonds but any type are fine.
  • Fruit; cut up apple slices, grapes, berries etc.
  • Cut up vegetable sticks; carrots, celery, cucumber. You can also pair these with a dip such as hummus.

It’s also important to keep hydrated when studying so drinking lots of water is definitely a must but a few more drink options are:

  • Coffee in moderation.
  • Tea, herbal teas designed for focus are good. I really like the Bright Spark Tea by Tea Tonic. Click here for a link
  • Healthy smoothies full of fruit and vegetables.

When studying, it’s vital to fuel yourself with healthy foods, make sure to have everything ready to avoid breaking your focus to go get food multiple times.

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger

How I Organise My Notes

I often mention organisations systems and note taking in my blog posts, so I thought I’d do a post on what my organisation system actually is. The system I’m currently using is working well, better than anything else I’ve used before so I’d definitely recommend it to someone looking for a neat and coordinated way to organise their notes and schoolwork.

I use a binder system. Just two binders, one for current classwork, basically the equivalent of having a notebook and a folder for worksheets, and one for each semester that I keep all the work for all my classes in.

My current classwork binder is a small two ring binder that I take to school everyday, I have five dividers, one for each of my four main subjects and one for paper. The way I use this binder is that I keep paper at the back, which I take my notes in and then clip into the section for the class I took them in, I do the same with worksheets, albeit not until I get home as it’s really not realistic to carry a two hole punch around all day! I keep all the notes and worksheets in my binder until we finish the topic that they’re from. I then transfer all the work into my large binder, which also has a section for every class. I basically just grab the whole stack of papers and stick them into my semester binder, which is more of a lever arch file that I keep on my desk. This system works really well because it means I have everything within easy reach when trying to find old notes and I’d definitely recommend it!.

Let me end by saying, I really, really, really love binders!

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger

 

How to memorise an essay

I have to write an essay on Monday and I was terrified, until I started memorising it. Essays freak me out, especially if they’re ones you write in class. As much as I enjoy writing, I always fear running out of time and not completing my essay or completely forgetting what I wrote in my draft, I actually had a nightmare about it, no kidding! I was wondering what I could do to help myself remember my essay and came up with a few ideas I thought might help. I can’t say that they work yet but all will be revealed on Monday morning!

Step one: read it! I know, self-explanatory but it’s a definite way to embed information in your brain, read it until you’re sick of it.

Step two: say it, out loud or in your head just keep going over it, whether you’re with friends and feel like annoying them or trying to fall asleep at night, just go over it.

Step three: write it out. Remember look cover say write check in primary school? I know, the traumatic memories that come with those five words but you can basically do it with memorising an essay. Look at the sentence, cover it up, write down what you remember and then check it, you can skip the ‘say’ did anyone ever do that anyway?

Step four: practice! As if you were in class writing it, set a timer for how long you’ll have and then write it out using only the notes you’ll have in the essay, or no notes if that’s the requirement. Do this a couple of times and you’ll ace that essay!

Anyway, this post was slightly different to usual but I thought I’d write about something I’m still learning about. As I said before, these methods are not guaranteed but I’m really hoping they work for both me and you!

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger

A productive evening routine

After a long day all I ever want to do is binge watch Netflix but unfortunately, there’s this little thing called homework that restricts me from being the couch potato I so desperately want to be. I generally like to keep to a system (as I do with most things in my life) when trying to have a productive afternoon. My evening routine usually goes something like this.

First things first. Food. One of the first things I do when I get home from school is grab a snack and relax for a while. I like to take 30 minutes to wind down after the day and scroll through social media. It’s important to have a break between schoolwork and homework or else you’ll feel overwhelmed.

After I’ve had a snack and relaxed for a little bit I’ll head to my desk and do my homework and a little bit of daily organisation. The first thing I like to do is clip all my worksheets into my binder, I prefer not to take my hole punch to school as it’s very bulky so I do this at home. Next, I’ll go through and write a key for my notes, when trying to get information down in class I shorten everything, it’s slightly ridiculous and often I can’t tell what it means when looking back through notes, so I’ll grab a sticky note the same colour as my notes theme and write a key for what my abbreviations mean. I also add calligraphy headers to my notes if I didn’t have time to in class. Next, I’ll check my planner and see what my homework is, I like to try to do all homework on the day it’s set. Once I know what my homework is I’ll start doing it. After I’ve finished my homework I’ll study for any tests I have coming up and spend a couple of hours doing that. It usually takes me about 1-3 hours to complete this routine depending on my amount of work.

After I’ve finished all my homework I’ll usually enter the potato phase, I’d love to be able to say that I workout next but that would be a very big lie and I like to be an honest person. I like to sit down and relax by watching Netflix for a little while, It’s highly important to take a few hours out for yourself every night, especially after you’ve worked hard all day. After I finish relaxing I’ll head to bed and read for a while which is another way I love to relax.

Hopefully, this post was slightly helpful. I’m definitely not the most productive person but I like to think I’m somewhat productive anyway see you in my next post which will hopefully be sooner than this one was!

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger