“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!

 

Advertisements

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

Preparing for the new school year

New year, new me? Nah, not really. New year, new pens? That’s more accurate, often the only thing that changes when the clock strikes twelve is the type of binders I’ll be using that year but oh well. Anyway, it’s only a couple of weeks until I start my next year of school and with that comes a plethora of things to organise. Thankfully for me organisation brings more joy than pain but I understand it’s not this way for everyone, so let’s get organised!

Let’s start off with planning. Write lists, lists and a few more lists. Plan what stationery you need to buy, how you want your routines to go that year and all the tasks you need to get done before school starts.

The next step is getting it done. Go stationery shopping, start following those routines and get all relevant tasks done. If you get everything organised in advance you have more time to enjoy those lasts few weeks of summer stress free.

Lastly, sort it out. Organise that stationery, fill up that pencil case, label those notebooks and premake your healthy lunches. Once this is all done you’re set and ready to ace the school year!

“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

The Best Study Techniques

You get your healthy, ‘brain food’, the study tea, coloured pens, palm cards, paper and the perfect focus playlist. You sit down at your desk, headphones on, ready for an intense study session. I usually get this far before realising, hang on, how am I actually going to do this? Sure, highlighting texts in a million different colours is fun, and looks productive when you post it online but is it really helping you? Everybody tells you to study but nobody actually tells you how to study, it sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Everybody overlooks studying, they assume it’s simple enough to work out but in reality, without guidance, we can all get a little lost.

In my first year of high school I was overwhelmed, teachers telling me to study, leaving me on my own to work my way through the jungle that is school and tests. I eventually worked it out but it took me a while and a few disappointing test scores until I got the hang of it.

There are many different methods of studying, but I usually use three different methods, I vary my techniques depending on the subject I’m studying for.

My favourite and hence most used method is to write a page or two of notes, I like to pretend I’m writing a cheat sheet for the test and make sure I only include key points. It always helps me to make my notes pretty, eg. calligraphy titles and colour schemes but this isn’t necessary, I just like to make my notes ‘aesthetically pleasing’ so that I can actually stand to look at them! This method is helpful for subjects where you need to remember a lot of information, such as science or history.

Flash cards! They’re a lot of fun and you can use them to study with friends, which is always a lot of fun. When using flash cards, I like to write down a word on one side, then a definition on the opposite side. When studying with these, I’ll get a friend or family member to show me either the word or definition, and I have to remember what’s on the other side, this is definitely the most enjoyable form of studying!

The last way I like to study is  practice, I know, I’m crying too. This is most helpful for maths, I like to do equations multiple times until they’re stuck in my head. This method can also be helpful if you’re studying for an essay or report that you have to write in class, set a timer for the amount of time you will have, and then practise writing it out, in the exact conditions you will be required to do it in. This is the least fun form of studying but often the way to get information permanently in your head.

There are other study methods I like to use but these are my top three, anyway have a great day!

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

Study Blues

Test.Study. Repeat. Sometimes it feels like school has us in a neverending cycle and it’s hard to keep up with it all. The minute you finish a test, a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders. You bounce happily into your next class, only to hear that you have another test coming up, throughout the day, your load gets heavier and you leave school only thinking about the 3 tests next week and essay due in two days, you can kiss goodbye to that Netflix date you promised yourself.  At school, you can have weeks of leisure and then one day it all hits you, like a tidal wave in a calm sea. It’s hard to find motivation in this repetitive cycle but just focus on the goal and strive towards it. This was more of a heartfelt whinge about school over anything motivational but we’re all stuck in the cycle so we may as well make the most of it.

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

Getting things done

Do you ever have so many things to do but absolutely no motivation to do them?Sometimes it’s just so hard to find the motivation you need to get things done, we like to pretend we’re motivated and productive but most of the time we’re just sitting on the couch watching youtube videos or reading blog posts about productivity instead of being motivated and getting things done. I’m not a motivation queen or anything but I do have some motivational tips to share with you.

Remind yourself of the final product. If you have to tidy your room envision the cleanest room ever and you’ll feel more motivated to get your room looking like that. Just remind yourself why you’re doing whatever you’re doing and you’ll be more productive.

Have some fun. It’s no fun doing jobs and hating them, you may as well make the most of it and play some music or watch a movie. If you’re organising or doing work put on your favourite tunes and incorporate a jam session into the chore, I play music everywhere and anywhere and it makes me so much more willing to do a job. If you’re folding washing or washing dishes put on a movie or your favourite TV show and have some “you time” whilst doing a job.

Take breaks. Don’t try to do everything in one day. Maybe do two large jobs a day and have rewarding breaks in between. If you spend too much time working you’ll start to hate it and have no motivation so give yourself a break, you deserve it.

Get company.  My sister and I often help each other tidy our rooms and it just makes the job so much more fun especially if you listen to music and have a cleaning party together.

If all else fails. JUST DO IT (sponsored by Nike ;), no not really) and get things done sometimes you just have to enforce some self-control and turn off the TV and do what needs doing.

Hopefully, this post helps you get things done and have some motivative productivity, I’m definitely not perfect at getting jobs done, just ask my Mum 😉 but I still try my hardest.

What are your motivation tips? Let me know in the comments below.

That’s just my taste of B’liss xx

My Study Routine

We don’t like school and we don’t like study but let’s face it, it’s pretty important. Some people never study and still manage to ace their tests with flying colours but the majority of people have to work to succeed. As much as we would love to snap our fingers and get straight A’s that’s not the reality, as Rhianna said we have to “work, work, work, work, work” and that involves study. My typical study routine goes like this:

I’ll start off by getting comfortable. You’ll be so much more motivated if you feel comfy so put on your tracksuit pants and faded hoodie, nobody’s going to see you whilst you’re studying! Also, make sure your chair is comfy, If you don’t have a cushioned chair just put a pillow on the back of your chair, instant comfort!

Next, I’ll get some snacks. If it’s a cold day I like to drink tea while studying, on a hot day I’ll drink some water or a healthy smoothie. As for food I like to eat healthy food such as nuts and fruit, if I’m feeling indulgent I might have some chocolate too, hehe! My favourite snack is a trail mix: to make a trail mix just combine your favourite nuts and dried fruit, I also like to add chocolate chips. Along with a trail mix, I’ll cut up some fruit and eat that as well. When you’re studying eating healthy food is really good for you and can keep you focused.

Now that I’m completely ready I’ll go sit at my desk. It’s a good idea to have a designated study spot. A desk is the best option but if you don’t have a desk you can study at the table, studying on the couch or your bed isn’t a good idea as you associate these places with rest and you shouldn’t sleep while studying! Make sure you have everything you need at your workplace: pens, pencils, paper, white out etc. Having all your supplies within reach will keep you from getting up and getting distracted. Keep your study space organised and special to you. My desk has a blue theme because I love blue, make sure you’re happy in your study space and you’ll feel more motivated.

Now let’s get down to the whole point of this, the actual study. Starting with set homework tasks, if your teacher has set you a task e.g finish textbook questions 1-5 do exactly what the task is. Keep your work neat and ask your parents, siblings or friends for help if you need it. Completing homework tasks is pretty self-explanatory.

The next type of study is assignments. Assignments take a lot of work, I recently had an assignment that I spent a total of ten hours on but it paid off because I got a grade I was happy with at the end of it. When completing assignments don’t do it all at once, spread it out, do an hour then have a break then come back. Don’t try to complete something in one day, work on it over a long period of time. Every teacher will tell you this but NEVER LEAVE SOMETHING TO THE LAST MINUTE! Don’t let yourself start writing an essay at 8 pm the night before it’s due, nobody wants to stay up all night doing schoolwork so manage your time wisely.

Last but not least is studying for tests. We all hate tests, one hour of answering questions is nobody’s idea of a good time but if you study well you can ace those tests! I have three methods for studying for tests:

  1. Reading over class notes, this is pretty self-explanatory but read over all your class notes, texts you’ve received and class powerpoints. Start doing this 5 days before the test and you’ll be set
  2. Rewrite notes, pretend you’re writing a note page for the test even if you aren’t allowed test notes. Only write key points. If you aren’t sure what to study ask your teacher, they’ll be able to give you a brief idea of what you need to know for the test.
  3. Flashcards! I make flash cards for every single test. These are so good for studying with friends and you can test each other. Make flashcards for definitions, key points and formulas.

If you’re getting agitated whilst studying, take a break for 5 minutes. Don’t study for more than 1 hour at a time.

Try making your notes neat. I personally use coloured pens and go all out, you don’t need to do this but make sure your notes are legible.

Hopefully, these tips help you!

That’s just my taste of B’liss

Fitness and health

The new year’s started and everyone expects a new, perfect, improved you. In reality, no-one’s perfect but we can all try our hardest to improve and be the best we can be. I personally have one goal I’ve set myself for 2017.

I want to eat healthier and workout more so I can be the fittest I can possibly be. So far I’ve done pretty well but I’ve gone downhill a bit since school started, on top of homework it’s hard to find time to exercise and everyone just wants chocolate after a long day at school, hehe.

It’s hard to motivate yourself but just getting out there and jogging with a friend helps you feel great and you’re proud of yourself afterwards.

As for eating healthy, good luck especially with chocolate but it’s fine to treat yourself sometimes just don’t make it a habit.

I know I’m a long way from perfect but I try my hardest to be as good as I can get and that’s all that matters.

That just my taste of B’liss