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HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR STUDYING SCHEDULE: 

Hey guys!! Since some of you asked me how I organized my studying schedule for this summer, I thought it would be best to make a post about it. It’s the first time I make a post such as this, and I’m sorry for the poor quality of my photos, but my mobile phone has the only camera I have at hand, so let’s get down to business! 

  1. KNOW YOUR DEADLINES: It’s important to know when do you have your exams, when is that essay due and so on. This way you’ll keep track of time and you’ll know how much time you need to commit to each task. I would advise color coding each one, as I did with the subjects which exams I have to retake in september. This way, you’ll have your goals and needs always in mind. 
  2. KNOW WHAT YOU NEED TO STUDY: It’s important to be sure of all the things you need to study. As you can see in this image, I wrote down every unit I need to know for my anatomy exam, and I did the same for the other subjects as well. I also added a little checkbox beside each unit in order to keep track of all the times I revise each one so I can know at a glance how I’m doing and where I need to improve. 
  3. USE ADDITIONAL TOOLS: Getrevising is a webpage that can help you create a schedule if you don’t know where to start. It gives you the opportunity to, completely free, add your classes, appointments, subjects and deadlines to create a schedule. You can also give a priority to each subject so they can assign more study hours to those subjects you find more difficult or where you need to invest more time. I used it as a reference, because it is not perfect, and I don’t know if it’s possible to change the study blocks from 1 hour sessions to longer or shorter ones, but it helps you to make an idea of how many hours you should invest in each subject. Anyway, this tool is completely unnecessary, but I used it because my study schedule is for the whole summer (that’ll be two months of holidays) and so I felt a bit overwhelmed by how many things I needed to tackle. 
  4. EDIT AND WRITE YOUR OWN SCHEDULE ATTENDING TO YOUR NEEDS: The most important thing when you write your study schedule is to know your strengths and limits. I printed a weekly schedule from my laptop iCal to see at a simple glance how many things I had going on in a week and how many hours I could dedicate to study. You can find simple weekly calendars anyway or you can even make your own. The first thing I wrote down were all those unavoidable things such as birthday parties and weddings and medical appointments as well as those things I want to do daily such as running, bathing, walking the dog or reading a bit at night. Once this is done, I can see how many free hours for studying I have, and if I feel like they are not enough, I cut down some things that aren’t completely necessary, because sometimes what is necessary is to make some sacrifices. But remember to always leave some free time for yourself, because it’s good for you to relax and get some strength back. Then, looking at your get revising schedule or simply knowing your needs, write down every day which units you are going to study. Try to be realistic, and don’t cram things in every study session. If you can only study tree units in one morning, then do that. Otherwise you’ll feel stressed and you won’t keep up with your schedule, which can make you feel bad and think that it’s not being useful at all. I’d also recommend highlighting your subjects with the same colors you used for your deadlines calendar, because it’ll help you make an idea in your head of your week. 
  5. TRANSFORM YOUR WEEKLY SCHEDULE INTO A DAILY ONE: I find it better to, once a weekly schedule is prepared, write it down as a daily one, to the hour. Some people may think this is a bit obsessive, but it makes me less stressed knowing what I should be doing in every study session. Moreover, it makes me feel satisfied crossing out things I have already done, and crossing them out of my list! If you’ll feel stressed watching the things you have to do every hour using just the weekly schedule may be fine for you. I used a simple lined notebook and wrote the hours myself. 
  6. PLUS:KEEP TRACK OF YOUR PROGRESS: If you don’t want to make a daily schedule, or if you’re not accustomed to follow a schedule this thick, you may find useful keeping track of your progress. You can write down what you do every hour your dedicating to studying, or maybe you can write down things as “I planned to study for 3 hours with two 10 minutes breaks and I managed to study just 2 units when I planned to study 3”. This may help you know your weaknesses and analyze what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. When you realise things as this, you’ll find it easier to make a reliable and realistic schedule that is up to your needs and strong points. This way you’ll know if you work better in the mornings or the afternoons, if you get distracted easily… But remember that the most important thing is to take things easily and bit by bit. Everyone works differently, and what may work for others may not work for you. Analyze and know yourself, and then no one or anything will stop you. 

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I hope you found this helpful. I know this is just my method, but some of you were curious about it and I find inspiring knowing about other people’s methods. This way you can find your inspiration to work out your own methods and habits, and you’l feel much less frustrated when you manage to achieve your goals, but take your time and be patient. Succeed will take your hand if you work hard a bit everyday!!!! 

Ever made a list of to-do’s and ended up finishing less than half of it? Maybe this tutorial would help you.

Things you need: Pen, paper, tasks, something with a timer, and patience.

Step 1: Make a huge-ass bucket list of what you want done. List everything and anything.

Step 2: Cross out the currently unimportant ones. Like: Google Benedict Cumberbatch. (Unless you’re actually writing a paper on Benedict Cumberbatch)

Step 3: Line the rest up in order…
Important+Emergent Important+Non-emergent Unimportant+Emergent, and Unimportant+Non-emergent.

Step 4: Take a timer and time yourself on a task. Estimate how long it would take for you to finish, say, a chapter of biology. Then compare with the actual time it took to do so. Don’t worry if there is a huge difference: we could always work on that later. KEEP THE RECORDS.

Step 5: Repeat Step 4 as necessary.

Step 6: When you are done for the day, make a list of things you plan to finish tomorrow. Now that you have actual numbers to work with it should be MUCH easier.

Step 7: Do your best to finish everything the next day. If you find that difficult, take something off the list and try again (and vice versa). Most people find their balance within a week and I bet you will too.

This technique saves a lot of time. You would no longer need to think long and hard about what you should and should not put on your list. Just index your times under their respective categories, add them up, and you’re all set. As an added bonus, you could even try beating your own records!

Hope this helped a bit. :”)
-Jamie

Don't be Afraid to Take a Break

Let’s face it, writing is hard. Like, really hard.

Finding the right words and crafting an enjoyable, memorable story can be so damn draining. Sometimes the words just aren’t there. Sometimes you’re tired or stressed or just not feeling it. Sometimes you just need a fucking break.

I don’t know about you, but I was scared of breaks for a long time. So many people had told me I should be making time for my writing, no matter what. Got writer’s block? Write anyway. Don’t like the words you’re typing? Write anyway. Feeling stressed? Write anyway.

I felt like I should always put my writing first. If I wasn’t writing, I was wasting time and would probably turn out to be a failure. And it got to the point where writing wasn’t much fun anymore because it was just so damn stressful.

I’d let myself turn it into an obligation.

image

Don’t let your passion become a chore. Write because you love it, not because you’re trying to fulfill some phantom obligation.

If you aren’t feeling up to writing today, don’t. If tomorrow shows up and you still aren’t feeling it, that’s perfectly fine. Take as much time as you need.

Don’t be afraid of breaks.

Breaks aren’t a bad thing. You aren’t wasting time. You’re taking care of yourself and that is nothing to be ashamed of. So, play some video games. Watch a movie. Spend a few hours looking at funny cat videos. Whatever relaxes you.

Because writing isn’t an obligation. It isn’t a chore. You won’t get into any trouble if you don’t write for a few days. You aren’t going to end up as a failure.

Take care of yourself and take a break.

Happy writing, lovelies

Quick Tips for Good Time Management

1. Create a daily ‘to do’ list.

2. List goals and set priorities.

3. Do ‘A’s’ first (Most important things).

4. Do them now.

5. Ask yourself “What is the best use of my time right now?”

6. Be realistic: New habits take time to develop.

7. Reward yourself for small steps of progress towards your goals each week.

Source: http://www.schools.nsw.edu.au/gotoschool/highschool/priorities.php

"Know, my son, that days consist of hours and hours are made of the breaths you take. Every breath is a treasure chest, so beware of letting a breath pass by with no benefit. You do not want to find an empty treasure chest on the Day of Judgement and regret."

Ibn al Jawzi (rahimahullaah), Sincere Counsel to the Students of Sacred Knowledge p.49

Over time, situations will change. They always do. So I’m forced to ask the same important question over and over again: Does this thing add value to my life? But I don’t just ask this question about material possessions. Stuff was just the start. I ask it too in regard to relationships, Internet consumption, food, and more. I constantly ask because circumstances constantly change. Just because something adds value today, that doesn’t mean it will necessarily add value tomorrow. So I keep asking, and I adjust accordingly.

I made personal calendars for the last three months of school last year and they helped so much. I couldn’t believe that i didn’t use them for the whole year! So i made them again for this year!!

If you want to print them out you can find them here:

*the previews changed the font and style but they look exactly the same as pictured above when they are downloaded.

Each monthly calendar comes with a nifty motivational quote and tons of space to write the things you have to do and up coming events. 

Pro tip: If you’re using these for both school and personal events creating a colour code will help you more than anything.  When i had a test, major project due, or something school related i’d colour the day box with blue. Things like holidays would be coloured with pink and personal important dates would be coloured with green! 

If you keep up with these and use them everyday you’ll really improve your organization and time management skills!!

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So I was recently asked about my planner system. I was able to answer, but I could not upload pictures to go along with it so I decided to make another post so that I could upload pictures with it. Enjoy!

Okay to get the OCD planner system down, you’re gonna need three things.

1. Planner

I only get planners that have tabbed monthly calendar and weekly calendars included all in one. So at the beginning of the semester, I will take the syllabus I get from every class and write in when homework assignments or projects are due and when I have exams. Once you have all of that put into your tabbed monthly calendar, it helps you prioritize which assignment you are going to do next or what class you will study for.

Now let’s fast forward. Pretend syllabus week is over and you’re actually starting to get homework assignments to do and chapters to read. In the weekly calendar portion of the planner, I will write the class and its respective assignment. But I won’t just write the assignment that is due by the next class, I write down what I have to do for that class for the remainder of that week AND what I have to do by the end of next week. Once you finish with your classes for that day, you can move onto the next step.

2. Sticky Notes

I like to have Sticky Notes that are around 4in x 6in and have lines for this next step in the process. I will look at my weekly calendar and start highlighting the assignments that are important to do ASAP. Once you pick which of the assignments are important to do for that week, you can start prioritizing the assignments on the Stick Note. Place the Sticky Note overtop of the day in your weekly calendar and number the assignments in order of which they need to be done in. 

Now you have your assignments organized and prioritized by importance!

3. Weekly Calendar With Times

I use a template I created for the last step in this process. I tend to work with this weekly calendar on Sundays so that I can plan out my whole week. I will colour code when I have to be in class, when I need to be asleep by, when I need to be at work, when I can relax, and when I should do homework or study.

I started using this system once I got to college because I knew in high school I was a mess with time management and prioritizing my assignments. I hope this system helps you if you decide to use it! If you have any other questions, don’t be shy!