Time-Management

7

It’s been a while since I’ve made a post, and I figured that these tips might be extra helpful with exam season approaching. As someone who struggles a lot with procrastination, I do everything I can to fight the urge to put assignments off until the last minute (even though I’m not always successful). 

As always, good luck! (ᵔᴥᵔ)

concept: me, sitting in a café and revising my notes. on the table are my favourite stationery and drink, and I am thinking about the great things I have planned for later. I enjoy my studies a lot, and am able to manage my time so I can both study and relax doing what I love. I have a healthy sleeping-schedule and am refreshed and at peace with myself and my life.

In honor of my 5th semester in a row of all A’s (hell yeah boiiiii) I’m going to make this post. I don’t know how I did it because I am honestly so lazy.

  1. Grades are reflective of your work ethic and your ability to strategize, not your intelligence.
  2. Be real with yourself. Are you sure you are ready to commit to perfect grades? Are you ready to work, day in and day out, when it sucks and classes are boring and hard? Are you ready to feel satisfied for all of the hard work you put in? If the answer is yes, congratulations. You are on your way to becoming a straight-A student.
  3. Prioritize classes. Not every class requires the same amount of work, and you should find out the hardest classes early on in the semester. These will take the most time, and you will have to spend extra time and effort to get a good grade. When choosing classes, make sure you will be able to handle them. Make sure you will be able to ace all of them, at the same time. That being said, don’t shy away from hard classes. You have to challenge yourself. Take a few AP’s. They are worth it.
  4. Make friends with teachers/professors, especially the ones that teach hard subjects. I am very close with my chemistry professor, and this has proved invaluable because I am able to get free tutoring, as well as a great recommendation letter for college apps.
  5. Have other goals. You need to do something that is not studying to keep you productive. I would highly recommend joining a sports team or club. I exercise (usually running and weightlifting) at least 2 hours a day, usually more. Playing 2 sports made me more healthy, social, and productive. Running calms me down, and weightlifting makes me feel strong. Do whatever makes you feel good, as long as it’s healthy.
  6. Learn to manage time well. How do I play 2 sports, get straight A’s, have a studyblr, and have time to spare? The answer is that I take care of myself well. I go to bed at 10:30 or 11 each night so I can get 7 ish hours of sleep. I do homework during lunch or in class so I don’t do it at home.
  7. Slack off. Yep. I said it. I complete assignments strategically, spending the most time on things worth the most points. Things that will only take a few minutes can occasionally be done in class right before the teacher is collecting homework. I have done this all too often. That being said, small assignments really do add up so make sure you do an acceptable job and turn them in on time.
  8. Turn something in. It is ok to sometimes slack off in quality, but if something is due, you better turn something in. Something is better than nothing. Getting extensions on assignments for no reason will make the teacher think you are lazy, or don’t care about their class. Every single essay and worksheet does not have to be your best work, but make sure you fill the basic assignment requirements, and it should be enough. 
  9. Extra. Credit. Some classes don’t offer this, but if they do, just freaking do it man. Knowing you can miss an assignment because you did extra credit earlier is the best feeling, especially when doing that assignment would have meant losing sleep. 
  10. Plan (sort of). I have a bullet journal where I write important assignments down. As I said, there are some assignments not worth your time that you can half-ass. The ones I write down are the ones I need to do well. If you write down every. last. assignment. you will burn out and stop planning altogether. 
  11. Sometimes, go above and beyond. You know that subject you really like? With an awesome teacher? Spend time on it. Make your project extra beautiful, and read ahead in the textbook. Watch video lectures online, and maybe even make a studyblr post about it. Your extra work might not be turned in for credit, but it will make you feel a whole lot more knowledgeable on the subject. Do this for classes you hate, too. Maybe it’s not as bad as you think it is. The extra effort might allow you to see the beauty in a subject you used to despise. 
  12. Be real with yourself (again). This past semester, I had a B+ for a few months in a subject I really love. I wasn’t mad, and I didn’t stress about it, because, honestly? It doesn’t really matter. Eventually I brought the grade up again, but it would be fine to me either way. 
Time Management Tips

1. Admit that multitasking makes you less effective – and don’t do it if the work is important.

2. Know when you work best – and schedule studying, assignments and projects for that part of the day.

3. Do the most important tasks first. For example, if a project is worth a large proportion of your grade, then make sure you spend lots of time on that (whether you like the subject or not.)

4. Check email, facebook, messages, texts etc at set times – such as on the hour. Don’t look at them at other times.

5. Know what works as a reward for you, and reward yourself when you complete a task. But don’t reward yourself until the task is done!

6. Have an organised to-do list, and work through it methodically.

7. Don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked by friends, or unexpected opportunities.

8. Schedule in some leisure as you can’t work all the time.

Try to get up early! I know a lot of people who like to sleep in, but I also know some who don’t feel productive if they don’t get up early. Getting up early (and not necessarily super early, maybe one or two hours later than you’d get up for school) on the weekend or on a day off gets you moving and ready to start your day. 

Do some sort of exercise early in the day. It doesn’t have to be intense or a lot, but get moving. It could be anything from an actual workout to just walking to a bookstore or coffeeshop to start your day.

Eat breakfast! If you don’t like getting up early, eating a really good breakfast can make your day. And if you do get up early, you’ll have enough time to actually make something.

Schedule your day. Don’t schedule it down to the last minute, but schedule the big things you need to get done. If you need an alert on your phone or computer to remind you, some good calendars I recommend are: Timepage, Google Calendar, Schoolhub Students(not necessarily a calendar but the best I’ve used for tracking assignments),  and Outlook Calendar(ok so Sunrise was THE BEST calendar app I have ever used but it was discontinued and kind of moved to Outlook).

Write down absolutely everything you need to accomplish. Do this first. It doesn’t matter how big or how small it is, just do it. It might be a pretty long list, and that’s ok. If you have bigger tasks, like writing a paper, break it down further into something like research, brainstorm, thesis, etc. You can further break those down too. The eventual goal is to break down the massive tasks into small, manageable things that you can handle so you don’t feel overwhelmed. 

Prioritize the things you need to do. What I generally tend to do is prioritize the assignments and tests that are coming up first, but if I have a bigger test after them, that can become an equal priority. So for example, if I have a worksheet due first period tomorrow, a quiz fourth period that same day, and a major test two days away, I would do the worksheet first, do about half my studying for the major test, study for the quiz, then finish my studying for the major test. 

Get started on something! Once you’ve got all your ducks in a row, get to work. If music helps you focus, listen to it, or if wearing a comfy sweater helps you destress, wear it. Find what works for you and use it to your advantage. 

Don’t forget to take breaks. Use something to help you time your breaks- I personally like to use forest, but one that I’ve tried and liked is flat tomato. Do something you like during your breaks- your brain needs time to process what you’ve been working on. 

Try to get all of your work done before evening- but if you don’t get it all done, it’s not the end of the world. Use this time for yourself, so watch a good movie, eat dinner, play an instrument, whatever makes you happy. This is your self-care time- you work hard and you deserve it!

-keaton

  1. Set your priorities straight. As you’ve entered school, you know that your academics are basically one of your priorities, aside from your personal health. You are a student, after all. You should know that you should be making time for all the school work you’re supposed to be dealing with. If you’re having trouble with this, I suggest you write your priorities down, and rank them according to which one weighs the most. This will make you feel much more headstrong and goal-oriented.
  2. Use schedulers and planners. You’re human and it’s okay to forget things. Get digital with apps and programs or get traditional with notebooks and planners. Involve your planning with a combination of both. This really helps especially if you’ve created a system for remembering things more efficiently, eg. color-coding, bullet journaling, weekly overviews, having legends, etc., which leads us to the next point:
  3. Schedule in advance. Complete the difficult tasks, the easy tasks, the medium tasks. Do what you can. Set deadlines for yourself. If you’re fully aware that three weeks from now, you’ll have 3 exams in a day, start studying as early as possible. If you have to attend to an event and have an exam the day after, bring any study material with you. Do homework the day they’re given to you, especially if they’re fairly easy. If they need some research or data collection, make it a point that you do it after class or on the nearest weekend. Break the habit of doing something because a classmate has already started doing his/hers. Instead, do it for the motivation that you’ve set for yourself.
  4. Prevent causes of distraction. There are only 24 hours in a day, and a fraction of which we use for fulfilling our basic necessities. Utilize the remaining time for productivity. Delete social media apps if you have to, or turn off your internet. Better yet, turn off your phone and exchange phones with your roommate or your friend. Keep it. Forget about it for a moment. You can always leave your feed but it will never leave you. You can always return to it after you’ve done your work.
  5. Multi-task! I can never stress the importance of learning multi-tasking enough. Whenever I’m in a long meeting, I usually bring my laptop to review notes or write a paper. Of course, it would seem rude to some so it’s better if you would give them a heads-up. If I’m in a class I find easy and if the professor allows us to study or drift off, I usually study for other classes that I need more attention in. While I take showers, I discuss the exam material from my memory out loud. If you have to wait in line for some errand, bring a book. Sometimes while doing my night care routine, I would listen to audio recordings of my professor. Some of these examples may come off as rude or off-putting, I know. But that’s just me. You can always find other safer situations where you could practice multi-tasking.
  6. Now, not tomorrow. If you happen to finish a scheduled task and got a little free time, it gives you all the reason to do some of the things you have scheduled for other days. If you can do it now without any constraint, why would you choose to do it later?
  7. Ask for help. If a friend’s not too busy, don’t be afraid to ask for a little help! You can ask them favors of proofreading your essay. You can ask them about the notes that you didn’t take down of. You can ask them about how this certain professor’s exam types. The possibilities are endless. Just know the right people and places. Don’t dwell too much on tiny details. If you have misunderstood a certain topic, ask your roommate, ask the person next door. Go to the nearest library. Check the internet for answers. You can consult your teacher or professor. Don’t be afraid to ask for a little assistance. No man is an island.
  8. You have all the time on your hands. If you believe that you can do it, and if you really want to do it, you will. Taking up other commitments and responsibilities is never a problem, as long as you know you can handle them without sacrificing another. You are always allowed to say no. If you have as many organizations as me, remember that work should never get in the way of your priorities. Just keep in mind that everyone has their certain limits, and you do too.
  9. If all else fails, CLUTCH IT!! I’m not joking, I’ve done this multiple times. I came out alive but I have to admit that not all of my crammed output had the best marks (although some of them did!). If you don’t want to be in this heart-racing situation, then be as diligent as possible with your work! Make it a habit.

Always remember that these tips may or may not help anyone the same as it did with me, but I’m glad that I have this opportunity to get this out there. Find your rhythm. I know it takes time, but don’t stress yourself too much because all of your efforts will be successful. Some efforts may just be rewarded in ways that you didn’t plan to, while some just lead you nearer to your dreams. Just keep doing you, and you’ll get through this.

I believe in you.

3

I’m sure we all know how tricky time management and productivity can be, and also how crucial it is to be good at it, to succeed. So, I’d like to share a strategy of effectively managing all of those tasks you have at hand! 

Introducing Dwight Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States. He lived a super productive life, and during his presidency he implemented many transformational programs including NASA and the Atomic Energy act. Before then, he was a 5 star general in the US army, serving as the supreme commander, he was also the president of Columbia University… I could go on. 

My point is, he did all of this while still having time for personal interests and hobbies like painting and golfing. He was amazing at time management, and his most famous method of handling tasks, is called the Eisenhower Matrix

It’s a method of prioritising and sorting out your to-dos based on urgency and importance.  

It is super helpful is making us question what is important and actually necessary to do. I think that we often fill up our time with tasks that do not help us in reaching our core goals, and this method helps us narrow down our todos, saving us from wasting time, energy, and resources.

The 2nd and 3rd quadrant (not urgent important, urgent-not important) is what really minimises our productivity, if not properly managed and scheduled

I personally think its a fairly good way of understanding all that you have to do, what you should do first, and how you can deal with the rest. You don’t have to necessarily plan everything out this way, but its a good mindset to adopt when managing your workload. 

I’m so so awful at being concise (I’m so sorry for the long post!!) But I help this has helped you guys. Hopefully I’m going to post a printable of the matrix in the near future, so keep an eye out for that :)

What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.
-Dwight Eisenhower

i. write a to-do list and prioritize it.

whether it be in an agenda book/planner, bullet journal, or your phone, you’ll need to write tasks down so you don’t forget and not have to backtrack! then, find a way to prioritize your tasks, typically i organize it by subject and then by urgency using stars to indicate how important it is. however, find a priority system that works for you the best and stick with it! once you do that, reorganize your to-do list in order of priority and you can start going down the list.

ii. know your constants.

constants are things that usually happen every day. constants include sleeping, eating, classes, extracurriculars, jobs, etc. write down all the times you have to do these things/want to do these things, so you can take it into account when scheduling other tasks. for instance, if you know that an extracurricular will keep you an extra hour away from home, organize ways to do your homework in school (i.e. at lunch) or know that you might have to sacrifice a task or two to keep yourself on schedule.

iii. be mindful of limits and events.

it’s okay to say “yes” to hang out with your friends and opportunities. but if you know it’ll feel more like a burden, if you have something important to study for, and ultimately if you’ll be more stressed out if you go — then say no. make sure that you can handle taking some time out if you say yes! when you add events that you say yes to, incorporate it into planning and treat it as a constant, because most likely that plan won’t change much in terms of time. appointments with doctors or dentists should also be treated like constants as well! (don’t let school consume you entirely but also hold yourself back if you know you need to study/prepare.)

iv. set specific times for each task & learn to adapt!

if you don’t tell yourself when to begin and when to end, you’ll never get to either place, and you won’t be as organized or as motivated to finish on time. think about how much time it will take you to complete a task, and give yourself at most a half hour extra–just in case something unforeseen comes into play, it won’t shift your entire schedule. write these times down next to the things on your list. set alarms if you want to! keep in mind that you’ll probably need to move tasks to the next day, so you’ll need to adapt accordingly.

make sure to check off tasks as you go so you know that you completed it. it’ll make you more productive seeing your progress too!

v. create study times.

try your best to organize regular studying time into your schedule. even if it’s just for an hour or two to brush up on one or two subjects, studying regularly will keep the information in your head. make sure to find room for extra time to study the subject you have the hardest time on. add more study time as you get closer to the date of a quiz/test/exam, too!

vi. use deadlines to your advantage.

always set deadlines two days early (or earlier). getting ahead of deadlines will help you relax in the end and procrastination won’t be as harsh. plus, it gives you more time to tweak an essay, practice a presentation, etc. if you have it done earlier — not to say that you shouldn’t have already done this prior to your created deadline! especially for projects or essays, try and break up tasks into even smaller tasks so you know the exact steps you need to take. for instance, instead of saying “Work on English essay,” split it into “Research for essay,” “Outline essay,” “Write intro paragraph,” etc., and make sure you have specific deadlines for those too so you don’t leave all those small tasks to the last minute.

vii. take a break!

if you don’t take breaks, you’ll end up burning out. even though school may seem in priority, you are always the number one priority. if you don’t feel well physically or mentally, then give yourself some time to relax. read a book, take a bath–whatever helps you destress. i always try and take a break for a half-hour in between long work sessions, and shorter breaks in between a couple of shorter tasks. sometimes, i use the pomodoro method! insert breaks into your schedule so you have some time to yourself. during one of these breaks, you can do something as simple as organizing your desk if it’s a mess to keep yourself productive and relieve some stress if a clean study space is required for you to be motivated and focused. you can also exercise, drink water, or get up and walk around a bit during these breaks too!

viii. get some sleep.

Sleep is important. The average teenager needs about nine hours of sleep, and in general, adults need seven to nine hours. Figure out when you want to wake up in the morning, and count back the hours. Try and start to unwind (stop doing work, get ready for bed) about a half an hour before you sleep. Read a book, check social media briefly–just something that lets you relax and eases you into sleep. Waking up, set a few sets of alarms to go off anywhere in 10-20 minute intervals, just in case you don’t wake up or to start waking you up sooner so you’re actually awake by the time you want to and your body is less drowsy.

ix. focus on the task.

- put a clock in front of you so you are aware of the time you’re spending! a calendar would also be useful to help visualize your deadlines.

- put your phone on airplane mode, do not disturb, turn it off, etc. and put it on the other side of the room so you can focus on the tasks at hand. personally, i use bluetooth headphones so i can listen to music from my phone while it’s away and so i don’t have to break out my laptop which is full of distractions.

- take note of how much time is lost due to deviating from a task so you realize what distracts you and how to remove yourself from those distractions.

- sit down with all the materials you’ll need for studying before beginning so you won’t interrupt your focus looking for a notebook.

good luck and get to work!

+ more resources

7 Apps for Studying and Time Management

Companion video: link

Memorigi

Android [FREE]: link
iPhone: [NOT AVAILABLE]
Similar app: Wunderlist [FREE] link

Memorigi is a really easy to use time management app where you can log in all of your tasks for the day, week and month. You can use a color code to track your tasks by theme or by subject so you can understand what your workload will be for the next few days. I really like this app’s simple layout and the fact that you can chose between different views, namely between a daily view or a three-days view. It also lets you set an alarm to remind you that your tasks and events are coming up. Other similar apps to consider are Google Calendar and Evernote.


Duolingo
Android [FREE]: link
iPhone [FREE]: link

Duolingo is an app that lets you learn languages through an array of mini games and exercises that you can complete daily, increasing your fluency and mastery step by step. Each language comes with dozens of different themed levels that teach you different aspects of vocabulary and grammar so you can build up your knowledge on that language. Each level recycles what you’ve learned in past levels to make sure that you still remember that you have learned before. You can also use the training icon to get a personalized lesson with your weakest words, so you can really tackle whatever you are having a difficult time with, before moving on with the learning process. I also enjoy the fact that the levels are short and you aren’t required to speak or listen, so it’s the perfect way to spend some idle time during commuting to school.


►Forest:
Android [FREE]: link
iPhone [1,99$]: link

Another app that I always talk about is Forest, and for me it’s the best way to use the Pomodoro Technique whilst having a true visual experience of your productivity levels. The concept is quite simple: for each block of time you spend studying, you plant a virtual tree. While that tree grows, you cannot use other app in your phone, less you get distracted. When the timer reaches zero, you will have planted a tree in your forest. The more trees you have, the more productive you were during that day.

Loop - Habit Tracker
Android [FREE]: link
iPhone: NOT AVAILABLE
HabitBull [FREE], similar app: link

Habits is an habit tracker app that lets you follow up on those small daily tasks that we sometimes forget, like drinking enough water, taking medication or taking a walk outside. It’s very simple to use – all you have to do is insert which tasks you want to track and just press the small cross to mark it for that day. As time goes by, you will build a graphic that tells you how many times you’ve forgotten certain tasks and where you should improve. I usually do this by hand in my bullet journal but I think that tracking your habits with an app should please everyone who prefers to manage their time with their phone and doesn’t like to carry a notebook around.

SaveMyTime
Android [FREE]: link
iPhone: NOT AVAILABLE
Similar app: link

Still on the time management theme, I think that everyone should try at least once in their life to really understand how they are spending their time. A time wheel lets you do this – you basically input how you have been spending your time during the day, with transportation, sleeping, eating, studying and taking classes and you will be baffled by how little time you can actually spend at your own will. This app lets you do exactly this, you just insert the amount of time you have been doing something and it will build a time wheel for you, so you can reflect where you have been wasting your time and re-organize your schedule. I think this is a great challenge to keep up with during a week and just reflect on how you are actually living your life. Basically, it sets a tracking time and when you unlock your phone, the app will ask you what you have been doing for the past fifteen minutes so you can build your time wheel gradually during the day without even noticing it.

Quizlet
Android [FREE]: link
iPhone [FREE]: link

A great app to save paper, ink and time is quizlet. It basically replaces all of your physical flash cards and lets you keep entire sets of questions and answers in your phone under your personal account. You can then export these to your computer and share them with your friends. I think this is an amazing app for anyone who relies on definition based classes and tests and is something great to use on idle times or when you need to study but only have your phone around. It has tons of different ways to test your knowledge on a subject and it can even read your cards out loud as if you were being questioned by your professor.

Timetable
Android [FREE]: link
iPhone [NOT AVAILABLE]
Similar app: Class Timetable [FREE]: link

Finally, and this is one of my favorites, there is a widget timetable app so you can place your school timetable in your homescreen and never skip a class again. I usually never know where I am going to have class and sometimes it’s not really useful to take out your planner and look at your schedule so having it right on your homescreen is really useful.

You can insert all data related to your class in this widget, like the name of the class, the location, participants and total duration. You can always assign a color to a certain class. Afterwards, you just tap the screen to assign your class to a certain timeblock and there you have it.

A lot of you ask how to manage your time efficiently and properly organise your work. We all know it’s impossible to stay motivated and organised all the time, but there are some tricks, that we decided to share, that could at least improve the way we manage our time.

1. Use your calendar
You can either stick with the traditional paper version or use a calendar on your phone (Goolge Calendar is a winner for me). Whichever you choose remember to record all of your classes, meetings, deadlines and activities for a week (I strongly recommend to do a brief plan of your week on Sunday afternoon or evening). This way you will see when you have any spare time to fit your studying in. Hovewer remember to leave some time for unexpected events that might show up.

2. Morning planning
Each morning spend 5 minutes (or 10 if you’re a very busy person) to plan your day. You can make a time log by dividing the day into hours, if it seems more clear for you. Don’t start any task or check your phone before you get your schedule fixed, because it will get you distracted and time will only fly.

3. Make a to-do list
In order not to cover up my whole calendar with tasks I prefer to make a to-do list each day on a different sheet of paper and stick it above my desk. That way everytime I look up I remind myself of the tasks I want to accomplish. I write down a lot of things, but there’s a trick I’ve learned one time: don’t write down things that take less than 5 minutes to do. Just do them the moment they come up to your mind and move onto other chores. It really does save a lot of time.

4. Block out distractions
There can’t be anything worse than the moment you realise you’re scrolling through your Facebook or Tumblr again (!) instead of studying. The temptation to check social media is the worst when you need your computer to write an assay or a report. There are some great Chrome extensions that block sites that distract you, such as StayFocused or Cold Turkey. You set a time afer which they are blocked and you can’t visit then anymore. Great tool!

5. Hide your phone
It’s also extremely tempting to check your phone all the time, you know just to check if someone liked your new Instagram photo ;) But a quick check usually turns into minutes (or even hours) of scrolling through social media and funny websites. The best idea is to put your phone away so you don’t see it, possibly in a different room. However, if you’re in the library or a coffee shop it’s impossible to do so. In those cases, you can either leave your phone hidden in your bag or use one of the “productivity apps”, such as Forest or Chicken Clock.

6. Know your productive hours
If you happen to have a free day form school during the week you probably want to use it to catch up on some studying. The same applies to weekends. A great number of us are most productive and focused in the morning and early afternoon. That’s when we should plan to do our most demanding assignments. When we’re done with them we can then move onto some smaller tasks that don’t require as much focusing.

7. Make a revision schedule
—> This one’s really important!
A couple of weeks before your exams sit down with your list of exam topics in one hand and your coursebook in the other. Now mark all the chapters or sections in the book that you’ll need to go through for the exam and count the total amount of pages you’ll need to learn. Then divide the number of pages by the number of days you want to spend studying this subject. You’ll get a number of pages you need to cover each day. Then write down in your calendar what section you’re going to learn each day (if you have enough time plan some rest days too!). I find this method extremely helpful in order not to get overwhelmed by the huge amount of work to do and divide my studying into a lot smaller chunks. It’s also super useful at times when I’m feeling totally unmotivated, because I get up and try to do my work anyway.

8. Take regular breaks
It’s impossible to work for 4 hours straight without taking a single break (or maybe it’s possible, but the next day you’ll feel dead). Divide your study material into smaller chunks and after completing each part get a short break. Go make yourself a cup of tea or strech a little. After clearing your mind you’ll quickly get back to work with a better attitude.

9. Review your progress
Regularly go through your to-do list and calendar to see if your tasks are being achieved. Award yourself with little things is you accomplish your goals and see that you have used your time wisely. But don’t ever punish yourself if you didn’t manage to do everything! We’re only humans and sometimes despite the greatest organisation we can’t manage to cover everything.

10. Be realistic
As I’ve said above, don’t get frustrated when you happen not to get everything done as you’ve planned. Sure being organised is great, but don’t let a schedule dictate your life! Take an unplanned day off, have some me-time or randomly meet up with a friend. You’ll see that the next time you get down to work, you’ll have double as much power to get things done.

Good luck!

~gomedorgohome

How I do my Study Schedule

So this is the most efficient way I’ve found to create a study schedule. I’m sure I’m not the first one to use this method, but these are my pictures. Sorry if I couldn’t be more of a perfectionist when it comes to the aesthetics of it all cuz i’m really busy right now now! let’s begin.

1. Write a task list

write down in a random piece of paper (you can throw out later or not) every little study task, assignment, etc. you need to do for the time you want to schedule.

make the tasks as detailed as you possible can so you can get a better grasp of what you actually have to do. 

You can do as many sheets as you feel comfortable, I did a bunch because I’m trynna do the most for my exams.

2. Fit your tasks in your calendar

Depending on the time you have to complete all your tasks, divide them day by day or week by week. That’s why it’s great to start early, cuz the sooner you start, the less you have to do each day.

The less you have to do each day, the more likely you are to stick to the plan.

e.g: have 20 tasks to do in 10 days. That means 2 tasks a day.

It’s crucial that you manage your time wisely. Some tips for not overscheduling:

  • be super duper realistic, even if you feel kinda bad. Just because you want to finish that task in 30 minutes, doesn’t mean you’ll do it. some things take time and you know it, you’ve probably worked enough to know how long your usual study tasks take you.
  • if you have absolutely no idea, schedule a day (per week if you can)for catch up. All the tasks you couldn’t finish during the week go to that day.
  • If you end up doing everything that week, just skip the catch up day and continue with your schedule.

2.1. Write everything down

Write down in a separate piece of paper or your planner the tasks for each day. Doesn’t have to look pretty. The big list looks scary and the division day by day or week by week should make you feel much better. I have 8 weeks till exams so I divided by week.

3. Make stuff look pretty now

If you don’t have a weekly planner you don’t have to, just get a random notebook or your bujo, your prettiest post its & washi, or just your pens and start making daily spreads so you can check your tasks more easily, copying from that previous messy spread. Make it as spaced as possible, I made a spread per week.

You don’t have to make all of your spreads at once, I did the first 2 weeks. After a while you can always go back to that messy spread and continue your planning, adjust what you need.

4. Daily planning

If you want to make 100% sure you are managing your time well, get a daily planner if you can, doesn’t have to be brand. This one has half an hour time blocks from 8 to 21, but there are tons out there, cheap ones too.

I colour code each of my subjects, and some other important tasks like exercise and reading.

I start by marking my meal times first.

Then any events. That day I only had swimming practice, I would also mark class the days I have it.

Finally, you are left with all the time of the day to complete your tasks. Fill time to complete each task. Make sure you give yourself plenty of breaks, not too many, not too little. With practice it’ll come easier to you.

If you fail, wich will happen at some point, don’t give up, keep learning from your mistakes and schedule accordingly to what feels better to you. Everyone’s different.

So, if something doesn’t go as planned, push your tasks to your catch up day, and try your best to be as disciplined as possible.

(For self discipline tips, check this post)

Hopefully that was helpful guys! Go rock your schedule, I know you can do it!

5 Tips for Staying Motivated

1. Reward as you go. You should be proud of everything you accomplish along the way, not just the destination itself. So be happy when you complete one assignment or find sources for an essay, don’t just focus on the overall grade at the end of the year.

2. Set goals. Early in the semester, you need to establish what you want to accomplish this school year. Whether that be study more or go out less, you need to make and write down a plan right off the bat. 

3. Don’t get discouraged. We all mess up. We all get behind in school work or break one of the rules we set for ourselves. That’s just a part of life. DO NOT use this as an excuse to give up though. Just start doing it again the next day. It won’t be the end of the world unless you give up complete. 

4. Do things sooner rather than later. Try to get your work done as soon as possible. When you get home from school, take a short break, and I mean SHORT, and then get your assignments done for the day. That way, you can just relax and chill until you go to bed, rather than pulling an all nighter if something ends up taking longer than expected. 

5. Procrastinate with other work. Let’s say you don’t want to read a chapter of a book for a class. Well, before doing that, go ahead and clean your room and practice your violin. If you’re going to procrastinate, do it with something worthwhile, rather than spending hours on tumblr. At least that’s a few less things you have to do later on. 

This year my little sister is starting high school (year 7 in Australia). To help her out I decided to write a quick post with the advice I wish I’d been given when I was her age. I hope that it will make her transition easier, and hope that it will do the same for other students starting year 7. I don’t feel like writing a rambly intro today, so let’s get right into it:

Advice On School Supplies

There are some items on an average school-issued supplies list that will probably never be used, and other items not on the list that can be useful to have. These are some items I’ve found to be useful (and not so useful) over my four years at high school.

Useful (PURCHASE):

  • Good gel or fine liner pens: Most school lists tell you to get the most basic supermarket ballpoint pens available. In my experience, these just don’t cut it for the amount of writing you need to do in high school. My suggestion? A gel pen or fine liner with small nib and heavy ink flow. A grip can add extra comfort, but personally, I don’t find one necessary. Brand wise, I love Muji 0.35/0.5 gels, Staedtler Triplus fine liners, and Arline 400 fine liners.
  • Plastic document folders: These are so, so useful! Last year I had one of these for each subject (a different colour for each!) and used them to store a notebook and any handouts that I needed for the class. They protected my papers from damage and also helped me stay organised by keeping everything from the subject in one spot and letting me just grab one folder before class rather than multiple items.
  • White out tape: So much better than the liquid stuff. For one it doesn’t require drying time, and it also doesn’t run the risk of bursting and ruining your pencil case/school bag/notebook/uniform/etc.

Not Useful (GO WITHOUT):

  • Binders: These are so clunky! If you have one per subject then they take up too much space in your bag, and if you have one for everything then you have to carry all your materials to every class. Unless you just keep loose leaf paper in a slim binder (rather than notebooks), then I suggest using plastic folders instead.
  • Binder books: Just get normal notebooks. As mentioned above, binders are clunky and unnecessary. I find it better to use non-punched books, as they don’t have holes that get in the way of your writing. Or alternatively, just fill a slim binder with loose leaf and use that instead of multiple notebooks.

Advice On Class Schedules

One of the things I struggled with most when starting high school was remembering what class I had when and what room I needed to be in. The best way to stay on top of your schedule is to write it down. However I suggest using a digital program rather than pen and paper - your schedule is likely enough to change that you want to be able to make adjustments easily. You can write it in a word processing program, but I find it most useful to use an app. With a program such as iStudiez or My Study Life on your phone/tablet, you can easily schedule your classes and also add in homework due dates. Download one of these (or a similar program), and you won’t have any problems managing your timetable.

Advice On Staying Organised

The single most useful organisational tool I’ve found in four years of searching is a program called Trello. Available as both a desktop site and a mobile app, Trello has been a saviour when it comes to staying on top of tasks. The best thing about it, and what stands it apart from other organisational tools, is its great user interface. Trello, like many other programs, allows you to set lists of tasks to be completed. Like other programs, it allows you to categorise tasks and add sub-tasks. What makes it different from other programs is the way it allows you to organise and prioritise tasks. It has a simple drag and drop interface which lets you move tasks between lists with ease, and you can do the same to re-order tasks within a single list. This is super useful when it comes to sorting tasks by priority or setting up a running-order of tasks for the day. If you want to know exactly how I use Trello, just shoot me and ask and we can set up a screenshare to explain.

Advice On Taking Notes

The best advice I can give you on taking notes is just to make sure you keep them detailed and up-to-date. A good, complete set of notes is so useful when it comes to studying for tests, and you really don’t want to leave note-taking to right before one. At year 7-9 level I found taking notes in class and from class slideshows to be adequate, but in year 10 it became important to take notes from textbooks too. This will vary school-to-school, but you can use these year levels as loose guidelines.

Advice On Studying  

Spread. It. Out. I’m serious. You’re tempted to procrastinate? You’re tempted to study in one big block the weekend before the test? Don’t. Please. Trust me when I say it’s not nice to spend six hours in a day studying for the one test. Instead, study in short bursts, but study regularly. For a 7th-10th grader, I think it’s enough if your regular study regime is to simply summarise your notes at the end of each week, make flashcards, and give them a once-over study. When it comes near test time, you’ll only need a short study session to prepare. In this session I suggest you do the following:

  • Chuck the flashcards you know you’ve already memorised. Study the rest until they stick (<30 minutes).
  • Do a practice test or some practice exercises (I suggest Khan Academy for maths practice), focusing on the skills/question types you have the most trouble with (~1 hour).
  • Get together with some friends and use Kahoot to have a competitive, time-restricted quiz on the test content. You can find a pre-made quiz, or create your own for more focused study. For me, this is a really fun way to study and also the best way to make information stick long-term (~30 minutes).

Spread these activities out over the week before the test, and you are way less likely to feel overloaded than if you leave everything to the last minute.    

Advice On Homework

Repeat after me: Do it before you have to. As much as it’s tempting to procrastinate, you’ll feel much less stressed if you don’t leave work to the last minute. Rather than completing only what you have to on any given day, I suggest you work until one of the following occurs:

  1. You run out of set work to do.
  2. It becomes too late to study (please stop studying at least an hour before bed and spend some time giving yourself a little TLC instead).
  3. You become too tired out and feel you can’t work productively anymore (if you don’t have anything left due tomorrow then leave the work to another day, but if you still need to complete things then take a break or nap before getting back to it).   

Advice On Time Management

In lower high school, you’ll probably find that it is unnecessary to strictly manage your time, as long as you don’t waste it. By this I mean you will rarely feel you don’t have time to complete required work, as long as you don’t waste your time on pseudo-productive tasks like creating ultra-pretty presentations or copying your notes out. Just stick to the tasks that are actually required of you.

Advice On Making Friends

JOIN CLUBS! Clubs are a great way to have fun, get involved, and also meet people with the same interests as you. They provide a semi-structured environment in which to initiate conversation, rather than you having to randomly approach new people (which, if you are like me, is SCARY!), and also keep you meeting with your new pals on a regular basis. Once you getting chatting with someone you like, just invite them to sit with you at lunch and you’re off to a great start.

Signs and time management

Plans out detailed and organised timetables and a daily agenda for the rest of the year: VIRGO, Aquarius, Leo

Makes an agenda for the day other than that no hahaha: Taurus, Capricorn, Sagittarius

Mental mindmap of roughly what they gonna do: Aries, Gemini, Libra

What I haven’t even planned what I’m gonna have for lunch: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

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Debunking the Triangle Myth

It’s very hard to find ways to keep up with all your college work and still keep a balanced life. Many people say that when you get into college, you need to choose from two vertices of the first triangle while sacrificing the third one. Well, I need to tell you that that’s completely not true!

If you plan and organize your life, you will be able to manage your sleep schedule, your studying sessions and your night-outs without sacrificing one of them.

The first thing you need to do is being realistic. Instead of sleeping 9 hours a day, perhaps you will need to cut back to seven hours a day, which will probably provide enough energy throughout the day without letting your feel the burnout. On the other hand, you need to ration the time you spend with your friends and family. The best way to do so is scheduling a fixed schedule to be with them and dedicate yourself 100% during that time. It’s not how much time you have available that matters. What matters is what you do with the time you have available. Cutting back on fundamental aspects of your life will really hurt your grades – and if it doesn’t hurt your grades right away, it will hurt your body and state of mind sooner than you think. Sleepless nights have a mark on your body. On the other hand, depriving yourself of time spent with your loved ones can hurt and destroy relationships and in the end of the day, you’ll find out that those grades aren’t as worth as much as that.

Another thing I recommend is finding some sort of physical activity that helps you manage energy levels. Even running 10 minutes a day will do wonders for your physical and mental health, letting you cope with high stress levels and the feeling of burnout. Try to unplug from your college activities, listen to some music and concentrate on your body rather than on your brain.

You also need to prioritize. Choosing tons of classes just to feel productive is a waste of time. Having a heavily crowded schedule just for the sake of it will result in lower grades and a lower ability to focus on those classes. Pick classes that you think you can personally enjoy but can also help you on your chosen career path. Try to keep both of those aspects in mind when you’re picking subjects for the next semester, or else risking signing up for classes that are just filling you with stress and won’t even matter when you get your diploma.

Find a way to get help. You are not alone in this path and many of your classmates are probably feeling the same way. Try to get together and find a way to share some tasks or somehow trade notes and materials to help each other. If you can attend a lecture for any reason, don’t hesitate to ask for the class notes and assignments. If one of your classmates skips a lecture because they are sick, don’t hold back and hand them those notes. Finding a reading group is great to divide huge books into manageable chunks and distribute them between the members, so you have less reading to do and are able to summarize your part in a better way and then share your summary with your colleagues.

Schedule some “me-time”. Don’t look at your personal space as a failure towards your productivity goals. Try to incorporate at least half-an-hour with yourself in your busy schedule, and stick to it religiously. I always read a novel from 10 p.m to 10.30. Even if I reach that hour without finishing all the tasks for college that I had set out for myself to accomplish, I will just close my laptop, put away my notes and I will just allow myself to be relaxed for that half an hour.

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201016 | new member of the studyblr community here! 🌿✨ finally got around to photographing my 2017 hobonichi planner + the parts of my ebay stationery haul that have arrived, the lighting was terrible this week bc of the rain.