How focusing (aka. not multi-tasking) changed my study life
I had heard it occasionally - that multi-tasking was actually not good for the quality of whatever task I was doing. It made sense, but I loved mult-tasking so much. It gave me the illusion of productivity.
Until I actually tried focusing for a while, did I realise how much I was actually losing by multi-tasking - educationally and emotionally. Scrolling through tumblr during boring parts of a lecture seemed fine, since there were notes and it probably wouldn’t be tested in such depth anyway. Eating, while scrolling through social media, while watching a tv show, while messaging someone on facebook seemed ‘productive’.
It turns out it was the opposite. It may seem fine, and at times it may actually be okay, but what matters is the principle. Dedicating your whole being to one task, focusing on it, produces much better results. It’s a quality over quantity thing. It also helped to calm me down emotionally - I used to always feel rushed, like there was so many things to do but not enough time to do them. Focusing on one task at a time - though it was hard at first - helped slow me down because I did everything properly, and didn’t have the feeling like I needed to go back and do things over again.
Focusing on one thing wholly is also a form of practising mindfulness. Mindfulness ‘meditation’ isn’t something that requires you to sit down and meditate - it can be applied to our daily life.
Since I started practising this mindful skill of focus, I’ve become much calmer, it’s been so much easier to stay on top of my work load and meet deadlines, I don’t feel rushed, I don’t feel unprepared or unorganised, and I do more quality work than when I used to multi-task.
There are times for multi-tasking and times for focus. Find the right balance and enjoy the task in front of you.
One of the most immediate culture shocks of traveling
to Germany, especially if you grew up in the United States, is
Germany’s seeming obsession with recycling. Whereas in the U.S. you are
lucky if you can
locate a recycling bin in public areas like parks or street corners,
you’ll have the opposite problem in Germany, where you’ll find a sometimes confusing plethora
of multi-colored bins. If you have been in this situation,
looking around desperately to strangers or waiting to see what items
other drop in each bin, we feel you. YOU are not alone. Even Germans
sometimes question which bin is appropriate for which
Due to this common culture shock and the often harsh punishment one receives for a wrong move, we thought we’d give you the lowdown on German recycling.
Step 1: Prevent creating waste in the first place
Germany has created and continues to develop a culture of minimal waste. This is true for projects big and small: here are a few examples of major reducers of waste.
Bag fee: Germany
combats the environmental threat of excessive plastic bag-use by adding a small fee onto bags at stores. Even though it’s small, the fee has further motivated people to bring their own reusable bags or carts to stores. Some stores now don’t offer plastic bags at all–opting instead to offer paper bags for those who need them.
Lack of excess packaging: Say tschüss to those individually wrapped fruit packages or items wrapped individually in plastic, then wrapped collectively in plastic.
Quality over quantity: According to a 2016 report by Germany Trade and Invest, Germans are well researched and particular consumers. They are much more risk averse and likely to return items that don’t meet their expectations. This makes things like quality labels or reviews really important and generally lends towards a population that has fewer, but higher quality possessions that don’t need constant replacement.
Step 2: Pfand
Imagine if, for every bottle–plastic or glass, you bought, you had to pay extra for it. The deal in Germany is that you pay more initially but then receive that surcharge back when you give the bottles back for recycling. So, just like when you weekly take the garbage out in the States, in Germany it is a regular habit to return your bin of recycling to super markets where you will find a machine like this:
This machine scans the bar code of your items, and prints a receipt for you to redeem at the register. Basically, if you don’t recycle your eligible items for Pfand, you are losing money.
As a tourist, you have potentially experienced Pfand in a different way. At Christmas markets, stands will charge you extra for the mug that hot drinks are served in. You can choose to keep the mug as a memento, or to return it for Pfand.
You may have also been asked for your empty bottle in public by someone collecting them to return. This is potentially convenient for you, earns them a little money by returning them AND it is good for the earth. Triple whammy! There are even entire non-profits that fund themselves by collecting Pfand at events or concerts.
Step 3: Choose your bin
This part sounds really uncomplicated from an American perspective. Trash or recycling…right?
After giving back bottles for Pfand, Germans sort trash typically by paper, plastic, bio/organic, glass, and other. Though details are dependent on town or region, a general breakdown goes like this:
Paper= blue bins. This bin is for cardboard, newspapers, magazines, waste paper, paper bags, etc, etc.
Plastic = Yellow bins. This is for plastic such as body wash, shampoo, sunscreen, laundry detergent, and juice bottles
Glass is sorted by color. There are different slots for depositing green, brown and clear glass.
In this bin you should be putting any kind of jars (mustard, jam, yogurt, etc), oil bottles, wine bottles or the like.
Bio (organic) = green bins. This is for food waste like egg shells, banana peel, or scraps of food you didn’t eat.
Other = black bins. You choose your size and you’re charged accordingly. They send you a sticker each year to show that you’ve paid for it.
Residual waste is garbage that neither includes pollutants nor reusable
components. For example ash, dust bag, cigarette ends, rubber,
toiletries, and diapers are thrown into the black bin.
Step 4: Enjoy a cleaner earth!
Though the effect of one person caring about the environment is small, the collective effort of a nation makes a dent.
Germany leads the European nations in recycling, with around 70 percent of the waste the country generates successfully recovered and reused each year.
But Matt and Harry are so fucking good though. Like, even though their scenes were short, I totally got punched in the gut by the honesty and the realism and just how electric they were together. We are so so so lucky they are our Alec and Magnus.
You can have 1 or more styles combined, that depends on what you like or works for you. I tried to think of every style that i know.
The person who has this style is most probably that organized langblr who actually knows what they are doing. They have certain periods of time when they study and nothing can disturb their routine.
How to know if you have this style? Easy, do you know when you’re done with studying your language? If you just thought of a period of time and what you are doing in this period, you’re an ant.
How to become an ant learner: take an agenda and make a schedule, a very detailed one. You write down everything, from what you study to for how long and with what (duo, flashcards, notebooks etc.)
p.s. This learns take everything seriously, their notes are probably goals, perfection is written everywhere and they work hard, too hard maybe.
This is the entire opposite of the ant learners. Masters of procrastination, but somehow they know the language better than some ants?
How to know if you have this style? Ask yourself what plans you have tomorrow, if the answer is “sleeping” or “no idea”, congrats, you’re a sloth.
How to become a sloth learner: Hakuna Matata.
p.s. this kind of learners prefer to immerse themselves, they prefer watching movies, listening to music, looking at others how they explain and they observe everything, they don’t have notebooks, they are spontaneous. (that’s why they are awake at 3am playing on duo most probably.
This style is a combination of a sloth and an ant. They procrastinate like 20 hours and in the last 4 they can finish a duo tree, talk with Nth natives and finish Grey’s Anatomy in their target language.
How to know if you have this style? Ask yourself if you know what you’re doing tomorrow. If you said "studying” but you have no idea what or how, you just won the Bamboo Reward of the year.
How to become a panda learner: Procrastinate at a medium level, learn using both, textbooks and games, movies, comics (fun stuff).
p.s. they are hardcore, they will most probably procrastinate their sleep and then sleep for at least 12h straight! The same goes for languages, they do nothing for Nth years, and when they do, they get to be B1/B2 in a weekend.
Very similar to a panda, except that when they are studying, they are like an ant, they know what to do and when to do it, so let’s call this “fancy procrastinator style”.
How to know if you have this style? If you know what to do after a long procrastinating session, you just got cat ears.
How to become a cat learner: Keep procrastinating, but when you stop, always have a plan of what you’re gonna do.
p.s. This kind of learners prefer finishing a grammar book, a Duo tree and memorize a lot of vocab before talking/showing their skills to someone. They are B2-C1 when they 1st talk to someone using their target language.
They are the most energetic kind of learners, well, they and the ants. They have plans over plans, (that they don’t follow at all) they overwork themselves and are always up for games or talking.
How to know if you have this style? If i ask you now what you’re doing tomorrow for your target language, you answer me with “grammar” and the next day you watch Mulan in French you are a puppy. You will always do the opposite of what you planned.
How to become a puppy learner: what’s awesome at this kind of learners is that they aren’t afraid of mistakes, they know mistakes are the way to fluency. They will always do something for their target language(s), they are full of passion. Try to be organize and fail, don’t be ashamed of your mistakes and you will be a puppy in no time.
p.s. Their notes may not be goals, but their notebooks are like wikipedias, they are gold, full of details for every single thing related to their target language(s).
These learners are the most calm people you will ever meet. They don’t hurry. They know their stuff 100%, they enjoy the journey. Owls are those humans who know that quality is over quantity.
How to know if you have this style? If you know what language you want to learn, but you move with baby steps (owl steps in this case) towards that fluency, you are a tiny little adorable owl.
How to become an owl learner: all you gotta do is… don’t hurry, you make minimum of effort but you, and others, know how wll you know your languages, the grammar rules, your routine etc.
p.s. This kind of people have the same routine since forever, you can’t break it. Also, they learn from their mistakes, and by learn i mean they even have a sticky notes somewhere with every single mistake ever made.
This kind of people are so… normal? They are balanced, they do what they got to do. Theymay seem like they have nothing special at all.
How to know if you have this style? If i ask you about resources for Haitian Creol, Hawaiian, Quechua and you opened 3 google drive accounts saying that you have resources, you are kangaroo.
How to become a kangaroo learner: have resources for resources, this kind of learners are prepared for everything seriously.
p.s. they also like to try out every single thing out there for their target language(s), they will try everything in order to find something more useful
We all know/have that friend who likes quantity over quality, this is the monkey. They will try a lot of stuff thinking that they learn but they remember nothing.
How to know if you have this style? If you are asked what you did all day and you start saying Nth games, lessons, movies etc. and you are quiet when you’re asked again what you’ve learned, that’s a monkey trait.
How to become a monkey learner: Learn lessons without bothering to understand them 100%
p.s. now, this style is pretty useful for languages like japanese when it was proven that quantity over quality is better, just as a side note, monkey are full of excitment~ they will motivat you only bc they are right next to you.
This style is so tricky, they may seem to be monkeys because they spend a lot of time playing around with everything but they are actually more organized than you may think.
How to know if you have this style? You go through Nth games daily BUTthat’s because you try to master your topics so you do a lot of exercises for each lesson, you are quantity over quality in a quality over quantity style.
How to become a bunny learner: be anxious (joking here) So, to be a bunny is easy, all you gotta do is master everything in different ways, use games, then books, then go to videos, always change your learning style.
p.s. they may seem like they waste their time but they only want to be well prepared and avoid making many mistakes
This post is longer than i expected. Anyway, what kind of learner are you guys?:)
Once, practically all the world was “Pagan”. Now that half its people have been converted either to Christianity or to Islam, the number of Pagans is less. That is no proof of the lesser value of different Paganisms, compared to the great creedal religions. It is surely an advantage, to be numerous; but it is no virtue. And therefore the number of its followers has nothing to do with the value of a cult.
A letter to myself for 2017,
Every time you stumble upon heart ache remind yourself who you are and what you’ve accomplished.
Quality over quantity don’t invite anyone into your life that doesn’t make you feel better about yourself, you will never need anyone who doesn’t need you or values you.
When it’s late at night and your looking up his social media please shut the page and go to sleep. You’ve stayed up to many times stressing about who that girl was in his photo or what he’s doing. He’s so last year now girl.
You learnt the hard way in 2016, this is the year to pick yourself up and learn from every single mistake, never repeat.
It’s ok it’s going to be ok in your darkest moment just remind yourself it’s going to all be ok.
Deep breathe in and out, calm yourself down, relax I know you have it in you to slay this year
Summary:“Ohana means family. And family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” Everyone knows that Dan is a Lester and belongs on the family holiday–well, everyone except Dan himself. However, a beautiful seaside walk and a special surprise from Martyn and Cornelia may be just the ammunition he needs to change his mind.
Warnings: Like 2 swear words but that’s it
A/N: Because we all know there was some soppy convincing needed to get Dan to stay in Florida. Inspired by this ask over @nihilist-toothpaste. I hope you enjoy!!
In a month or so, school will be coming back (depending where you live). I’m only a Sophmore, but I’ve already learned so much in one year. If you’re going to be starting as a Freshmen this year, or just need some advice, here’s a list of 30 things I’ve learned in one year of High School.
1.Having school spirit is way more fun. Don’t worry about looking over the top because everyone else is being over the top too.
2. You’ll start to learn who your true friends are. Cherish them.
3.The only person who cares what you look like is you. Wanna wear your pyjamas to school? Go for it. You wanna spend an hour doing your makeup and wear a dress? Sounds great. Do what makes you comfortable.
4. Take photos. You don’t have to post them on Instagram or whatever, just keep them for yourself. You’ll want to remember that good day with your friends when you’re having a bad day.
5. Always try to be friendly. Even a fake smile and a “Good morning,” is better than a silent frown.
6. One bad grade isn’t the end of the world, so don’t try to get hung up on it. Use it as motivation to do better next time.
7. Stay on good terms with all your teachers. Even if you don’t like a certain teacher, remember that they’re people too. It will be helpful when your grade is a 89.8 and you ask them to round it to a 90 (I know from experience).
8. Keep every worksheet, assignment, and review. It’s nice to have when its finals and you’ve completely forgotten how to do this thing you learned in the first unit. It can also be helpful if you have lower classmen friends and/or siblings. You can show it to them and help them out.
9. In regards to friends, its quality over quantity. Don’t strive to be popular and make friends with every person in your grade. You only need two or three really good friends to be happy.
10. That being said, don’t be afraid to cut ties with bad/toxic friends. You may have been close in middle school and found out in high school you don’t really like each other. That’s okay! Just be respectful about it.
11. If you need to distance yourself from friends during class to stay focused, then do it. If they all want to sit in the back and you’d prefer the front, then sit in the front. You can be with them outside of class later.
12. It’s high school; there will be people who drink/party. You don’t have to. If someone offers, just say no. They won’t be offended (more drinks for them anyways).
13. Know when to shut up and when to speak up. Don’t let people talk over you, and don’t talk over other people.
14. Find a ‘go to’ classroom. The people in my biology class would go to the Bio room during lunches to study and eat, or to get away from the cafeteria. If you need some space, this is where you can go. Just be sure to ask the teacher before you just start eating your lunch in their room.
15. Always. Do. The. Reading. I cannot stress this enough. If you’ve been able to fake it in the past, great, but you won’t be able to anymore. The teachers will be able to separate the people who’ve done the woke, and who’ve copied it from Sparknotes. Plus, it’s so much easier to talk about a book you’ve actually read.
16. Have a friend/buddy in every class. This is helpful for homework or class work; you can text/email each other if one of you is having trouble or missed a day. And at some point, you will probably have a partner project.
17. You’re going to need public speaking at some point. If you’re shy or have anxiety (like moi) then it might feel like the worst five minutes of your life. But there’s 1,440 minutes in a day. This will only take five. Take a deep breath and remember that most likely nobody cares what you’re saying.
18. There’s no point in stressing about what you can’t change. Yes, I know this can be hard to remember but just try to keep it in mind.
19. Be organized!! It’s so much better to be organized and come to class prepared than to have to ask the kid next to you, “Can I borrow a pen?” or “Wait, what was the teacher saying? What are we doing?”
20. Get ready the night before. Plan the next day, pick an outfit, pack your lunch, check off your to-do list, whatever it is you have to do.
21. Early mornings = productive days. Try not to sleep in too late even on the weekends. Get up, eat breakfast, workout, do your homework, go outside, whatever you have to do to be somewhat productive.
22. Develop good habits early on. Do your homework, write in your planner, etc. It’s easier to start now than the week before finals.
23. Learn to destress. Light a candle, brush your hair, paint your nails, go on a walk, clean your room, it doesn’t matter. A little self care can go a long way.
24. Enjoy learning! You’re fortunate to be able to get an education, so try to enjoy it. It can be hard but just try to develop some sort of interest in what you’re studying.
25. Ask things! Ask your teacher, ask your friends, ask Google, ask somebody if you’re confused. You’ll remember the information so much better if you’re participating in class and making an effort to clarify when you’re confused.
26. Get. Some. Freaking. Sleep. If its midnight and you have a huge test tomorrow just take a deep breath, go to bed, and wake up a little earlier the next day to review. Your body needs sleep to function, so give it what it needs.
27. Do your homework. Similar to point 22; as soon as you get your homework, get it done or at least start.
28. Motivation < Self Discipline. There are so many post on this website about getting motivated, but motivation is temporary. Self discipline lasts. Heres a link to a post on self discipline vs. motivation (also here)
29. Spend time every week to clean. It’s easier to hang up three t-shirts on your floor than to have to fold every piece of clothing you own because your entire closet is on your floor from the weeks of not doing anything.
30. Have an end goal. It will give you something to work towards, and keep you motivated throughout the week, the month, the year, etc.
Theres a special magic in hand made fabric items. Handmade items in general, yes, but specifically fabric items.
There are two aspects to this. One is the level of relationship between the artist and the recipient. The knitted beanie purchased off Etsy is going to be nowhere near as powerful as the Fair Isle sweater your grandmother made specifically for you.
The other is the level of involvement of the artist. The more involved the artist is in the creation, the more powerful it is. That quilt made from store bought fabric, pieced together and quilted with protection symbols, it will keep you safe. The gloves whose yarn came from sheep you raised, whose dye came from berries picked from plants you tended and nourished, sheared and cleaned and dyed and spun and knitted by your hands, those will save your life.
Textile art majors come to the school knowing the basics of their craft. They can knit a sweater, or sew a dress, or started with those little bracelet looms and now are never found without some sort of weaving project. They come, because they want more. The history of the art, the depth and fullness of it. They come because they want to be fashion designers, or because they want to be conservators at museums. They come, with their portable sewing machines and card tables to stand them on, with their knitting needles and crochet hooks, their looms and embroidery hoops and infinite boxes of fabric, fiber, yarn, threads and notions, pins and sewing needles, measuring tapes and rulers. Their bags are full of pattern books and their rooms are cluttered with their projects.
They’ll go on, those that succeed, to be the top of their fields, whatever they choose to do. They’ll credit their blessings on their time at Elsewhere, the lessons they learned and the influences they found.
Items made at Elsewhere have a special power. While all handmade items absorb some of the emotion and intentions the artist has while creating it, items made at Elsewhere take those feelings and make them magical. This can be a blessing, or a curse. There is a tradition of burning projects that frustrate too much. Every Freshman is shocked and appalled when, at the new moon, all the older textile majors gather together to burn any project that is causing them problems or resulting in negative feelings. They learn, after their first or second frustrating project causes them such discomfort after they make it that they can’t actually use the thing.
The professors prioritize quality over quantity for a reason. New projects are always assigned at the start of the waxing moon, and due before the new moon. They have a special form for projects that have to be redone because they were burned. They will provide the materials and time to make up the projects, but only three times. Some will offer deals for a fourth.
Gifts are a mixed blessing.
That one sophmore that knits six pairs of socks every weekend? She’s avoiding calls from her parents and they’re full of her anxiety. The one person that wore them ended up running like the hunt was after them until they collapsed sobbing in the quad. Now, we accept her gifts, and put them away. They’re be useful for trade with the Folk.
The boy from the equatorial country who weaves those lovely blankets? Only use them in the depths of winter, or you’ll roast. Take the blanket with you if you have to go out in the deep snowy areas for ANY reason. They’ll keep you warm and dry. It may look as light as your sheets, but he started making them in his first winter here, when he thought he’d freeze to death for sure. Now he jokes that they’re a brilliant ice breaker.
The person that ignored the proverbial ‘boyfriend curse,’ made xir boyfriend a sweater, then begged him to wear it. Nobody knows exactly what happened to him, but xe is so much happier now, since he disappeared.
There are legacy students here, whose tools came down from their parents and grandparents, you’ll know them by their iron needles and hooks, and the runes carved in their old looking looms and hoops. The items they make are often high quality, even as freshmen, and they know the ways of trading. We’ve all learned to look for them when having an issue with a project, they have a way of getting to the heart of it and guiding us through. Trades with them will be dear, but what you get will be worth it.
The senior project is a group affair. Every senior contributes something they’ve made. The fabric is made by students talented with the loom, the lace by the best crocheter in the class. Every piece is made by students, from the earliest bud of cotton or flax, the hand raised lambs, goats, rabbits or alpacas, to the final glass bead. Each year the product is different, but the ritual is the same. At the final full moon before graduation, the product is displayed on the quad, surrounded with flowers and hand made accessories. Nobody knows what happens to it after that. It disappears before dawn, and the artists go out in the world to make their fortunes. Only once has the project met the light of the morning sun, and that class never saw any success.