May 16, 2017
Today’s post is a guest post by Melanie of Unicorners.co, and is perfect for students currently going through final exams (like me!) or students planning to take summer courses. I am so excited to have her featured on my blog, and I know you will love this post! 🙂
We all have them: days where we feel lazy and don’t want to do anything but to lay in bed and eat. If you feel like you are struggling daily to motivate yourself and get things done then this post might be exactly for you! I have tried so many different things to improve my productivity as a student. Now I want to share what has worked best for me. These are my top 5 tips on how to become more productive as a student.
1) Plan your day, week, and month
I can’t stress this one enough. It is my number one tip that I always share with people who feel sluggish and don’t really feel like doing anything. People tend to be very visual, and writing down all the tasks for the day seems to be very effective.
But don’t just plan the next day. Try to divide your workload into days or weeks. When seeing all the tasks you have to get done in a week you won’t feel like procrastinating that much because you know that each task that stays undone will fill the next day with even more tasks you don’t really want to do. This helped me to sit down and check things off the list step by step. It is a wonderful feeling when you look at the to-do list in the evening and everything is crossed out.
2) Set a timer
I wish I would have known that tip at the beginning of my studies because I struggled a lot to find a way to motivate myself. The problem was, that I sat on my desk the whole day literally just looking at all the notes in front of me. At the end of the day, I didn’t get a lot of things done but felt exhausted because I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere, even though I studied a lot. If you just give yourself the span of a whole day you will never be as concentrated as if you set a timer and have a good break afterward.
I recommend trying the Pomodoro technique, but you can also just set the timer for 60 minutes. Turn off all devices, get everything off your desk and JUST STUDY. When the alarm goes off, get up and do something completely different. Allow yourself to do anything you really like in that short break. I like to set a timer for 60 minutes to study and then take 20 minutes to have a break. I get so much more done in a day now that I use this technique. I even feel like I enjoy studying because it is very intense and productive but I also have time to do whatever I feel like doing during the breaks.
3) Have something to look forward to
My days have become so much more productive when I started planning something for each evening. This might be going to your favorite café and eating that delicious piece of red velvet cake, or watching the new episode of your favorite tv show. I get so excited and work faster to be able to do whatever I want to do in the evening. Sometimes I even jump out of bed in the mornings and want to start as soon as possible because I just can’t wait to be finished with my work.
The tricky part is, that you have to be really strict and you have to have a lot of self-discipline. Otherwise, you won’t wait until the evening or until you finished that boring assignment. Having something to look forward to each day as a kind of reward, you will find it a lot easier to study hard.
4) The biggest workload comes first
This one is very important as well. I like to start with the easier tasks because it feels good to cross off things on the to-do list. But actually, it doesn’t do you any good, because after all the easy tasks you will feel tired and won’t feel like doing the really big and annoying task. Often we just procrastinate and leave it for the next day.
However, by starting with the biggest workload first, you won’t have that problem anymore. Your mind is the sharpest a few minutes after waking up. Using it for the biggest task will make it a lot easier to finish it fast. All the little tasks that come after will be done soon and you will feel satisfied in the evening.
5) Have a goal in your mind
This is not comparable to number 3 of this list. Number 3 is important for your everyday motivation. But – it can fail you on those days that you really want to buy a ticket, get on a plane and leave this country forever. That’s when this tip comes into play: have a bigger goal in your mind. This might be your dream job that you can only do if you finish your studies, or maybe the car you’ve been longing to buy but can’t afford if you don’t get a well-paying job after your graduation. This might even be the accomplishment of finishing your studies with a magna cum laude. Whatever it is, keep that in mind. If you are, like me, a very visual person, make a vision board. You can find a lot of examples online but the idea of a vision board is, to print pictures of your goals; your dream house, a job, a bag you want to buy, vacation etc. You can draw, pin and decorate whatever and however you like it. Put the vision board in front of your desk and look at it every day.
This helps me to do whatever it takes to get to my goals.
I hope my 5 tips on how to become more productive as a student have helped you! Tell me your favorite tip, as I like to get in touch with my readers.
Melanie is 23 years old, a half Colombian and half Dutch girl living in Switzerland. She applied to a University in Amsterdam where she will start her Bachelors in International Business Administration in September 2017. With her blog she likes to share her journey of moving abroad, and all her tips and tricks on how to study smarter, not harder. www.unicorners.co
December 1, 2016
As a college student I have learned the importance of self-care, especially during busy days. I interviewed Shannon of Endless May about her thoughts on self-care in college, and am excited to share this collaboration with you!
What is your go-to self-care routine for your college lifestyle?
Self-care was something I totally struggled with my first year of college. In fact, during my first semester of my freshman year, I had a cold that turned into pneumonia for weeks because I wasn’t taking good enough care of my body. Since, I have discovered the right ways to treat my body in college!
My go-to self-care routine changes depending on what I feel like my body needs. However, usually, my mind and body are begging me for a break! If this is the case and my body is telling me “no” to a night out at a party or event, I listen to it. I make sure to take time to just rest and decompress. My favorite thing to do after a long week is take a hot shower, turn on my fairy lights and watch a romantic comedy in bed.
With studying abroad, have you had to change your self-care routine at all? What have you learned about changing environments and the importance of self-care?
When I first arrived in Europe, I had this idea that I needed to go go go all the time. I worried that if I spent a night in watching Netflix that I wasn’t taking full advantage of being here. I quickly realized that that is a lot to ask of one’s body! Since studying abroad, I have really tried to make time to relax, exercise and take time for myself. Just because you are in a foreign country doesn’t mean your body doesn’t need rest!
What has been your biggest challenge when it comes to self-care and staying healthy?
My biggest challenge when it comes to self-care and staying healthy is making time for exercise. I find that at the end of a long day, the last thing I want to do is workout! However, if I try and stay in an exercise routine, set small goals for myself and make it as easy as possible to get to the gym (for example planning my workout right after my class that is closest to the fitness center), I am way more likely to workout! I also find that if workout with a friend, it is a lot more enjoyable and I look forward to it much more.
What are your tips for reducing stress, avoiding illness, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle while in college?
As college students, we are juggling so much. Between jobs, classes, extracurricular activities and social events, too often we are stretched too thin. My first tip is try to avoid overcommitting yourself. Instead of joining three clubs, pick one. Instead of taking four really challenging classes, try and diversify your schedule. Lastly, remember that if you feel overwhelmed in college, ask for help. You have an entire campus full of people that have your best interest in mind. Whether this means talking to your professor in a course you are struggling in or going to the mental health center if you are feeling depressed, it is important to remember that you are not alone.
What have you learned about creating a balanced lifestyle that contributes positively to your mental and physical well being? Has blogging influenced your self-care routine at all?
The most important thing I have learned about creating a balanced lifestyle that contributes positively to my mental and physical well being is exemplified in the quote “you cannot pour from an empty cup”. For the longest time, I pushed myself beyond my limits which resulted in a lot of anxiety and unhappiness. Since I have realized that I need to invest more time and energy into my mental and physical well being (which is actually my main goal of this year!), I have dramatically decreased my stress and anxiety levels.
Blogging has totally influenced my self-care routine. I talk a lot on my blog about self care and mental health and often give advice on these topics. I have learned to be better about taking my own advice! I also find myself taking up my “relaxation time” with blog work. It is hard because I LOVE blogging and creating content for my followers but I have to remember that it is important to also step away once in awhile.
Shannon is an amazing college and lifestyle blogger at www.endlessmay.com, be sure to check out her blog and social media!
November 27, 2016
I had the amazing opportunity of collaborating with the wonderful and inspiring Courtney of Shutterbug! I continue to be motivated and inspired by her, and her photography is simply stunning! Be sure to visit her blog to see her Thanksgiving Lazy Day Routine, and check out her social media at the end of the post! 🙂
It isn’t often that I get a lazy day, but when I do I love to make the most of it! Thanksgiving is a day to leave work commitments behind and focus on the amazing joys of life.
Like any ordinary lazy day, I start off by sleeping in and catching up on my rest. I then like to put on my comfiest outfit, which consists of purple elephant pants, warm fuzzy socks (usually with a fun winter theme!), and a fleece sweater. Once I’m all cozy I usually make myself breakfast, with fruit and coffee.
After breakfast I love to grab a book and read for an hour or two. I’ve been hearing about so many amazing books lately, and there’s just something about reading on a chilly winter day. I’m currently reading Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. It’s been absolutely breathtaking so far, and I may have to do a review on it in the near future! I then love to help with meal preparation for the evening, as cooking is one of my favorite pastimes! This is one of the best times to appreciate all of the amazing things in life, and all of the wonderful people that I have had the privilege of knowing!
In between cooking and relaxing, something that has become a tradition is to build a gingerbread house. I used to love building these when I was younger, and have loved revisiting that joy for the past two years! Last year the house that I made quickly toppled to the ground (I discovered I’m not very good at gingerbread architecture), but the house I made this year stayed upright and was ornately decorated with frosting and sprinkles! Listening to holiday music in the background is a great way to relax while also engaging your creative side!
After gingerbread house building is the Thanksgiving meal, which is a wonderful way to catch up with life and make lasting connections! Once the meal is over, I like to take the time to journal about all that I am grateful for. I have been keeping a gratitude journal for about a year and a half, and it has changed my life for the better! Being able to reflect on all that I am grateful for each day and year has changed my outlook on the world.
After journaling it’s time to play a few board games, coloring in my Enchanted Forest coloring book, or watching movies. Recently it has become tradition to watch a number of Harry Potter films after dinner, and this year we chose to watch Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets! Once the movie is over, I like to catch up on self-care by showering and using face masks or painting my nails. I have been loving the Rainbowlight “Green Clay” mask, it’s so refreshing for dry skin in the winter!
I usually go to bed earlier on lazy days to catch up on my rest, and to get the new day off to a great start! What is your Thanksgiving lazy day routine?
© 2016 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.
July 30, 2016
The Best YouTube Channels to Support Your Yoga Practice
Yoga is taking the world by storm; it’s known for its incredible healing powers—both mental and physical—and spending some of your day dedicated to your practice can do wonders for your well-being.
It’s now easier than ever to fit yoga into your routine. With so many fantastic YouTube channels producing wonderful tutorial videos, you don’t have to commit to a weekly class or even a particularly long length of time.
The five following channels provide videos suitable for everyone—no matter ability, experience or the amount of time you have.
If you’re not in a country that has access to YouTube, then it’s possible to install a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to get past the blocks and begin your yoga journey! For more information, check out this review by Secure Thoughts.
Yoga with Adriene
Hosted by the wonderfully down-to-earth Adriene, this channel provides a comprehensive practice for yogis of all levels. From foundational knowledge, including technique corrections and basic poses, to series specifically geared toward weight loss, this channel has something for you.
One particular highlight is the 30-day yoga camp series, which can be done from the comfort of your own room and provides a practice that gently progresses along with your skill and ability. She takes the traditional Indian techniques of movement, breathing and even mind state and translates them into a brilliantly humorous tutorial that is accessible to all.
If you don’t love Adriene already, you’re sure to be her biggest fan after spending just a little time on your mat with her.
Sarah Beth Yoga
Sarah Beth runs another wonderful channel that is just as accessible as the aforementioned. She cuts down her videos into smaller chunks, so it’s easy to create a personalized playlist for a practice that’s tailored to your needs. Along with providing a whole range of targeted yoga routines—including poses for anxiety, flexibility, strength and much more—she also provides videos on health and holistic living.
As a sufferer of ulcerative colitis, Sarah Beth is an expert in healing, and this channel is a great resource for anyone with chronic illness problems. Aside from her yoga, she covers meditation techniques, tips for health digestion and lifestyle advice to help you feel fresh, motivated and full of energy. Her recent pregnancy has also inspired a prenatal yoga series, which she’s releasing currently.
With their origins in making videos about Swedish massage techniques, PsycheTruth has been continually expanding its content and now also offer a fantastic yoga section. The videos are split by type, mainly focusing on yoga for beginners, weight loss and flexibility. Once you’ve found a preferred instructor, there are individual playlists for each of the channel’s contributors.
As well as a comprehensive yoga practice, following this channel has endless wonderful benefits. They post videos on all aspects of holistic living, including nutrition, psychology, fitness, massage and much more. One of the definite highlights is their posts that discuss the theories behind healthy living, which is great for those of us who like a bit of academic understanding behind our yoga practice.
Cosmic Kids Yoga
One of the biggest threats to a regular yoga practice is having children! However, this fantastically innovative channel makes it easier than ever to get in a daily stretch with your little ones in tow. The basic premise of the channel combines yoga with interactive storylines and settings, meaning kids quickly find themselves enthusiastic and excited about trying new poses with mommy and daddy in the living room.
From adventures on the moon, in the jungle or even as a part of the Star Wars saga, there are many different themes to explore. Although the moves are simple, they allow you to take the time out to be mindful and find your calm without having to worry about keeping an eye on the kids.
Sometimes returning to the world of yoga after a break or entering it for the first time can seem a bit overwhelming. You may have lost a great deal of your flexibility, veered from your vegan diet or let the stress of work get the better of you. For a guilt-free yoga practice, head over to the Bad Yogi YouTube channel.
Erin provides a fantastic range of online tutorial videos free from the complex Sanskrit phrases or difficult meditation chants. She openly admits to being a meat lover and red wine drinker and actively encourages people from all walks of life to give yoga a try.
Her channel even comes equipped with a whole plethora of vlogs, so you can keep up with her adventures as a bad yogi and probably feel better about your own questionable life choices!
Yoga is such a wonderful tool that I personally recommend everyone should try at least one of these channels. Even if you feel it’s not for you, incredible things can happen when you step out of your comfort zone, so why not give a short yoga tutorial video a try? You might be pleasantly surprised.
For dedicated yogis, we’re sure there’s a whole range of other great channels that deserve a mention. Be sure to leave a comment with some of your favorites below.
About the Author: Isa is an entertainment and lifestyle blogger who loves all things wellness and health! She believes our bodies have incredible potential and is always ready to share ideas about healing techniques with anyone who will listen.
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