On Dreams, Drive, and a Few Realizations

I miss fangirling on Taylor Swift. There’s just something in her aura which inspires me to do more and spurs me to believe that I, too, can do it. I can be that happy. I can smile the way she smiles. And I could care less what others think of me because hey, I have earned my keep and I’m totally independent. Shhh. After this post I’m going to type in her name on Google and download every song and every photo she has online. I’m going to play her songs on loop on my Windows Media Player. I’m going to make a collage of her photos and post them all over my walls. Crazy and scary, I know.

For the last months I had been busy. Heck, I’m still busy. I got tons of things to do. But for even one blog post in a week? What excusity. I used to be not like this. But well, we all have different circumstances and clearly for me a few happenstances got in the way.

It used to be not like this in school, either. But maybe I just wasn’t living. I was being in the moment but I was not living, truly living, in those moments. Being a public figure has consequences, after all. Good public figures who don’t have detractors? Only in the movies. In real life, even if you are a good public figure, even if you strive for dignity and integrity and truth all the time, even if you have done nothing wrong, you still get bad publicity, you still get detractors. Happening to me in real life, and boy was my world rocked in a bad way.

I watched movies the whole day. The Road to Paloma, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Internship, Noah, and Need for Speed. Then I slept. I woke up around 7:00pm. I didn’t rise. I paused to think. I asked myself, what happened? What happened to me? Where are all those dreams I had? Didn’t I dream to one day drive a race car and race in the GrandPrix (something like that) in Monaco? Didn’t I dream of drinking red wine from a wine glass, wearing a black two-piece bikini, my shades up, while cruising on a white yacht? Didn’t I dream of wearing high-end designer outfits on every cocktail dinner meetings I am going to supposedly attend? Didn’t I dream of doing something so big, of being something so big and important to make my parents proud? To get their hardly sought smiles of parental pride? Where did all those big dreams go? When did I start to be this pessimistic about life? I was the goddamn optimistic girl. I took pride in that one good trait I had while I was in one of the darkest periods of my life.

Then it dawned on me. I let it happen. I stopped believing. I stopped believing in myself. I gave in to giving up. I gave up expecting great things from myself. I gave up trying hard. It all didn’t happen in a day. That day by day, I was so retarded that I let my dreams slip – no, go – one by one.

Realizing that, I decided it’s high time. It’s high time to claim and own my dreams back. It’s high time I believe in myself. It’s high time I do, be, act my dreams. It’s high time I believe in Taylor Swift, in Steve Jobs, and in every great person who came from humble beginnings but has made a dent in the universe, again. I can do it.

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Summer Plans for 2014

I spent last summer (April-May, 2013) vagabonding in Butuan City, Cagayan de Oro City, Bukidnon, Iligan City, and Zamboanga City. It is GREAT to travel. However, I failed to save and allot some moolah for travel the past months so… So this time, I’m staying. At home, in Tawi-Tawi. This time, my travels would be limited to the almost daily commute from the house to the school and vice versa. Or from the house to the town proper and vice versa, when there is something I need to buy. But don’t get me wrong. I DON’T feel bad about NOT travelling this summer. I will be quite busy. There are many things that I NEED to do. I need to push for the creation of the student publication issue to be issued this June, for one. On top of that, I and my staff need to create a “not just another issue” issue. As the Editor-in-Chief, I want our next issue to be a literary work of art.

Major Goals this Summer

  1. Learn how to PRAY.
  2. Launch online shop.
  3. Create KAWASA (our campus newsletter) 2nd issue.
  4. Attend the 74th National Student Press Convention and the 37th Biennial Student Press Congress organized by the College Editors Guild of the Philippines to be held in Davao City this May 19-23.
  5. Perfect at least 15 YOGA poses.
  6. Participate in the #100HappyDays advocacy.
  7. Transform the backyard into a garden.
  8. Create Do-it-Yourself (DIY) projects.

Good Daily Habits to Form this Summer

  1. Pray.
  2. Eat breakfast.
  3. Drink 8 tall glasses of water.
  4. Take ferrous sulfate (iron) vitamins.
  5. Do yoga.
  6. Wear glasses.
  7. Blog.

You might think that my lists for summer are boring, but I am very excited about this. I love being productive and doing some tangible progress during summer. As a way to honor my plans, I will start waking up early tomorrow. And for this promise to NOT sound just like any other procrastinator’s promise, I will be more specific as to say I will start waking up before 5:00am tomorrow.

How about you? What are your plans for this summer? Do share in the comments below. 🙂

P.S. I will post an update regarding my summer plans every Sunday. So stay tuned, friends! Hope you have a great summer! ❤

I Wish They Taught Money in High School

…so I’m not dependent on my paycheck and I can start my own business right away! Seriously!

Earning, saving, investing and growing money is such an integral part of living and surviving in this world but how come we are never taught the basics about it? How come instead of approaching money in a way that is with much gusto, society is telling us not to talk about it? That it is evil and all?

I am so glad Lifestyle Upgrade 101 sent me this 2-in-1 book. I have been enlightened.

The most logical way (for me, anyway!) to read the back-to-back book is to read the I Wish They Taught Money In High School So I’m Not Dependent On My Paycheck by Clarissa Serina – De La Paz first. I basically devoured all the 81 pages. It’ll teach you:

  1. That the first step to becoming rich is free, because it’s all in the mind.
  2. Easy-to-understand definition of common finance/money jargon.
  3. The power of passive income.
  4. The importance of paying yourself first. {Income – Savings Investments = Expenses}
  5. The 3 Money Myths (money is taboo, debt is bad, credit cards are evil).
  6. How to work SMART. S – Start Small. M – Make a Habit (and stick to it!). A – Acquire More Knowledge. R – Raise the Bar of Creativity. T – Think Outside Your Salary.
  7. That the most powerful secret of all is gratitude (count your blessings!).
  8. To use a Millionaire’s Log, a Dream Compass, an Inventory of your Rations, a Money Map, and a Gratitude Anchor as your navigational tools on your own journey towards financial freedom.

The author also mentioned Robert Kiyosaki (author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad), Napoleon Hill (author of Think and Grow Rich), and Tim Ferris (author of The 4-hour Work Week).

The next I read is the I Wish They Taught Money In High School So I Can Start My Own Business Right Away by Sharon Que. I was pretty excited to finish reading all the 58 pages so I can start planning out in detail (right away!) my small business idea. This book will teach you:

  1. First and foremost, to not shy away from initiating money talk (like asking someone if they have a lot of money, yes!).
  2. How to prepare for business.
  3. How to start a business with little or no capital.
  4. How to multiply your income with other businesses.
  5. Tips on overcoming challenges and finding solutions.
  6. To upgrade your money psyche.
  7. To grow your money in investment vehicles.

I love this 2-in-1 book because it taught me A LOT and it didn’t give me a headache at that. Heh.

Oh and the book has got awesome illustrations, too! ❤

If you want to know more about the authors of this 2-in-1 book, check this out. If you want to buy this book and have it shipped to your doorstep, check out their shop. They have a great deal going on now! You get your own copy for FREE (plus 3 bookmarks and 2 notepads!) if you purchase 4 of their books maybe to give to your friends or your family! 🙂

If you want to know more about the book or you want to read up reviews about it or you simply want to learn more about money management/financial literacy/wealth creation, visit:

Website: Lifestyle Upgrade 101

Facebook: facebook.com/lifestyleupgrade101

Le Posh Blvd Eau de Toilette in Green Tea and Satin

Perfumes have been one of my long time indulgences for myself. I’m kind of picky with the scents that I wear and I’m always inclined to buying signature perfumes. But with our budget being more limited now than when I was single, I decided I’d settle for basic scents with a price tag that won’t hurt our budget. I figured I just really want a fresh, clean, simple, and crisp scent I can wear everyday to school. Plus a feminine and sophisticated scent I can wear for special occasions.

When I was browsing online shopping sites to buy a few toiletries for myself a couple of weeks ago, I came across Le Posh Blvd.

Le Posh Blvd. is a unique brand that creates natural bath & body skincare and fragrance products for men, women, teens and the home. Our products have drawn inspiration from the Mediterranean, to create natural beauty products devoted to well-being and the pleasure of loving oneself by FEELING GOOD, LOOKING GOOD, and SMELLING GOOD.

Being committed to delivering quality products, Le Posh Blvd. strives to use high quality traceable natural ingredients and plant oils. Product formulas are developed according to the principles of plant therapy, scent therapy, and ideal standard requirements. Paper, cardboard, and wood used in our packaging comes from sustainable managed forests. We continually contribute not only to the well-being of our customers and employees but also in making planet earth a “green” one.

Le Posh Blvd. was founded in September of the year 2008 and has always prided itself on the innovation, quality and performance of its products. Crafted by Haidian Fragrant Hills Ltd. Co.

I clicked straight to their products list to see what they have to offer. Their Green Tea EDT and Satin EDT immediately caught my attention.

Green Tea is a beautiful fragrance for women.  Fresh scents of citrus & lemon mix with rhubarb, peppermint, oakmoss, musks and amber.  Spritz green tea in the morning for an instant burst of energy that will last through long meetings at work and lunches out with friends.

Satin is a sensual, classic, delicious signature perfume for  adventurous but classy women who has strong character & likes to enjoy life at the same time.   Subtle blend of fruits (mandarin and peach), woods, and dry florals that ends with a base of vanilla, amber & musk. A fragrance that lets the wearer speak volumes about themselves.

And the good thing is, every 50ml bottle only costs Php299! Quality and affordable scents! Seems exactly like the scents I was looking for!

And as you can see, I’ve already used almost half the content of the bottles. They’re THAT addictive to spritz on though their scents last for about 8hours and linger on your clothes even after 24hours. That’s how long-lasting it is! Totally worth my money! I’ll be using these scents over and over again! Heh. 🙂

If you are interested in these products or would like to know what other scents they offer, you can visit:

Website: Le Posh Blvd

Facebook: facebook.com/leposhblvd

Twitter: @leposhblvd

The Top Commandments of a Superwoman

Achieving a balance between personal life and work life is the ultimate goal of most career men and women. Though a mission hard to accomplish at the onset, you don’t need superpowers to eventually get the drift of an effective system which allows for a truly productive, well-spent, and fairly allocated time for work and play.

Pulling off this balance is a challenge. There’ll be times when the line separating the two will be blurred, and that’s acceptable only to a certain extent. If you find this happening often to you, however, a possible culprit (no kidding!) is your time management. You may consider the thought laughable, but operating on an efficient one will save you from suffering from work overload and stress. There are a lot of what-ifs and could’ve beens that don’t need to arise if only you are more cautious about making use of the time on your hands wisely.

Yes, the time is in your hands, and the only power you actually have within you is the power to control how things go around your clock. Indeed, there may be times when things are beyond your control, but knowing how to work your way around the things you have control with in order to ultimately get your task done is where good time management comes to play.

It can sound really complicated especially since there’s no formula to master the art of time management, and a lot of books on this topic will tell you a lot of different ways to supposedly help you — which can all just get hard to follow in the process and overwhelming in the end. Keep in mind that when it comes to this “craft,” what works for someone else may not work for you and the other way around, so devise a strategy you know is best and, most importantly, doable for you and something you can stick with for the long haul.

Rules To Live By
  1. THOU SHALL BE ORGANIZED. This quality is the greatest ally of time management. Why, when you’re organized, you have everything covered systematically — like having all your schedules (be it tentative!) penciled in on a desk calendar and/or a notebook planner so you’re constantly reminded and therefore don’t miss a thing, ensuring all your important files are properly labeled and stored so that when you need them you won’t have to waste time rummaging through all your stuff, and/or making a tracking sheet of your to-dos with corresponding deadlines so you can not only keep track of your progress but also be aware of your pending tasks — and be able to act on them the soonest possible time.
  2. THOU SHALL BE PROMPT. Having this trait of getting-things-done-when-they-need-to-be done will save you any future hassle. Reply to texts and emails as soon as you can and don’t put it off unless really unavoidable — because otherwise, there’s a big tendency for you to forget it altogether. If you’re not quick to act, your task at hand will carry over to the following day, thus posing a problematic case of domino effect to the next tasks which await you.
  3. THOU SHALL NOT BE LATE. Because when you are, it commonly ruins one’s day. You know what they say, “Start your day right.” What’s more, when you’re late for appointments and meet-ups, you’ve already lost precious time you can never get back, not to mention painting an unpleasant image of yourself for being tardy. As for deadlines, it can never be emphasized enough how important it is to submit on time (even earlier!), so you still have leeway should something unexpected crop up.
  4. THOU SHALL DO A TO-DO LIST. This may be written in a small notepad or notebook, on a cute little whiteboard on your work area, or a note on your tablet. There are different ways to go about this. You can either jot the tasks down on a daily or per period/time frame basis. It will be such a relief to see them getting ticked one by one.
  5. THOU SHALL WORK IN ORDER OF PRIORITY. This tip further expounds on the advantage of a to-do list. Following this hierarchy of sorts makes a big difference in your productivity. Get the big chunk of your work out earliest then work through the moderately heavy stuff, and finally the smallest and lightest ones.
  6. THOU SHALL HAVE YOUR SCHEDULER HANDY. As soon as you find out about a particular meeting/appointment, take note of it right away (and please, don’t just mental note it), and having your organizer with you will immediately help you determine if you’re free or not, plus you get to avoid having overlapping schedules.
  7. THOU SHALL STAY FOCUSED. Don’t let yourself get distracted with everything going on around you. In the workplace, for example, it may work for you if you put on earphones or headphones to eliminate extraneous variables in the environment which could distract your work flow.
  8. THOU SHALL MULTITASK TO A MINIMUM. Sounds contradicting, yes, but when you think about it, it actually makes sense. While it is good to multitask, this habit, when not practiced properly, could only leave you a pile of tasks only half-done. This tip is related to the previous one, as it doesn’t hurt staying focused on one thing first and making sure that’s complete before proceeding to the next. When your head is also clouded with too many thoughts and your full attention is not in what you’re doing, you may produce some mediocre output.
  9. THOU SHALL LEARN WHEN TO SAY “NO” — OR “LATER.” You can’t do everything in a day’s time, so don’t force it. Doing so could only mean wasted time in the end. Postpone unnecessary activities until your work responsibilities are done. If you really can’t say “no” to something, try “later.” When you entertain a distraction, it’s usually hard to regain your momentum or your train of thought.
  10. THOU SHALL GIVE LEEWAY FOR SETBACKS THAT MAY ARISE. When you fix your daily activities, you have to be realistic with your system of scheduling, something you can follow as planned.
  11. THOU SHALL MAKE WAITING TIME USEFUL. Personally, I hate doing nothing at any given time which I feel could actually be useful for something. I suggest you always bring stuff that can serve you well, like a book to read, or a tablet to surf the Net with, while waiting. Even time in transit can be used for replying to texts and deleting messages from your inbox and sent items.
  12. THOU SHALL AVOID PROCRASTINATION. When you’re procrastinating, you stop in the middle of something to go ahead and do something else. This is a mortal sin in time management because it makes you feel like you’re already quota for the day, when in reality, you haven’t really accomplished much yet.
  13. THOU SHALL STOP BEING A WORRYWART. The time you spend worrying about something could instead be spent wisely on thinking or, better yet, finding a solution for pressing problems.
  14. THOU SHALL ALLOW YOURSELF A SHORT BREAK. You need a breather, of course. Have coffee and snacks. This break can re-energize you and motivate you to accomplish more things.
TOOLS TO HELP YOU

With everything on your plate, mental noting just won’t cut it anymore. You need to have some tools with you to help make things more smooth flowing for you.

1) Clock or wristwatch.

2) Desk calendar.

3) Organizer or planner.

4) Tablet.

5) Pens.

6) Highlighters.

7) Memo pads.

8) File holders.

All the tips here work on a case to case basis, and it’s really up to you to learn and adapt to the system that best fits your lifestyle. But one thing’s for sure, they work on achieving one goal — that is, help you get something done and over with at the schedule they need to be done.

Dealing with Criticism

…or learning to think positively in the face of negativity. Here’s the scenario:

You’ve just started a new blog and posted your first entry. Your friends’ comments have come pouring in: “Great site!” “You write so well!” “Keep ‘em coming!” But as you scroll down, five words catch your eye: “What a waste of space.”

That single sentence eats at your confidence. Despite all the wonderful things everyone else has said, that one line troubles you the whole day. You question your writing skill. You wonder whether you should keep blogging at all.

Criticism almost always carries more weight than praise. Psychologists say it’s because positive remarks are easy to process, while negative ones need to be digested and analyzed by the brain. But whatever the reason, the important thing is learning to deal with the criticism you receive. For instance, how do you forget the time your teacher told you your report deserved a barely passing grade? Or the day your mom said you don’t have the talent to fulfill your dreams of becoming an artist so you should just focus on what you’re good at?

As tough as it may be, there are ways to take criticism with grace. Leo Babauta, the man behind ZenHabits.net, suggests following these four steps:

  1. STOP YOUR FIRST REACTION. Instead of throwing a tantrum or spitting a biting comeback at your critic, take a deep breath and walk away (literally and figuratively). Let the criticism sink in before responding. It keeps you from saying anything you’ll later regret.
  2. TURN NEGATIVES INTO POSITIVES. Even the meanest, rudest comments have a nugget of positivity in them. The trick is to spot that bit of honest feedback. For example, “What a waste of space” can be read as, “You need to find more interesting topics to write about.”
  3. THANK YOUR CRITIC. No matter how harsh they can be, critics are people too. Maybe they’re having a bad day or maybe they’re naturally negative. But quick, sincere thanks from you will catch them off-guard – and you might even end up making their day. What’s more, you get to file this as something helpful and move on.
  4. LEARN FROM THE CRITICISM. Now it’s time to act. Apply the feedback you’ve received. You might take your friend’s advice and look for fun topics for your blog as well as find more creative ways of writing about them. Or you could listen to your mother and take art classes, but also hone your natural talent at sports. What matters is that you use the criticism and make yourself better through concrete action.

Keeping these four steps in mind, how about a little mining exercise? Let’s dig through a few common criticisms until we find the useful suggestions they hide. Then we’ll decide on a course of action.

The Negative: “You’ve gained so much weight!” or “You are so skinny you look like a scrawny witch!”

The Useful Suggestion: You should care about your health.

The Action: Start taking your diet and exercise seriously. You could begin a regular jogging routine with your friends (much cheaper than a gym membership), incorporate healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables and lean meats, and stay away from chips and chocolate (well maybe you can eat a small portion of dark chocolate of at least 70% cocoa content everyday). The effort will benefit you in the long run.

The Negative: “She’s prettier than you.” or “You’re not pretty enough.”

The Useful Suggestion: Learn to be better at something other than smiling.

The Action: Your face isn’t your only weapon. Venture out of your comfort zone and try new things! The search for a hidden talent is one of the most enjoyable things life has to offer. And once you find what you’re truly good at, work on perfecting it. Eventually you’ll find yourself too busy to worry about how you look.

The Negative: “You’re such a nerd!”

The Useful Suggestion: Loosen up!

The Action: School is important — no doubt about it — but you don’t have to spend all of your time studying. Unbutton your collar; let your hair down! Go to a party or two. It’s all right to take it easy once in a while. You’re probably a lot more fun than you realize.

The Negative: “You’re not smart enough.”

The Useful Suggestion: Spend less time watching television and more time learning new things.

The Action: Open your mind to challenges. Read a classic book. Watch a Discovery Channel documentary. Go see an artistic film. As fun as a full-season marathon of Gossip Girl is, a day spent on the couch tends to dull the mind. Keep yourself sharp through thought-provoking tasks.

The Negative: “You’re no good at this.”             

The Useful Suggestion: Get better.

The Action: We’re not always naturally blessed with talent at the things we want to do. For instance, you may dream of becoming a ballerina someday, but stretching and exercise wears you out after a few minutes. Or you want to become a novelist someday, but your English grades are in the dumps. There’s only one solution: practice. Work on it, and then when you think you’ve reached the skill level you aimed for, work on it some more.

Remember that when it comes to taking criticism well, it’s all about spinning the negative to make it useful to you. Learn to stay humble and accept others’ suggestions openly and with gratitude. You’ll be helping others help you become a better person.

Self-Esteem Boosters (DIY Morale Boost)

Maybe you were in a fight with your best friend. Maybe you didn’t get the part you wanted in a play you auditioned for. Or maybe you failed a big exam. The point is, you’re having a bad day and you need something to make you feel better about yourself. On days like these, it’s useful to have some feel-good tricks up your sleeve.

Here are seven foolproof suggestions for instant smiles! 🙂

  1. Do something you’ve been putting off. Clean your room, sign up for that photography class, get your hair and nails done. Whatever it is you’ve been meaning to do but never made time for, now’s your chance to make it happen. Crossing off even one item on that to-do list will make you feel competent and productive.
  2. Make a list of your best qualities and achievements. As you wrap up one list, why not write another? Sit down and think of the high points in your life and the things you love about yourself. It can be anything from a contest you won in grade school to the fact that you like your skin color. Come up with at least ten things and you’re guaranteed to end up smiling,
  3. Do something you’re good at. Nothing boosts morale like a reminder of your talents. If you happen to be an ace at video games, bust out that first-person shooting game and go nuts. If you’re a writer, jot down a short story or poem that reflects your mood. If you’re a singer, turn up your favorite song and belt it out as high and as loud as you can. You’ll feel like a winner in no time.
  4. Get some exercise. The benefits of physical activity are endless. Sweat out your stress and start the road to fitness at the same time. Run, swim, play a sport, or hit the gym. It’s scientifically proven that a good workout boosts a person’s general sense of well-being… and at the very least, you’ll be too tired to feel bad.
  5. Relax. Release the negativity in you by taking the time to do something that eases your muscles and calms your mind. Get a massage at your local spa or sign up for a session of yoga. If you don’t want to spend anything, take a nap — sleep is known to improve your mood and your energy levels.
  6. Treat yourself to something yummy. A little sugar in your system can’t hurt at this point, so why not allow yourself on a mini-binge on your favorite chocolate? You can cool your hot head with some ice cream, or even better, with a refreshing fruit shake. Satisfy a food craving and you’ll find yourself smiling again. Just be careful not to overdo it.
  7. Watch a TV show or read a book that makes you laugh. Comedy is a quick cure for the blues. Spend a little time with the Modern Family gang, or have a How I Met Your Mother marathon. Other sitcoms you may want to try are The Big Bang Theory and Community. For the bibliophiles out there, try Mates, Dates, and Inflatable Bras by Cathy Hopkins or Louise Rennison’s Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgina Nicolson. Warning: you may find yourself in fits of giggles.

Smart Snacking Ideas

Stock up on these brain-boosting treats! 🙂

Green Tea

While the caffeine helps stimulate your brain, green tea also contains catechins, which has been found to improve memory-related learning.

Salmon

Fish contains iodine, which improves mental clarity. Fish oil is also high in omega-3 fatty acids — a good source of DHA, which is essential for the maintenance of your nervous system.

Avocados

The monounsaturated fat in avocados is great for heart health — and it also improves blood flow to the brain.

Nuts

They’re not called “brain food” for nothing. Nuts are a good source of vitamin E, which helps prevent poor memory.

Eggs

Egg yolks are the best source of choline, an amino acid that’s been called the brain’s “memory architect.” It’s one of the most essential components of brain cells.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal has been called the perfect food for brain health since it’s so easy to prepare and great for concentration. Try eating it as well as other whole-grain foods like cereal and wheat bread.

Tomatoes

The lycopene in tomatoes is a great anti-oxidant which protects brain cells against damage that could lead to dementia.

Broccoli

Aside from being great for providing calcium, broccoli is also packed with vitamin K — a nutrient known to enhance cognitive function.

A Self-Lecture On Doing More and Being More

Everyone now is a multi-hyphenate. A racketeer. A go-getter. Use whichever term you want to, it all means the same thing. We are a generation that wants to do more and be more. We demand more of ourselves and out of the talents and abilities given to us. Gone are the days that only the students at the top of the class get noticed; hey, the student blogger may even be more popular than the school’s queen bee. Just because you are the boss of your unit doesn’t mean you are the most liked; the opinionated student-by-day, artist-by-night could have a more influential network of contacts than you. It’s a good thing I think, because we all have different things to bring to the table, we all deserve credit, and we all get our time to shine.

And just how do we get things done and be better? By making the most of what is given to us and knowing how to maximize what we have. And since we know ourselves and what we want more than anyone else, there are times we just have to take matters into our own hands and get things done ourselves.

One important note though: do not spread yourself too thinly. A piece of advice I hold dear to me, is to “stay true to your core.” If you feel you are veering away from who you really are and what your heart holds to be true, then reel yourself back in. Be more without losing yourself; be more by making a better version of yourself.

Time Management Tips

We all love college. What isn’t there to love? Only a few hours of classes each day, no parents, and all the time in the world for ourselves. But, all that free time can lend itself to trouble when we use our time in the wrong way.

Here are some tips that can help you manage your time and succeed in all aspects of your college life:

  1. Keep a planner. Make sure that you put everything on it — even doing your laundry or taking a nap. You don’t want to forget the little things. If you know everything that you have to do for the day, and have it scheduled out, you’re more likely to get it all done.
  2. Prioritize. What is the most important thing/s you have to do for today? Be realistic and don’t try to cram too many things into one day.
  3. Learn to say no. You cannot possibly do everything all the time. It’s okay to skip out on chitchat with friends if that’s the only time you have to study for your exams or make your assignment. Learning to say no instead of agreeing and committing to a long list of things is so important.
  4. Know yourself. Are you a morning or a night person? When do you study best? Plan your schedule around your performance levels.
  5. Don’t forget the social aspects of college. While we are here to study and work hard, there is definitely a social part of college that even adults cannot ignore. So, make sure that you give yourself some time to have fun and enjoy the best four years of your life. At the same time, don’t go too crazy and forget about studying and work. Balance is the key.
  6. Release yourself from all distractions. In situations when work needs to be done, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are not your best friends. Unless those networks are benefiting your activities, stay away from them.
  7. Don’t stress. This is key to time management. If you spend a majority of your time worrying about time, nothing will get done. Instead, know that you have planned ahead and that you have time to get all of your things done.