Tag: Advice

Ways to BOOST Motivation after a bad day

It’s late, you’re tired, work was tough and you can’t ignore that looming uni deadline. The last thing you want to do is type 2000 words on English literature or whatever you are studying…

We all have bad days. When it affects your study schedule there can be a knock on effect to your grades and, ultimately, your goals.

Here’s a few ways I try to motivate myself to study after a long, hard day:

Play some music

music

Go for a walk

walking

Remind yourself of your goals – long & short term

My Plan

Have a treat (chocolate mmm!)

hot chocolate

Eat a decent meal

fish

If all else fails, have a night off!

relax

Having a plan and trying to stick to it always helps to keep me motivated, especially if I write it down. There’s something about written plans that makes them feel set-in-stone. You have to make sure you give yourself a break though, especially when you are finding things particularly hard. Don’t burn yourself out.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated after a hard day? Let me know in the comments!

LGx

Why you should THINK before you SPEAK… or scream.

Life can be harsh. My friends and I are currently grieving the loss of a very special friend. However, this post is not about that. This post is about an experience I had at work last week. It made me think about how people can detach their consideration for other people when speaking to a ‘company’ on the phone.

It is easy to forget that the faceless person on the end of a phone has feelings. They are not just a voice attached to a company. When anger has been brewing inside you over the space of a week and your children are running around, driving you crazy during the Easter Holidays, an eruption of emotion is hard to contain. This does not mean that you are entitled to scream down the phone like a toddler having a tantrum. Have some respect for yourself and others and you could save that person unnecessary stress and yourself unnecessary embarrassment. I am not a robot here to listen to your out of control screaming. I am a person too.

So next time you call a company with a complaint, think about this…

You don’t know what they are going through

The person on the end of the line may have just lost someone. They may have thought that they could muster enough courage to make it to work that day because they didn’t want to let the team down. They may be going through a break up or divorce or have any number of issues in their life. Not everyone is hardy and well equipped to deal with a feisty customer, especially when dealing with clients is not a major part of their role. You don’t know what someone is going through whether they are on the end of a phone or you meet them in the street. Have a little consideration and you can make life a little bit easier on somebody having a bad day.

It may or may not be their fault

It doesn’t matter whether the fault is theirs or not, screaming at them is not the answer. But saying that, if it is their fault, you will cause that person to feel guilty and worthless. Nobody deserves to feel that way, people make mistakes. If the mistake is not theirs on the other hand, although they are there to represent the company, they are not at fault and may be trying their best to sort out somebody else’s mistake.

Screaming will NOT get you anywhere

Sometimes you just need to let it all out, I get that. But that doesn’t mean it is going to get you anywhere. You are far less likely to get what you want out of somebody if you are screaming at them. Asking to speak to somebody in charge rather than taking it out on the first person you reach on the phone will allow you to explain your problem to somebody who can actually do something about it, without ruining anybody else’s day.

 

Have a little consideration, feel a little love.

LGx

Study Tips! How to manage part-time study when you work full-time

Balancing study, work and play is difficult. Difficult, not impossible. With a little bit of planning and time management you can be well on your way to that First Class Degree, even if you are working full-time!

Being a part-time Open University student/full-time office bod myself, I have learnt a thing or two about using my time wisely. I’m here to share what I have learnt with you so that you can stay ahead of the game.

Create a Schedule – and stick to it!

Creating a weekly schedule is a great way to keep track of your time and where your priorities are. When I first started studying part-time, I found it really difficult to manage my ‘free’ time (or time not at work). I decided to draft out a weekly schedule, broken down into hours so that I knew exactly where my time was going. It not only helped with allocating time, but also reviewing where I have spent my precious time once the week was over.

Get your chores out of the way

Now that you have your schedule drafted, it’s time to set priorities! You must get any chores out of the way first. There is nothing worse than sitting down with your books and the pile of washing in the corner of the room keeps whispering your name. Get it out of the way and it won’t annoy or distract you. This is even more important if you live with somebody. I can guarantee you won’t have the time or energy to ‘do it later’ and they will end up picking up your slack. Spending a quick hour getting things done before settling down will be totally worth it.

Take time out

Between work and study it may feel like you don’t get time to relax. I can’t stress enough how important it is to take time out. Not only for yourself, but for the people around you. It is so easy to get into the habit of not making plans because, well, your plans are to study.  But you will soon start to feel lonely and tired and your friends will think that you’re ignoring them. It’s all about balance. A monthly (or even twice a month, go mad!) blow-out with friends will do you good, you are a university student after all!

When actually studying this is important too. Take regular breaks. Your eyes will thank you.

Learn to say No

It sounds like I am contradicting myself here. ‘But didn’t you just tell me to take time out?’, again It’s all about balance. After years of studying I have only just learnt to say no to friends, and sometimes even work. You need to remember that you are investing time (and money for that matter) into your education and saying no once in a while will not harm you. Knowing when your assignments fall is key, because you can plan around them. When working to a deadline, keep focused and say no. Say no to overtime, say no to parties, say no to your gran’s dinner, say no to everything, and just get it done.

Have a dedicated Study Space

One of the great things about studying with the Open University is that most of your course books etc. can be found online. This means that studying on the go is easier. I often read my course books on my daily bus commute to and from work. Just reading is definitely not enough though. To really get the information into your brain you need to make notes, draw diagrams, work out equations and do whatever else your course work asks you to do. Having a dedicated study space at home will help you stay motivated to do this. With all of your study materials close to hand you can pick up where you left off with ease, saving you valuable time and keeping you in the studying mindset.

Make friends, family & employers aware

People aren’t mind readers. You should make it clear to everyone who is significant in your life that you need to prioritise studying for a while and may have to turn down overtime or meeting with friends. If they are aware from the start they will be less likely to complain or ask too much of you. Letting them know when you are actually studying is a good idea too. There have been plenty of times when I have got stuck right into an activity only for my phone to ring and an hour later I’ve lost all sense of what I’ve been studying. Just a polite ‘do not disturb’ will do!

Plan your meals

What does food have to do with studying you ask? Everything!

Firstly, what you eat can affect your mood, motivation and brain power, so make sure you are eating all of the healthy stuff, leafy greens, oily fish, you know the drill.

Secondly, having a meal plan that runs along your weekly schedule will save you that all important and very precious time. It will help you to make sure that you don’t have to run out to the shop for ingredients last minute and also motivate you to stick to eating the good stuff.

Focus on your goal

It can feel a bit daunting when you have so far to go to accomplish your First Class Degree, especially when you have a full time job but you would rather be dedicating your time to studying! Don’t get too overwhelmed and just remember the reasons why you started doing it in the first place. Take one assignment at a time and focus on smashing those grades. In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger – You can do it!!

10 ways to be more organised

I’ve been trying to make sense of organisation this week. I am frequently late, lose my keys often and always forget plans if I don’t write them down. Here are ten ways that I’m going to try to organise my life better…

1. Have a place for everything

2. De-clutter

3. Get things ready the night before

4. Stick to a routine

5. Go to bed earlier

6. Write things down, Bullet Journals are great for this!

7. Put things back where they came from

8. Use a calendar

9. Set reminders

10. Just THINK/PLAN ahead

If you don’t know what a Bullet Journal is, you can read all about them here. I used mine when moving house this year and I have to say, it was incredibly useful! It definitely helps you to remember everything you need to do, important events and loads more.

bullet-journal

One thing it can’t do is help me find my keys so I’ve invested in a nice ‘key bowl’ so that they have a place and don’t go missing again!

key-bowl

Let me know in the comments if you have any more useful tips to bring more organisation into the chaotic life of a twenty-something!

Making Sense Of Life


Life has been a bit hectic in 2016, to say the least. I’ve moved twice, lost friends, lost touch with family, been through break up, been in and out of the doctors and grieved. There’s times where I’ve stopped and thought, am I cursed? Is the whole world against me? Why do I deserve this? But there’s also been times where I’ve been on top of the world, creating new adventures and discovering myself as a person.

Deciding to go it alone was the biggest decision I’ve made this year and by far the best. At 25 I should know how to pay bills, how to set heating systems on timer and how to cook without poisoning myself but apart from living at university (that didn’t count, by the way) I’ve not really had the chance to make sense of the world and how we live in it.

8 months on from moving out on my own I’m still finding it a crazy, clumsy adventure. I’ve learnt to ask questions wherever I can, because sometimes the answer isn’t as obvious to you as it is to others. I’ve also learnt to pick my friends carefully as some want different things to you. Finally, I’ve learnt that you need to hold those that are close very tight so that they do not suddenly float away.

I’m still not sure whether I can make sense of life or anything that happens in it. But what I can do, through writing, is try to work it all out in my mind and work out what is learnt from experiences in life. Both GOOD and BAD.

5 Things to NOT be Envious About

Being a twenty-something is hard work. Scrolling through your news feed it seems as though everyone you’ve ever known is getting married, having babies or travelling the world. But why make it harder for yourself in comparing yourself to that girl who you barely spoke to at school? Here’s 5 things you should STOP being envious about, because it’s your life and you’ll live it the way you want…

1. Popping the question

Popping the question.jpeg

At some point in your twenties you will notice a change in your social media feeds. They will suddenly go from photos of shots and drunk statuses to photos of ring fingers and kissing couples. But what do you do if you are still taking toilet selfies at 3am while the rest of the world seem to be getting hitched? It may look like every man and his dog are getting married but I can assure you, they are not. It just seems that way because you are focusing on their posts. And who cares if they are anyway?! You will get married IF and WHEN you are ready, not because there is an uprising epidemic of ring finger selfies on your news feed.

2. BABIES

babies.jpeg

I love babies. I love everything about them, so it is hard NOT to get jealous when somebody I know announces they have a baby on the way. But it is best to reassure yourself that you are not ready for a baby and you are getting all of the experience of life while you can before you bring a little bundle of joy into the world and teach it all you know. And at least you can get lots of babysitting in for practice in the meantime!

3. NOT Being a student

student.jpg

This is a personal one for me. There’s nothing harder than seeing your little sister graduating before you and your even littler sisters starting university when you are still studying. At 25 I should have graduated a few years ago but i’m glad it has taken me longer. I have been able to gain work experience whilst studying part-time in my own time, giving me ‘valuable skills’ for my CV. Aside from this though, I have learned that everyone has their own path, and everyone travels down their path differently. For my sisters, an elegant glide. For me, a clumsy stumble.

4. Having a career plan

work.jpeg

Again, it may seem like everyone has a plan set out by their mid-twenties but not every plan works out. If you are the sort of person that floats between jobs trying to decide what you are going to do with your life, you are at least gaining experience in different fields of interest rather than going for one set goal. Then if something doesn’t work out for you, at least you have other skills to fall back on.

5. Travelling

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This is one of the hardest things not to get green-eyed about. Seeing their photos and hearing their stories, you wish you were out there living the dream. Maybe one day you will but right now something is stopping you. Don’t let this get you down. Work towards a goal because if you truly want to do something, you will do it. Even if this means venturing out on little city breaks or country walks from time to time.

I am guilty of each and every one of these but I try not to dwell on them. If you focus on doing the things you love and you are passionate about, everything else will fall into place. Don’t compare yourself to others, they are not on your path and they do not walk (or stumble) the same way as you.