Tag: Work

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!!

Reasons to start cycling to work

These days it is so expensive to rely on (usually unreliable) public transport, and even if you do drive, that can cost a great deal too. I’ve been trying to think of ways to get around this – I live a little too far to walk (50 minutes walking + bad timekeeping skills = late to work) so I am considering cycling to work instead. Here’s my pros and cons:

Reasons FOR cycling to work:

It’s FREE – no more £50 per month bus pass, that’s at least 6 bottles of wine, right?

FRESH air! – no more disease ridden buses!!

FITNESS – exercise every day and a fit bum to show for it

TIME – getting to work quicker, not waiting around for buses

ENVIRONMENT – what better way to do your bit in helping the environment?

Reasons AGAINST cycling to work:

WEATHER – it’s not really the best time of year to start cycling, but living in the UK where the weather isn’t exactly predictable, when would be the best time to start?

APPEARANCE – turning up for work flustered with helmet hair isn’t the best look, let’s be honest

SAFETY – the nights are dark and rush hour is busy

I can definitely see more benefits to cycling to work, as long as you cycle on roads that are less busy and keep a few cosmetic items at work. In the long run it will contribute to a happier, healthier lifestyle, helping to make sense of life’s ups and downs through a clearer mind.