Category Archives: College

11 Ways to Increase Your Weekly Productivity

11 Ways to Increase Your Weekly Productivity |Thoughts & Daisies You will never be able to be more productive unless you work at it. Like anything, it takes practice but I assure you if you by utilizing these tips you will begin to feel a difference in your weekly productivity.

Welcome back to my blog for day 12 of the 30-day blog challenge, and if this is your first time here

Hello!! Thanks for stopping by!!!

Today I am going to be talking…writing… about tips be more PRODUCTIVE!

This was requested on my Instagram to blog about, so shout out to the two people who actually responded with what they wanted me to write.

  1. Make a list

I know I’ve talked about this in some of my other posts.

(See: Time Management.  Effective Studying.)

But I honestly can not recommend this enough. Making a list is the best way to get organized and know what needs to be done. I like to organize my lists by two specific characteristics, most important and due date. By categorizing my lists I can better get a sense of what I need to spend more time on and what I have to really be sure not to leave till the last minute.

  1. Get up earlier

I know what you are thinking. Alexandra no, why would I want to wake up early when I could sleep for an extra 30 minutes and snooze my alarm 7 times. I hear you I am not a fan of getting up early but I have found when I get up a bit earlier I have more time to get work done without feeling rushed. Start small, you don’t have to get up at 5 in the morning all of a sudden. Even just set your alarm 30 minutes earlier and even if you snooze it that 7 times you should be getting up when you normally set your alarm thereby giving yourself at least an extra 30 minutes of your day.

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  1. Put away distractions!

This is important. You can not get productive if your phone is buzzing at you every 3 seconds for social media notifications or you have a Youtube video or Netflix show playing. It may be hard but turn off your phone, exit out of all of your fun tabs and get to work. Without the distractions, you will be able to get work done much faster and then have all that free time to goof off. There are even apps you can download onto your laptop to block yourself from certain websites you find distracting until you finish your work. A great option if you find you get side tracked easily.

  1. Schedule time to get work done

Instead of saying maybe you will start work later tonight, actually schedule out a block of time for you to work. If you have a free two hours between your classes instead of sitting around take that time to try and plow through some work. Find your free blocks of time in the day and devote it to studying. Put it in your calendar and set a reminder. When something is scheduled in my Google Calendar I am MUCH more likely to actually do it. You will be glad you scheduled the time out later when your friend wants to hang out at night and you already spent time earlier doing homework.

  1. Have a routine

A routine is really helpful to be more productive. Whether it be a weekly routine or daily, having a constant in your life will increase your work drive. This will help to minimize the worry about how to get everything done. For me, my routine includes trying to eat at the same time everyday and schedule that around when I can get started on my homework. During the week I also try to be finished with homework every day by 10:30pm which makes it easier for me to stick to my homework times and not put it off.

  1. Prioritize

Priority and productivity go hand in hand. With how packed college days can get it is important to prioritize what you spend your time on. If you have an 8 page paper worth 100 points due tomorrow and a homework assignment that is worth 10 points but your teacher will accept late work, do the paper and take the late grade on the homework. Priority also corresponds to your social life. If some of your friends want to hang out and you know you will be out past midnight but you have an exam at 8am the next day you may have to make the hard choice of telling your friends you can’t go out that night. There will always be more time to hang out with your friends, but getting a bad grade because you didn’t study enough AND came to the exam exhausted isn’t going to help later in the semester when grades are about to be due.

  1. Take breaks

Productivity isn’t about studying and working at all hours of the day only to have a few hours to sleep and repeat. Humans aren’t meant to be go-go-go all the time.

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There is no way to be productive if you don’t take some time for yourself. If you have been diligently working during your work blocks then you will be able to take a day off and go out or watch a movie to refresh yourself. Even small breaks will be extremely helpful to your overall productivity. If you work for an hour take a 20 minute break. Eat a snack, scroll on social media, or watch an episode of Friends and then get back to work.

  1. Don’t procrastinate

The #1 way to be more productive is to not procrastinate. Easier said than done. I have been an epic procrastinator in the past. Leaving things to the last minute because I assume they will be easy to finish. Procrastination kills your productive drive. Procrastination is never worth it and once you take up the mindset that you want to stop doing it you take the first step to actually stopping.

  1. Just do it.

Nothing is going to get done if you just sit around and wait for the right time to start it. When it comes to being productive you have to silence the voice in your head that tells you to wait until tomorrow and actually get started on it.

Like Shia Lebouf says  “Just DO IT!”

Or you know… Nike.

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  1. Give yourself incentives

Something I have found that has really helped me with productivity is to give myself incentives for actually working. Like “If I finish this page of homework I can eat the ice cream I have in the freezer” or “Once I write at least 4 pages of this paper I can watch the new episode I’ve been waiting for.” When you have a tangible reason to get things done it feels simpler.

  1. Get enough sleep

As a college student, it seems sleep is the one of the last things on my mind. There is so much to do. Whether it be homework, going out, or binge watching, sleep slips onto the backburner. The problem with this is no one can expect to function well doing everything they have/want to do when they are exhausted. So why do us as college things think we are invulnerable to overexhaustion by our lack of sleep? When a small child is grumpy and irritable they are put down for a nap because they need it and it helps them be able to have fun and accomplish things later. Everyone accepts this. Now as a college aged kid a great way to stop accepting the overexhaustion we need to treat ourselves a bit like toddlers. If you know you haven’t been sleeping well enough skip that party or that extra episode of Netflix and go to bed early or take a nap. When you wake up refreshed and with some energy, you will be grateful in your decision.

You will never be able to be more productive unless you work at it. Like anything, it takes practice but I assure you if you by utilizing these tips you will begin to feel a difference in your weekly productivity.

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What are some things you do to be productive?

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Until Tomorrow!

11 Ways to Increase Your Weekly Productivity |Thoughts & Daisies You will never be able to be more productive unless you work at it. Like anything, it takes practice but I assure you if you by utilizing these tips you will begin to feel a difference in your weekly productivity.
11 Ways to Increase Your Weekly Productivity |Thoughts & Daisies You will never be able to be more productive unless you work at it. Like anything, it takes practice but I assure you if you by utilizing these tips you will begin to feel a difference in your weekly productivity.

 

11 Ways to Increase Your Weekly Productivity |Thoughts & Daisies You will never be able to be more productive unless you work at it. Like anything, it takes practice but I assure you if you by utilizing these tips you will begin to feel a difference in your weekly productivity.

Best Ways to Eat Healthy in College

 

Best Ways to Eat Healthy in College |Thoughts & Daisies

 

Best Ways to Eat Healthy in College |Thoughts & Daisies

Best Ways to Eat Healthy in College |Thoughts & Daisies

One of the hardest things I’ve had to figure out in college was how to eat healthily. I have never been an unhealthy eater but the second I got to college it was hard to find a rhythm. Especially when 95% of everything I eat comes from the dining halls on campus and the places that accept my student card. When not everything looks appetizing and the same meals are served weekly it can be extremely hard to not fall in the habit of eating pizza or burgers every day.

For your body to function properly you have to be feeding it the right nutrients. You can’t expect your skin to glow, or your stomach to not constantly be upset if all you eat is sugar and grease.

While it can seem incredibly daunting there are a lot of easy ways to make sure you eat a healthier diet amidst standard college food.

  1. Drink Water

Water is so important and I know I don’t drink enough of it, so I am sure others have this problem too. When dining halls are filled with soda and energy drinks and everyone is stopping into Starbucks everyday water can be one of the last things you are grabbing.

Water helps your body in a million ways, like not being dehydrated, helping with the dryness and overall look of your skin, digestion, and it helps flush out toxins and germs.  

So next time you want to grab a third coffee or a can of soda, get some water. If you get bored of plain water add some fruit or lemon to your water to jazz it up. Also, carry around a reusable water bottle to remind yourself about water.  

  1. Add some greens

Sometimes I look back on the meals I’ve had in my day and realized that they were all filled with cheese and carbs and bread but I couldn’t remember what greens I ate. Greens are packed with vitamins and nutrients and have a ton of health benefits.

Some yummy options are spinach, bok choy, lettuce and collard greens. And if we just go on the option of green foods, in general, there are tons more. Like AVOCADOS which are filled with protein and more potassium than a banana, green bell peppers, asparagus, and artichokes.

When you look at your meal and notice it looks a bit colorless go find some greens to add.

  1. Add some veggies to your pizza

If you are going to go the pizza route add in some veggies. Olives, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, and broccoli are all great options.  

  1. Get a smoothie instead of coffee

The caffeine in coffee may give you a quick energy boost throughout your day but it can really take a toll. Caffeine energy will eventually have you crash and burn not to mention caffeine is dehydrating if you aren’t drinking water along with it. Instead, grab a smoothie.

In the rec center of my school, there is a smoothie bar where they make smoothies with things like fruit, acai, and kale. It is a great way to add extra fruit to my diet and get an energy boost.

  1. Add some healthy snacks to your dorm

I know I like to snack and if all I have on hand is chips and candy that’s all I’ll eat. When I have things like fruit and nuts on hand in my room I am more likely to grab that to snack on. I really enjoy hard boiled eggs, raspberries, and pretzels with peanut butter.

  1. If you can, Cook!

One of the easiest ways to eat healthy in college is just to cook your own food. If you have access to a kitchen stop by the grocery store or get groceries delivered, and make your favorite homemade meal. When you cook it yourself you can better make a decision about what you are eating. Even when you don’t have access to a full kitchen you can make your own great meals with just a microwave. Stay tuned for a post about that coming up later this month!

Making sure you are eating right can help you feel more energized and better overall, and when running around in the day to day crazy college life you will totally need it.

What is your favorite way to eat healthier in college?

 

 

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April Goals

April Goals |Thoughts & Daisies

Heading into the second week of April, although it feels like it has been 3 months since the start of it, there is still a long way to go. And this is going to be the most insane busy filled month I will have… at least until next semester.  And one of the best ways I’ve found to make sure I get everything done is to create a list.

You can read more about how I practice time management >HERE<

School/Personal

  • Finish out the semester strong.

This semester has been long, to say the least. I am pretty sure I came into this semester with my gas tank half full and right now I am running on fumes. If that. I may just be in neutral hoping I don’t get stuck on a hill. There is a lot to be done but I am still slightly optimistic and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. At least for now.

  • Perfect my German Rep.

This semester my voice teacher gave me a piece in German and it challenges me in every way possible. I have to sing it memorized in 2 weeks and it is going to take a lot of work to get me performance ready so fingers crossed I can find the time to accomplish this.

  • Read at least 1 book

I have been in a reading slump the past month and I am hoping I can nip it in the bud now. The books sitting on my shelf are ones I have been waiting to read for a while, and if I want to reach my reading goal for the year I need to get back on track.

Follow me on Goodreads so we can support each other in yearly reading goals.

  • Swim at least once a week

Swimming is a big stress reliever for me so I am hoping by adding this to my list of goals I will make it a priority to take a break and swim.

Blogging

  • Complete the 30 Day Challenge

I was excited to start this 30 Day Challenge because it would give me the motivation to write more posts, but I am also a week in and am wondering why I thought it was a good idea to do this during the craziest month ever.

Be sure to subscribe to follow along with this ambitious challenge. 21 more days to go!

  • Get to 300 Followers on Instagram

I really want to expand my blog reach and I feel by growing my Instagram it will help make that happen. I have been staggering between 190 and 200 the past few weeks and I hope to make a leap and grow that to 300, or more! by the end of the month. Or at least by my 1 Year Blogiversary.  

  • Create Pinnable photos for each post

I have been slacking on creating pinnable content for each of my blog posts and what better time to get back on track than during the 30 Day Challenge??

  • Get to 50 Subscribers

I have gotten into creating newsletters within the last month or so and I would love to grow my reach in those as well. It would be awesome if I could get to 50+ by the end of this challenge. And don’t forget during this month there will be blog posts that are ONLY going out to me subscribers so don’t miss out!

These are just some of my goals for the month. Do you like these types of posts?

What are your goals for the month?! Let me know in the comments.

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April Goals |Thoughts & Daisies
April Goals |Thoughts & Daisies

7 Best Ways to Practice Time Management in College

Text placeholder.pngCollege can be stressful. Someone asks you when you are free to meet and you just sit there staring intensely wondering “Yea when AM I free?” It can be overwhelming and when you don’t have a system in place to combat the crazy it can be unmanageable. From one insanely busy college student to another I’m here to give you insight into 7 of the best ways I have found to practice time management in college.

1. Have a Planner

Whether this is on your phone, computer, or a written physical planner the only way you are going to be able to have time management is to know what your time looks like. I color code all of my items by subject to keep everything uniform. I also use both an electronic calendar as well as a physical planner to help me manage the aspects of my day. I write everything down that my teacher’s ask me to do and other things I have to do myself in my physical planner and later transfer that onto an electronic calendar. I use Google calendar and it is a lifesaver.

Not only do I input all of my assignments onto it I also input all of my classes, meetings, and extracurricular. Whether that me going to the gym, movie nights with friends, or vocal practice times you can be sure it is in my Google calendar. The thing I find most helpful about Google calendar is that I can set it to notify me before the event to keep me on track. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve almost forgotten a meeting or class because I got sidetracked or didn’t know what day it was, but then Google calendar was out here having my back making sure I remembered. (This is not a sponsored post I just really love Google calendar)

2. Don’t Overbook Yourself

This is when a planner comes in handy. No more scheduling multiple things at once, but another thing you have to watch out for is putting too much on your plate to where you can’t handle it. Whether this means not joining that club, or skipping going out with friends because you really should finish that paper before tomorrow, overbooking yourself will add an unreasonable amount of stress to your life. The hardest part is, we want to do so much in college that we hate the thought of missing out. Which brings me to my next point.

3. Don’t Hesitate to say No

It seems as college students there is this constant need to do anything and everything at this point in our lives. Like taking the extra class because for the credits. The extra work hours to make some extra money. We spread ourselves so thin because the hours in the day seem to keep getting shorter and we get FOMO (fear of missing out).

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This becomes a problem when all of this is stacked on top of each other, but there is a way to fight it. Learn to say no. I know it can be hard. But if you really need to take a night in and do homework or go to sleep early do it. Even if your friends ask you to go out. Do what is best for you at that moment and if it is to say ‘No’ you may feel sad about it at the moment but in the long run, you will be thanking your past self.

4. Get Things Done Ahead of Time

Procrastination is your worst enemy and it’s so easy too. When looking at homework vs watching Netflix, Netflix seems to win every time. To keep your time management goals start your homework, projects, and studying ahead of the time you assume you will. If you start working on things when you first get them you can spread out the amount of work you have to do in one sitting over a span of a few days. Which is my favorite way to work.

When I get a large load of work for different classes that are all due at different times I spread out the work and start small sections of big projects and then quickly finish the shorter assignments. By spreading out the work among multiple days when the deadline starts to come up I am not as stressed because I know I have been working on the assignment already.

5. Create Daily Task Lists

A big tip of mine that helps me to organize my time with my busy schedule is creating daily task lists. Even just mental lists help me to focus my energy on the more important things that need to happen for the day instead of worrying about everything that I need to get done.

Depending on what time I wake up for the day I will either lay in bed and plan or I do it while I walk to class. When I have more things that need to get done I like to write everything out on a notepad or on my phone. Itemizing your list by time is a big help. That way the things that need to be done earlier are the first things put onto the list. It also just helps to see your tasks laid out in front of you. Sometimes it may seem that everything that needs to get done is too much to handle but when you actually you write them down you realize there isn’t as much as you thought.

6. Set Reminders

I am a big fan of setting reminders for myself. If a teacher reminds me of a deadline in class or I remember I need to stop by the mailroom later in the day I will quickly put set a reminder in my phone to notify me of it. When the reminder pops up on my phone later I am more likely to do it than if I just tell myself to remember it. I can’t tell you how many times I tell myself “I don’t need to write it down because I’ll remember.”

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7. Prioritize

Last but not least, PRIORITIZE. There are just some things that I spend all day stressing out about until I realize that it isn’t even due for another few days. Then I have wasted my time on something pretty small instead of focusing on something that would have actually been worth my time. Don’t know just prioritize work, but prioritize things like eating, sleeping, or mental breaks. If you haven’t eaten all day, or keep staying up late because you weren’t doing your work earlier in the day nothing you do will be worth doing anyway.

Time management can seem like such an easy concept. Like “no duh” if I spend my time wisely I can do it all. But the reality is unless you are implementing the right tools for yourself managing your time in college can be stressful. I hope these tips help you get better at practicing time management in your daily life.

Let me know in the comments your favorite tip to help with time management.

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3 Super Easy Healthy Dorm Meals

It is really hard to eat as healthy as you would like when you are in college. Especially when the dining halls like to serve the same breakfast burritos and fried chicken every week. A good way to change up the same old boring meals and eat something more nutritious and delicious is to cook your own meal. This semester I am trying to take it upon myself to cook at least one meal a week. That way there is a variety in my diet as well as something I know will be healthy.  

Cleveland had its first big winter storm of the season this past weekend and not wanting to walk all the way to the dining hall in the cold (this SoCal girl doesn’t do well in freezing temps) my roommate and I opted to cook for the three day weekend. The meals were really easy to make and were pretty inexpensive. 

‘Brunch’

We had originally wanted to make avocado toast, but our avocados were not ripe yet so we are still waiting on that. Instead, we cooked up some warmed PBJ sandwiches. Which in my opinion is the best way to eat them, and then fried up some bacon, extra crispy. You can also put the bacon in the microwave if you wanted to and add a few extra minutes to the cook time for desired levels of crunch. Adding your desired fruit to your plates brings this to a ‘well-balanced meal’ status. We chose to add raspberries and they were the perfect touch of sweet/savory to our meal. Continue reading