The New Year, The New You

The arrival of a new year often signifies new beginnings for people- a chance to start over again, to refresh, to feel renewed. I feel the same way, although I’ve never really been into New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I tend to focus on certain areas of my life where I feel unsatisfied and make it my goal to work on that throughout the year. The following list contains areas of focus in my life where I have previously found room for improvement as well as some solutions as how to make those changes happen in your own life.

Make Over Your Closet

First, do yourself a favour by getting rid of all of the clothes that don’t do you any favors, and anything else that’s taking up precious wardrobe space. Next. reevaluate the clothes you still have by thinking about them in terms of outfits rather than pieces.

Make Over Your Schedule

Not a morning person? Start here. A great morning routine is key to setting you up for a productive day (even on Mondays) and can save your life when you’re running late. (While you’re at it, taking control of your errands can help cut down on your running-around time.)

Stop Procrastinating

It takes a long time to change a bad habit, so it makes sense to try and embrace your behavior to try and make it work for you. If that doesn’t work, however, you may want to look at what might be the root cause of why you procrastinate and then figure out how you can avoid it in the future.

Start a New Project

What is a project anyway and what is the best way to tackle it? There’s only two simple steps: break down all of the things that you need to do, and then organize them into to-do lists to keep track of project goals and outcomes.

Find Balance

If you’ve gotten to the point where your batteries need a recharge, then it’s time to consider how you juggle all of the different facets of your life. (And if you’re in a crisis this post, this post or this post may help you.) This year, make a vow to build a better relationship with your doctor, practice self-care, get more sleep and learn how to have some fun.

Impress Your Boss

Any boss is impressed with an employee who takes the initiative to improve themselves professionally. If you do decide to take time off this year, make sure you do these things first and you’ll win even more brownie points.

Do Better in Class

If you’re thinking about going back to school in the next year, you may want to read this. But if you’re just looking to go back to school with a new attitude, check out this post for how to take your studying routine more seriously.

What are some of your New Year’s resolutions? Which areas of your life do you hope to improve? Comment below or let’s keep the conversation between ourselves at keepingbusyb@gmail.com.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

At least, for some people it is. (Remember those commercials?) Back-to-school season is a mixed bag of emotions- for students, parents and teachers alike. It also doesn’t help that coincides with the arrival of fall, which officially marks the end of summer fun.

I used to love back-to-school time, not only because I was a stationery nerd, but it always somehow felt like a fresh start. It’s been awhile since I’ve been in school now but the feeling has never really left me, this idea that fall can also be a season of change and opportunity.

Don’t get me wrong- I’m already starting to dread the end of summer (and I don’t even go to school, man). But let’s take this time to look at the positive side of going back-to-school and use it as a tool to meet your goals, break bad habits, or even boost yourself self-esteem. Maybe you just want to learn how to survive school. Here are some of the ways I think I can help:

Get Organized:

Pick the perfect planner to manage your tasks.

Use this if you want to manage your whole life.

Work Smarter:

3 rules for a successful study routine.

Never hand in late assignments again.

Take control of your lists.

Manage overwhelming tasks.

Quick and dirty tips to help your productivity all around.

Improve Your Time Management:

Stop being late to class. But if you are running late, read this.

How to play catch up.

When you’re definitely not a morning person.

Squeeze more reading into your routine.

Understand and Conquer Procrastination:

Ways to make procrastination work for you.

The whys behind your procrastination habit.

The procrastination solution (or at least, some of them).

Take Care of Yourself:

We know you’re busy, but you gotta make your health a priority.

Ways to take care of your brain.

Reasons why you need to sleep (as if you needed them, right?)

Burnout is real. Don’t let it happen to you.

Find your motivation to get your groove back.

Get Through Your Day:

For when you’re having a breakdown.

For when you’re barely functional.

For when you’re struggling with your mental health.

We all have blips. Me too. We’ll get through it together.

Do you have any solutions or advice for students going back to school? Maybe you can offer the perspective of a parent or a teacher. Leave a comment below and share with the class, or email me at keepingbusyb@gmail.com. I may include your tips in a future post!

 

 

 

The Procrastination Solution

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A little while back I wrote a piece for my blog about embracing your procrastination habit. Then I wrote a little bit about the reasons why we get into this habit in the first place.

I happen to think you’re halfway there to solving a problem if you can acknowledge that you have one, and the reasons why you do. The other half, of course, is figuring out a solution.

Changing the way we do our work and the environment in which we do it are both helpful ways to combat procrastination because they force us to examine the external realities in our lives and the ways in which they affect our productivity. Learning how to design our workflow to fit our schedules, eliminating distractions and interruptions and breaking down projects into smaller pieces can help to control these outside factors so they’re not controlling us.

But what about those moments where it’s just you: alone in a room at a desk, completely organized and distraction-free, trying to figure out how a whole hour went by and the page before you is still blank?

What if the real problem is you?

Look, some people thrive under pressure and that’s great. Maybe you’re under a lot of pressure too. It’s normal and (in some cases) necessary. But at the root of that pressure is the underlying feeling of fear. Maybe you’re not capable of getting the project done on time. Maybe you’re not capable of completing the project. Maybe you’re not capable of anything at all.

(You are, by the way. You’re awesome)

The fear, unfortunately, might always be there. We’re conditioned from an age to want to meet other people’s expectations, and the expectations we have of ourselves. But there are ways of tricking it so it no longer prevents us from getting things done.

For example, if you just can’t seem to get started on a project you may want to try hammering out a fast and sloppy version, just to get something down on paper. Give yourself a time limit and you’ll be surprised to see how fast the time actually goes.

Giving yourself time limits on difficult tasks as well can help you from feeling overwhelmed by a project’s breadth or scope. Or you may want to try things a little backwards and select a smaller, or easier project-related task to get the ball going.

If you’re procrastinating on finishing a project that’s particularly long and arduous it’s a good idea to give yourself some breathing space to focus on why you’re really working on that project in the first place. It’s easy to feel like the end is nowhere in sight, but reminding yourself of your past successes can give you the confidence you need to complete the task at hand.

And combating procrastination is a task and a half!

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I procrastinated on writing this post so don’t make the same mistake that I did when commenting below or writing me at keepingbusyb@gmail.com. I always love to hear from you, and I’d love to hear more about what’s helped you with your procrastination habit.

If you like what you read, I’m serving up two other pieces of the procrastination pie here and here. Want more ways to get your workflow organized? Feast your eyes on these posts here and here.