A productive evening routine

After a long day all I ever want to do is binge watch Netflix but unfortunately, there’s this little thing called homework that restricts me from being the couch potato I so desperately want to be. I generally like to keep to a system (as I do with most things in my life) when trying to have a productive afternoon. My evening routine usually goes something like this.

First things first. Food. One of the first things I do when I get home from school is grab a snack and relax for a while. I like to take 30 minutes to wind down after the day and scroll through social media. It’s important to have a break between schoolwork and homework or else you’ll feel overwhelmed.

After I’ve had a snack and relaxed for a little bit I’ll head to my desk and do my homework and a little bit of daily organisation. The first thing I like to do is clip all my worksheets into my binder, I prefer not to take my hole punch to school as it’s very bulky so I do this at home. Next, I’ll go through and write a key for my notes, when trying to get information down in class I shorten everything, it’s slightly ridiculous and often I can’t tell what it means when looking back through notes, so I’ll grab a sticky note the same colour as my notes theme and write a key for what my abbreviations mean. I also add calligraphy headers to my notes if I didn’t have time to in class. Next, I’ll check my planner and see what my homework is, I like to try to do all homework on the day it’s set. Once I know what my homework is I’ll start doing it. After I’ve finished my homework I’ll study for any tests I have coming up and spend a couple of hours doing that. It usually takes me about 1-3 hours to complete this routine depending on my amount of work.

After I’ve finished all my homework I’ll usually enter the potato phase, I’d love to be able to say that I workout next but that would be a very big lie and I like to be an honest person. I like to sit down and relax by watching Netflix for a little while, It’s highly important to take a few hours out for yourself every night, especially after you’ve worked hard all day. After I finish relaxing I’ll head to bed and read for a while which is another way I love to relax.

Hopefully, this post was slightly helpful. I’m definitely not the most productive person but I like to think I’m somewhat productive anyway see you in my next post which will hopefully be sooner than this one was!

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger

The Perfect Study Space

The Instagram, Tumblr worthy desk setups, that have an aesthetic level of approximately 5000. They always look so perfect and inviting, having a beautiful study space that you enjoy being in is the key to good study and focus. It might seem impossible to have a perfectly arranged, minimalist space like the desks you see on Pinterest but I can assure you it’s not.

The first step to a great study space is to have one. Some people, they must be superhuman, can study at the kitchen bench with their brother and sister screaming and TV playing in the background, if this works for you, great but there are better ways to study. The best place to study is at a desk in a quiet room, preferably somewhere you can keep all your supplies but if you don’t have access to your own room and desk, a library or a shared study works too.

The second step is to have everything you need within reach, not just in a pencil case but laid out on the desk, so make sure you have the essentials: pens, paper, highlighters, pencils, whatever you need to study. Make sure you have everything you need within reach so that you don’t have to get up and lose focus but only what you need, you don’t want clutter!

Make it unique! Nobody wants to study at a wooden desk, with nothing but a dim lamp and a few pencils. Pick a colour scheme, your favourite colour is a good starting place, mine’s blue! Fill your desk with items that colour, such as blue pencil pots or pink folders, it’s ok to have a few items that aren’t study related, such as a succulent plant or candle. Filling your desk with beautiful items that make you happy to look at is a great way to feel motivated to study!

Lastly, organisation. Don’t just shove papers in a drawer and forget about them forever, come on, we’ve all done it! Find an organisation system that works for you, such as a binder, or paper holders and stick to that method! If you want a post on my organisation method just let me know ūüėČ

I hope these tips help you create your perfect study space, just remember what works for somebody else might not be perfect for you, so make it unique!

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger

Avoid the rush, just get it done,

It’s all well and good to get your homework done on the bus, on the way to school because you forgot about it last night, or outside class, leaning paper on your knee and writing at a speed of a million miles an hour, we’ve all been there, rushing to get our work done, not really focusing on actually gaining anything from it. Everybody ‘s had their share of “quick, do it under your bag, pretending to get your stuff out, so the teacher doesn’t notice,” experiences of forgotten homework. Sure, it’s easy to get away with it if you’re a master of excuses, or a last minute queen but it’s really not helping you. I’m going to sound like your Mum but,¬† teachers assign homework to help you, they don’t do it to be horrible and ensure you have no social life, although it seems like that sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself, is get it done, PROPERLY. One of my biggest struggles is the temptation to write the first number that pops into your head, or even writing 41 on a multiple choice question where 41 isn’t even an answer, I always find myself thinking, or saying out loud if I’m really frustrated, “x can be what x wants to be okay, so x will be 42.” It’s done, you have something to show the teacher and you’ll avoid detention, but the goal of school isn’t to avoid detention, it’s to work and retain knowledge, you’ll only do that by working hard and doing your homework. The best way to make sure you don’t end up rushing through your work is to manage your time wisely. The best way to do this is to write all homework down in a planner (Diary, bullet journal etc.) As soon as you hear the teacher say the inevitable “For tomorrow,” or “Tonight I want you to,” get your pen and planner ready to write it down. When you get home from school look at that day’s date, all your homework should be written in, and do all the work that was set that day, it doesn’t matter if it’s not due for 2 days, get it done, you’ll thank yourself the next day when you have no homework because you got it all done the night before. Just make sure you’re writing everything down and getting everything done, you’ll surely avoid the stress of the moment when the teacher says “get out your homework,” and you realise, “crap! I haven’t done that,” instead you’ll have the satisfaction of showing them your properly done, perfectly worked out work.

This post was very all over the place, it started out as something completely different and morphed into this, but I just let my thoughts flow, anyway let me know what you thought in the comments!

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger

The Best Study Techniques

You get your healthy, ‘brain food’, the study tea, coloured pens, palm cards, paper and the perfect focus playlist. You sit down at your desk, headphones on, ready for an intense study session. I usually get this far before realising, hang on, how am I actually going to do this? Sure, highlighting texts in a million different colours is fun, and looks productive when you post it online but is it really helping you? Everybody tells you to study but nobody actually tells you¬†how¬†to study, it sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Everybody overlooks studying, they assume it’s simple enough to work out but in reality, without guidance, we can all get a little lost.

In my first year of high school I was overwhelmed, teachers telling me to study, leaving me on my own to work my way through the jungle that is school and tests. I eventually worked it out but it took me a while and a few disappointing test scores until I got the hang of it.

There are many different methods of studying, but I usually use three different methods, I vary my techniques depending on the subject I’m studying for.

My favourite and hence most used method is to write a page or two of notes, I like to pretend I’m writing a cheat sheet for the test and make sure I only include key points. It always helps me to make my notes pretty, eg. calligraphy titles and colour schemes but this isn’t necessary, I just like to make my notes ‘aesthetically pleasing’ so that I can actually stand to look at them! This method is helpful for subjects where you need to remember a lot of information, such as science or history.

Flash cards! They’re a lot of fun and you can use them to study with friends, which is always a lot of fun. When using flash cards, I like to write down a word on one side, then a definition on the opposite side. When studying with these, I’ll get a friend or family member to show me either the word or definition, and I have to remember what’s on the other side, this is definitely the most enjoyable form of studying!

The last way I like to study is¬† practice, I know, I’m crying too. This is most helpful for maths, I like to do equations multiple times until they’re stuck in my head. This method can also be helpful if you’re studying for an essay or report that you have to write in class, set a timer for the amount of time you will have, and then practise writing it out, in the exact conditions you will be required to do it in. This is the least fun form of studying but often the way to get information permanently in your head.

There are other study methods I like to use but these are my top three, anyway have a great day!

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger

Study Blues

Test.Study. Repeat. Sometimes it feels like school has us in a neverending cycle and it’s hard to keep up with it all. The minute you finish a test, a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders. You bounce happily into your next class, only to hear that you have another test coming up, throughout the day, your load gets heavier and you leave school only thinking about the 3 tests next week and essay due in two days, you can kiss goodbye to that Netflix date you¬†promised yourself.¬† At school, you can have weeks of leisure and then one day it all hits you, like a tidal wave in a calm sea. It’s hard to find motivation in this repetitive cycle but just focus on the goal and strive towards it. This was more of a heartfelt whinge about school over anything motivational but we’re all stuck in the cycle so we may as well make the most of it.

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger

Bullet Journalling-What’s the fuss?

So, bullet journaling. You may have heard the word or seen it on your Pinterest¬†feed but you’re probably wondering what exactly it is and what the fuss is about. I’ll break it down for you.

Bullet journalling is a planning system in which you draw up the spreads yourself rather than buying a diary/planner with everything¬†filled in. Some people like making it beautiful and artistic, whereas others use it only for practicality. Bullet journalling is great because it’s completely customisable, you can fill it with absolutely anything.

I personally love bullet journalling and would say my system is a mix of artistic and practical. I am by no means at all decent at drawing, to give you an idea, I spent an hour following tutorials on how to draw leaves for my March spread, but I do enjoy calligraphy and creativity. I use my bullet journal mainly for organisation for school but occasionally get a bit creative and do quote pages.

You’re most likely wondering what the intent of this post is? I just wanted to make it clear what bullet journalling is so that when I mention it in future posts nobody is confused.

On a scale of 1-10 I rate bullet journalling a 9 and 3/4 , see what I did there ūüėČ

“When in doubt go to the library,”-Hermione Granger

My Study Routine

We don’t like school and we don’t like study but let’s face it, it’s pretty important. Some people never study and still manage to ace their tests with flying colours but the majority of people have to work to succeed. As much as we would love to snap our fingers and get straight A’s that’s not the reality, as Rhianna said we have to “work, work, work, work, work” and that involves study. My typical study routine goes like this:

I’ll start off by getting comfortable. You’ll be so much more motivated if you feel comfy so put on your tracksuit pants and faded hoodie, nobody’s going to see you whilst you’re studying! Also, make sure your chair is comfy, If you don’t have a cushioned chair just put a pillow on the back of your chair, instant comfort!

Next, I’ll get some snacks. If it’s a cold day I like to drink tea while studying, on a hot day I’ll drink some water or a healthy smoothie. As for food I like to eat healthy food such as nuts and fruit, if I’m feeling indulgent I might have some chocolate too, hehe! My favourite snack is a trail mix: to make a trail mix just combine your favourite nuts and dried fruit, I also like to add chocolate chips. Along with a trail mix, I’ll cut up some fruit and eat that as well. When you’re studying eating healthy food is really good for you and can keep you focused.

Now that I’m completely ready I’ll go sit at my desk. It’s a good idea to have a designated study spot. A desk is the best option but if you don’t have a desk you can study at the table, studying on the couch or your bed isn’t a good idea as you associate these places with rest and you shouldn’t sleep while studying! Make sure you have everything you need at your workplace: pens, pencils, paper, white out etc. Having all your supplies within reach will keep you from getting up and getting distracted. Keep your study space organised and special to you. My desk has a blue theme because I love blue, make sure you’re happy in your study space and you’ll feel more motivated.

Now let’s get down to the whole point of this, the actual study. Starting with set homework tasks, if your teacher has set you a task e.g finish textbook questions 1-5 do exactly what the task is. Keep your work neat and ask your parents, siblings or friends for help if you need it. Completing homework tasks is pretty self-explanatory.

The next type of study is assignments. Assignments take a lot of work, I recently had an assignment that I spent a total of ten hours on but it paid off because I got a grade I was happy with at the end of it. When completing assignments don’t do it all at once, spread it out, do an hour then have a break then come back. Don’t try to complete something in one day, work on it over a long period of time. Every teacher will tell you this but NEVER LEAVE SOMETHING TO THE LAST MINUTE! Don’t let yourself start writing an essay at 8 pm the night before it’s due, nobody wants to stay up all night doing¬†schoolwork so manage your time wisely.

Last but not least is studying for tests. We all hate tests, one hour of answering questions is nobody’s idea of a good time but if you study well you can ace those tests! I have three methods for studying for tests:

  1. Reading over class notes, this is pretty self-explanatory but read over all your class notes, texts you’ve received and class powerpoints. Start doing this 5 days before the test and you’ll be set
  2. Rewrite notes, pretend you’re writing a note page for the test even if you aren’t allowed test notes. Only write key points. If you aren’t sure what to study ask your teacher, they’ll be able to give you a brief idea of what you need to know for the test.
  3. Flashcards! I make flash cards for every single test. These are so good for studying with friends and you can test each other. Make flashcards for definitions, key points and formulas.

If you’re getting agitated whilst studying, take a break for 5 minutes. Don’t study for more than 1 hour at a time.

Try making your notes neat. I personally use coloured pens and go all out, you don’t need to do this but make sure your notes are legible.

Hopefully, these tips help you!

That’s just my taste of B’liss

How to ace school

School… it’s a word that nobody likes which is quite understandable if you ask me. Who wants to sit in smelly classrooms for 6 hours every day?¬†Sadly school is probably the most important part of our lives,¬†school equips us for the future and without school, we can’t get a job (Do I sound like a Mum yet?) In the past year I’ve developed a few tips and tricks that have really helped me do well in school so I thought I’d share them.

Study, I know it’s so obvious but you’d be surprised what people count as study. Let me put the record straight that a 10-second glance at your class notes 10 minutes before the test does NOT count as study. To get high marks you need to work for them. A good study session should last about¬†30 minutes to an hour and you should be rewriting notes and making flash cards, not just reading over your notes. Handwriting information down is the best way for you to retain what you’ve learnt.

Stay organised. Keep your desk, bag and notes organised. Organisation will motivate you!

Have a positive mindset,¬†if you keep telling yourself you hate school you’re not very likely to succeed, instead focus on the positives and tell yourself you enjoy school. Reward yourself for studying with a chocolate bar or some Netflix time and you’ll be so much more motivated. Just keep thinking positively and you’re likely to do well.

Be interactive, ask questions in class, get involved in class¬†discussion and seek teacher feedback.¬†This is my goal for the year, I’m usually very quiet in class and I barely ever raise my hand which is why I’m going to work on it.

Don’t compare yourself to others, if the brainy kid next to you gets 100% and you got 99% don’t beat yourself¬†up if you tried as hard as you could. I constantly compare myself to my friends and get angry if they get better marks than me, which is something I need to work on. Instead of envying them I should be happy for them but resolve to beat them next time, a little friendly competition never goes astray ;).

Set goals for yourself. If you didn’t get the mark you wanted, try harder next time and just keep going. Set goals for the week, goals for the term, goals for each subject and goals for the year.

Hopefully, this post helps you do well at school. If you want to see a study routine post please like this post and comment.

That’s just my taste of B’liss¬†