Realistic Study Schedule

Creating your detailed Study Schedule – And keeping it realistic

I’ve seen a handful of bloggers post a study schedule planner on their blogs or even on Pinterest. A lot of them are great; however I find that some of them lack the realistic portion of it all. Sure we’ve pretty all said “I’ll never get this done” or “I don’t have time” or my personal favourite “Here comes exam time, the days where I have no life whatsoever.”  I’ve used this one once or twice, and by twice I mean about a thousand times. Until I actually got my priorities straight and discovered what managing my time really meant. Let’s face it, if Beyoncé can do all that she does and STILL rule the world, you can manage your personal-school-work balance.

These next steps may not work for you, and that’s totally fine, but they do work for me, and probably will for some of you.

Step 1 – Knowing your exam schedule

MID-TERMS: Check your syllabi. Every single syllabus will have all those dates marked. So take note of it in whatever planner system you use.

FINAL EXAMS: I know for our university, the exam schedule is up on the website in October and February, which is a whole 2 months before the exams even start. So write them down and keep looking about every two weeks to make sure that it hasn’t changed. Again, write these down in the planner system you use.

Step 2 – Create a typical week

This is the part where you’ll write down everything that you normally do in a week. I usually break my days down in 30 minute increments. Obviously add your classes, but also add your work hours and extra-curricular activities (dance, workouts, guitar lessons, etc.), add your normal sleeping hours, homework time, lunch hours, TV shows you usually watch (you’ll see why soon) and other responsibilities.

Step 3 – Know yourself

Probably the most crucial part when it comes to actually building your study schedule which I feel a lot of people forget to put emphasis on is to know yourself. Know when you’re most productive and the least.

For example, I know that I’m at my productivity peak from 10:30 am to 1pm and from 3pm to 6pm. Now, it doesn’t mean that I don’t retain information at other times of the day; it just means that I tend to be way more focused during those times. Knowing this is pretty much key to creating my study schedule because I’ll arrange my study sessions (as best as I can) according to those times.

I also know that I’m least productive from 8:30am to 10am and from 8pm to 10pm. This means, I get ready for my day in the morning and at night, I sit back, relax and get ready for bed.

Once you know all of this information, insert blocks that you will reserve for studying within your current weekly schedule

Step 4 – Setting your priorities

When you get closer to your exam dates, make sure that you set your priorities straight. That invitation for a shopping date with your friend or those three parties happening this weekend, they can be declined. If you really feel like focusing on something else for a little bit, choose an activity that will benefit you in one way or another.

I’d suggest to study according to which exams are coming up first and also allotting yourself more time on the subjects in which you have more difficulty.

Also, if you work part-time and feel like you need more time to concentrate on your studies , ask your boss for some time off.

 

 

There you have it guys! Like I said, this may not work for everyone, but I’m sure it will for some of you. It’s definitely a method in which you need to get yourself in gear and create some self-motivation.

 

 

Decoding and planning my agenda

If you’re like me, you write EVERYTHING in your planner. From your To-Do list to your Grocery List with everything in between. Once everything is written down, it’s not always easy to determine what needs to get done by when without marking your whole planner and ending up with a mess. It also all depends on the type of planner that you have. Everyone is different in the way they like their layouts, and for me this year I chose something different in that I can see 1 week at a time with a full page to add notes next to it. Because I don’t have the appointment calendar inside, I had to come up with a way that I was going to make sense of all that needs to be done.

Major Due Dates. First thing first, once I’ve been to my class and my prof has gone over the syllabus with us, I write down all my due dates for my major assignments and exams in red on the due date.

Upcoming Major Due Dates. All those due dates are then re-written a week before they are to happen and highlighted in orange as a warning that this project is coming up.

Starting Upcoming Major Assignments and Studying. Knowing the date of my exams or my assignments, I try and determine a time frame, about a month in advance (if I can) to start that project or study plan. I highlight those tasks in blue and add the word START beside it.

Homework and Readings Due. In university you normally have some chapters to read for a specific class or homework that needs to be done to be able to understand the following lecture. For all those due dates that aren’t as important as exams or assignment hand-ins but still crucial to understanding the class, I write it down on the due date and highlight it in pink.

Normal Homework and Readings. Anything that had to do with normal homework that needs to be done that night is simply left in black or blue ink. This could be anything from read chapter 5 to type up history paper. If it’s something simple, I usually mark it to do it 2 days prior. If it’s something I know might take a little longer, then I write it down for 4 days ahead to give me enough time to revise it.

To-Do & Grocery Lists. I’m lucky to have an agenda that allows me to write notes on the side, so that’s where I put those.

Social Events & Work Hours. These are written in purple.

Meetings & Appointments. These are written in yellow.

Money. Anything that has to do with bill payments or payday I write in green

Done. When I’m done an item I usually just cross it out with a black marker. It’s pretty satisfying.

Tuesday Tip

notebook

 

 

If you’re anything like me, my mind spins with ideas, lists of things to do or to not forget. I’ve recently started this method and I find that it works wonderfully! I carry a small composition book and a pen in my purse or my backpack regardless of where I go so that if an idea strikes me, I jot it down and I don’t end up cursing myself for not remembering.

– D

Sunday Funday – Starting your week off right

 

Sundays for me used to be dreadful. I looked at Sundays being the buffer day between the fun and promising Saturday and the long and brutal Monday. That is until I discovered a new way to look at my Sundays and make them fun and productive.

I’m not saying my Sundays are always fun, nor will my Sunday preps seem appealing to everyone, but I wanted to share what a typical Sunday is for me and how I prep for my week ahead.

Ristorante (2)

Wake Up 

For me it all starts in the morning. Although I don’t set my alarm on Sundays, mainly because it’s my only sleeping days, working early 6 days a week has made it that my body naturally wakes up around 8:30 or 9 am. This is definitely a luxury for some, but let’s keep in mind that I don’t have kids and can actually afford this. I feel like this is a great time because you can lounge for a while, watch some tv while having a balanced breakfast and you don’t feel as though you’re in a rush.

Planning

This is where the main part comes in. I don’t have a specific time to include this in my day, so I just go with the flow and make sure it’s done by the end of the day. Seeing that I plan for the week I make sure that I respond to my personal emails, confirm appointments I have with my friends and family and make sure to mark them down on the calendar. I also make my weekly to-do list and my meal plan for the week.

Prepping 

Prepping for me usually means grocery shopping, meal prep, finishing up my cleaning and my laundry so that all is done for the week ahead and don’t have to stress about it. While I’m out I also make sure to get the items I know I’ll need throughout the week, like that birthday gift for my Mom, or that Wedding Gift for my friend. I also include the main paperwork that needs to be done for the next 2 days and about 2 hours of blogging on Sundays so that my Monday is free from all the hustle and bustle.

Relaxing 

It’s important for me to make time to see friends and family on Sundays and also take time for myself because my weeks are usually busy with other things. So catching up on my fave tv shows and reading a great book or writing is totally on the agenda as well. It’s my way to recharge myself for what’s coming up ahead.

College Dorm Essentials

Yes, we’re in the middle of July, but for some of you, school is either in progress right now, or around the corner and before you know it you’ll be moving to a different city to further your education and I wanted to give you a checklist of items you may need for your dorm or apartment, depending on what your living situation will be. Better get started now then to leave it to the last minute.

I’ve separated the items into categories for convenience

BEDROOM

Kitchen

LIVING ROOM

STUDY ACCESSORIESbathroom

electronics

 

Cleaning-Laundry

 

I know that I’ve probably missed some items, but you now have a brief idea of what is essential. What’s essential for you to have in your new home away from home? I’d love to hear from you guys, so don’t be shy to leave a comment or email us at lipsticklabels@gmail.com!

-D

Fall semester pep-talk

Hello to all my fellow students! How ya feelin? Tired? Overwhelmed? Unmotivated? Me too!

The Fall semester is officially in full swing; essays, mid-terms, quizzes, group projects and more! By now you should be a little more settled in, got the whole routine figured out, classes mapped and teachers…well they’re pretty much just always confusing. Don’t know what they want? It’s okay, neither do they.

It can all feel fast and scary, what with due dates approaching and stress levels sky rocketing. Take a deep breath, let’s go through this together.

1. Prioritize. I promise you, this one can save your sanity. It’s all about making decisions that benefit you, and sometimes, that two hours of trash TV really is more important than re-reading your class  notes. Check your schedule on a regular basis and make sure that your needs are met. Do I have time for a much-needed nap? How about some time with loved ones? Will you be getting enough sleep tomorrow if you procrastinate that study session? Be honest with yourself and make sure you understand your learning needs and what you specifically need to do to succeed.

2. Time management. Dom has a great post on how she organizes her time. Some people, like her, like to micro-manage their time and have every minute planned out. Other people, like myself, need a little more breathing room. I tend to plan ahead according to set deadlines and give myself some room to move my schedule around. Neither one is better than the other, it all depends on what works for you, as long as you reach your deadlines and have quality work. You can also prioritize by assignment, leaving the more important or difficult papers for the end, or vise-versa! This can relieve a lot of stress for students when it comes to choosing where to start.

3. Use the resources available to you. Most college and university campus’ offer an enormous amount of student support services, from mental health to essay writing. You don’t have to feel alone and helpless, there are people on campus whom are entirely there for you. Most institutions also offer great low-cost or free activities including group sports, fitness and interest based gatherings. I can’t say this enough, use these resources, they exist to benefit you and your college experience.

Hang on, you can do this!

nail polish collection + storage

I’m on a never-ending journey to find the perfect nail polish storage solution. IKEA nightstandspice racks, acrylic shelving, shoe boxes, fish bowls. You name it, I’ve considered it. For some reason, nothing has yet to tickle my fancy beyond my current storage choice. I use an acrylic utensil storage divider, purchased at Home Outfitters for a cool 20.00 over a year ago.

I originally planned on using it to store my makeup, however, my makeup collection quickly outgrew it. During one of my annual organization purges, I decided to give it  a go and transfer my many nail polishes from their tired box to the organizer. They’ve been stored there ever since. I keep it in the bottom compartment in my nightstand and this seems to work the best for me. They’re in their assigned space, are in sight, but don’t appear cluttered or messy. Have you struggled with your nail polish storage?

As for my collection, it’s very OPI heavy. I’ve received a few colors for my birthday or Christmas for the past ten years or so. I love that the brush is rather wide and makes the application process that much faster. I throw out anything that’s become chunky or stringy, although I’ve heard that a few drops of contact lens solution or acetone can bring life back to an old polish. Is this true? Can someone verify this for me?! Testifyyyyy!polish shot

toolsI’ve tried to separate my colors somewhat, keeping the nudes, pinks and reds in the larger compartment, then gathering the blues and greens, as well as the metallic and glitters. I treat it as a kit, keeping a bottle of nail polish remover, as well as some Nail Art wipes, which are AMAZING! I swear by these (except when it comes to glitter or chunky polish) and they last! One wipe can do an entire hand, and they’re pleasantly scented. ( Side note: These are a special treat since my mama gets them on her annual trip to the states, at Walgreen’s, sorry to my fellow Canadians) I also keep a nail file and some base and top coats handy in case I have top coattime for a full-blown manicure (Let’s be real, that comes up to removermaybe twice a year). I like to use square cotton pads along with the liquid remover, although I’ve very recently run out and have been content with the wipes.

Although this is nowhere near those huge collections found in salons or with beauty gurus, I think I have a fair amount, and maybe a more realistic collection. Hope you enjoyed!