How to : Build a organization system for school or college.

College and school brings to mind images of loose sheets of papers, multiple notebooks, notes scribbled in the margins of a textbook, a flurry of assignments and club activities.

Note taking.Keeping track of deadlines. Following up on assignments. Finishing up project work and the list of academic and extracurricular activities goes on.

Staying organised will not only lower your stress levels, it will also allow you to set goals and aim for good grades across your semester.

How can you stay organised ? How do you make sure that everything gets done? Here is a list I’ve compiled for systems you can use too.

From one student to another.


Let’s begin with Google Sheets. It is the one of the most profoundly simple yet powerful applications I use. It is useful for all your tracking and organising needs. Sheets is useful in keeping track of the various tasks you have for each subject.

  • Assignments
  • Projects
  • Lecture notes

Anytime you get assigned a piece of work, need to complete a task for a class or simply need to finish something before the deadline – you simply need to enter it into the sheet. It also allows you to see all your work in one place.

Here’s a free template to help you get started : (Note: Please make a copy)

If you prefer to have moveable cards to keep track of your work , here is a Notion template for you.

Day planners help make everything easier and more importantly prevent us from forgetting anything important that’s due for the day. Here is a notion day planner with Kanan boards to make your organisation process easier.

The law of efficiency

Time is funny.When working on a long boring assignment , it can seem to move very slowly.But when watching your favourite web series….BAM ! There goes 3 hours of your day.

But why does time work like that ? Let me introduce to you Parkinson’s law of time management.It simply states that :

This is why a 20 minute task of writing an email can sometimes take a week.


When you give yourself some time to complete a task, it will take that much time. If you give yourself a week to do your assignment – it will take a week. But if you give yourself a deadline of 9 pm later that night , you will put in effort to complete it.


Compare giving yourself a month to finish working on your new business logo vs a Sunday afternoon to sit down and get the same work done. Your work will expand to the time that it is given. When we have a long term project due after a month, we usually don’t begin until the week of the deadline. Since we only feel the pressure of the task when we have less time to work on it.

Northcote Parkinson gave an example in the essay he wrote for the Economist explaining this phenomenon.


As the story goes – a woman has a single task to send a postcard by the end of the day. She spends an hour finding the card, another half hour looking for her glasses, an hour and a half for writing the card and then another 20 minutes deciding on whether to take her umbrella or not.
A busy person on the other hand would take less than 15 minutes to get this done. So in the example of the woman , she had a day’s worth of time to get her work done, so she took a day. The busy person , on the other hand only had 15 minutes, so took only 15 minutes to get the task done.


This is the basic principle to getting more done in less time. By setting yourself smarter and more efficient deadlines, you can get all your work done in less time than it would have taken. Set yourself a realistic deadline taking into consideration all aspects of your work. Sometimes you might even catch yourself in a surprise like I did – when it only took me an hour and a half to complete a worksheet which I was sure would take me at least 2 days.

By using this law you can get more work done in less time and create some free time for yourself.

If you enjoyed reading that please do leave me a comment down below or hit the like button !

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How to : Build a organization system for school or college.

College and school brings to mind images of loose sheets of papers, multiple notebooks, notes scribbled in the margins of a textbook, a flurry of assignments and club activities. Note taking.Keeping track of deadlines. Following up on assignments. Finishing up project work and the list of academic and extracurricular activities goes on. Staying organised willContinue reading “How to : Build a organization system for school or college.”

Quotes from a book : Dance first, Think later.

Here are some quotes that grabbed my attention while flipping through the pages of this book. Hope you enjoyed reading this post Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments below. Stay connected: Keep reading:

Could ASMR be the hack to being more productive?

Ever miss the sounds of the library ?The turning of books?

Miss the sounds of the café ?With people bustling and coffee frothing?

Many people attribute their focus and productivity to the sounds around them. So, during the pandemic ASMR had begun replacing the real-life experience of libraries, cafes and offices. YouTube has been booming with ASMR videos helping people focus, improve productivity and relieve anxiety.

So, what is ASMR?

ASMR or autonomous sensory meridian response are a range of sounds and visuals. They range from page turning, to keyboard tapping, pen scratching on paper, crinkling and even rain drops. These ASMR sounds have taken up place in people’s lives even helping some deal with depression and improve productivity.


Although there hasn’t been intensive research on ASMR – a study conducted by the University of Sheffield found that, compared to non-ASMR participants, those who experience ASMR reported increased levels of calmness and decreased levels of stress and sadness.


ASMR may be the technique that people are looking for to become more productive.

Some common ASMR types

  • Page turning
  • Typing
  • Page crinkling
  • Water drops
  • Tapping
  • White noise

For some ASMR is a hindrance – making them lose their focus. But for others it often helps stimulate their creativity helping them get more work done.

So, the next down you sit down to work – try it out and see if it works. If it does, you’re looking towards many focused work sessions


PICTURE CREDIT:

Photo by RR Abrot on Unsplash

Photo by Shunya Koide on Unsplash


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How to get your overwhelming to-do list under control

My to-do list has 51 tasks right now.

I’ve been putting them off for a while.

Every single task I need to do- no matter how big or small I’ve jotted down in this list.

More than often – my chaotic day takes over and I cannot get my overwhelming to-do list to zero

This pandemic has given me some time to experiment and work with my task list

So here are 4 strategies I’ve come up with:

1.Delete some tasks

When you have toooo many things to do.

It’s time to pick and choose.

Delete some tasks you can do without.

It will give you some breathing time.

2.Schedule just 3 tasks a day

Schedule for just 3 tasks a day. And get them done by the end of the day.

Fit them between events, between meeting or between classes.

3.Delegate them to someone else

If there is task you can ask someone else to do for you  – do it

It will at least buy you some time and some breathing space.

Or ask someone to help you on this task – it will surely reduce your workload and also help you learn a different strategy to tackle the same task

4.A kill -switch

When my to do-list is beyond control and I keep pushing my tasks to another day

like it is now

I do something called a task list day

I simply pick one day withing the next 7 upcoming days

And this one day  is the day I will buckle down and try to do every single task on my list.

It’s kind of a last-minute kill switch to get everything down to zero

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The law of efficiency

Time is funny.When working on a long boring assignment , it can seem to move very slowly.But when watching your favourite web series….BAM ! There goes 3 hours of your day. But why does time work like that ? Let me introduce to you Parkinson’s law of time management.It simply states that : This isContinue reading “The law of efficiency”

How the 20-minute rule can beat the motivation slump

The 20-minute rule is something you will see that students and entrepreneurs all around the world swear by. It’s something that has been gaining importance during the pandemic where everyone is working from home.

Why do people give it so much credit ?And how can it help you deal with the work from home slump?

More importantly- what is it ?


If you’re a student, a business owner ,an entrepreneur or a teacher prepping for online classes – we all face difficulty in getting started with our work.

Uncertainty reigns in a world that previously had order and routine.

Schools have shut down. Exams been indefinitely postponed.

Needless to say,motivation – or even the desire to achieve simple tasks in my everyday life have been a tad bit tricky.

Because I would rather watch an episode on Netflix instead of tackling my to do list.

I would rather chill and let the afternoon heat wallow over rather than finish my projects.

The 20-minute rule can help you deal with motivation slumps ,uncertainty and overcome the hurdle to get started.


Let me break it down for you like this:

Is there something you have been putting off for days ?

Let me give you a few examples

Working out

Ticking  tasks off your to- do list

Finishing an assignment

Cleaning your room


The idea behind this concept this simple.

Set a timer for 20 minutes.

And push yourself to start this one task for just 20 minutes – until the timer goes off.

That’s all .


What this exercise does is that it gives you a starting point.It holds you accountable to your work for 20 mins.

And believe it or not – it’s all you really need

Now this could play out one of three ways

1.You enjoy the task at hand and will continue to do the task long after the timer set off.

OR

2. You realize that this is something you are not interested in.Well in this case just move on to another task.

OR

3.You fail to get started. Don’t lose heart. Instead just reset the timer and start again.


This 20-minute rule is a real breakthrough if you are dealing with motivation slump like I am.

It helps me take back control of my day , beat procrastination and more importantly deal with the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Try the 20 minute rule today.

Let me know in the comments below what you struggle with doing during the pandemic.

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Studying at home during the pandemic is really hard

Raise your hand if your parents or your test grades think studying at home is no different during the lockdown from a pre-pandemic life.

You are not alone ! Welcome to the world wide problem of studying from home and being able to get good grades.

Because studying from home is a massive challenge.

Lemme quickly list down a few problems with this whole studying from home.

Over the top of my head ?

  • The T.V
  • Instagram
  • Simply not being in the mood.
  • Unlimited access to wi-fi.

Need I go on ?

I like to call this entire pandemic a “ cycle of motivation and slumps “

Because I truly believe that it is what it is.

Sudden bursts of motivation make me wanna study for 7 hours straight and get another 20 things done on my task list.

Other times I simply cannot convince myself to even open a textbook for 7 whole days.

 it’s a struggle.

Here are a few tips to tackle this – from one frustrated student to another.

1.Don’t rely on your motivation

When I get excited about a new project – I get super motivated and don’t mind working on it until the wee hours of the morning.

It could be writing a new blog post. Reading a new book. Studying a interesting chapter.

But then the motivation dissipates , so I don’t get much done.

Soon the motivation returns – sending me into a adrenaline rush.

Motivation is great – but it only comes in bursts. Making it a little unreliable.

Simply relying on motivation isn’t effective in the long run.


2.Build a study habit

As relying on motivation doesn’t always work

Building a study habit is really important.

By building a habit: you begin to get all antsy and jumpy if you aren’t at your desk the time you want to be.

You could also try getting someone to hold you accountable for your time – just when starting out.


3.Embrace the noon slump

I work best in the mornings and even late into the night.

But come 3 pm – my brain simply shuts off and goes to sleep.

More commonly known as the afternoon slump -this is not simply restricted to the mid day.

Night owls can’t work well in the mornings and vice versa for your early birds.

You ever hear of the saying ” If you can’t beat them – join them ?”

I am asking you to do the exact same thing.

Don’t try to beat the slump – instead embrace it.Embrace it by planning something fun , a jog or a quick zoom call with your buddies.


4.Your day begins the night before

My biggest questions  as soon as I wake up are :

What time do I sit down to study today ? What chapters do I need to do ? or what class do I have today ?

By planning my day the night before, I know exactly when to get up ,when to be at my desk and what to do.

So simply jot your plan for the day before you hit the sack and see it make a difference.


5.Have any 2 things to look forward to

The simple act of having something to look forward to after a long day of hard work gives you that last extra push.

Plan a movie night , treat yourself to an ice cream cone , give yourself the evening off.

Anything that motivates and inspires you to strive for better.

Some days you do better than others – but what’s really important to keep in mind is that a new day is a fresh start.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

And don’t go on a guilt trip if you couldn’t do as much as you hoped for. Just reset and try again.

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5 productivity tools to get more done in 2021

Here in another list series, I give you the 5 must have apps to organize your day and help you be more productive.

1.NOTION

An absolute favorite is Notion , an all-in-one workspace that can be used for literally anything.

Write notes, keep track of assignments or even your workout routine for the week.

It has different templates you can download online along with features such as tables, Kanban boards and lists.

I love notion for its simplicity and how it works for just about everyone in all different work ethics.

Hands down this is my all-time fav.

2.TODOIST

A very handy app to jot down tasks on the go and seamlessly syncs to all your devices.

2 things I love about the app –

The todoist phone widget feature which allows me to dot down tasks even from my home screen

And I can add sections in my inbox or even create projects to keep track of tasks in different categories like school, assignments, household chores etc.

3.GOOGLE CALENDAR

The all-in-one calendar that is perfect for managing your events no matter how small or big. I use this as my Master planning board. It’s perfect for tracking assignments, deadlines, classes, workshops, webinars and even habit tracking.

CHECKER PLUS FOR GOOGLE CALENDER

This app has both a paid and free version.

The app has a very nifty purpose – for all your google calendar events it sends you a pop-up notification with a bell sound at the time it has been set to.

Works like a charm and notifies me of events when my calendar isn’t open.

4.GOOGLE KEEP

This is a quick notes app I use, specially since I never have any pen and paper on me. This is app is perfect for jotting thoughts and ideas on the go.

5.POCKET

This is a google extension that I use to store all my research or articles .

I use this as my reading list for articles, websites and videos I want to come back to later.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Perfectionism is destroying your productivity-Thomas Frank

I really enjoyed watching this video and I gained a few insights to incorporate into my daily functioning.

Hope you enjoyed reading this post.

Do let me know what you would like to read next.

Comment below and share your thoughts !

Till next time

Ishita

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Could ASMR be the hack to being more productive?

Ever miss the sounds of the library ?The turning of books? Miss the sounds of the café ?With people bustling and coffee frothing? Many people attribute their focus and productivity to the sounds around them. So, during the pandemic ASMR had begun replacing the real-life experience of libraries, cafes and offices. YouTube has been boomingContinue reading “Could ASMR be the hack to being more productive?”

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A YEAR IN REVIEW 2020

365 DAYS.

It’s time to let go of 2020

Read them all on the blog

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Turn your lockdown(and your frown) upside down ~ Quarantine Diaries

Lockdown is a new lifestyle.

And I think the whole work from home culture has taken a hard hit on students and tweens.

Lockdown was a huge change for every single one of us. And without a guide, we are struggling to find a way to adjust to this and get out of the slump.

So for once and for all let’s turn this lockdown upside down!

First off we need to understand that this lockdown is now a way of life. This is now your new normal. The sooner you embrace that, the easier things will become.

Everyone has online school/classes.

Doesn’t matter when your classes begin or end, what’s important is what you do before and after that.

Raise your hand if you crawl out of bed as soon as the alarm rings, brush up and plop yourself in front of your laptop for the school day with 3 seconds to spare.

Phew!

I know most of us do.

But then I realised that was not how I wanted things to be.

So I made a change 

Wake up an hour earlier.

Yes, an hour earlier. Or at least 45 mins earlier.

Get up.Stretch.Get some fresh air.Shower.Get dressed and then sit for school.

This simple thing will set your intention for the day . You will have time to breathe and ease into your morning.

Now coming to online learning.

First off-stop killing your eyes.

Pomy is a simple app I use on my laptop (or 20-20-20 Vision on my phone) to remind me to look away every 20 mins for 20 seconds.

And for someone like me who has sensitive eyes, it has made all the difference. My headaches are under control and my eyes don’t tire out that quickly.

Some other productivity tools for school would be Google Keep and Todoist. 

Google keep is the easiest note-taking system and it syncs all my notes onto all my devices.

Todoist is a lifesaver. It allows me to create projects and list tasks according to priority.

So school’s out!

You’re tired. Eyes all puffy. Back and shoulders hurting and maybe you even feel a headache coming on.

So before you go any further grab an eye mask, close your eyes and just rest for a while (20 mins should do.)

After your power nap, freshen up and get ready to tackle the rest of your day.

Don’t push yourself to work. Instead, pick something you would enjoy doing -like painting or a personal project.

And that brings me to the concept of a  personal project.

Instead, of spending your time binging on Netflix pick up an online hobby class, start reading that books series you always wanted to or maybe work on your origami.

Personal projects don’t have an end date or a finishing line. It’s just something you can incorporate into your day.

So start brainstorming. Start investing in yourself and spend your time doing what you love.

The outdoors being closed doesn’t mean your health should take a backseat. Try a healthy meal plan or a home workout just to get your blood pumping.

Keeping fit will really help you stay positive throughout your day.

After a round of self-care go and connect with the people around you. Call up your family living out of state. Check-in with your best friend. Or plan a game night with your siblings.

Gradually make your way back to your workstation or study table and grab those assignments. Complete your day’s work.

Its late into the evening now so kick up your feet and relax.

Read a book.Doodle.Turn up some music and dance like no one’s watching.

If there’s one big takeaway I have gotten from this entire experience it’s this:

Take it one day at a time.

XOXO 

Ishita Tenjerla 

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Ishita Tenjerla

How to bring structure to your day~ Quarantine Diaries

So you made your way through the 6 emotional stages of lockdown  and now you wanna get back upon your feet

https://99takeontheworld.wordpress.com/2020/05/19/the-6-emotional-stages-of-lockdown-quarantine-diaries/

Here are a few tips:

Sleep schedule 

Plan your wake up and sleep times in 90-minute increments every night.Ensuring you have a systematic wake up time gives you control over your day.

A day plan

Don’t try planning your entire week or month right now.

Take it one day at a time

A simple template you can use :

a.Schedule for the day

b.Goals to accomplish

C. Assignments due

d.Work /study to catch up on

Use cues

What are cues and why are they so important for your routine?

Lemme explain…

When I wake up every morning, the school bus arriving is my cue to get up on time and get dressed.

 Tests and assignments by school are my cues to study every day.

Small things like that act as your cues. So now its time to make new ones for during the lockdown.

like for example :Breakfast could be your cue to get some exercise  

Use reminders.

Every day now is a Sunday. Keeping track of the day and time becomes quite tedious and difficult. Using reminders or alarms to keep you on track is a good alternative so you don’t lose track of time.

Get a fresh perspective.

Put the days gone behind you. Try to look at things from a new perspective. What did work out? What didn’t?

What can you do differently.Wipe down the drawing board and start afresh.New goals, New routine, new habits.

Deadlines

Setting deadlines for each one of your projects or goals keeps you on track. You know where your finish line is and you can  work accordingly

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Also let me know what you would like to read in the next blog post

Thank you

Ishita Tenjerla