How to Study Efficiently

how to study efficiently

Studying is something many people claim to do but never complete successfully. I’m just as guilty of it as the rest of us. I’ll say, “I’m going to go study at the library,” pack my bag and laptop, get there, and I surf social media for four hours… productive, right? It’s crazy how distracted you can become when you don’t set a purpose for your studying or reward yourself for a successful session. These are just a couple of things that will help you study more efficiently in high school, college, or whatever reason you have for studying information!

how to study efficiently

Tip #1: Make an end goal for your study session.

Study sessions are always bad whenever you go in without something in mind. Whether it’s for an exam, completing a project, or doing a daily assignment, you need to have a goal for your study session so you know what you are working towards. If you do not have a goal then you are working mindlessly and you’ll eventually get distracted.

Tip #2: Bring snacks and plenty of water.

We always get hungry (and inadvertently distracted) whenever we are studying. Whether we forgot our lunch or we get too bored and start eating as a result, it will happen. Pack yourself some healthy snacks to nom on during your session. Additionally, stay hydrated! Water is the best thing for you (although coffee and tea have their benefits) and I think it’s the best drink to bring during a study session so you never feel like you’re running out of steam.

Tip #3: Try to eliminate using the internet so you avoid getting on social media.

I know not using the internet seems entirely impossible when you are studying but it isn’t hard! If you’re working from your textbook, just use your Word software and hard copies of your research to keep you from gravitating towards your Twitter profile. Get your posting and sharing out before you begin. Another alternative would be getting one of those website blocking programs and disallow your computer to allow you on those websites for a set period of time (for those of us like myself with no self-control).

Tip #4: Check items off as you complete them.

There is no better feeling than completion. Whenever you get something important done, you feel like you’ve conquered the world. That is why it is great to use your list of goals as a to-do list as well. As soon as you finish one part of it, mark it off, highlight it, put a checkmark, rip it to shreds… whatever suits your fancy! Allow yourself to feel accomplished throughout your session.

Tip #5: Reward yourself for your hard work!

Rewards are the best part of doing something we don’t necessarily like. If you need motivation, set up a reward system for each study session you plan. Whether it’s an hour of Netflix, a chocolate bar, or going to get a pedicure, make sure you allow yourself to relax and have down time whenever you are recovering from a hardcore study sesh.

What are your favorite ways to prepare for studying?
How do you successfully study for your classes?
Leave your own tips down below!

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xo Kimberly Signature

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How to Organize Your Planner

how to organize your planner

With the new spring semester coming around the corner, being able to organize your life is a must. Being busy when I’m not in school means that I’m that much more so once my classes begin again. I’m going to show you some good tricks to help keep your planner in order so your life will be, too!

#1 Color code by types of entries.

This may be a color for each class, a color for appointments/meetings, a color for each organization you’re in… the list can truly go on! You can color code your planner any way that fits your own personal needs, as long as it does not make it harder for you to organize your life, then it can work!

#2 Use to-do lists!

You can write them on the pages of your planner, use the notes section in the back, or even add in some sticky notes to jot your lists on. To-do lists always keep me organized because it narrows down what I need to do in a certain time period without overwhelming me, like looking at your monthly/weekly view in your planner can do sometimes.

#3 Plan at least one week in advance.

A planner does no good unless you use it to plan. That’s why I like to lay out everything I can as soon as possible. However, sometimes that just isn’t plausible. So, my rule of thumb is just to plan everything at least one week in advance. If I know about events, assignments, etc. more in advance, I’ll write them down but if not, I stick to the rule!

#4 Make your planner appealing to the eye!

When your planner is nice to look at it, you’ll want to use it more and look at it more! That’s why I try to pick out a “pretty” planner that makes me want to use it then use various colored pens (because my planner is color coded!) to keep it looking sharp. Whether it’s a $10 planner or a $50 Erin Condren, you can make it your own!

How do you organize your planner?
What’s your favorite planner?

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Blogmas Day 7 | Fall 2016 Semester Review

fall 2016 semester review

Now that I have finished my last final, I can officially say that I am DONE WITH THE FALL 2016 SEMESTER! ? I am so excited to get some relaxation time where I’m not working on homework every single day. I have decided to go back to work so I’ll be working throughout the break but that doesn’t bother me because I always want something to do. I hate being so bored during breaks that all I want to do is go back to school (even though that will happen anyways).

Fall 2016 Semester Goals

#1 Reach 10,000 steps at least 3 days a week. ✖️ I definitely did not complete this goal. I honestly had a lot fewer steps each day because I took a hiatus from my job to focus on school and my extracurricular activities. I wish I would have tried harder but, after my mom passed away, doing what I needed to in school was the most that I could handle.

#2 Set a gym/work-out schedule and don’t stray from it. ✖️ It’s safe to say that I also did not complete this goal. I am still planning to do so next semester so look out for my goals for the Spring 2016 semester!

#3 Continue my streak of all A’s every semester. ✔️ I actually DID do this! Although I thought the semester was going to go downhill after mom’s passing, I made myself a promise to make her proud of me and I think I did just that.

#4 Read at least three books for fun. ✖️ I started more books but I definitely didn’t finish any. I’m a little disappointed with myself for this but I’m hoping to finish them all during this break from school.

#5 Stay involved in my organizations. ✔️ I definitely did stay active in all of my organizations, with exceptions for those that did not do much during the semester. I made sure to get super involved with Alpha Delta Pi and try to get more people active in SCEC. Things did not go as planned but I still made sure I was active.

#6 Take time out for myself. ✔️ I didn’t do this as much as I had hoped but I definitely did do it. I made sure to have some fun with my family, as much as I could without Mom, spend time with my boyfriend, and make the most out of the worst thing to happen to me in my entire life.

I completed half of my goals, which is pretty good for me, so I would like to think it was a successful semester. Considering the circumstances that I was under during this fall, I did more than I ever thought I would. How did your semester go? Did you do all the things you planned to? Let me know in the comments below!

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Blogmas Day 2 | How To ROCK Finals Week

how to rock finals week

I bet I can guess what you’re stressed about right now. Two words. Many exams. Lots of anxiety. FINALS. WEEK. Yup, finals week is upon us for many universities, including my own. Now, as an education major, the majority of my courses do not do final exams. I have one cumulative final and that is on Monday (positive vibes plz) but other than the things I needed to complete were lesson plans, projects, papers, reflections, and just “end-of-the-unit” exams. I am extremely blessed and grateful that I do not get bogged down with exams in the last week of the semester but I know maaany friends, bloggers, and readers that do. That’s why I’m here to help you ROCK finals week and kick it in the pants!

The Playlist

Now, you know Mama needs a good playlist to rock out to during her study time. I’m sure many of you are the same so I’ve come up with the ultimate INSTRUMENTAL jams list for all your studying needs. Some have some minor parts that say a single word but most of it is either unrecognizable or so quick that it doesn’t bother me. I do have an eclectic music taste so there is everything from EDM to metalcore in this playlist. I personally cannot listen to lyrics while studying or else I’ll write them instead of my notes, I’ll sing them and won’t remember anything I read, and it’s just bad.

The xx – Intro: Seriously my all-time favorite studying song to put on loop. And the link I gave you is an almost three-hour seamless loop of the song. 😉
Brian Eno – The Big Ship
Skrillex & Rick Ross – Purple Lamborgini (Instrumental)
AndrezoWorks – Injection
AndrezoWorks – Neon Lights
AndrezoWorks – My Will
DEAF KEV – Invincible
Jacob Lizotte – Seven Years
Sam Whitaker – Creation
Sam Whitaker – Structure

The Supplies

The perfect set of school supplies to study with is a must have when beginning an all-nighter sesh at the library to study for those three finals you have back-to-back on the same day (Don’t you love have schools schedule that?). These are what I use when studying and what I think you definitely need to have when diving in.

  • Pencils
  • Pens (of assorted colors)
  • Notebook paper or assigned notebooks
  • Textbooks and class notes
  • Laptop computer or tablet
  • Headphones
  • Water bottle and snacks
  • Money (in case you need to buy a new brain or some coffee)
  • Highlighters
  • Notecards
  • Any study guides or important information from classes
  • Sticky notes

Helpful Posts

Lastly, I’ve gathered some awesome blog posts that will also assist you in all your finals week needs. Everything from destressers to study methods to keeping you on task. There are tons of posts out there, just look it up on Pinterest, but I found these to be very helpful and great posts overall.

Finals Week Essentials
Tips to Study Effectively For Your Exams
10 Ways to De-Stress During Finals Week
5 Tips to Improve Your Focus During Finals Week

Don’t let the heat get you down! You got this, fam. I believe in YOU.

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xo Kimberly Signature

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Things to Include in Your Planner/Bullet Journal

Things to Include in Your Planner/Bullet Journal

Bullet journaling has been all the rage here lately. You see tons of blog posts, videos, and more about it but you still see the classic “Plan With Me” posts/videos as well. I personally still use a planner and plan to upgrade next August when I need a new one–duh, you know I’m getting an Erin Condren… as a celebration of my student teaching! Anyway, there are tons of things that you could include in your planner or bullet journal that many people do not think of. I love to plan my entire life so there are plenty of things in here that I want to incorporate into my own planner in time (got to get the perfect system down). Most of these ideas have been gathered over time from other blogs, Pinterest pins, etc. Let’s get started!

Personal

  • Monthly/Yearly Goals
  • Daily/Monthly Habit Tracker
  • Wish List
  • Daily Gratitude
  • Positive/Inspirational Quotes
  • Daily Reflections/Journal Entries
  • Relaxation Guide
  • Life Challenges
  • Mood Tracker
  • Monthly/Yearly Achievements

School

  • Assignment Planner
  • Class Schedule
  • Grade Tracker
  • Professor Contact Information

Business

  • Blog Stats Tracker
  • Social Media Following
  • Income Tracker
  • Side-Job Information
  • Expenses Tracker

Technology

  • Username/Password Record
  • Shopping Websites by Category

House/Finances

  • Cleaning Schedule
  • Spending Tracker
  • Gas Log
  • Credit Card Log
  • Add to Savings Tracker
  • $5 a Day Savings Plan
  • House Repair/Maintenance Log
  • Bill Tracking
  • Debt/Loan Tracker
  • Vehicle Information
  • Important Contacts
  • Go-To Recipes

Family

  • List of Birthdays/Anniversaries
  • Meal Planning
  • Pregnancy Planner/Tracker
  • Trip Packing List
  • Gift Ideas
  • Master Grocery List

Health/Wellness

  • Appointment Logs
  • Medicine/Refill Tracker
  • Step Tracker
  • Daily Water Intake Tracker
  • Illness Tracker
  • Essential Oil Blends
  • Women Tracker
  • Weight Loss Tracker
  • Exercise List/Tracker
  • Food Log
  • Body/Size Measurements

Miscellaneous

  • Daily/Monthly To-Do Lists
  • Books to Read
  • TV Show Tracker
  • Places to Travel/Places Been
  • Movies to Watch
  • Project Planner Pages
  • Daily Weather
  • Music Playlists
  • Sale Tracker

xo Kimberly Signature

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BTS | How to Use Your Syllabus

Now, if you’re like me, you like to keep everything nice, neat, and organized whenever you’re in school. Being able to tell what your next move is will make sure that you never fall behind or end up with poor grades due to just not being on top of things. One of the ways to do that with your studies is to learn how to utilize your syllabi. Now, if you’re in high school, this may not be as effective for you as many high school classes, at least in the United States, do not really make use of their syllabi. They make them as a requirement for the classes and students toss them to the side. In college, your syllabus is everything. It holds the magical key to an A in your ALL classes (Yes, I’m dead serious.). You can get a 4.0 GPA by just utilizing these tips and then following through with the needed processes after!

 

#1 Try to print off your syllabi before classes start!

Some people don’t think that is a good idea but I really feel like it gets me in the school mindset before I even get started! Sometimes your professors will actually give you copies of the syllabus in your first day of class but some just say, “You can get it online,” or “Read it online.” I don’t like this. I feel like I have enough to print off without them not giving it to me. However, this is why I’ve gotten into the habit of just printing them ahead of time. If you can’t find a place to print for free, try to print them there in smaller fonts and with less color to save some $$$.

 

#2 Talk with your professors about anything you don’t understand.

Your professors are your resource. They are there to help you. If there is something in the syllabus that you don’t understand, or eve don’t agree with, talk with them about it. They can either explain why it is there, tell you how they can accommodate you, or just assign you with whatever you need in regards to it. I always talk to my professors on the first day of classes if there’s something I don’t understand or something I feel is missing from the syllabus. It’s good to get all of that out of the way ahead of time.

 

#3 Write down all important monthly, weekly, and daily projects, dates, assignments, etc.

This is a vital first step before classes get fully started. As soon as you get your syllabi, write down EVERYTHING. All the important things you need to remember should go in your planner, to-do list, or whatever you record these things in. If you don’t use a planner, a later tip might be of more use to you for this part of things!

 

#4 Make a monthly checklist for big items for ALL classes for your planner/binder.

I think this is the best thing to do for big assignments. Whenever you make checklists (or at least for me), you always are more inclined to work on things ahead of time because you know exactly when they’re due and how much more time you have to complete them. Combining them all onto one checklist also keeps you from missing something because you’re flipping through syllabi every day to see what you have due. Big projects normally take a lot of time so this helps you manage that.

 

#5 Create an assignment list for day-to-day things that will need to be done sooner rather than later.

This is the same concept, except for same, everyday assignments! I recommend making this list all at one, just like the monthly checklist or doing it weekly (this is what I do). Writing down everything you need to accomplishment each week keeps you updated on everything, just like the monthly checklist does. If you want, you could combine both lists to make for a HUGE master list but I think splitting it up making it easier to tackle and more organized!

 

#6 FOLLOW THROUGH!

This is the most important tip of all. If you don’t use all of these resources you’re making, doing your assignments, and following the rules and information stated in your syllabi then none of this is going to help you! Your syllabi are there to guide you through your semesters with ease. Utilize them to do so!

 

I hope you all found this post useful and I wish you all the best of luck with organizing your semester! If you have any requests for back to school posts for this series, leave them in the comments down below.

xo Kimberly Signature

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