After some weird weeks, I ‘m proud to announce I’ve finally grown accustomed to my new schedule! A mix of college, a reading schedule and lots of library hours have become my weekly routine. Some days it is easier than others, but, as a whole, I must admit I’m super happy about how things have turned out. However, before I reached this point, I struggle to find time to read and write although I had plenty of it. It is for this reason that I’ve decided to share some of the things that worked for me. With this post I do not mean to tell anyone how to live their lives, but there were some posts out there that helped me to organize my time and ease back into a routine. These worked for me and they may, or may not, work for you, but as long as you try, you win because the important thing about change is not the change in itself but the desire to change, for better.
1. Turn your phone off.- While working at the library these past weeks, I saw how teenagers were trying to fit their studying in between their texting breaks rather than the opposite. I have a Blackberry for “professional” reasons: I want to get e-mails from college as soon as possible and I love to have access to my blog and your comments 24/7, but when I’m studying (or reading), I’d rather be focused. No friends, no texts and no e-mails. Only the books, a million pens and me.
2. Your handbag/backpack is your home.- Or it should be. I carry a huge amount of things in my handbag, but at times I’ve found myself relieved when I needed a lipstick retouch and knew I had the lipstick in my handbag, or a sip of water and carried a small bottle with me,or more importantly, lost the train and had a whole hour to spend having a coffee… while reading the book I carried with me! Find what will make you more comfortable or help you and carry it in your handbag. But be sure to don’t overdo it or your back will suffer.
3. What helps you to chill out?.- There are moments through the day when I need a break from everything just to busy my mind with something that makes me happy. In my case, it is music. I carry my iPod with me everywhere so I can listen to a song or two and unplug. It helps your brain to focus on another thing and return to your task fresh and happier.
4.- Turn your phone off, but keep it charged.– As important as it is not to focus too much on your phone, it can also help you in a stressful or hard situation. Texting someone you love about a problem can make you feel better just because you’re sharing your worry/stress; same happens when you receive good news and want to share them with your beloved ones.
5.- Don’t forget yourself.- Sometimes we can get too caught into a working routine and forget about us which will translate into our physical appearance (and that does not help when, at the end of the day, you come back home and the image on the mirror scares you to death). It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man, taking care of yourself is essential. I like to have my nails done or go to the hairdresser to get a more polished look. When I’m studying long hours in the library, it helps to know I’m comfortable but also looking good (or, as good as the situation allows me to do).
6. The night is the end of the day.- By the end of the day, try to relax doing some reading, watching TV or simply taking a few deep breaths to help you pause. I usually find myself thinking about the next day at night and it shouldn’t be like that: we should reflect on what we’ve achieved on that day and be done and happy with it. You’ll have time for your next day, next day.
So, these are some little and personal tricks that keep me going even in weeks like these when I call the library my second home. What do you do to keep yourself motivated and working/studying/reading?