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The Beauty of the To-Do List

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“She NEEDS to sort out her priorities.” – Ron Weasley (about Hermione Granger) in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (film)

to-do list Making a to-do list helps you sort out your priorities and make sure everything gets done on time. The best way to make a to-do list useful is to follow these few tips:

  • Write your to-do list BEFORE you start working. Adding on items after finishing each assignment won’t make you feel accomplished, but it will make you feel overwhelmed.
  • Give each item a priority number or status. Saying “Item no. 1” reminds you that this item should be done first before you do anything else. Less important items that can be done later in the week should be lower on the list.
  • Allot time limits if necessary. If you know that you will spend 4 hours working on 2 problems in one class, it might be better to say decide to spend 45 minutes per problem before asking the professor or TA for help.
  • Color Code your list. Give each subject a different color so that if you find you are overwhelmingly working on History tonight you might be able to take a break with that one Stat homework in between.
  • Make sure to include when an item is due. Some higher priority items might be due later than lower priority ones, but might get lost in the mix.

Having a to-do list will keep you organized and on-top of all your work, so don’t forget to do your to-do list!!

4 Alternative Spring Break Ideas

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With March just around the corner, Spring Break will be here before you know it. With more free time than usual, you may be tempted to spend the entire break watching cat videos but there are plenty of alternative Spring Break options to make the most of your time off.

1. Travel

Vacationing over spring break is an obvious and popular choice. Shake off your cabin fever from spending all winter indoors with a nice getaway. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or exotic (although it certainly wouldn’t hurt) to be an amazing vacation. For any traveling needs like finding out flight, hotel or car rental prices, Kayak.com is one of the leading search websites in doing so. World Map

http://highheelsandddp.blogspot.com

2. Volunteer

Spending time helping others is always time well spent. Spring break is a fabulous time to help out around your community or in another city. Some colleges even offer programs to volunteer in communities abroad. Habitat for Humanity is a great organization to get involved in as a student, for more information, you can see if your college has a campus chapter at http://www.habitat.org.  

Habitat for Humanity

http://northsidemadison.org

3. Get Organized

The middle of the semester is a good time to get organized. Clearing out old papers from last semester and cleaning up your living space will make a huge difference in your work ethic and stress level. When you are throwing all those papers away, remember to recycle. Its a great option to take when getting organized because not only are you cleaning up, you are doing something good for the environment, and if you would like to know more about recycling check out Earth911.

 Messy desk

http://www.healthinharmony.com

4. Revamp and Refresh

With winter gone, a new fitness routine is in order. Spring break is the perfect time to trade in your treadmill run for a run in the park or on the beach. Fresh air and sunshine are sure-fire ways to motivate your workout (and let’s face it, summer is getting dangerously close). If you would like some work out encouragement, check out some of the videos on Fitness Magazines website that you can use during your routine.

Running

http://www.dailyhiit.com

Try out this list and you’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the semester by the end of the break!

WARNING: By the end of your awesome spring break you may feel an urge to start a countdown to summer break. Side effects include procrastination, loss of motivation, and an urge to burn textbooks.

Why You Should Spend a Beautiful Day Inside

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Spring is finally in the air. The days are longer, the temperature is warmer, and the sun is here to stay. Now that summer is right around the corner, it’s hard to resist spending the day outside. However, before you head out into the sunshine for the next few months, taking a day to do some cleaning and organizing from the months you’ve spent inside the house will be well worth it.
Spring Cleaning

The transition from winter to summer is a great opportunity to de-clutter your life. We spend so much time inside during the winter months, and thanks to the holiday season we have a tendency to accumulate more than we need. The summer redirects our attention from our material items indoors, to the simple beauty of the outdoors.

Trading out your thick winter sweater for a t-shirt and pair of shorts can be the greatest feeling in the world. While switching out your wardrobe this spring, take the time to go through and get rid of those winter clothes you haven’t worn in years. Also consider getting rid of those gifts you received that you know you have no use for. Then, take advantage of the nice weather and have a garage sale. You’ll be able to enjoy the weather outside while getting rid of your old things and making a little extra money. Have old books lying around? You can sell those too!

 

Summertime also rejuvenates our spirit to tackle new projects. If you’re looking for something to do, check out websites like Pinterest or OrgJunkie for fun ideas that will help you organize the items you do have, in fun and unique ways. If you don’t have any need to de-clutter, take time just freshening up your house. Pull back your curtains to let the sun in, and spend your day vacuuming, dusting, and trading out your warm winter sheets for a lighter, more colorful set. Having a clean and organized home will allow you to enjoy the summer even more.

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be dreaded. If you use our tips above you can face summer head on with an organized home, a little extra cash in your pocket, and a few new projects to get working on!

What do you do to get organized for the Summer? Let us know in the comments.

Make Your Workspace Work for You

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Dorm rooms are great escapes for things like naps, and make-shift study parties. In fact, our dorm rooms get so comfy that sometimes we forget that we have to live, and more importantly, work there too. So as fun as the popcorn pop quizzes and movie night mosh pits are, we need to make room for the books. So let’s buckle down and figure out the best way to make a functional workspace out of your humble abode away from home.

First things first… DECLUTTER that desk of yours!
Make sure to purge all of your old, used spirals and notebooks and get ride of any papers and flyers you no longer need. Nothing screams “study buzz kill” like old paperwork you can’t remember if you need or not! Is this assignment due? Or is this one? Where did that form come from? Who knows! Save yourself the stress and just don’t go there!

Second, prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!
What are your staple study savers that you need close by at all times? What are your absolute must haves? Can you conveniently plug in your laptop charger? Do you have enough light? Where are your pens? Do you even have pens? The real key to a functional workspace is making sure the space is working for you just as hard as you are working on your work. If you can’t access your study tools, the space is doomed to fail. It might be time to rearrange and redesign the feng shui of the room. Try your desk in a new spot, or flip your bed the other way— whatever it takes to make the light ample, and the cords reach! But also keep in mind you have to comfortably live and study so make the necessary changes with a grain of both salt and practicality.

Third tip’s the charm! Organize your space
So you’ve taken the time to consider the feng shui so now it’s time to cross your T’s and dot your I’s. Is your stuff where it needs to be? I’m famous for the “junk drawer”— the throwing everything that doesn’t go somewhere else into one spot never to be seen again— which includes bobby pins, loose change, paperwork, hair ties, and even candy! I wouldn’t recommend a junk drawer. Besides being messy, they are incredibly inconvenient and swallow just about anything you decide to place within it. Instead, invest in proper organization like file folders, desk caddys, binders, penholders—the options are endless! Every store under the sun now carries cute, affordable organization knick knacks so don’t hold back! Channel your inner nerdiness and get smart with your study stuff—your assignments (and your room) will thank you!

Fourth and finally, disconnect!
Regardless of your study space it’s important to remember that distractions won’t turn themselves off. You need to make yourself and your space as comfortable as possible. When you are studying turn off your distractions and try to pry yourself away from Facebook and twitter and really focus. Then take a break and distress—grab some ice cream, or some cookies and watch a few episodes of Internet TV. When you shut off and disconnect and really buckle down your can reward yourself later with treats, and hopefully, higher grades!

All these tips combined and a touch of determination will help you not only maximize the functionality of any space, but will also help you reach your super focused study potential!

-Ring Queen

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