Managing your time when studying and working

Hello everyone 🙂

Having just finished my second year of part-time university study, well kind of, part-time study means I complete 2 subjects a semester over a 6-year period, although this sounded like a ridiculous amount of time to me, so I usually study the trimester of Christmas, so I can then complete my degree over a 4-year span! The reason I chose to study this way is that I work 4-5 days a week. My job can be pretty crazy sometimes and always involves something different each day. I am a personal assistant/office manager for an awesome lady called Brooke, who runs 4 businesses of her own. While I love my job, sometimes after work I really don’t feel like coming home and jumping on my computer to study. I know there would be some people out there who can study full time and work full time, but If that’s you, I would really like to meet you and ask when you find time to sleep? Ha-ha.

In my first year I found I struggled a little to manage my time well, as I mentioned above that If worked all week and preferably made it to the gym every day, the last thing I felt like doing after working on my computer all day was coming home to write an assignment into the night, but if I didn’t complete this on weekdays, it then meant I needed to schedule out my weekend. While this always sounded like a good idea, it usually led to me being social ALL weekend and madly catching up on Sunday evening. SO I needed to find a good balance and this last semester I felt as though I had a good one! I wanted to offer a few tips on time management and how I try to be more productive 😊

 

For Blog

 

Wake up early in the morning to read textbooks and watch lectures

When it comes to absorbing information my brain usually works best in the mornings when I first wake up. On days that I know I need to watch a lecture or have a textbook chapter read, I wake up at around 5:30am and study until about 7, as that’s usually when I need to start getting ready for work. If I can get this work done during the week it spreads out the workload and leaves my weekends to do my assignments.  I used to work out in the mornings but have adjusted to going after work. I know then after I finish in the gym I can just come home and chill. I am lucky that I’m not a late-night person, I love the mornings. I have always been in bed by 9:00pm/10:00pm, so it’s generally easy for me to wake up. I know for a lot of people that is not the case, eventually, your body forms routines and it does become easier. If you have trouble getting to bed early, see my post on how to wind down after the day, here.

Learn to say no more often

Sometimes on the weekend, I have a habit of saying yes to everything and suddenly every day is full of plans. Obviously, I would much rather go to the beach with my friends than sit at home doing an assignment, but I have started to say no to a few more plans during the day which then allows me to really enjoy the evening as I know I had a productive day.

I also have started saying no more often to staying out until 3:00am drinking. Being hungover and sleepless really wastes a full day the next day. While I have had some really good times out with friends, this isn’t that hard for me anyway as I have never been a big fan of late nights.  If I do want to go out, and I know I have to study the next day, I try to take myself home at around midnight. This way I can still enjoy the night with my friends but also have a semi-good sleep (I know, I’m that grandma friend). I’m such a morning person though that I would rather spend Sunday morning going for an early morning jog and having a smoothie anyway!

Start assignments at least 4 weeks before they are due and do a little bit every few days

I try to start my assignments a few weeks out before they are due. I find starting something the hardest part, but it feels so productive once you do, even if you just get the introduction done, at least you have started. If you do a little bit each weekend for a few hours over a span of 4 -5 weeks, it doesn’t feel like such a big workload or stress. Even though I find myself still working a little harder when the due date does come up, at least ¾ of it is already completed and I just have to refine it. This does take some self-discipline on weekends but it’s worth it. I would rather lose 2 hours on a Saturday and Sunday than spend a full weekend cramming and stressing at the last minute trying to get it done.

Hide your phone

This seems so simple, but it really is very effective. This sounds so bad, but I usually put my phone downstairs or hide it somewhere I know I won’t be bothered to get it. This way you don’t even get the temptation to get distracted by social media. Also, recently I have deleted the Facebook App off my phone, so I can no longer scroll and have to log into my computer if I want to check it. This really helps as I only check Facebook about once a day now. While I enjoy using social media, I find it a massive time waster.

Work from a desk

Sometimes I take my laptop into my bed in the morning or on the weekend, I work for about 10 mins and then either get distracted or have a nap. While it sounds like a comfy place to work, it’s not as productive as sitting at a table or desk. If I need to get something done quickly, I know now to just go straight to my desk first.

I hope these tips will help you if you are also juggling a few things at once! 🙂

Kate x

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New Years Resolutions? (my very late edition)

Hello everyone!

Okay, so I know it has been way too long. I wake up every day and put on my ‘to do’ list, start writing blog posts again, but I never do. I seem to talk myself out of it and think ‘well I don’t have anything good enough to write about’, but really I don’t think I need anything super amazing to happen to me every day to write. I created this space to share my thoughts so that is what I am going to continue to do, it is always great for my future self to read back on also.

So really other than to come on and have a ramble. I want to talk about new years resolutions (even though it is the 10th of Feb?!). This year I didn’t set myself any particular resolutions, I feel every year we go to make these negative expectations about ourselves such as, ‘get fit’, ‘eat healthy’, ‘work harder’, ‘stop drinking’ and at the end of January if we haven’t achieved this  resolution in the short amount of time we set, we instantly feel rubbish about it. Not that I think setting goals is a bad thing, but I feel it’s something that we should be consistently doing, not having this expectation to give up everything in January and fail by the time February comes along. We all go through stages, for a day I could wake up at 5:30am, have a killer workout and eat super healthy, other days I slump myself out of bed and have one too many brownies (today was one of those days if I’m being honest).  I think I am better at sticking towards my goals if I let myself fall off the wagon every now and then, as long as you know how to pick yourself back up again the next morning.

Back to the point, I didn’t set any resolutions in particular but I have a few new outlooks on my life this year that I want to stick to.

  • Make choices that put my happiness first
  • Be more adventurous ( I always say this, but if you are close to me you will know how much I have been putting myself out of my comfort zone lately and I feel I am getting so much better at being spontaneous and not over thinking it!)
  • Stop worrying about the future, work hard and have fun in the moment today. ( I have a habit of trying to plan every detail of my future, which is okay in moderation, but you can’t let that bring you down if you aren’t exactly where you want to be right now)

Its okay, I can already see the cringe on your face as to how cliche’ these are, but hey if you have read this far you must be intrigued, eh?

Sticking with my final life ‘motto’, I purchased this really cool (my definition of really cool is debatable) yearly planner from My Happiness Planner that enables you to write down each day what you are grateful for and what was the highlight of your day, with lots of other fun (again, using the word fun in an odd way) to do list type things to fill out, I find it is a great way to take some perspective at the start and end of the day. I have added some pictures below of inside for you to see.

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If I’m honest I don’t know what my next post is going to be about, but as always I am going to try and say I will post often as I do have lots going on in my life to write about, but instead of that unrealistic expectation, I am going to say I will post when I have the time between gym, social life (social life? I mean my one friend Claire), work and uni. So here we go, I’m going to give it my best 🙂

Love Kate xx

 

 

 

The Virgin Traveller: Bristol, England.

 

Hi everyone,
As you know I have recently returned from a 5 week trip around Europe. This was my first trip away from Australia. I posted some photos on Facebook while I was away and a quick blurb about what we were up to at each new location, but I didn’t end up having the time/internet to upload blogs whilst away. I would have liked to have been able to put more time into it whilst there but now I guess I get to re-live it by creating this series.

I want to post each week about each country/place we visited, my obvious thoughts about the world and what it was like to do a Contiki trip for those of you considering it!

Before I start going into detail about the trip, I want to talk about the flight over to Europe. Oh my goodness, I couldn’t believe how long it took to get there, I mean you hear 23 hours and think ‘oh that’s not that long, it’s only a day’, but maybe this is just because I am not a fan of flying but wow, 23 hours is such a long time to sit on a plane, especially if you can’t sleep. What makes that even more annoying is when the person you’re traveling with, sleeps the entire flight! As soon as we landed in Heathrow I swore I never wanted to do that again (knowing dam well I had to in 5 weeks’ time if I ever wanted to come home) but I wiped that from my memory for then and it is so worth it as for the first time in my life I was in another country 🙂

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Day One

The first day we went to a place called Weston-super-Mare which is a town in Somerset, England, on the Bristol Channel 18 miles south west of Bristol. I would like to think of as a being a typical English seaside resort, inclusive of the obligatory English Pier. We walked in the ‘sun’, keeping in mind that I was still freezing, but we were very blessed with such sunny weather for England at this time of year (well any time of year that is, for England). We went and played on the arcade/show machines and some of us ate greasy deep-fried fish and chips. Well I didn’t eat fish and chips that day as being early into the trip I had every intention of keeping healthy throughout so I bought a salad from Waitrose, but I can safely say that little epiphany went down the drain after day 1! I am only here once (this time anyway!)

After the pier, we visited Cabot Tower lookout which is set in parklands of Brandon Hill in Bristol. The Tower is 32 metres high and was built in 1897 to commemorate John Cabot’s famous voyage 400 years ago from Bristol to what is now known as Canada. We climbed up to the top and it was a beautiful view. I also saw my first squirrel, albeit a grey one and not a red native squirrel, but still very cute and we fed them! (Well Brandon did, I’m not a huge wild animal fan – scenario “squirrel bites Kate and she dies of rabies whilst on her 2nd day of holidays”). I also loved all the wild flowers growing around the parks and lovely little daisy’s in the grass.

That night we went to a place called ‘Cosmos’, it was like a huge sizzler, and they had chocolate fountains! No didn’t stick my face in it but tempting. So so good. We didn’t stay out late as although jetlag didn’t hit me as badly on the way over as it did coming home, I still couldn’t keep my eyes open towards the end of each day for the first few days.

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Day two

Shopping day! My boyfriend’s aunty took us shopping, and we went to Cabot Circus which contains shops, offices, a cinema, hotel and 250 apartments. I could have spent a few days just in this shopping centre part. So many different shops that we don’t have in Australia. I bought a few bits of clothes, although I couldn’t go crazy as I didn’t want to spend all my money in the first few days! Near Cabot Circus is a little market area called ‘St Nicols Markets’ it was very cool, you could buy lots of vintage bits of clothing and lots of yummy cakes! We also made a visit to ‘the Mall’ and I had my first John Lewis experience (like Myers but bigger!).

I forgot to mention that it was my boyfriend’s 20th birthday the day we arrived and we didn’t celebrate too much, as the only thing we wanted to do was sleep after we landed! So that night his lovely Nan and Gramp threw him a birthday party at one of the local pubs in Winterbourne. It was so nice, he got to see a lot of his family that he hasn’t seen in years plus I got to experience my first English Pub and extended family networks. Yes, I do have some family, but they are spread far and wide over Australia in little groups, and we only get to see them in singular lots at a time. It was amazing how everyone in England seems to live so close to ALL their relatives!

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Day three:

That morning we got picked up by Brandon’s Aunty, Uncle and two adorable little cousins. They took us to the Docks area and we went for a walk and ate tea and cake on this little ‘boat cafe’ (first of many cakes I ate whilst in England – gluten free be dammed!) We then went on the ‘SS Great Britain’ which is a museum ship and former passenger steamship.

The ship was launched in 1843 and was the longest passenger ship in the world from 1845 to 1854. In 1852 the ship was purchased to carry emigrants to Australia and an extra upper deck was added to the ship so she could carry up to 700 passengers. It was very cool to see, Brandon and his uncle climbed the rigging. Looked like fun but was a bit high for me (plus I was wearing a dress). That afternoon we went to Clifton, it is considered the ‘posh’ side of Bristol. It was beautiful and the streets looked a bit like Notting Hill/Kensington areas of London. There was an ice-cream van and we had ice-cream in the park, even though I had gloves on and it was still cold but is it ever too cold for ice cream? We made our way up to the Clifton Observatory located on Clifton Down which was a former mill built in 1766, now used as an observatory, which also took you down through a cave in the hill to a lookout on the side of a mountain and which had the most amazing view of the Clifton Suspension Bridge which spans the Avon Gorge and the River Avon and was built in 1864. Was a really great day! 🙂

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Can I just add to that I really looked my best in the first few days of the holiday, as I made a big effort to curl my hair and do my makeup. You will see as these posts keep going that I look more and more grungy as the trip goes on – too much to see, not enough sleep, early morning getaways and not enough time to care about looks!! Haha.
Thanks for reading my first post of this series 🙂

Some posts will be longer than others, we probably spent the most amount of time in the U.K so these will be bigger than when we started traveling across Europe.
Please feel free to leave your feedback!

Love Kate xxx

Winter Fashion Bits

Hello everyone,

I know if you live in North Queensland right now like me the last thing you want to think about is winter clothes, as it is still so stinking hot (I type as I sit in the air-conditioning) but as you are all aware, my boyfriend and I leave for our Europe adventure in 2 weeks’ time…Oh wowwww, that has come up so quickly!

So, as I want to start preparing and packing my bag, I realise that I lacked a few cold weather essentials. It wasn’t such a bad thing as it was a good excuse to go shopping! I thought it would be cool to share the few bits I picked up with you guys here 🙂

DSC00265 (2)DSC00269 (2)Country Road $69.99 

I shopped for just some simple thin material jumpers to wear underneath jackets everywhere! Finally, I found these two from Country Road. They were a little more expensive than I wanted to pay, for what I was searching for, but I had tried on others in less expensive places and they just didn’t look or feel as nice. Plus I am a big believer in buying a few good quality items of clothing and keeping them for years than having a cupboard full of cheapies that you have to keep replacing and probably ends up costing you more in the long run!

DSC00273 (2)DSC00275 (2)Forever New; Nelly Horizontal Batwing Jumper in blush pink $79.99
This knit is soooo soft and such a nice colour! They had another one in grey too but it wasn’t really in my budget so I needed to pick one.

DSC00282 (2)Uniqlo; Ultra Light Down Jacket $109.90
Omg! Okay I am excited to talk about this one. This jacket is from Uniqlo and is made from a material called ‘down’. It is so warm and cosy plus because of the way it’s made, it is as light as a feather and folds down into a tiny bag so you can literally keep your jacket in your handbag, what an amazing idea, especially for travelling. It looks cute on to.

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Having a few pairs of quality staple jeans is such a good idea for anyone as you can just keep re-wearing for years and the good part is, the less you wash jeans the better they look so it means not as much washing for you to do, so its a win, win situation.

DSC00290Levis; 711 Skinny Jeans $129.95
You can’t go wrong with a good pair of Levi’s, need I say more?

DSC00292DSC00294These Ryder Jeans, I bought on sale so I can’t find them online but they were $60 (from $100) at Myer, loooove a good bargin.

DSC00302 (2)Nike; I can’t find these online anymore either, as they are probably previous stock,  but I think they were around $100.

My boyfriend Brandon bought me these cool Nikes for Christmas but I wanted to include them in this post as they are still new and I haven’t worn them yet as I have been saving them for Europe. As much as I love the idea of wearing funky heeled boots every day and look like the typical Parisian, they are not very practical when you will be doing lots of sightseeing and walking (of course I’ll still pack some for nights out though). But I am really in love with these trainers and they are super comfy!

Please let me know if you guys liked this kind of fashion haul post. Make sure you keep up to date, lots of travel posts to come! 🙂