Author Archives: shannonsapourn

Address your stress

Stress. The word alone is stressful. According to  www.merriam-webster.com, stress is a state of mental tension caused by problems in your life, work, etc. No matter who you are, you are probably going to get stressed out at some point.

So, what can you do to help manage your stress level?

One of the things I like to do is use stress balls. These are foam balls that you squeeze to relieve stress. I have learned that squeezing the ball in a consistent rhythm helps to calm me down whenever I am stressed out.

I initially started using stress balls for a different purpose. My piano teacher made me use the balls to strengthen my hands so that they would not cramp while I was playing. I began to carry one around with me wherever I went to not only to make my hands stronger, but also because I liked the feeling when I used the balls. When I realized that the foam balls also kept me relaxed, I began using them as a stress reliever, too.

I definitely recommend getting stress balls, especially if you constantly need to be moving (like tapping a pen or stomping your foot). It’s a much better habit as well as it helps to calm your nerves.

Visit http://www.motivators.com/Promotional-Custom-BallStressRelievers-31494.html to check out one of the websites that offers  stress balls.

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Staying busy makes you more productive

My biggest advice to students when dealing with time management is to STAY BUSY!

I’m not joking.In my opinion, staying busy is probably one of the best things you can do to maximize your time management skills. Now, I’m not saying to wear yourself out with things to do if you don’t have to. However, having things to do can actually help you get more stuff done.

There are a lot of people, including myself, who work better under pressure. I personally have a hard time getting started on a project a week or so in advance if I have a lot of leisure time. If I have a number of things going on, I will be more likely to use my free time in a more productive manner.

Another important thought is about how essential it is to learn to multitask in today’s world. There are so many more things to distract our society than at any other point in history. Cellphones, laptops and tablets are prevalent everywhere, and people are constantly checking status updates on social media and their emails. The new technological medium has made it possible for us to do more all at once. Communication is much faster now and allows people to plan more events, to hang out and socialize more and to do things faster, which allows for us to accomplish more. This faster-paced life style can be overwhelming if multitasking is not one of your strongest areas.

Remember, try not to let being busy stress you out, but rather let it remind you that you’re being productive. Being busy is the best way to practice how to manage your time well.

Stop procrastination habits now

In my opinion, the number one issue students deal with on a daily basis is procrastination. Procrastination is a result of poor time management and laziness, and it creeps up on everyone at some point or another. So, how do we deal with this?

This is typical view of my desktop on my computer. This was taken while I was studying for an exam earlier this week.

This is typical view of my desktop on my computer. This was taken while I was studying for an exam earlier this week.

According to Dealing With Procrastination, there are a number of things you can do to avoid procrastinating. Here are a few of the suggestions from the article:

1.) Set realistic goals. This is really important because I know I personally will try to do too many things at once, get burnt out and give up on doing everything altogether. Try to focus on one thing at a time rather than starting multiple things and not finish any of them.

2.) Don’t get stuck in one task for too long. Mix up what you’re doing! Study for two hours, take a break, study a different subject, take a break and so forth. This routine will help keep your mind awake and provide endurance to push through a tough day ahead.

3.) Schedule in your down time or relaxation time. Even if you can only fit in a 20-minute power nap, it is important to allow your body to rest. A lack of relaxation will only contribute to stress and grumpiness.

4.) Make a list of your priorities. I write down my school and work schedule first. Then, I look at the empty blocks of time to see when I can do homework or go to the gym. In this particular article, it suggests to rate your activities in numerical order, giving the most time to the number one and number two activities. The article also says to consider eliminating your last two activities from your schedule. This will not only allow you to allocate more time to your more important activities, but having less tasks on your schedule will lower your stress level.

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Working out just doesn’t work out!

As college students, we make excuses for ourselves all the time. “I was up really late last night, so I couldn’t,” or “I had to go do this, then I had class and I just didn’t have time to go,” are just two of the many examples of excuses people use to convince others, and maybe even themselves, that their laziness is justifiable. If someone is serious and dedicated, he or she can and will be able to find time in their day to exercise. Even if you only have 30 minutes to do some push-ups and squats in between studying and class, utilize that time.

I’m not a morning person, but I started getting up early to go to the gym this summer. The first few days were rough, but after  a week it became part of my routine. I learned that going to the gym in the morning has a few benefits:

1.) You get your workout out of the way. You don’t have to worry about trying to fit exercising in later in the day.

2.) Working out helps you wake up. Exercising soon after I wake up helps get my blood flowing and I have an easier time waking up. I also find that I feel awake and more productive throughout the rest of the day.

Walking to class is also an excellent way to fit cardio into your schedule without even having to think about it. Scooting and riding the bus may be more convenient, but burning the extra calories walking to class is more rewarding. Riding a bike to class is also a great way to get in cardio.

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Students park their bikes outside of Weimer Hall at the University of Florida. Riding a bike to class made for a great cardio workout in the middle of day for some students.

According to Fit With a Busy Schedule , you could also use exercising as a way to meet up with friends and co-workers or to discuss work with a business partner.

Another thing to consider is to change up your workout routine so that you don’t become bored. If you’re bored, you won’t feel motivated to go to the gym. I try and take one or two workout classes every week and supplement these with two or three days of cardio on the elliptical or treadmill.

If you’re not a member of a gym, no problem! Running, walking or cycling on the street is free. There are also apps for smartphones that provide strength and core conditioning exercises for you to do. For example, I have an abdominal app called Daily Ab Workout that is free and gives me great exercises that I can do on my bedroom floor and without any equipment.

There are many ways to find time to exercise in your day. Even if it’s only 10 minutes, it’s something. By making exercising a part of your daily routine, you will not only notice progress in your body, but you will also notice progress in your mental performance as well.

Wish there were more hours in a day?

No matter how old you are or what is going on in your life, every person has to learn how to manage their time well. Balancing different aspects of your life is a key ingredient to being happy and successful. However, sometimes it is not as easy as we would like it to be.

Personally, there are not enough hours in the day for me to do everything that I want to do. I am a full time student at the University of Florida, I work four days a week at a restaurant, I love to exercise daily, I like to have time to socialize with my friends and I am involved with a few organizations on campus that require my time. I, like many of you, have a lot, if not too much, going on.

The first step to managing your time well is prioritizing. If you have a test the next day, but you really want to go watch a volleyball game with your friends, staying in to study probably the better option. It can be hard for some people to give up social time because they have a fear of missing out (FOMO), but in the long run missing one volleyball game will not affect your life as much as a bad grade on a test will.

Mary Davis, a second-year public relations major, reads a book on the steps outside of the Reitz Student Union on Tuesday. Davis utilized her time between classes to study for an exam later on Tuesday.

Mary Davis, a second-year public relations major, reads a book on the steps outside of the Reitz Student Union on Tuesday. Davis utilized her time between classes to study for an exam later on Tuesday.

The second step is getting a planner or calendar. I have three calendars that I use: a calendar that is in my iPhone, which sends me alerts and reminders about things going on at certain times and locations, a calendar that is hanging on my wall in my room and a planner that is always in my backpack. Using multiple resources to write down due dates and meeting times helps a lot. Having a few different calendars will constantly give you reminders about what you need to be doing no matter which one you look at.

A third step is to make a list of things you have going on each day. There are apps for smartphones and tablets that allow you can set reminders, dates, times and locations of the events going on in your life each day. When I am overwhelmed with the amount of things I have to do, it always helps me to write down on a piece of paper each and every thing I have to get done and what times during my day or week I can allocate towards homework, class, work, meeting or socializing. This way, I can visually see what needs to be done and when I can do it, rather than trying to keep track of everything in my head.

According to Kirsten Donovan, author of  4 Ways You Might Be Sabotaging Your Own Time Management on Time Management Ninja, excuses, such as “I can’t do this,” or “I don’t have time for this,” will hurt your productivity level. My mom always told me to think, “There is someone else out there who has a busier schedule than me who is able to manage their time well, so why can’t I?”

Time management is all about prioritizing, organizing and making sacrifices in order accomplish everything that you need to do on a daily basis. It is not always easy, but with practice and a positive attitude, anyone can become more successful in balancing his or her life every day.

A Brief Introduction

This blog will consist of tips and tricks for high school and college students on how to efficiently manage various aspects of daily life. Topics such as how to manage one’s time well, how to manage one’s stress level, how to stay organized, how to fit working out into a busy schedule, how to deal with procrastination, and how to balance school, work and a social life will be discussed here.

In high school, I was the president of three different clubs at the same time, played volleyball year-round, took AP classes, and had a part-time job. Currently, I am taking five classes, I am working about 20 hours per week, and I am participating  in and helping with three to four organizations on the University of Florida campus. Through my hectic schedules, I have learned how to efficiently allocate all of the hours in my days in order to remain on top of everything. I hope that my advice and knowledge on this topic will be able to help other students who are struggling with organization their lives.

The advice on this blog will not only come from my personal experience, but also from the experiences of other students and professionals. I will be interviewing various students on the University of Florida campus who are extremely involved and get their advice about how they “do it all”. I also plan interviewing guidance counselors and faculty involved in student affairs.

The information on this blog will contain tips that I wish I knew at the beginning of my high school career. I hope that students will be able to apply some of the tips and advice found on this blog to their own lives and will be able to see positive results.