Time Log Exeperiment: Day 1

I am only about half-way through the first day of my experiment but I already felt the need to write about it.

I wasn’t sure the best way to go about logging my time so I just decided on filling in a blank notebook. Every time I have started a new activity I note the time and what I am doing. Not sure if this is the best way to do it, I might try pre-writing all the times tomorrow and filling in the activities throughout the day.

The major thing I have noticed though is how conscious I am of my time now that I am forcing myself to write down all my activities. For example, I had to take my younger sister to dance class at 11:30. She came downstairs a little before 11, normally I would just close whatever I was doing and putter around for the next 20 minutes. However, because I was thinking about writing it down I decided to continue doing my online school work. Usually I wouldn’t have given it a second thought but because of my time log I realized that I had a perfectly good 20 minutes to make use of.

Tomorrow I will try a pre-written schedule divided into 15 minutes increments and report back!

Wish me Luck 🙂

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9 Easy to Steal Habits of the Super Successful

9 Easy to Steal Habits of the Super Successful

  1. Get up insanely early
  2. Keep promises no matter how small
  3. Learn how to tell stories
  4. Lead don’t dictate
  5. Don’t be afraid of or embarrassed by your failures
  6. Ask questions, a lot of them
  7. Be honest with yourself and others
  8. Take breaks
  9. Take notes and stay organized

As I was going through my ridiculously backed up inbox,  I came across a link for this article from Fast Company Daily. This summer I have been feeling pretty unsuccessful so I thought it was the perfect thing to share with my readers.

It is not that any of the items on the list are so amazingly new but together I think these 9 habits really do lead to a more successful person. I have decided to get started with the list right away by being honest with myself and others. I am going to share with you my own personal thoughts on the list and how I think that I need to improve upon these different qualities in order to be a MORE SUCCESSFUL ME:

  1. Get up insanely early: something I have really struggled with this summer, I get up early to work out but then often find myself wanting a nap as soon as I get home, rather than letting myself head straight for the bed I should make sure to keep my entire morning scheduled— even if all I have to do is online course work
  2. Keep promises no matter how small: I have never struggled with keeping promises to others but rather with keeping promises I make to myself,  I have found that by telling others my promises to myself I am able to hold myself accountable. For example this summer I promised to lose weight, but as this is something I have struggled with time and again I decided to share that promise with my mother which in turn has held me accountable ( I am happy to report that I have lost 8.5lbs so far!!)
  3. Learn how to tell stories: my mother would warn you that I love to talk, especially at the dinner table, but often my stories don’t really go anywhere because I just get too excited to think straight, this is definitely a skill I need to continue to hone
  4. Lead don’t dictate: I would have to say that this is by far my favorite habit on the list! I am very passionate about how to be a good leader and like to think, as Sheryl Sandberg says that as a young child I was not bossy, but rather had executive tendencies 🙂 Through my own leadership experiences I have found that the best way to lead is by motivating others to do the work themselves rather than telling them what to do.
  5. Don’t be afraid of or embarrassed by your failures
  6. Ask questions, a lot of them: This is one that I learned very well during my time interning in DC. Our supervisor suggested that we  invite people in the office to coffee in order to get to know them. I took this suggestion to heart and made it my personal goal to have an information interview with at least 75% of the staff. During these coffee dates I asked every question imaginable. I found this time the most educational and I am now a major supporter of coffee dating because I think there is no question too big or small.
  7. Be honest with yourself and others:
  8. Take breaks: this is something I definitely struggle with. I have found, at least during my time in college that I am either extremely busy or completely bored (Que the quote “Only boring people are boring”) Maybe this is a problem with scheduling maybe it is just the realities of college but it seems that my life is on a constant roller coaster in regards to my schedule. Luckily I just ordered a very expensive life planner from Erin Condren and I am looking forward to better scheduling my life back at school.
  9. Take notes and stay organized: I will point you back to what I said above. I usually live by my planner but when I finally got an iPhone I started putting everything in my iCalendar. I have begun to realize that when it comes to scheduling I am more of a pen and paper gal. My recommendation for others would be to figure out what works best for you because making a schedule is KEY to all the other 8 habits.

Making the Mature/Adult Decision

What is a mature decision anyways? I mean I know plenty of mature adults who make stupid decisions all the time. It is actually mind blowing to start to think about how many decisions we are forced to make everyday. From what to eat for breakfast, to whether or not to pack the phone charger, to how much time to devote to our studies every single thing we do or don’t do throughout the day is a decision.

I started thinking about my everyday decisions a lot more once I started college. Before the start of our freshman year, my best friend and I stayed up late many nights discussing our future and college. We were so excited to begin shaping our futures. We talked about the fact that college meant growing up and taking charge of our lives. We no longer had to spend our time on the silly insignificant things because we were going to college. This was our chance to shape ourselves into who we wanted to be.

Once college began and we were separated by a three hour drive, with me at UT and Jordan at UH, I called her many times in a panic. I was beginning to realize the full weight of every decision I made. I felt as though every decision I was making could be life changing, a tad dramatic I know, but I was deciding to change my major. My entire life had been about dance. Everybody knew that I was going to school for dance and would one day open my own studio. But less than a semester in, I had to have ankle surgery and my whole world started spinning into chaos. I was considering other majors, so you might be able to understand why, as mentioned above, I felt as though every decision I was making could be life changing.

I try not to be a dramatic person, channeling my fathers calm thoughtfulness, but this is often for naught. Usually after my initial panic I am able to relax a bit and make some sort of list (pro/con is my go to choice). After this I talk to just about everyone to get their opinion and then finally make my decision. Whether or not this whole process leads me in the right direction is yet to be discovered, but it usually makes me feel better and that has to count for something right?

I have realized that there is really no such things as the mature/adult decision. There is only MY decision. Sometimes I like the outcome and sometimes I don’t, but no matter what I always have to live with the consequences.

Thinking back on those talks I realize how naive Jordan and I  were about college and what it would mean for our lives. However, I also look back on those conversations and realize the importance of them in regards to my life now. I still waste time on trivial things and get caught up in the everyday silliness, but those conversations over two years ago now remind me that sometimes making the hard decision is the right decision. And I am thankful for the strong support system I have that will be there for me through every decision.

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Productivity and Summer, yet to Happen

So I have really been struggling with how to be productive this summer. After last summer interning in DC nothing could even begin to compare… especially SUMMER SCHOOL!

After changing my major 4 times it was inevitable that I would have to take some summer school if I didn’t want to take 18 hours every semester. I told myself it was for the best because  I really didn’t want to take a bunch of core classes at the University of Texas when there are so many better classes to take, like Hebrew for example 🙂 But taking 4 classes in one summer meant no internship and only 2 weeks in Israel (I know I shouldn’t be complaining, but once you have been to Israel yourself you will understand, 2 weeks is not enough!) Summer school, especially online summer school means a lot of discipline because every day you have to force yourself to work without ever once stepping into a classroom. Now in the second summer session I have decided that it is better to leave the house to do my work, our home office just wasn’t cutting it– hence why I am sitting in Starbucks writing this post.  (Lesson Number 1: Find your perfect study work/environment! At home I like the bookstore, back at school the student Union is my go to spot.)

However for me, simply doing summer school is not enough. I have this little quirk where I feel the need to always be busy or productive. For example yesterday my mom and I were cleaning out the house, going through desks, cabinets, and closets to find things to get rid of. Usually I love “Spring Cleaning”, yes I know it is the middle of summer already, but for some reason at the end of the day I didn’t feel very accomplished. Probably because I had planned to study yesterday instead. I have found that not having a set schedule in the summer is really difficult for me. (Lesson Number 2: Having a schedule during the summer is key to reaching your goals.)

I definitely haven’t figured out the perfect formula for having a productive summer, probably because my definition of being productive is almost impossible to reach. However, with only one month left of summer I plan to put those two lessons to use, setting a daily schedule and working outside of the house. I have a long list of goals for the summer still yet to be accomplished but with a little structure and a lot of time I know I can complete it all. In order to keep myself accountable I am going to share with all of you my plan for a successful rest of the summer!

  1. Consolidate all of my lists into 1
  2. Create a schedule for the rest of the summer

I know this is pretty vague so far but once I get myself organized I will have a much better idea of what I’m dealing with.

The Big 2-0

There is nothing better than a birthday to remind you of all the great people you have in your life. I woke up to a number of the sweetest texts yesterday from some of my closest friends. And throughout the day I was continuously getting Facebook notifications that another friend had written on my wall. As silly as it may seem, all of the posts, texts, and instagram pictures really made me feel loved. The more and more we get caught up in our own worlds the harder it is to see all the wonderful people we have around us. Yesterday was an amazing reminder of all the people I have to be thankful for in my life.

Birthdays are also the perfect time for self reflection and looking forward. I can’t believe it has been an entire year since my fellow interns along with a number of others in the office threw me a surprise birthday at work. It was at that moment when I was blowing out the candles on my peace sign birthday cake that I knew I never wanted to leave DC.

That night at dinner, JoHanna and Marissa, two of my fellow interns, asked me to come up with three things I hoped to accomplish in the coming year. Sadly I don’t remember what I said, but I think it is such a good tradition I have decided to do it again, and share my answers with you here on my new blog— now I will have my answers documented forever!

1) Get accepted to the Archers Program

2) Speak fluent Hebrew

3) Get back into “dancer/Doll” shape

I am one who truly believes in the power of self reflection and assessment. I feel that it is one of the most powerful tools for growth in a person, so I will also take just a moment to reflect on this past year and all that I have learned.

1) I am terrible at accounting!

2) I love Israel and traveling in general

3) A planner/agenda is an essential part of my life

4) It’s okay to put yourself first sometimes

This list is only just the beginning of what I know will be another incredible year!

Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday, I am so thankful for each and every person I have in my life! I cannot wait to see what this year shall bring!

“Moments don’t last unless we do something with them.” -Gloria Feldt532414_10151891528560517_171865058_n