Five Things We Wish We Had More Time to Do

Five Small Things to Improve your Life | gold&heartsSometimes I sit on my bed eating hummus and pita chips on my fifth hour Netflix and think, I should change my habits. I’m one of those people who is always trying to improve themselves and really doesn’t succeed. I challenged Kaylee and me to come up with a list of things that we wanted to make more time for and try to actually accomplish them. The first thing I wanted to do was wake up early. I’ve been slowly forcing myself to wake up between 8:30 and 9:00 every day. With that, I have more time in my day because I finish my work much earlier. I started thinking of the things I always said I would do and haven’t done, and I created this list. Some of these things I’ve actually started working on, and some I will try to get to soon.

Reading

Both Kaylee and I including reading on our list because it’s that sort of thing that everyone puts on their list. I’ve been actually implementing this two ways. The first way I’ve been reading more is walking to and spending at least an hour a week our local book store, Book People. I usually grab a smoothie from the flagship Whole Foods store nearby and find a cozy spot to read a book. The second way I implement reading more is trying to ban electronics after 11. I like to have some time to read and try to sleep before midnight. I’ve collected these books that I honestly have no space for, so I decided I might as well read them.

Crafting

This is another activity both Kaylee and I had on our lists. I’m trying to do a Christmas craft a week to lead up to Christmas and bring some holiday cheer to my apartment. I have a Christmas craft Pinterest board on my personal account with my friends, and we are slowly knocking those down. You’ll see some DIYs on here as well!

Exercise

I think this is something absolutely everyone has on their list regardless of their frequency of exercising. Currently, I try to walk/run/jog at least five miles a day. Living off campus, my usual day-to-day movements leave me at about 4 miles a day. I try to workout at least 3 times a week. I really want to make more time for walks, just to explore the city, as well as take advantage of workout classes offered around the city. I’m planning on signing up for a yoga membership in January. Kaylee really wants to be more active in general and workout more often.

Volunteering

Kaylee and I went to a high school that placed a really big emphasis on volunteering. We called it social awareness which encompasses the idea of volunteering really well. You’re not in a hierarchical relationship, but you have a mutual symbiotic relationship with the people/area you are volunteering at. We would volunteer for 2 hours every Wednesday for two years. Both of us really miss connecting with people and helping people out and wish we actually had more time to do  that. Community service in organizations is great, but you rarely get to make long-lasting, meaningful relationships through fundraising,  profit shares, or fun-run.

Blogging

If you’ve read this blog at all, you can tell how much it has been forgotten because of tests, committees, or school in general. I want to get back into the blogging mode over break, so I’m able to fully merge it into my schedule next semester. I love blogging and all the work associated with it. Even thought it’s so time intensive, I enjoy it so much that I don’t consider it work.
What are somethings you wish you had more time to do? 
Continue Reading

How To | Painlessly Write a Paper

How To Write a Painless Paper goldandhearts
It’s the end of the semester here in Texas, and we are plagued with papers and exams right now. I hope everyone is holding up well and has time to enjoy the wonderful winter(ish) weather. Papers are the bane of my existence. I’m a business major, and Kaylee is an environmental science major; we often have to write boring and dry technical papers. The amount of Netflix I watch to avoid any of my writing assignments is truly pathetic. I’ve developed a little method to help me tackle papers. I think it helps me break it down. I recently had to write a forty page report with my group. We were each assigned to write about ten pages each. Here’s how I broke down my work.

1. Know your assignment!

Make sure you know all your specifics for assignments. Look through your rubric or syllabus to find out your topic and the requirements. Don’t lose points on trivial details. Make sure you know what your font, margins, font size, and spacing.

2. Figure out how many paragraphs you need.

I promise this helps. I use this by assigning two paragraphs a page. If your requirement is pages, then just multiple by 2. If you have a word requirement, then use a site like this(http://wordstopages.com/) to calculate how many words a page. For example, a paper with size twelve Times New Roman font is about 400 words a page. I then subtract that number of paragraphs by two for the introduction and the conclusion paragraphs. That number is the amount of body paragraphs you have to write out.

3. Make note cards summarizing your sources. 

Take notes on index cards for different ideas from your sources. You’ll have small notes that you can easily translate into paragraphs. You don’t even need to write out full sentences. Just get your ideas down and you can easily organize them. Also, index cards allow you to physically shuffle around your ideas and keep yourself organized.

3. Create an outline and assign one topic per paragraph.

If you can assign a small topic for each paragraph, then you have a focus for that paragraph. This prevents you from constantly repeating yourself. If you have a plan just start writing.

4. Know your thesis.

When you’re writing, make sure you look at your thesis from time to time to make sure that your paragraphs are linking back to your main argument. I’d keep it copy pasted before each paragraph while you’re writing it. Don’t forget to delete before you turn it in!

5. Write! 

Just sit down and get all your thoughts onto your document. It doesn’t even have to make that much sense, but just start writing paragraphs with ideas you found really important. Try to coordinate these paragraphs with the one in your outline. Kaylee’s favorite tip is to write out her paragraphs on paper and then type them up. This might be an extra step, but it forces you to revise your essay as you type it up!
What are your tips and tricks for tackling papers and essays?
Continue Reading