A Note on Exams

It feels like I write a post like this every exam season, but the truth is, every time the exam period comes around, I notice new things, and learn more about myself, and others, and what works to get through heavy workloads and stressful times.

I’ve always been a planner, so planning and organizing my studying  feels very natural to me. If you’re someone who struggles to maintain order and stick to a plan, a more brief outline of the content you need to cover before your exams will work just fine. I always find that having a clear plan of what work I’m going to do and when I’m going to do it helps to ease some of my anxiety around exams, because I can see that I have enough time to get through everything.

My friends and I start asking teachers for breakdowns as soon as we get back to school in term four. It really helps to know what content needs to be covered as early as possible. For subjects where these breakdowns aren’t given, I make my own, and just keep a running list as the term progresses.

Try keeping your room and desk area neat. It  can really help to unclutter your mind. So if you have a few minutes, just spend it filing away important papers, recycling the ones you don’t need, taking the dirty mugs down to the kitchen and sorting out your pens. It’ll do wonders.

Making sure that you get enough sleep is important too. As easy as it is to stay up until 3am before a big paper, it’ll catch up with you and you’ll burn out really quickly. Set a bedtime rule and try and stick to it as best you can. (Mine is 11pm – mostly).

Lastly, just remember that no matter how important and anxiety-inducing exams may feel, they’re just exams. You have a life after them. Your self-care doesn’t have to stop. Work hard, but allow yourself enough time to just pause and catch your breath.

Hope this helps a bit. I wish you all well over these exams!

Nabeela x

 

 

On Being Organised

Although those who know me now would never say, I was an extremely untidy child. Upon entering senior primary, I made a complete three-sixty turn. I guess you could say that I went from zero to one hundred real quick. As I grew older, I quickly saw the immense value in being organised and planning my days out properly. It made my life a hundred times easier, and still does.

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I often get asked how I stay organised, so I thought I’d share a few of my favourite methods for organizing my life, and keeping it that way.

01. / Write it down

Although I love the digital world (I am a blogger after all), I find immense value in analogue tasks such as writing my to-do lists down on paper. It may seem like extra effort, but by writing down lists instead of typing them, you’re also calming yourself down by making your tasks seem finite and not just a pool of thoughts floating around your head and phone. The very act of writing a physical list is useful. Everyday, when I get in from school, I take ten minutes or so to write a list and prioritize my tasks for the afternoon and evening ahead. This helps me to feel less overwhelmed too, and makes everything feel a bit more doable.

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02. / Sort daily 

It may sound laborious, but by spending a few minutes each day sorting through papers I have and filing them or tossing them, I never end up with piles of filing or papers I no longer need. I have honestly found it the most streamlined way to keep up to date with filing my school notes and other papers.

03. / Prioritize

It is easy to feel overwhelmed when six tasks are handed out on the same day, even if the due dates are staggered (I’m looking at you, Grade 11). I find that working back from the due date is the easiest way to make sure everything is done on time, without feeling as if everything has to be done at once. Break down each task into smaller, daily tasks you can do so you don’t have to slave away for hours the night before its due. Chances are it’ll also be done more thoroughly if you don’t feel rushed.

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04. / Don’t hoard

I mentioned something about this in point two, but just by having too many papers, one’s head and space can feel cluttered and unorganised. If there’s one thing I’ve seen people do often, it’s hoard old papers they don’t need. As soon as I no longer need a paper from school or anywhere else, I put it in recycling immediately. Again, it keeps things so much more streamlined. If you think you may need to information at some point, scanning it in or taking a photo of it and putting it in your Drive or Cloud also works well.

Something else I’ve found that helps me generally to get tasks done in a productive manner is by setting a timer for 25 minutes and working flat out and then taking a break. I find that when I know exactly how long I’m going to be working for before my next rest, I get a lot more done in a short space of time. Having a tidy, clutter-free space to work in makes me feel a lot calmer and more focused too.

Lastly, some wise words on organizing…

“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” – Anonymous

I hope you find these tips helpful! I’ve created a fun printable to-do list for you here.

(Enjoy it, and tag me in your pictures on Instagram if you use it! I’d love to see x It is my own creation, and to be used for personal use only, please). 

Nabeela x