Sunday, January 10, 2016

Revelling in Being Busy

random tidbits from my life.

Hi guys, it's Annie (and this is the second post of 2016, woo!). Since I haven't really made any progress on the posts I have planned for this month, I thought I'd write a more casual post so as to not leave this blog deserted. Better to have something than nothing, right? One of my resolutions this year was to blog more and I am DETERMINED to achieve this resolution no matter what. Last year was a shitty year for blogging so I want this year to be better.

January has always been one of my favourite months simply because I love the feeling of possibility and not knowing and also anticipation. I love sitting down and writing down my goals and resolutions, reflecting on the past year and thinking of all the endless things I could achieve in the new year. Januarys just make me so happy and this January (even though we're 9 days in but knock on wood, hopefully nothing awful happens) has been no different.

I mean, nothing really EXTRAORDINARY has happened but I feel like my outlook and mental state has improved that my life, even in all of its mundanity, feels exciting and new and cool. Take school, for example. Even though I've only been back for a week, my life has already gone from 0 to 100 and while there have been a few rough patches, in general, I've felt more excited to go to school and learn than ever before. Of course, I don't necessarily love having to get up before 12 but I do like having my days structured for me and interacting with others and learning. I think there's something to be said about the joy of being busy. Like truly. I love lazing around doing nothing as much as the next person does - probably even more honestly - but lately I've also discovered how great it feels to be productive and kick ass every day.

And here I have to give a shout out to the few things that have kept me sane through all of the chaos of the past week because as much I've enjoyed the business of my life lately, it can also get hectic so these are the things that have helped me stay on track and keep my shit together:
  • my bullet journal. I started bullet journalling last May and have been doing it on and off since then. This month is maybe really the first time I've actually done it consistently every single day and it helps me so much. I've finally decided on a layout that works for me and it has been a lifesaver for the past week. I love waking up in the morning and planning out the tasks I need to do and then crossing off those tasks throughout the day. (PS. not sure if there is interest for this but I have been thinking of writing a bullet journal post, as I know a lot of my bloggy friends have taken it up and a bunch of others are starting. Maybe something to look forward to later this month or next?)
  • flat tomato. This is an app that follows the Pomodoro method of studying which if you don't know is basically when you study in 25 minute segments (studies have shown that after we are more focused in short spurts rather than a large chunk of time and somewhere around the 25 minute mark, our focus wavers) and then take a break for five minutes after each segment. After 4 segments or pomodoros, you take a longer 15 minute break. I have major problems with distraction and focus and I find this method works super well for me so give it a shot! There are a bunch of apps for tracking pomodoros but I find that Flat Tomato is the best I've come across so far.
  • spotify. I've been using the heck out of my Spotify lately for taking out some of the monotony of homework, for having a little dance break or just to relax. Some current favourite songs: American Money by B├śRNS, White Iverson by Post Malone, If I Ever Feel Better by Phoenix, Red Eyes by The War on Drugs, Devil In Me by Anderson East (also might make an Annie's Ultimate Playlist post soon because I haven't done those in a while!)
  • youtube videos. I've been watching Youtube videos again like crazy. I watch while doing my math homework or before bed as a way to unwind. No commitment (unlike television shows which I've basically completely given up on because I really don't have the tenacity to stick to a television show right now) and short enough for my very finnicky attention span.
  • twitter, snapchat, pinterest, instagram, tumblr, messenger. Social media has given me a much needed break this week whenever I've needed it whether it's during my pomodoro breaks or just in general when I feel a bit stressed and need to take a step back. Messenger, Twitter, Snapchat are apps I use to talk to my friends which of course, always makes me happy and destresses me and Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest I use mostly to inspire me and calm me with the beautiful and VERY aesthetic pictures.
  • human interaction! Very important obviously to have human interaction and talking with my friends, family, stuffed rabbit Beatrice, etc have been really helpful for me. 
  • shower time + bedtime. Probably my two favourite times of the day.
There is a downside to being back at school and even though I didn't want to mention this, I HAVE TO: my reading has very rapidly gone from avid to nonexistent which makes me sad. Any one have tips on how to counteract this? Because I think I finally have a handle on how to blog more consistently while my reading has pooped. The only book I'm reading right now (and at a snail's pace) is Frankenstein which is for English. TELL ME HOW YOU SUPER BLOGGERS DO IT. How do you read and blog and school and work and extracurricular and other interests at the same time??

today's post was a little more on the casual (and not book-related) side because my planned posts have not been completed yet. hopefully you guys enjoyed this! i'm really trying to post more so fingers crossed, let's see how my goal pans out. in the comments, tell me what tools you use to help you when your life gets busy and tips for a very sad reader right now.

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