10 Ways To Stay Organized When Your Life Is Far From It

10 Ways To Stay Organized When Your Life Is Far From It

Note to self, make it happen.

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It's that time of year when your new year's resolutions are falling through and the overwhelming feeling of battling second semester and all the perks that come with it are starting to kick in. You may be drowning in homework, extracurricular activities, work, spending time with friends and all the other college festivities. Sound familiar?

When life seems to be going 60 miles per hour in a 45-speed limit zone, it can be hard to stay organized and keep track of your priorities. Maybe your sticky notes aren't cutting it when it comes to creating to-do lists, or perhaps your work schedule and campus event dates are colliding. Whatever it is, now is the perfect time to try out these tried-and-true ways to stay organized and conquer the rest of the semester and whatever follows.

1. Wake up earlier

Mornings, for me at least, are the most productive time of the day. I get so much more done by waking up early. Plus, when night time rolls around, I can enjoy a relaxing evening with no stress. I highly suggest waking up an hour earlier than you normally do because hey, that's one less hour you have to stay up late working on assignments or all the other things you procrastinated doing.

2. Structure your day

Keeping the morning theme going, there's no better time to plan out your day and think of some goals you want to achieve. For me, I like to check my inbox, get my backpack ready for class and write out the day's to-do list. This acts as a reminder for the times when it feels like my day is all over the place and I am in need of a little structure.

3. Declutter

I don't know about you, but if I am stressed or overwhelmed after a full day of being gone from my dorm, the last thing I want to do is walk into a messy environment. Looking at a pile of clothes or desk drawers overflowing with crap can cause my work motivation to become invisible. Knowing where to find everything allows me to move about my day and complete what needs to be done in a more fast and efficient way.

4. Keep a planner

Finding a good planner not only allows you to visually see and plan out your months, weeks and days, but it also helps you with time management and can improve your productivity. In college, especially with a busy schedule, my planner is basically my life line and I take it with me everywhere. I don't know how I could get through school, and life in general, without a planner. I definitely recommend purchasing and using one if you don't already.

5. Prioritize your time wisely

Something I learned throughout high school and my 1st semester of college is to prioritize your time wisely. By identifying what needs to be done and what can wait till later is the first step. Balancing your time and thinking ahead can make a huge impact on your day-to-day life and really help yourself out in the long run.

6. Get in the right frame of mind

The best thing to do when you have a busy week ahead of you and are trying to find a balance is to create the right mindset. Going into a stressful situation with a positive mindset can be a game changer. Focus on the present and turn your failures into lessons.

7. Star important emails

When there are days where it feels like you have an infinite number of unread emails, this is when starring them comes into handy. I always tend to look at my inbox when I am on the go and don't have time to read through them all. Starring them allows you to create a mental reminder to go back and look when you have time.

8. Color code

If you were to look at my planner right now, you would think I am crazy. I plan out my week in advance on Sunday nights and highlight important tasks that pop up during the week. Color coding is a great way to show balance and separate certain tasks from one another. Having a few colored pens doesn't hurt and will definitely add a bit of structure to your week's plans.

9. Take a technology detox

Taking breaks from completing tasks is totally okay, but if it comes to a point where your day is wasted by looking at a phone screen, something needs to be done to fix it. With technology being an easy distraction, it can be hard to get work done. Instead, set a timer or shut your phone off when you are on your work grind.

10. Take time for yourself

When you feel unorganized and unmotivated, it is important to stop and take time for yourself. Whether that be applying a face mask, watching your favorite series on Netflix or treating yourself to a coffee on campus, it is important that before continuing all your hard work, you take time to let yourself and your health come first.

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One Of The Most Impressive Things A Human Being Can Do Is Finish An Entire Tube Of ChapStick

It is the only thing more impressive than the creation of ChapStick itself.

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Mankind's most impressive accomplishments include inventing the wheel, walking on the moon, and, of course, the creation of ChapStick. The air outside is beginning to get dry, and thus, chapped lips are coming, and once chapped lips season begins, millions of poor souls will begin to suffer from the tragedy that is chapped lips. Luckily, we have ChapStick, and Burt's Bees, Carmex, Blistex, and plenty of other lip balm brands as well.

There is nothing worse than feeling your lips begin to dry up, signaling that chapped lips are in your not too distant future. Actually, there are probably many things in life that are worse than this, but it's still pretty bad.

ChapStick is a savior for the chapped, a larger than life hero conveniently available in a small tube at most local stores. Thank goodness for ChapStick (and other brands of lip balm, I guess.) I truly believe that the invention of ChapStick is one of the most important, groundbreaking, and impressive feats that mankind has accomplished.

However, the only thing more important, groundbreaking, and impressive than the creation of ChapStick, is someone finishing an entire tube of it.

I'm not sure if it's even possible to do this, and I'm starting to think that it might not be. Before it can be done, the vast majority of people will either lose the tube, or no longer need it because their lips are no longer chapped. Then, by the time their lips become chapped once more, the tube will then be lost, never to be seen again.

It is a vicious cycle, one that prevents us all from ever finishing our ChapSticks, and probably also helps lip balm companies sell more products.

If anyone has actually used up an entire tube of it from beginning to end, I wonder what life is like for them now. Did they stumble upon some sort of hidden code allowing them to understand the true nature of life and the universe? Did they open a gateway to another dimension with different laws that govern time and space? I think there is a very good chance that one of these events occurs when one finishes an entire ChapStick tube.

It has to signal some sort of mind-bending event releasing the most well-kept secrets of the universe. Nothing else really makes any sense.

If you have finished an entire ChapStick tube, you have my deepest and utmost respect. You have shown the ultimate form of perseverance, prevailing despite the odds of the universe being completely against you. You have shown that you know how to follow through with something, no matter what. You can now live the rest of your life knowing that you have accomplished what most never will.

Be proud of yourself, and make sure to tell everyone you possibly can that you have finished an entire tube of ChapStick. Make sure it's the first thing you say when you meet someone new, tell random people in the street who you have never even met, and put it at the top of your resume when you apply for a job, because they will be sure to hire you on the spot once they learn of your wonderfully impressive feat.

As of now, my lips are beginning to feel chapped, and I have just applied ChapStick to them as a means of combating this dreadful ailment. As I stare at the tube in my hand, my determination to use the entire thing has greatly amplified, and I am more determined than ever to finish the thing and unlock the secrets of the universe. But, who am I kidding? I'll probably lose it before the tube is even halfway gone.

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Celebrating My Mom: Her Beauty and Strength

Here's to the most inspirational woman in my life.

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In observance of International Women's Day on March 8th, it is of paramount importance that we take a few moments to consciously recognize the women in our lives. We often call the women we adore by casual names like "Mom", "my sister", or "my girlfriend", and, usually, these nouns are intimate enough to replace their names---but not today. Today is for appreciating you, Melanie Daugherty, my mom---not as my mother, but as a human whom I hold with the highest regards.

It is easy for me to recall the innumerable times you've embraced me (even though I considered myself to be a disappointment), forced me to put my qualms into perspective, or insisted I put my aspirations into action (because "can't is too lazy to try") ; but, the magnitude of your accomplishments shouldn't always be measured by its impact on me, however, if it were to be, let it be the times you've inspired me.

Mom, I have always appreciated you, but I truly began to define you as my idol during my sophomore year of high school. During this time, I began experiencing shame in my identity. I was an athletic girl, but suffered from body dysmorphia, as well as a misunderstood and pessimistic perception of my inner thoughts. I became very introspective and was completely fixated on thoughts of worthlessness and lack of purpose. I assumed chronic fatigue was just a characteristic of being a teenager. In me, you recognized a past version of who you once were. I cried to you and you embraced me in your arms. My deteriorating state of mental health was not your burden, and you refused to let me define myself by diagnoses and prescriptions. Recognizing your success and triumph over anorexia and depression motivated me. I was so proud to be your daughter. Knowing that confidence and appreciation for the world was possible to achieve accelerated me into a period of self-reflection and determination. I wanted to trace your template of self-improvement with my footsteps and create a new image of myself---one that would reignite my childhood "spark".

You're not just my hero for saving me, but for giving me someone to admire. You live your life without limitations. Competing in the 140.6 mile Ironman triathlon is an accomplishment in itself, competing in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii is even more incredible, and completing eight of these triathlons is enough for most people to call you "crazy" rather than by your name. Your greatest demonstration of strength however, was not through athletic prowess, but through mental and emotional perseverance.

Losing your best friend to breast cancer was almost inconceivable because no one ever wants to acknowledge it as a possibility. What people also try to forget, is that it is just as possible for their lives to be taken from them. After learning to cope with your best friend's death, you were diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. Watching you grow progressively weaker was enervating in itself. This wasn't a reality I was able to accept as truth, partially because you were my mom, but also because your strength was an aspect of you that I didn't think could ever be taken from you---and I was right.

Although your complexion grew pallid and your body could no longer sustain itself, your mindset remained the same. You would not accept a last breath, and you ensured that every breath you took reiterated that. You demonstrated to me that positivity is the panacea that combats a discouraged mind.

Mom, for you, I am proud. I am grateful to have lost sometimes, because without loss, I wouldn't have been able to realize my strength, and I wouldn't have realized that if you hadn't been my anchor.

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