How To Be A More Productive Reader

Hey! Welcoming Taylor back for another post- this time, she’s talking about how to be a more productive reader. Check out her first post here too.

How to be a productive reader// tips and tricks from Taylor via Opinion9

Our world is full of books, millions upon millions of pages to read. But with all of our responsibilities, whether it be school or work or both, it can be difficult to find time to reduce our TBR (to-be-read) stack. Especially for us readers who are constantly scouting out bookstores and websites for sales, which ends with us juggling several new books. Then our TBR pile is even bigger, but we still can’t quite find the time to read these stories.

After about one and one-half years of reading, I have discovered methods to read my books between the chaos of life. I may not have many years of reading, but I’ve already read 120+ books, with the addition of balancing school and writing a book of my own. Considering my other duties, I would say that’s a fair number. So I’m here to share my techniques of being a productive reader.

How to be a productive reader// tips and tricks from Taylor via Opinion9

  1. Set the mood.

For me, setting the mood to read is an easy process that involves my speaker rolling out instrumental tunes, a “do not disturb” sign hanging on my doorknob, and possibly a cup of steaming rose petal tea.

If you prefer to read in peace, like me, and you’re having trouble finding a quiet space, try wearing headphones. You could simply use them to tune out the noise or turn on music to fill your head with new sounds. I find instrumental music is not only relaxing, but it helps me focus, especially if the tune matches the genre of the book.

In order to sit down and absorb the story in front of you, it’s important to do whatever it takes to make yourself comfortable and relaxed. Think of the things that put your heart at ease and soothe your mind. Whether it be music or a drink or a certain environment, place yourself there and allow your mind to relax. This brings me to my next point.

How to be a productive reader// tips and tricks from Taylor via Opinion9

  1. Find a place to read.

Discovering the proper place to read fits into the theme of setting the mood. It can be difficult to delve into the world in your hands if you’re not comfortable. You want to find a spot to be warm and content, where you can really focus on the words in front of you.

I also recommend having a designated place (or places) to read. By doing this, you train your mind that you’re going to sit down and read, which may help alleviate any scattered thoughts. It’s similar to falling asleep, when you fall into bed, your mind tries to prepare itself for sleep.

I have two usual places to read: my futon or my bed. My futon is my number one place to sit down and read. I occasionally watch films and television here as well, but for the most part, it’s my reading haven. I try to only read in bed during the morning, after I just wake up. Otherwise, my mind will try to convince my body that it needs sleep. So you can usually find me curled up with a book on my futon, a blanket on my lap and a cup of tea on my ottoman.

How to be a productive reader// tips and tricks from Taylor via Opinion9

  1. Read more than one book at a time.

Okay, not that many. But I’ve found that reading multiple books at a time leads to a more enjoyable and quicker experience. I tend to read about two to three books and alternate throughout the day. I find that this keeps me both entertained and more productive. Instead of trying to finish one book at once, I can usually finish about three books around the same time. This is a massive help in chipping away at my stack of 80+ books in my TBR. (It still keeps growing; I need help.)

I know this may sound intimidating, because I used to think the same thing. Before, I believed that reading multiple books at a time would leave me confused and unable to grasp onto all of these stories. Once my TBR pile started growing, I knew something had to change, which is when I started reading two books at once. I found that as long as the books aren’t too similar in genres (like epic-fantasy or science-fiction), it’s not much of a difficult task. Since then, I’ve been reading three books at a time, and some even sit in the same genres.

This is certainly something that is a matter of practice, of being able to immerse yourself in multiple words without tangling them together. But with enough patience and practice, you can learn to read multiple books at a time. If you do this, you’re likely to see a massive increase in the amount of books you read.

Well, these are all of my tips in being a productive reader. What are your tips in being a focused and productive reader? I would love to hear what methods other readers use for themselves. -Taylor

Thanks for sharing, Taylor! Find Taylor on her instagram (@taylormaemarie_).

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Creative Lettering with Kiley In Kentucky

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9Hello everyone! For the Inspiration column, today we have Kiley talking about her take on lettering and her perspective on life! I’m a big fan of her work- it’s bright, colourful and just stands out!

Primarily, her tools of choice include a variety of markers, paint brushes and brush pens- reflected by the bold lines and splashes of colour in her art.

But, she’s also an evolving artist, so I’m pretty sure she’ll change it up here and there! That’s the beauty of art, isn’t it?

There’s something so distinctive about her work though- just take a look at her gorgeous instagram feed (@kileyinkentucky).

Let’s hear what she has to say!

Creative Lettering and Conversation with Kiley in Kentucky! An interview via opinion9

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

I am a twenty-something from Kentucky, currently residing in New York City, and preparing to move to the Midwest United States! I recently ended my job at an ad agency in NYC in pursuit of self-employment as a hand-lettering artist and Etsy Shop owner. I am Creative Director and Co-Founder of Girl-ish (www.girl-ish.com) a lifestyle website for women in their twenties. My role in Girl-ish required me to flex my graphic design muscles, which led me to discover my love of hand-lettering! I didn’t start taking it seriously until about 9 months ago…ever since, lettering has been a constant in my daily life. From start to finish, putting a piece together is such a joyful, relaxing process and that feeling is what keeps me returning to it each day.

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9What motivates and inspires you the most?

Most of the time, I really can’t pinpoint the root of my inspiration! I can be outside, inside, watching tv, on the subway, in a meeting at work, and an idea will come to me. I simply try to take action as soon as inspiration strikes. But, what motivates me is finding my happiness. It is my ultimate goal to have a career I enjoy that brings me happiness and fulfillment, and a career in which Mondays aren’t a thing to dread. At this point in my life, building that career is the best motivation I could have!

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

 

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9I absolutely love your evolving lettering style! What is your drawing/painting/lettering process like?

I have a LOT of ideas and a tendency to lose focus and get distracted easily, so I set “lettering goals” for myself each day. My ever-growing list of ideas sits in my planner, and each morning I’ll choose a couple of those ideas and make it my goal to tackle them throughout the day. Sometimes, I fly through them, sometimes I only have enough energy to get through one. But, no matter what, I always start with a blank piece of paper, a pencil, and a totally open mind! Because of my wandering mind, I like to create full, finished pieces in one sitting. If I like the finished piece, I’ll scan it into my computer to digitize in the future.

 

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9How much time on an average does it take to create a piece?

I like to keep my artwork simple. Less is always more to me! Because of the simple nature of my pieces, the entire process might take 10 minutes to an hour. My “Floralpha” Letters take me a bit longer to do since they require precision and care. If I’m working with a fussier medium like acrylic paint or watercolor, I could be working for hours! I’m not too skilled with watercolors yet, but it’s all a work in progress!

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Just out of interest, what was the first (or your favourite) piece of art you remember creating?

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

I remember creating this piece and being so pleased with how it turned out! Of course, now, I look at it and see 20 things I would fix…but I still love it. It is great motivation to look at something you created when you were only just getting started and see the improvement you’ve made, while also seeing that you weren’t so bad in the beginning after all!

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Omg! You were Miss Kentucky! (Yeah, I totally scrolled down your feed!) That must have been quite an experience! Could you share your thoughts about it? It’s quite nice to see a beauty queen with an interest in lettering and blogging!

Well, I was never Miss Kentucky, but I came pretty close! I competed in pageants for 10 years, and for the chance to go to Miss America for three years. I look back on my experience now, and I see how much being involved in that level of competition shaped me. I have such a sense of self-discipline and grit that I don’t think I would have gained any other way! I also have a closet full of gorgeous gowns and a killer workout plan that I still do to keep in shape! Haha

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9Where do you see yourself in a few years?

This summer alone, I am getting married, moving to a new state, and starting my own business. I’m taking it one day at a time for now! But, a year from now, I would like to (mostly) have the hang of running my business, enjoying the first full year of marriage with the most wonderful man, and continuing to expand my artistic skills and interests! Thinking about anything beyond that stresses me out! Haha

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Can you share a glimpse of a typical day in your life?

8:30am – Wake up, immediately head to the kitchen to make coffee!

9:00-9:30am – Enjoy a leisurely breakfast while checking e-mails and publishing any scheduled blog posts for Girl-ish

9:30-10:30am – Instagram and Blog Planning. I use Latergramme to schedule my Instagram posts, and I like to have at least 5 days worth of posts scheduled at any given moment. This time is dedicated to photographing, editing, and scheduling posts for Instagram, as well as planning ideas for my weekly lettering blog posts.

10:30-1:00pm – Time spent writing blog posts, sketching up new ideas for pieces, tackling some of my “lettering goals”

1:00-2:00PM – Lunch and errands!

2:00-5:00pm – Working on my Etsy Shop…another cup of coffee is required

6:00-7:00pm – Cooking/Eating Dinner

7-10:00pm – Depending on the day: Hanging out with my fiance, working out, apartment hunting, or all three!

TUTORIAL IS UP for the watercolor backsplash! Link is in bio, or go to www.kileyinkentucky.com and read my latest blog post on the #heftyhack 🎂HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY, @girl.ish!🎂 I cannot imagine what my life would be like–all the love and joy and friendship I would be missing–if @christiegleason hadn't called me in August of 2014 and said "Hey, I have this idea…" This is one of Christie's fave quotes and it is never more relevant than now, on the 1 year anniversary of our launch date! I just came upon this process of creating a colorful black splash while brainstorming about the perfect Girl-ish dedication. I will definitely be doing this more–full explanation of this fun ink process in future posts #heftybagmaneuver #heftyhack

A post shared by Kiley Bennett (@kileyinkentucky) on

What is your favourite travel destination, colour, food and outfit staple?

Favorite Travel Destination: The Grand Canyon or Costa Rica

Favorite Color: Yellow

Favorite Food: I can’t pick just one….I love anything Tex-Mex

Favorite Outfit Staple: A Chambray button down can be paired with anything and worn year-round…I own 4!

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

 

What would a “perfect” day be like for you?

My perfect day begins with a cup of coffee and a huge breakfast of bacon, sausage, and pancakes….preferably shared with friends and family! From there, I’m heading to the beach or pool-side to read a good book and work on my tan. Margaritas and chips and guac will be delivered to me for lunch, followed by a nap, of course, then ending the evening at a cook-out, around a bonfire, dancing and talking and spending quality with my loved ones!

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

What do you do in your leisure time? (apart from art, of course!)

For leisure, I enjoy reading, playing piano, and spending time with my friends and family (if you can’t tell, based on my perfect day, they’re a huge part of my life!)

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Some themes/ topics inspiring you nowadays?

I focus a lot of happiness, appreciation, and encouragement. Those are the themes I try to keep a steady hold on in my life, and those are the kinds of messages I want to share with others!

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

What are your go-to art supplies and your preferred art media?

I primarily use brush pens in my art. My go-to supplies are Tombow Brush Pens (my favorite is the Fudenosuke Soft Nib), or Tombow Dual Brush Pens for coloring, Micron Ink Pens, a pencil, and a good eraser! I also love doing digital art, using Adobe Illustrator. For watercolor, I love using the Pentel Aquash Waterbrush to letter or to paint, and I’ve recently discovered the magic that is Dr. Ph. Martin’s Watercolors! *heart eyes emoji*

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

How did you discover your own style of lettering? Any advice for beginners and people somewhere in the middle?

My style came out through months and months of daily practice…actually, I feel like I’m still coming into my style. I don’t believe there’s a formula or a method for discovering your personal aesthetic other than trying any and every thing out for yourself…you’ll naturally find what comes easiest to you, and will put your own twist on styles you like.

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

(Love the gold sharpie look here!)

Any fond memories in Kentucky? (Had to throw that in there!)

Most of my fond memories are of Kentucky! Kentucky has my whole heart!

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

I especially love your new floral alphabet series on Instagram! What inspired you to start that?

I’ve wanted to create a floral alphabet for years, but I always imagined I would do it digitally, as a font. One night, I was playing around with floral patterns, and the idea for a hand-drawn alphabet hit me. I challenged myself to complete the full alphabet, and I couldn’t be happier I did…I’ve learned so much about letterforms, precision, and consistency in style!

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9What would your ideal studio space be like?

Lots of light! Isn’t that every artist’s dream? My ideal space is a quiet room in my home with a hardwood floor, white walls, one or two large windows, and enough space for me to create an organized work flow. A welcoming, but organized space is key to my creativity! As my fiance and I are apartment and house hunting for our next adventure, we are always on the look-out for my “home office space” that I’ve been dreaming of….I’m trying my hardest to stay realistic about it though! *Fingers crossed!*

 

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

(Kiley’s self portrait! Cute, right?)

Thanks for sharing, Kiley! Find more of her work here:

Lettering BlogInstagramPinterest |

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Contemporary Art With Linda Rusconi


IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com
Hello, everyone! Today, for the Inspiration column, we have Linda Rusconi – a freelance artist with an eye for detail and exquisite sketches. She’s also an avid painter and makes portraits too. What I liked most about her work, though- it has emotion. It speaks without saying anything, and even her line drawings are striking and expressive. I found her work both technically rich in knowledge as well as beautifully moving. Her art is contemporary and timeless.

Let’s hear what she has to say!

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hello from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. My name is Linda Rusconi and I call myself a ‘beeldmaker’. That’s Dutch and literally translates to ‘imagemaker’. I have a website for commissioned portraits and I do illustration and graphic design. But mostly I just can’t stop drawing. I have the hypermobilitysyndrome also called Ehler Danlos type III – a genetic defect to my connective tissue that causes chronic pain and fatigue. Working from home allows me to be independent and do the things I love.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

What motivates and inspires you the most?

The world around me. People, animals and houses. They are a never ending source of inspiration. The longer you look at them, the more details are revealed to you.

I also like to go to museums to wander and clear my head. Amsterdam is full of wonderful museums. My favorites are Het Stedelijk Museum (contemporary art) and Foam (Photography museum). It’s lovely to see other people’s work and to see how they translate the world around them into art.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

I absolutely love your beautiful and thoughtful sketches! What is your drawing/painting process like?

Thanks so much. I love the possibilities the internet gives to share our art from our drawing table to the world.

My process in drawing commissioned work starts with getting clearly what the customer wants. Not everybody can imagine how their portrait or illustration should look like. I ask how they found me and what work stands out for them. And who will receive the drawing.

It’s very different if I draw a child for a mother or a dog for a pub. (Yeah, I painted a dog for a pub, they are called the Wolfhound). When we have an agreement on the materials and price, I start working. I send them a photo of the work when I’m done. At this moment, they can suggest small adjustments if needed. And when they are satisfied and I have received the payment, I send out the work. I like sending it carefully wrapped and always with a personal note.

My personal work usually starts with an idea. I see an interesting face or beautiful building and it inspires me to make a drawing. I take a couple of photos of the subject. And then I just start drawing. I never make sketches first. The little ‘mistakes’ that happen make the work more interesting. I also like to sketch outside. Sit on a bench and draw the dogs that pass by. Or sit in a cafe and sketch the bikes on the street. Every Friday I paint and draw form life. It’s in a gallery in my neighborhood- the Baarsjes. The model keeps the same pose for 3 hours. So I try to finish a painting in that time. It’s very good for improving my techniques.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

How much time on an average does it take to create a piece?

 It depends if I’m painting or drawing. And of course with size the works is. But I’m not the type to work multiple days on a drawing. So usually it’s between an hour to a couple of hours. Otherwise it gets too detailed and refined.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

Just out of interest, what was the first (or your favourite) piece of art you remember creating?

 Since I’ve been little, I remember myself drawing and painting. But the first work that stands out is a painting of a man in a yellow house. I was 10 years old and I just figured out how to draw a collar and tie. My mom still has this painting in her living room, haha.

man in yellow house-IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

Hopefully doing the same as I am doing right now. And maybe I finally started that graphic novel I want to create.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

(writing her name for an art show)

Can you share a glimpse of a typical day in your life?

07:00 I usually wake up early. After breakfast and watching something on Netflix, I move to my computer. Still in pyjamas.

08.00 Check emails and priorities what I have to work on this day. I set an alarm for an hour so I won’t sit still for too long.

09:00 Stretch, maybe do a bit of the dishes or fold some laundry. Make coffee.

09:30 Work for another hour and a half.

11:00 Shower, do my Qi Gong exercise and meditation.

12:00 Lunch

13:00 Work some more

14:00 small break to stretch again

14;30 Final work hours if needed. I have very busy weeks and very easy weeks.

16:00 time to relax. Sit on my balcony if the weather is nice or go for a small stroll

18:00 cook and Netflix binge

20:00 read or draw if I feel like it

22:00 I always go to bed early. I need my sleep.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

How long has painting and art in general been your hobby? How did you think you could convert it to something more?

So drawing was always something I did. Just like eating or sleeping. I never saw it as a hobby, just as something I had to do. When I was 20 I had a boyfriend who did street art. That was the first time I met other people who had the same urge to draw and paint as I did. In my last year of art school in 2008, I got my first commissioned illustration-work. It was a series of drawings for a book about managers. It felt so good to be paid for drawing.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

sketching at a cafe-IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 6.59.19 pm

(Sketching at cafes)

What is your favourite travel destination, colour, food and flower?

I love city trips in Europe and just lingering in a town and watching people doing their daily stuff.

My favorite colour right now is turquoise.

Avocado in whatever shape or form is so yummy.

I like wildflowers, all messy and colorful!

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

What’s the importance of art in your daily lifestyle?

It gives me the freedom to keep earning money and be independent. It also helps me clear my mind and keeps me curious and wanting to grow.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

What do you do in your leisure time? (apart from art, of course!)

It depends on how my health is. But I like to hang with friends, bike and walk or go for a coffee.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

Some themes/ topics inspiring you nowadays?

One of my goals is to make a graphic novel. So I like to check out other novelists to see how they approach their subject. I would love to tell my story of living with a chronic illness and what that means in daily life.

Dip pen- IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

What are your go-to art supplies and your preferred art media?

When I draw, I use Daler Rowney smooth heavyweight A4 paper. This paper doesn’t discolor and it’s great quality. I use a Bic 0.5 mechanical pencil. When I work in ink, I use my dip pen. My favorite ink-brands are Winsor & Newton and J. Herbin.

I paint with a local Acrylic brand. I prefer painting on thick cartboard. It sucks up the paint and that causes a nice pastel effect.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

How did you discover your own style of drawing? Any advice for artists struggling with getting in the swing of things?

 I’m still discovering it. It’s all about just doing it. Keep looking at other artists. Try to define for yourself what aspect of their work you like and what you don’t. Don’t let other people decide for you what to do. It’s your journey. I know it’s probably more profitable if I would choose one medium to work in, but I’m still learning much about them to choose just one.

sketching at a cafe-IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

sketching at a cafe-IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

(different media!)

Thank you for sharing, Linda! Find Linda here:

Website http://www.portretloket.nl/ and http://www.lindarusconi.nl/ (sorry only in dutch. Something I have to work on haha)

 

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Tips to Managing Your Time Effectively

Hello everyone! This is a guest post by Taylor! She’s sharing some tips on how to manage your time effectively- with a personal touch. Take it away, Tay! -Aaria

Tips to Managing Your Time Effectively- a guest essay by Taylor. Via Opinion9.com
Life can be quite the juggling game with the responsibilities of school and work and chores. Once time is added to the mix, the levels of stress can (and probably will) greatly increase.

I believe our society is constantly caught beneath a hand of pressure, forcing us to worry about completing our tasks within a certain amount of time. There are always deadlines, and they’re always stressful.

I used to be one trapped beneath that palm of stress.

I was always worrying about finishing school assignments by a certain day, yet I never worked off of a schedule.

I would simply bumble around seeing what I could complete quickly in hopes of gaining free time for myself, but I was often left frazzled with little to no spare time.

Now, this was a major problem.

When people don’t get free time to participate in their loved hobbies or goals, this can develop into stress and/or anxiety.

I have watched people suffer through this—including myself. It’s toxic to our mind and soul, and it needs to be stopped, which is why I decided to make a change.

One day, after reading tips about time management, I decided to make a schedule for myself.

Despite being an organized person, I wasn’t sure how well I would adapt to an agenda, but after a few altering the times to suite my needs, I finalized a schedule for myself, as pictured below.

I do change up the routine a bit depending on the time of year, but this is a steady pattern of my daily activities.

Tips to Managing Your Time Effectively- a guest essay by Taylor. Via Opinion9.com

Because I’m enrolled in a private school, I have a little more flexibility, which is why I dedicate an entire weekday to writing (and usually the weekend).

This allows me time to unwind from school and work on my novels or blog posts.

In between activities, I tend to eat or read—usually both.

Again, this gives me several moments of freedom to clear my thoughts before delving back into another session of work.

This may seem unrealistic for those of you who attend a workplace or school, but allow me to assure you it’s very possible.

The trick to creating a schedule that will work for you is to make something reasonable that gives you an equal amount of time towards your work and your hobbies.

It’s important to make the schedule custom to you.

Include your mandatory duties, such as homework, and follow it up with a chunk of time towards a hobby.

To those who must travel to a specific place to complete their work, bring along something you love, like a sketchpad for drawing or a book to read.

Consider adding an alarm or a reminder on your phone to notify you when it is time to pull out your pen or your paperback—whatever it is that makes your heart happy.

Tips to Managing Your Time Effectively- a guest essay by Taylor. Via Opinion9.com

That’s a wonderful thing about technology—the amount of productivity it can bring. (Yes, it can also be very distracting, which is why I recommend steering away from social media during work hours.)

There are hundreds upon hundreds of applications that can motivate you to pursue the aspirations of both your work and your hobbies.

There are a variety of apps that allow you to set a specific goal and motivate you to work harder, like FocusList, Task Player, Pomodrone, and Forest—used by author Elizabeth May.

Personally, I use paper and a pen, placing my schedule directly in my line of sight. And no, I’m not necessarily old-school, I just don’t have enough storage on my phone (sigh). Whatever you decide to use, be sure to keep notes around to motivate you.

In order to maintain your inspiration, make your work space comfortable. Below, you can see a picture of my office space in my bedroom.

Tips to Managing Your Time Effectively- a guest essay by Taylor. Via Opinion9.com

I’m surrounded by things that I love: books, pencils, pens, candles, and my computer. Not only are these things beautiful, but they also keep me motivated.

I have a small stack of books just beside my computer that focus on writing and creativity, and as an aspiring novelist, they’re extremely helpful.

I also keep a planner and a journal by my side to jot down notes and plans.

On top of it all, I always have my headphones in playing a tune to keep me going. Oh, and the Peter Pan picture reminds me to stay youthful, and to always believe in magic.
Be sure to surround yourself in objects that will keep you happy and inspired.

Place around little knickknacks and books and pictures that remind you of what you love and what you are working for.

This will help relax your mind and your heart, letting you focus on your task.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my time management tips.

Comment any of your thoughts or techniques down below. Tell us how you stay inspired and motivated to continue the pursuit of your dreams.

And most importantly, love yourself and love what you do.

Tips to Managing Your Time Effectively- a guest essay by Taylor. Via Opinion9.com

Thanks for sharing, Taylor! Find more of her work on her blog and be sure to follow her on instagram too 🙂

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