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
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

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

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

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

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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Baby, You’re So Classic

Baby, You're So Classic- an essay column via Opinion9.comAnd we buzz through everyday, barely aware that we are writing the history of tomorrow. Minutes counted down,  days ticked off calendars and before you know it, today becomes yesterday.

That philosophical feeling came to me as I listened to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ on my old playlist.  Here I was, singing along to a song from 1982 (yep, just googled that) when I caught myself thinking “Ah! This song really is a classic!”.  The song has proved to be immensely popular, timeless… but a ‘classic’ – is it really one? Or is that territory only reserved for Beethoven’s and Mozart’s of earlier eras?

What does it take to make an artwork a classic? What does it mean to be a classic? And… which songs or books do you think will be the classics of tomorrow?

We often refer to something classic to say that it is timeless – like in my case, with the Thriller track. I thought of Jackson’s song as a classic because it was still enjoyable even now. Several years after its release, it still retained its charm.  Another key factor is that a classic is usually relatable – although in an indirect way. The song is still relatable – its subject of ghosts and zombies is an age old story that we would have all heard before and yet, a story that never goes out of fashion. It contains a message that we can relate with in a different time period.

Baby, You're So Classic- an essay column via

The same goes for books. Shakespeare’s tragedies haven’t lost their charm because of their extensive portrayal of human emotion – a subject that is once again, timeless. We can feel jealousy like Othello, and crave power like Macbeth even though we don’t dress or talk like them.

Relatability is perhaps a criteria that people take with a pinch of salt. Many times we refer to books as classics, not because they were very popular or because they describe a relatable human experience – but simple because they are… old. Mark Twain seems to agree with this. He once said, ” Classic: a book which people praise and don’t read.”

Baby, You're So Classic- an essay column via

Not to disregard classics, of course. There may be many works which are exemplary forms of literature despite being un-relatable. Dickens’ Great Expectations is often described as a classic although in my personal opinion, I found the story quite hard to relate with. But then, is ‘classic’ truly the right word to describe them? Or maybe it’s just me.

Either way, it’s interesting to wonder what parts of our present life will become classics tomorrow! I wonder if Justin Bieber’s ‘What do you mean?’  will become a “classic” in pop music. In the future, perhaps safari scenes in films depicting this decade will play Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams”. If only we could take a sneak peek and find out!

Baby, You're So Classic- an essay column via

Well, for the time being- we could just borrow MKTO’s upbeat definition. If “they don’t make you like they used to” and “You’re never going out of style”, then…. Most certainly I’d say, “Baby, you’re so classic”.

Essay by Dee & Photos by Aaria Baid

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To Print or Not to Print?

To Print or Not to Print? via an Essay columnA habitual note-taker, I find it hard to focus in my classes at university without a pen and paper. And yes, I’m one of those students who turns up with a printed copy of the lecture material every time. But the environmentalist in me keeps urging me to embrace technology, stop printing every single set of notes and just read it off my computer. In vain, however. Usually it’s a passing feeling, and before I know it I’m standing in queue to use the library printer once again.

To be fair, I’ve tried it one too many times. Each time it’s the same. I resolve to read a set of notes online instead of printing. Type out my notes during class instead of writing them. But I just can’t get used to it – I find it hard to organize my thoughts without a pen and blank paper in my hand. And even when it comes to reading materials, it frustrating when I can’t flip back and forth between pages smoothly, or annotate with the freedom that handwritten marking provides.

I often see my tech savvy friends come to class just carrying their tablet – one place for all notes, all readings, and even an entertainment source during study breaks. Seems extremely effective –  but I wonder: does a physical copy to read or handwritten notes have a charm that hasn’t yet been recreated by technology?

Just the way our grandparents always say that an email can’t replace a handwritten letter – indeed there seems to be some unnamed charm in the feel of paper instead of a type-face on our laptop screen. It’s funny how touch, enhances our sensory perception of something we read in a book despite the fact that the content written doesn’t change.

But it’s also possible that the charm of paper only exists for grew up with that tradition. To me, books and e-books feel different – but perhaps not to the millennials who were born into a more tech savvy world. Maybe  I associate the pleasure of reading with the experience of reading books as a kid, snuggling in a bed with a book in my hand. Maybe I just can’t type fast enough as I think and that’s why handwritten notes are the more effortless alternative.  Maybe.

The gap between my laptop screen and notebook seems to stem more from my mind  than actual differences between the two media. If that’s the case – I think it’s time to step out of my comfort zone, and start embracing the virtual world in small steps (like typing out this blogpost on my text editor for example hehe). That way the sudden change won’t tempt me to resort to pen and paper all the time, and let me adapt to the change gradually. Well, it’s definitely worth a try! -Dee

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Uncovering the charm of Mafalda

Hello! I’m VERY pleased to introduce Opinion9’s newest contributor: Dee! This is also her own column: EXPRESS. Enjoy! Let’s begin with uncovering the charm of …Mafalda!

Mafalda Cumple

So, I started learning Spanish a few weeks ago as an elective for college. It was one of the first few classes, that my professor introduced us to Mafalda.

For those of you who have never seen this charming little girl, here she is:


Mafalda is a cartoon kid among the spanish-speaking countries – and being introduced has been one of the best bonuses of my Spanish classes.

After persistently looking for Mafalda between study breaks for a few days I started to wonder – why did I like this cartoon so much?

The charm didn’t seem to be coming from the art, or the rather mundane household scenes depicted. It wasn’t particularly witty language, and neither was it involving any politically charged themes. What could it be?

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 8.42.25 pm

After some thought, I think the answer is this: Mafalda’s charm is in her character – she is not a child trapped in adults world.

It’s hardly a surprise that she appealed to a university student like me- curious and confused about the adult world of job hunting, MNC jobs and work-life balance.

Mafalda’s reactions to the world – be it laughing at the definition of democracy or literally trying to find the ever-so evasive notion of ‘happiness’ – captured my confusion, and often frustration, toward the real world situations I’ve often faced.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 8.42.05 pm

Maybe you’re a student like me, and can relate with Mafalda.

Maybe you’re more of an adult, who could reminisce the feelings you first experienced as your grew up.

Maybe you’re just someone learning Spanish like me.

Either way, Mafalda could bring a smile to your face (especially if you’re learning Spanish)!



picture credits: 1/2/3-6/7

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Inspired to find Inspiration

Finding Yourself

I got a new computer. So..even though I’m clicking a lot of pictures; I have to install the camera processing etc on the computer..and. I haven’t got around to doing it yet. Still, I feel compelled to write, just write.

I went out for a day trip, and it was a nice, peaceful trip to a farm which had shades of everlasting green and pops of colours- yellows, lavenders, pinks and purples and sunny oranges. Love it. The worst part? I forgot to pack my notebook that I carry around with me practically everywhere…and I didn’t think of carrying my little art sketchbook at all. I was just so bummed…here in this beautiful place with the breeze, the fresh smell of grass, cats and florals..and I didn’t have any of my ‘tools’.

Due to a lack of planning? Maybe, yeah. And some of that blissful ignorance. The trip was planned pretty fast, and I just found out we were going to a ‘farm’ somewhere far, far away. How was I to know it wasn’t a dingy, brown red terrain with squelching mud and rows of crops? It was green and clean and flowery and modern. Yup, it was a modern farm, which specialised in seed production and natural products. No nasty chemicals and fertilizers lying everywhere. It was more like a green resort- and back to the point- I love, love sitting down in nature and writing down ideas and plans and just notes about anything that’s on my mind.

Yet here I was, without a pen, book or anything to note down my thoughts. I suppose I could have asked a farmer (or the interns roaming around-yes, modern farms have interns too) but then I thought-

Leave it.

Sometimes things happen for a reason. I’ve been working pretty hard the past few weeks, with my pen and paper at hand pretty much all the time. Maybe this had happened so that I could just..relax and get inspired. By not thinking about any work related thing. At all.

And I didn’t think about anything. I didn’t even take the sneaky way out by writing notes on my phone. So over that. I just walked around the different plants that were growing, snapped pictures of flowers and trees looming high up in the air, picked cherries and played with the friendly cats and dogs in the farm, fed rabbits, watched ducks waddling, cows ploughing the golden brown fields, drank lemonade and picked and avoided ants getting in my food.

It was good, to say the least. And sometimes, really not thinking about something is the best way to get inspiration for it. I’ve been  spending so much time on my phone and computer lately and today, I practically forgot about them. (Except, of course, I’m typing this up now on the computer. But I’m not just surfing.) And it was great to not think, just feel that inspiration is there.

And that’s kind of inspiring.


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