Lauren’s Lounge: Preparing for November Success!

First and most importantly, I hope everyone who was in the path of the hurricane got through with minimal damage. Here at Ithaca College we had a whole lot of rain, but nothing too serious.

Second, the usual apology for not blogging for a long time. Who new that senior year could be so busy? (Probably everybody).

Speaking of how busy senior year is, it looks like November is going to be my busiest month yet. With two big papers due (one half-way through the month and one at the end of it), post-graduate program applications in progress, and the start of NaNoWriMo (which I’m hoping to “win” again this year), I don’t think I can just wing it. So I’m organizing, putting together some preparation items for when I’m too busy to think. Here’s what I’m putting in my November Prep Kit:

1. Drinks. No, not those kinds of drinks; you don’t want to walk into class after pulling an all-nighter and have a hangover. But hydration is important all the time, and especially when you’ve got a lot to do. Tea can be soothing or wake you up, coffee is good for a burst of energy, and most importantly water can have you feeling fresh and alert. Keep a water bottle with you whenever you can.

2. A good playlist. Meg blogged about making a positivity playlist HERE and I completely agree with her that having a motivational playlist can make productivity so much more fun. Fill your playlist with upbeat tunes and girlpower songs. I like to set up my playlists like soundtracks—nobody would want to watch a movie about me doing my homework, but it’s fun to pretend I’m in one!

3. Willpower. Yeah, this one’s intangible and wouldn’t actually fit in a box, but there are items you can use to make sure you’re getting stuff done. I like Self Control, an app on my laptop that blocks me from certain websites for a certain period of time (bye bye, tumblr), but a notebook to keep you off the computer—and from being tempted by the internet—can do the trick as well.

4. Rewards! Of course, crossing off the last item on your to-do lit can be a reward in itself, but sometimes we need something a little bit more exciting to convince us we really want to write another page of that essay before checking Facebook again. Don’t reward yourself with food, or sleep, or anything that you need to be at your best, but pick something fun like watching a movie or a new pair of shoes (depending on the length of your to-do list) and set a goal for when you’ll receive your “gift.”

5. A quiet place to think. Another item that wouldn’t exactly fit in a box of preparation supplies, but a good one. There’s so much going on around us all the time, and it’s hard to ignore—I found myself checking my phone at 4:30am this morning because I saw I had a new email. Spend an hour, or 30 minutes, or even just 10 minutes a day with just yourself. You don’t have to meditate or anything (unless you want to), but sitting still and quiet will help you gather your thoughts and when you get back to the daily grind you’ll be better able to organize and create!

6. A calendar. I used to hate organizing. I would maybe write myself a reminder a few days before a paper was due or a test was to take place, but for the most part I wouldn’t bother and would just do everything the night before. But with so many things due on the same dates lately, I physically cannot procrastinate on all my commitments, and writing everything down on my calendar, for some reason, makes things a little bit more interesting. Plus, although to-do lists are pretty much the greatest thing ever, a calendar is good for really mapping out when everything needs to be finished.

What would you put in a kit to prepare yourself for a busy month?

Finally, if you or your family or friends were affected by the hurricane, you can find some resources to help HERE and HERE.

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