How to make a schedule!
Or at least a different way of scheduling. And here is the answer:
hour by hour.
This way of scheduling is different from any other way I've done it before. I've done weekly schedules, and monthly, and every-other-weekly schedules, and I keep a calendar on my wall... (although, I don't use it as often as I should.) but I've never done an hourly schedule before today. For all you list-lovers out there, this one is for you!
So, earlier today, I was reading a few articles about academic success (yes, you read that correctly.) and I learned some very interesting things. (you read that correctly too.) One thing I learned was that your brain functions better if you study in chunks of time and take breaks, rather than cramming for six hours straight. Now, this I already knew, however I had not put it into practice.
Some of the best tips I got from that article were to study for 45 minutes followed by a 15 minute break and to schedule myself. I've done schedules before, but the author suggested an hour by hour schedule. So I decided to try it. I made a list of all the things I needed to get done today: read such and such many pages, type up an essay, debate homework questions and so on and so forth. Then I estimated the time it would take for each one. And organized it into a list.
I also made "mini-lists" (you know what I'm talking about-- those tiny lists you make in the margins of the page, so small, but ever so important!) or small tasks I could do during my 15 minute breaks. These ranged from doing the dishes to getting snacks, to going outside in the sunshine. (They say that some time in the sunshine makes you more alert; I believe it.)
And you know what? The whole thing worked out pretty well! I was happy to have an actual plan and I wasn't lured into deviating because I included "fun" and different things in it as well. =D I'm trying it again tomorrow. In fact, I have my whole day planned out from 7 o'clock when the alarm goes off (but I rarely get up at that time; I generally hit the snooze button 5-12 times and then get up.) to about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Pretty cool eh?
On an ever so slightly unrelated note, the other article I read regarded the behaviors/habits of A+ students. In summary, the article said that the best students are successful because they manage their time well instead of procrastinating and cramming like many other students. And because they manage their time well throughout the whole year/semester/class/whatever, they are able to make sure their work is top quality (for instance, where essays are concerned: finish early, have lots of time to edit and make it as good as possible.). It was quite an interesting article and time management is a bit of a weak area for me (if you can believe that!).
Lately, I've been stressing out a lot because I'm "behind" (there really is no "behind" in homeschool, but there is a relative point at which I "feel" behind.) in almost all of my subjects and (confession--) I tend to procrastinate a lot. Particularly with classes like Debate.. or extracurriculars like Awana. The week just slips by and next thing I know, it's the weekend and I'm scrambling to get my homework done. (Never thought you'd hear that from a homeschooler did ya?) I'm hoping to become less of a procrastinator and catch up on some of my subjects by drawing up more detailed schedules.
I've just felt really bogged down, discouraged, like everyone wants a different piece of me. Whether it's church or Bible study(ies) or classes or work.. You know. Whatever it was. Everyone wanted a chunk. Everyone wanted me to "do this by next week." A week isn't that long, people. I think our leaders/teachers (and this is not a bash on them at all.) honestly think to themselves, "a week is long enough to get such and such task done." but no consideration is given to all the other tasks one has due that week. If I have five different things due on five different days, odds are that I am bound to drop one of the juggling balls if I'm not organized enough. That, I believe is the key. So this is an experiment in the works. (And also a long post that only the people who truly love me will read all the way through. Like my mom. Because that's what moms are for.)
Don't you love how we learn new things every day? Why, just a few weeks ago, I learned how to help a little boy go to the bathroom! That was quite an experience. If you can imagine this (and you may choose not to at this time, if you wish), they do not go to the bathroom like little girls. (Perhaps an obvious truth in retrospect, but it was not so obvious at the time. I didn't know what to do. I can imagine that anyone outside the bathroom might have laughed at my conversation with the little kid.) Here's the trick (which the little boy's mom was so gracious as to share with me): you have to sit them on the toilet backwards. Once this was revealed to me, however, I was a pro.
In other news:
-I have a TON of posts to publish (as soon as I write them.) So that is exciting. These upcoming posts may include but are not limited to: an appreciation post, CLEP exams, my Halloween costume, NaNoWriMo, a narrative essay, and our recent weekend getaway to Seattle. Ain't that exciting?
-As you may or may not know/remember, it is NaNoWriMo time yet again. I believe I've made several posts on this topic (all of which I am too lazy to hyperlink at the moment) and there are bound to be at least a few more. But a little less than an hour ago, I hit 10K!!!!! (10,000 words in 3 days.)
-I cannot sleep. And that is the reason why I am blogging at one in the morning. =P And probably, the reason why this post is so long and rambly. If I am thinking about too many things at once (like today) then it is near impossible for me to sleep. But now I've got a load off my mind, I shall try to get some sleep.
-I'm also thinking about switching the blog around (so much for sleep). Not tonight of course as I get overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of options I have... but soon. I don't like the width of the layout where my posts show up. And the green on the sides just makes it look all claustrophobic. What do you think? I think I want to make it more open like my sister blog. It just looks a lot cleaner to me. And (you will appreciate this), it will make the paragraphs look smaller!! YAY!!! Gotta love smaller paragraphs!