How To Be Productive Every Single Week!

For you to begin carrying on with a productive and organized life you should arrange your weeks and days around what is vital and important to you. You may feel like you aren’t completing anything, and the end of your schedule appears to be incomprehensible. With a specific end goal in mind.. it’s critical to remain concentrated on the task at hand!  I have found that it’s easier to focus on what I am doing at the moment instead of the whole days to do list… or even worse the week! When you’re on the grind, be on the grind. In other words leave work at work and when you’re at home, be at home.

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”

― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

 

I feel like this quote fits this post perfectly. I have found myself too many times complaining and feeling so frustrated about the hours in a day. Of course, there’s always 24 hours… but I’m referring to those PRODUCTIVE hours within a day. They range from maybe 1-4 hours a day. Those hours where you stick to your to-do list and actually get things done! If I want to accomplish that huge list of things I want in my life, I have to work really hard in a truly organized fashion. In fact, having a process to organize your life into a more productive week can be a GAME CHANGER.

 

Here are just five ways to organize for your next productive week!

  1. Create Monthly Goals
  2. Make a To-Do List For Each Goal
  3. Schedule Your To-Do’s
  4. Plan Your Week
  5. Reschedule

 

 

Create Monthly Goals

For a few people, month to month objectives are excessively upsetting. It keeps them from feeling good about their goal. I get that. For a very long time, I was the same way. A way to overcome this is to make sure you pick an inspiring goal. Maybe it’s to lose 5 pounds or maybe it’s to save time by becoming organized? Any goal needs to be something that makes you excited when you think about achieving it.

 

Ask yourself..

 

Why do you need it? What will you be able to accomplish once you have it? In case you’re not by any stretch of the imagination amped up for what you can do with that goal, then you’re basically not going to be persuaded to accomplish it.

Next, since you have your goal, how do you try and reach it? The most important thing you’ll want to do is to visualize yourself having achieved your goal at the end of the month.Either way, let that be your goal representation, which makes you feel good every time you think about it. Try and do this at least once per day. I like to do it first thing in the morning when I am sippin’ on my coffee. Concentrate on your visualization and coordinate it with the feeling of having accomplished your goal. Feel it as if you’ve already met it! Be that as it may, you will encounter resistance. In the event that there weren’t resistance, you’d have your goal as of now.. right?

Remember that this resistance is just telling you that you have some inner blockages to your goal. It’s not the Universe saying “no” to your goal. It’s really you saying “no” to your goal. Once the resistance is released, your goal can be met. In this way, don’t give your resistance a chance to hold control over you!

 

Make To-Do List For Each Goal

You can be fruitful without arranging your days… however you should work a lot longer and harder. The reason? When you don’t arrange your days, you wind up working for other people – not only for yourself.

When it comes to my monthly goal “to-do list” I look forward to actually completing my list! Make sure to check things off as you go. You will find that not only will each check mark be a step closer to achieving your goal but you will get an incredible sense of satisfaction every time you check something off.

 

Schedule Your To-Do’s

For each of your goals, there’s a next stride, or an initial step in case you’re simply beginning. In the event that you need to run a marathon, there are particular preparing runs you should do to get ready. In the event that I need to run 15 miles, I have to work my way up from the longest run I’ve done in the last couple weeks, which is not even close to half of 15 miles. So my next step may be like a 5-8 mile run. Whatever your next stride or initial step is, it needs to be specific and concrete!

Once you’ve decided what your first step or next step is for a particular goal, it should be fairly simple to figure out how much time you need to accomplish that step. At that point compose that due date in your calendar. You can even input it straight into your phone. Figure out the soonest date you can accomplish this step. Keep going until you have a specific action you’ll take toward each of your goals, and a date on the calendar by which that action will be completed.

 

Plan Your Week

When you have your day planned out well, you never have to ask yourself: “what should I work on next?” You can just refer to your calendar and move straight onto whats next on your to-do list. Always, always try and plan your week starting on Sundays.
– It offers you the chance to think about your long-term goals and the way you can accomplish them during the week;
– You can block your calendar in order to have the needed time for your activities.

Some steps to plan your week:

1. Analyze your personal, family, and career goals
2. Starting from this, schedule activities related to the goals, and doable during the week ahead. Don’t forget to plan your free time and extra activities!

 

Reschedule

Your calendar is flexible so don’t worry if other things pop up. You should have enough room in your day to move things around as needed. By the end of the week or month, you can look back at your calendar to see what you’ve achieved. It’s extremely rewarding to look back at everything you’ve accomplished and this brings around a greater sense of personal productivity.

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Calculating your Macros

Alright before we get started on this whole “Macro-nutrient” thing let’s get one thing straight. That is, counting your macros and clean eating are two different things! Eating clean focuses on the quality of your food. Whilst, macro counting focuses on the quantity of food. So what in the world does that mean? Many people get the idea that this means your get to eat whatever the heck you want. Although that can be true… YES TRUE, I mean there is technically no foods that are “forbidden” when you are counting your macros.

The point is to hit your macro levels and the easiest way to do that is to eat nourishing foods that fuel your body. So it’s a toss-up really. You can eat whatever you like BUT, eating garbage all day only makes things tougher. Why not make things easier. Embrace that laziness! Hopefully that’s not just my mentality when it comes to my health. Why wouldn’t you want to take the easiest route possible to achieve your goals? Hmmm.. anyway, back to those macro thingys.

Let’s say you’re craving a bowl of ice cream or a slice of pizza. If it “fits” into your macros for the day, then by all means DO IT UP! Remember, you’re only human which means you are no where close to perfect. Counting your macros instead of the typical dieting allows you to be successful in losing fat or gaining muscle. Whatever your goal may be, macro counting allows you to be human!

So keep an open mind while I hopefully explain what all the fuss is about.

Macro is short for “macro-nutrient” which means the nutrients our bodies need in large amounts. There are only three different macro-nutrients

  1. Protein

  2. Carbohydrates

  3. Fats

Each of these macro-nutrients have a certain amount of calories per gram. When counting your macros, you don’t track the amount of calories for the day. Instead you have a goal for each nutrient. So it’s essentially 3 individual goals. Which isn’t as hard as you may be thinking… You’re trying to reach you protein, carb, and fat “levels” let’s say by the end of your day. Doing so allows you to make that change in your body composition rather than just weight loss on the scale. Other words, you will lose inches rather than pounds! But, you can also adapt your macros you lose both.

So how???

Normally, bloggers throw a big ol’ confusing equation at you in order for you to determine your macro levels. But, being the lazy yet surprisingly active individual I am.. I’d much rather let you in on my secret formula. The internet. Yes! Instead of your gender and your weight multiplied by whatever, and added to your height minus your age… BLAH BLAH BLAH! Just head on over https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/macronutrients_calculator.htm It’s that easy 🙂

10 points to lazy-puff! (feel free to ignore that corny harry potter joke).

Alright, so once you’re there simply fill out the spaces in the calculator. I also forgot to mention that your macros are effected by your overall goal. That meaning…

  • Do you want to lose fat? Then you will have to eat less carbs than you do protein and fat.
  • Do you just want to maintain what you have going on right now? Then your carbs will be moderate.
  • Do you want to bulk up and look swole? Then carbs are going to cover most of your plate.

Your macro calculations will also take into consideration of your activity level. From lightly active to extra active and all activity in between. Be honest when calculating.. if you currently don’t work out at all of course set a goal but make it obtainable. If you don’t push yourself you won’t achieve and see the results that you are working for. Seriously.

My personal macros are: protein 187G, Carbs 281G, and 69G. These are for each day. Your next step, would then to be to find a way to track your macros. Maybe you have a journal and you write down everything you eat and continually add it all up. That works. Or how about you think LAZY. How about technology? download an app on your phone. I really like the Stupid Simple Macros Tracker and it’s free! Oh, did I mention that I’m not only lazy but cheap! This app is so cool to use before you eat. It builds your meals by using ingredients and warns you what has too much fat or too many carbs. Using an app to track for you helps so much. You only have to input what you eat and the app calculates how much protein, carbs, and fat are in those are within your food and adds it to your daily total!

It takes a bit or trial and error to try to hit your macros at first but it’s so worth it. Eating based on macros is a step up in eating properly. Really once you’ve nailed it and see results, guaranteed there will be no going back! I’m excited to have you get started and to hear all about your success!

 

 

How to Succeed in College: Everything I Learned in Four Years

In my four years of going to college, I learned so many things. Not just through lectures but from the experience of being a college student. I lived at home and only had to drive seven minutes to get to class. This helped so much with money! I actually had a decent amount of money that I didn’t really identify with the typical “broke college student”. I also have a hard time being away from home so this became a big part of why I decided to not go away for school. (stay tuned for my why you should live at home for college post.. coming soon!) From all the four years, which flew by.. by the way, I grew and changed so much. From everyday moments with my friends in the cafeteria “studying” while eating fried food (which I highly regret now). To the day of graduation, when all of my hard work felt worth it. I’d like to share with you what I learned during my four years at an university. Here are 15 tips that you should know!

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re completely lost or confused don’t wait until the last possible moment to see your professor. This is college, nobody is going to go out of their way to help you. Professors give out their office hours on day one.. make sure to use them.
  • Try and leave your high school days behind you. You may have been voted most athletic or most likely to succeed during your senior year. But, in college there’s no competitions for titles and that’s what’s so great. You have the opportunity to make a new name for yourself one that will make your parents proud. College graduate, make this your focus.. and you will find good people along the way.
  • Ask people about their favorite professors. Once I asked and started to take those classes that were recommended by other students, I started to enjoy school more. I actually began to learn more once I took classes based off of professors. I went to a very small school.. one of my English classes only had like 11 people. Our professor constantly took us out for lunch (and paid!) while also “lecturing”.
  • Get to know your professors. Once you know who is cool and who is not.. don’t just sit silently the two hours you have to be there. Having a positive relationship with a professor makes a big difference for the outcomes of the class. They are your best bet when it comes to succeeding. They can help you pass and hopefully help you do it stress free!
  • If you’re trying to decide on taking classes that aren’t for your major there’s nothing wrong with taking easy A ones! Once you graduate and start applying to jobs.. employers will notice your great GPA, regardless if you took a few easy courses.
  • Treat your syllabus like your bible. At the beginning of every semester all professors will hand a syllabus with step-by-step ways to pass their class. As soon as you receive your syllabi sit down and write everything in a planner. Better yet, add all important due dates into your phone!
  • Do not buy your books! Always, always check to see if someone on campus has purchased the books you need. If you can’t find someone who has the books you need then check online. I liked to rent my textbooks on Amazon. They don’t seem to cost very much and they provide shipping labels when it’s time to return them.
  • Start study groups. I learned so much more studying with a group of classmates than I ever did on my own. Talking and explaining what you’re learning to other people helps the information get stored in your memory. I personally have such a hard time reading out of a text-book when I study. A study group gives you the chance to quiz each other. Try and stay focused though, it is super easy to start talking about other things.
  • Freshmen fifteen is real, I tell you, REAL! I think my weight gain started with my new college caffeine consumption. I frequently stopped by coffee shops for a latte and flavored redbull. My consumption became really bad around midterms and even worse for finals week! Not only did the drinks have way more extra calories than I needed.. they started to mess with my sleep. No sleep slowed my metabolism way down. Try drinking caffeinated green tea if you really do need an energy boost. Try utilizing your school’s gym as well.
  • Don’t skip classes too often. Yes there might be a day when you are so sick you don’t want to get out of bed, and that’s ok. Do your best to go to your classes as often as possible. There really are things you can’t learn from your textbook. My freshmen year I skipped my psychology class too many times to count. I passed, but as a result I remember nothing!
  • Get a tutor if you need one. Start by asking your professor for any suggestions of previous students. Next check with the university’s tutor center. There’s no shame in wanting extra help. Plus the school’s tutors are paid to help you.. so take advantage of the school paying, instead of you.
  • Work hard and don’t party too hard. By that I mean, college is fun and all but don’t let the fun get out of control. You are there for one reason, and one reason only.. to get a degree. Your education is costing someone whether its you, your parents, or the state. It’s a lot of money. Don’t waste it!
  • Consider getting a major and a minor if you have more than one interest. Having only a major is fine too and won’t hurt your job chances. If you love English and science equally, there’s no reason that you can’t study both. Employment has a lot to do with experience and the ability to learn than it has to do with what you majored in.
  • Learn what you need to in class when it’s taught.. rather than cramming to learn it before a test. There’s no reason to come to class if you’re just going to sit there and zone everything out. This is what causes major stress when you are trying to study for finals. Show up to class and make an effort to take notes and actually learn.

And lastly,

  • Get familiar with different citations. Nothing ruins a paper like bad citations. Whether its APA or MLA know what you professor wants and learn how to do it. I liked using the website sonofacitationmachine. Just google it.. and plug in the requested information and it creates citations fo you! 🙂

How to Completely Improve your Health in 2017

You don’t have to go carbless or sign up for a marathon to improve your well-being. Sometimes the biggest changes surprisingly start with very small ones. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to eat better, improve your fitness, or take your vitamins.. a healthier life is a big change. But, what if it doesn’t have to be? How about instead of making the HUGE jump into changing how about you take baby steps. A year is a great timeline to work toward reaching a goal. Force yourself to make just one good decision (and sticking to it) every month. That’s only one change per month. Twelve small changes for the entire year! Are you interested yet? With the ending of each month you may be inspired and ready for the next month’s goal. Just make sure to focus on the days in the month and stick to your goal… before you know it by the time the holiday season rolls around you are on your way to a completely new and healthier you.

January Be positive.

Make January a month all about optimism. Try to always look on the brighter one (there is always one, just make sure to look). Becoming more positive may cause you to second guess your thinking and maybe even change it. This can take time. Becoming more positive is like forming a habit. Take the first part of the month forming this habit. Most importantly, cut yourself some slack. If you focus negatively about what you don’t like about yourself, that isn’t going to change anything. By the end of the month once you have your thinking positive habit down.. identify the things you love about yourself. Put more emphasis into those things.

February Track your calories. 

Tracking your food and calorie intake each day every so often is so important. Research shows that people who do, actually lose more weight than those who do not. Counting your calories is really easy these days. There are so many apps that you can download to your phone to help you log your meals. Tracking your meals can help you aware of the types of food you are eating. (I had no idea that olive garden bread sticks are 300 calories.. JUST FOR ONE BREAD STICK). Thanks to my fitnesspal app I now eat 2 bread sticks max! Seeing how many calories are in certain things can help you make smarter choices. Try to hit your calorie goal every day for the month of February. (That’s only 28 days!) Never go over and you will feel a difference in your body.

March Cut your sugar amount. 

What you’ll experience when you cut out sugar will depend on the size of your sugar habit. People who eat tons of sugar and then suddenly stop.. actually show addiction like withdrawals. If you ditch your sugar cravings your mood will increase. Your quality of your sleep should improve as well. If you really do need to have something sugary and can’t wait till the end of the month.. eat all of the fruit that you want!

April Meal prepping

Yes, I’m serious. It’s so much easier to eat healthy when meals are already waiting for you in your fridge. Sundays seem to work best to sit down and plan and prep your meals for the entire week. If you need some help getting started.. pinterest has unlimited amounts of meal prepping posts. Try to plan to eat 5 small meals per day. Make it easy on yourself have the same thing for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for all 7 days of the week. Then switch it up the following week.

May Start to workout regularly.

Maybe you don’t workout what-so-ever. Make May the month to start! (2 times a week is a great starting point) If you already workout regularly.. then use this month to switch it up. Avoid a weight-loss or fitness plateau by changing your routine. Some ways to switch it up include increasing weight and decreasing the amount of reps when lifting. Advanced lifters add and subtract weight from their workouts all the time. Maybe you add 5 pounds one day and do 10 reps, and the next time you do less weight and do 15 reps. Cardio wise.. a great change is switching to shorter distances but at higher intensities. Maybe even throw in some interval training!

June Drink water every morning.

Just imagine not drinking any water, tea, or juice for the next 8 hours. My throat and mouth became dry just thinking about it. This is what happens when you sleep. While you sleep your body essentially becomes dehydrated. Everybody wakes up this way.. so drink a glass of water as soon as you get up. Not only is it the best habit to form, staying hydrated helps with weight loss.

July 10,000 daily step goal. 

There’s so much research that proves walking 10,000 steps a day (5 miles) can help with your health. Of course, there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to fitness and exercise. But, if you’re new to working out or simply walking you can aim for a smaller goal. Maybe try 4000 steps daily maybe only 4 days out of the week. Every week try to add 1500 steps every day. By the end of the month you can be really close to 10,000 steps per day. Download a pedometer app on your phone and keep track all day. Or go all out and purchase yourself an exercise tracker like a fitbit to do the work for you.

August No junk food.

Did you know that some of your favorite snacks are made with the perfect amounts of added sugar, salt, and fat that it tricks your body into wanting more!? Yeah, pretty scary. There’s no denying that my cravings for chips are strong, but apparently, they are made to be! It’s not impossible to give up on junk food though. If you try to eat as many whole foods as possible.. the less junk food you will eat. The less you eat the less you will want. If it’s difficult just think of it.. as dodging obesity and diabetes.

September Try meditating.

I’m not talking about sitting cross-legged humming in silence type of thing. Which has shown to be the best stress reliever there is. I’m talking about meditating by doing by doing what you love to do. Maybe it’s running, painting, or dancing. Times seems to stand still when you focus on doing something you enjoy. Completely immerse yourself into something (a couple of times a week) and let your thoughts and frustrations melt away.

October Try being vegetarian.

OK, maybe not the whole entire month. October is National Vegetarian month though. Maybe one day out of the week try no-meat. What about meat-less Mondays? That’s only 4 Mondays out of the month! Going without meat just for one day helps you turn to new healthy foods. Who knows maybe it’s something you can try more than monthly?

November Sign up for a 5K. 

Signing up for a 5K walk/run really helps in holding you accountable. You aren’t expected to suddenly become a runner this month. If anything use it as a cardio seshBut do sign up for a race by the end of the month. It’s so much harder to over indulge on Thanksgiving knowing that you have a race the following week. When you focus on competing, you’re more likely to be satisfied with your workouts and training to achieve your goal.

December Sleep! Sleep! Sleep!

Good sleep habits can make a big difference in your quality of life. Try to stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time. Even on the weekends. Also, start a relaxing bedtime routine. A routine before bed helps your body realize that sleep is coming. Try taking an Epsom salt bath or turning on some ocean sounds. Maybe you like to watch TV before bed.. take some melatonin and you will be relaxed and ready for bed in 20 minutes! Having a routine helps your body to wind down and switch into sleep mode. Make sure you get enough sleep during the holiday season!

Unmotivated? Try a FitBit

First of all, if you’re thinking right now “what is a Fitbit?” just know that I am here for you. I was asking the same question about a year ago. Fast forward to today, and I literally cannot go a day without mine! The short answer to what a Fitbit is it’s an activity tracker. Lately they have been upgraded and now you have so many to choose from. There’s small ones that clip onto your clothing to some that look like watches. A super awesome scale was just released that can wirelessly communicate with your Fitbit. So, whether you’re thinking about getting one. Just know that you will be extremely motivated as a result!

For me, my Fitbit helps to keep me active in general. Seeing how many steps and how many calories I am burning after a workout.. makes me want to do more. A lot of the features on it keep me inspired. I started with just a Fitbit Flex. It was a simple tracker that looked like a thin watch. It showed the time and my steps for the day. Yes, I am speaking about it in past tense if you didn’t catch on.. my dog unfortunately got a hold of it. R.I.P. flex! I was then blessed this last Christmas with my Surge. Now I seriously can’t imagine my workout routine without it. I like to put my surge on as soon as I get up for the day. Once I hit the gym in the evening I already have some steps in. But, I am normally not anywhere close to meeting my step goal (10,000). 

Once at the gym I love to use my “fancy” features. I normally start my warm up with 10 minutes on the elliptical. So, I go into my Fitbit and chose workout. I find elliptical and start it. When I’ve done my 10 minutes I stop it and I can instantly see my calories burned, and my average heart rate. Next, I’m ready for a little run on the treadmill to get my calories really burning. I usually do between 1-3 miles on a 6 incline level. I use my Fitbit to start and log my run. There’s an actual treadmill setting people! After I’m all warmed up and sweaty, I normally lift for 1-2 hours. Now what I really really really love.. is after I get home and connect to my app on my phone. Through Bluetooth my surge can send all the info from my gym sesh to my phone! Here I can see what my resting heart rate is. I’ve actually lowered mine over the past month which means I’m finally getting into shape. I can also see my steps, total mileage, calories, flights of stairs. and number of active minutes. My total workout is found normally under weights. What really motivates me and keeps me crawling back for more…. (literally crawling, hashtag leg day) is it shows how many minutes out of my workout that I was burning fat! Being able to see how many minutes of cardio and fat burn is soooo mind-blowing to me. Knowing that its 100% accurate because it used my heart rate to calculate it.. is awesome. Ah, I am all pumped and ready for my workout tonight just thinking about it.

I would say that one of the best parts about having a Fitbit is the option to compete. My cousin and I have a weekly step goal challenge about once a month. There have been many times that I actually go out for a walk just to get more steps and take the lead. You can set up challenges through the fitbit app. It’s so neat because it notifies you all day long. If your partner takes more steps it instantly notifies you. It also tells you how many hours you have until the challenge ends. Sometimes this perks me up and I hop on my tread. I would definitely connect your account to your Facebook, so more people can find and challenge you. Feel free to challenge me with my email charliedayfiander1@gmail.com Let’s get to work!

In the settings part of your Fitbit, you can set your fitness goals. To start out your step goal is automatically 10,000. I think that’s because that’s the amount recommended for a person to walk each day. That’s 5 miles. You can change this goal to whatever you want as well as adjust your calorie intake goal, active minutes, and floors climbed. You can even input your goal weight, nutritional goals, and water intake! Two settings that are really cool but I only use every once in a while, are sleep tracking and silent alarms. The sleep tracking tells you how much sleep you got and the actual quality. It’s interesting to learn about your sleep patterns. Maybe working out more will help you get more hours of deep sleep? Hmmm. With the Fitbit you can set alarms. You can set some for the morning or throughout the day to remind you about things. Compared to loud annoying alarms.. Fitbit just slowly vibrates. It’s really low-key but does work in waking you up.

Now that you know all about the Fitbit, get going! Aim small at first. Maybe increase your step count by 500 steps per day. Try and think about where you can get more steps, throughout your day. Find a friend to challenge if you need even more motivation! Good luck 🙂

Make Your College Essays A+ Worthy

Ok, I don’t think there’s such a thing as A+ in college. But, honestly having great grades on your papers will help your GPA tremendously. You can reap the benefits of writing good quality essays both in college and in life after. Depending on your career choice you may be required to use some writing skills at work. Whether you decide to go into the science field.. or choose to become a writer. Having a talent for writing essays will not only impress your professors, but can set you up for life after midterms and finals.

Here are some ways to write better papers and score a high-grade every time:

Write in “third person”

Sometimes the problem with your writing style is simply the point of view you are choosing to write in. When you are writing papers for your classes.. its best to stick to third person. Stay away from ever writing “I believe” “I think”, or “you know”. These phrases are so unprofessional and make your writing appear tacky. Presenting facts or your opinion with I think doesn’t give any validity to your statement.

Brainstorm

In order to approach an essay with a topic that has been given to you, always start by brainstorming. Instead of writing the first thing that pops into your head try to get organized first. Once you organize all of your thoughts about the topic.. you can narrow those down.  A major part of essays, especially great college ones, is a thesis statement. When you brainstorm, and organize your thoughts it’s so easy to pick a thesis statement out of your ideas.

Into and conclusion last?

Yeah, it makes sense to write your paper starting with the introduction followed by the body and lastly, the conclusion. But, there is a different approach that I started leaning toward at the end of my time in college. Try writing the body of your essay first. The intro and conclusion are both sort of summary and a wrap up of the body anyway. Try writing your thesis statement as your first step, then the body paragraphs, and finish with you conclusion by summarizing. Write your introduction after all of these steps.

Thesis statement

A thesis statement is expected in college! Seriously, there is no way to get around it. It focuses your ideas into two sentences. To write a thesis statement figure out the type, purpose, and audience of your paper. I like to start with a question about the topic. Then I make the answer my thesis statement. Take a stance or a side.. the rest of the essay will be your providing evidence on why you are correct. Your intro of the paper should always contain your thesis statement.

Research

Before you write, you must research. Ok, maybe you have your topic and maybe a thesis statement. If you don’t have a thesis yet… start researching! Instead of starting from scratch I like to expand on someone else’s idea. I either agree with them and write about my thoughts or feelings. Sometimes I disagree and write my different view on the topic. This way really helps me with finding research materials. I use similar research as the person I am basing my argument on. Remember to make sure to take your time when writing to relate your evidence to your thesis.

Never rely on spell-check

We’re actually lucky that our computer, tablets, and phones can catch our spelling mistakes these days. I constantly rely on Microsoft Word to correct my spelling and capitalize I for me. But with all of technologies greatness, I never rely on it for grammar! When it comes to grammar and proper usage of words to use… auto-correct is no help what-so-ever. Your computer can’t distinguish the difference between “your” and “you’re”. It also struggles with the infamous theres! “Their” They’re” and “There”. So, don’t be that student who turns in a paper with these errors. Always read your papers before turning them in. Have someone else read it as well if you are still unsure.

Write with a purpose

Don’t just write anything just to reach the 500-word minimum rule. Begin with a point (your thesis!) and follow it with evidence (body paragraph) all the way to the summarizing conclusion. This is why the five-paragraph essay is so common. The intro, three body paragraphs, and conclusion makes sure you establish your point/ Don’t feel like you have to use the 5-paragraph way, but it is there if you have no idea where to start.

Don’t rush

Always keep in the back of your mind that writing essays takes a lot of time. Or at least it should. It requires research, brainstorming, proofreading, and the time to sit down with no distractions to write it. Each step is so time-consuming which is why you should not rush. Well you could but your paper will most likely suffer. Try and set goals to each part of your essay a couple of weeks before its due. One day for research, one day to brainstorm and get your thesis picked out, and maybe three days to write. Then the days after you can proofread and make changes. That’s a whole week to work rather than cramming it all in the night before. Seriously don’t do it! Your sleep with feel the consequence.

Plagiarism

When you sit down to write your essay, don’t be afraid of unintentionally plagiarizing. Simply take the time to understand what plagiarism is. Then take the steps to not do it. An essay should be a collection or other people’s research. It needs to include your own ideas in order to be original. Citing is the major key here! Double-check your bibliography to make sure you included sources and in the correct order. Some website automatically generates sources for you in APA and MLA format. I like to use sonofacitationmachine.com

Hopefully these tips take your essays up a couple of notches on the grading scale. Make sure to take time to go through the whole writing process. That is the most important! Procrastination can equal a C+ paper.. where an organized and scheduled one can get you 100%.