THE Top 5 Things You Can Do The Night Before A Productive Morning

If you’ve clicked on this post, it’s probably because you want to either wake up earlier, be productive in the mornings, or both.

And if that is the case this post probably isn’t the first ‘how to have a good morning routine’ you’ve ever read.

Therefore you will be familiar with the phrase that a ‘good morning starts the night before.’ Although that phrase gets on your nerves for the amount of times it is repeated… it is so true.

In today’s blog post I will be outlining 5 things you can do the night before a productive morning.

Enjoy!

1) Set Out Clothes

This practise is drilled into me. I have been doing it for at least four years, and it helps reduce the friction between waking up at getting ready. Along with the clothes I have picked out for the following day, I also lay down my deodrant, underwear, and watch/accessories. If I plan to have a shower the following morning, I will put out my body cream too. The idea is, when you wake up, you can easily get changed or if you’re a morning shower person – take the pile of clothes into the bathroom. Honestly, once you start doing it your mornings will run much smoother.

2) Go To Bed Earlier

Easier said than done – so I think I’ll have to do a whole blog post about this one. Going to bed earlier energises you. Beds are for sleeping in! Don’t cut that precious sleep time just to wake up earlier. Even if you don’t want to wake up earlier, getting an extra hour or two sleep will allow for your morning to be productive. Running low on sleep does not hand itself well to productivity.

3) Write Your To-Do List

I know some people write their to-do lists in the morning, and this is great. However, writing them the night before is the real turning point. 

Before you go to bed you can order your priorities clearer than first thing in the morning. 

If I ever were to write my to-do list in the morning, I’d probably be rushing to write it so I can just get started and not waste any precious time.

Don’t rush it; do it the night before. Try forward-planning so you don’t overwhelm yourself with a huge list. To-do lists are made to work to your advantage. By taking some extra time, you can really maximise the benefits of a tick list.

(I will write a post about how to create the perfect to-do list)

4) Put Your Alarm On The Other Side Of The Room

I used to think this was bullshit advice. Because I’d wake up, walk over to turn off my alarm, the walk back into bed again. I still do that now! But I do recommend putting your alarm on the other side of the room. This works well for someone with a big room, because there’s more of a walk to turn it off. Whereas for my room there’s one step between the end of my bed and the other side of the room. 

I put my alarm somewhere that I have to get up to walk over to. Nowadays I’m only snoozing once before I get up. It’s not perfect, but we’re getting there.

5) Understand The Routine You Will Follow The Next Morning

No point saying you’ll have a productive morning without knowing what you’re going to do! Think about what you need to do before you start working: breakfast, skincare, get changed… This is different for everyone although don’t skip breakfast. PLEASE! 

Work out an order for those tasks and drill it into your head. Or, if it helps, write it down. Then, the following morning, you’ll know just what you need to do and when so it takes less brain power. The more you follow this ‘ideal routine’ the easier it will become – and you’ll just be on autopilot.

I hope this advice helps you to navigate your mornings better, and allows them to run more smoothly. Let me know which tips you’re going to implement right away! As I said, I will write a post about creating a perfect to-do list and how to go to bed earlier. I think those points deserve a little more explanation. 

What do you like to do before bed every night?

I enjoy washing my face and following my skincare routine. My brain subconsciously knows that when I take my makeup off, the day is over and it’s time to sleep (or read for an awfully long time). 

Have a lovely day,

Catherine x

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5 Ways To Stay On Top Of Homework + Revision | Collab With Emma Blether

Hello everybody! Welcome again to my back to school series. I am very excited today to bring a collab with one of my most admired bloggers: Rachel. Rachel is a creator based in Scotland, who produces YouTube, blog and Instagram content under her alias ‘Emma Blether’. We have previously worked to each other on a few posts, which I will link here. More recently I became the first official customer of her new online business: Emma Blether Prints. I’ll link all of her social medias at the end of the post (so keep reading!)

Today’s collaboration is on a study based topic! I absolutely love sharing tips on how to be more productive. I’ll be sharing how I stay on top of homework, studying and revision. Rachel, on the other hand, will be sharing How To Stay On Top Of Revision. I will link that post here to you can head over and read it!

School is approaching, and may have resumed for you. After 6 long months of online school, it’s definitely a shock to the system to have face to face teaching and… homework. The devil’s word. But homework is a necessary tool to help you improve with your subjects! This post applies to revision too, although revision is definitely organised by the pupil more so than the teacher. Anyway, let’s get into it, shall we? 

Start As Soon As It Is Set

As soon as someone sets you a task, get started on it. No, I don’t mean get it all done in one night. If it’s a smaller task, of course go for it. However with bigger tasks and projects the largest obstacle is getting started! As soon as you can, get started. I usually do this by…

Plan, Plan, Plan

Planning! Rather than ‘go with the flow’ I like to outline the key points of discussion before heading into a task (I do this for blog posts too). You might be asked to carry out research on… Piet Mondrian – he was the first person that came to my head. Write out the questions you would like to answer in your research, then get started! But DON’T just simplify a Wikipedia document. Write down a few key points or mini to-do lists you would like to complete in your homework.

I have a sense that last paragraph made no sense. Sorry for confusing you! 

Sticky Notes

I might have rugby club directly after school, which interferes with my ability to get started right away. So in my planner, next to where I’ve written down the homework criteria, I will place a sticky note with my initial ideas. This is especially useful for creative subjects that require brainstorming! Or even with sciences, jot down what textbook you think might be useful to complete the homework.

A Planner/Schedule

Writing down your commitments (clubs, lessons, homework etc) in a timetable is a severely overlooked way to manage time! If you had five tasks set on Wednesday, but your Wednesday evening was packed full of work, write down (on your schedule) an allotted time to complete the homework/revision. Is Thursday night free? Do it on Thursday!

Don’t Pile It All On At Once

Procrastination is not ideal. Neither is expecting yourself to complete millions of tasks at a million miles an hour. Use the schedule, as mentioned above, to spread out your work. A spot of revision every day is better than one huge day packed full at the end of the week. Small, but often! That’s my approach with homework. Always make time for family, friends and pursuing your passions. School is really important, but your whole world shouldn’t centre around it. Take breaks.

These pens are completely plastic free, and the ink is soy based (non toxic) so perfect if you’re wanting to make an extra effort this school year for the planet

Many thanks to Rachel for allowing me the chance to collaborate once again! Writing study centred content is actually so enjoyable for me. On top of that, I have a few ideas planned out! Stay tuned for more study content in my back to school series. If you do really like it, I might do it beyond September! Let me know what you think.

I’ll link Rachel’s part of the collab here, along with her Instagram, YouTube and business. 

What is your advice for staying on top of homework? Which one of these tips did you find most useful?

Have a great weekend,

catherine x

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How To Be Productive After A Long Day | Never Heard Before Tips That Will ALWAYS Keep You On Track

For most of us, evenings are the only time we can commit to our side hustle. During the day time we might have work, school or other activities that make it impossible to find time for our blogs, Instagrams and YouTube channels. I know that for me, after a long day of school and homework, I don’t have the energy to invest into my blog. Sometimes I just flop on the sofa and sleep. Although that’s totally okay, and the education system puts too much pressure on young people, you still sometimes need to get stuff done. It’s not that I don’t have the motivation to blog, it’s that I don’t feel prepared to take on the mammoth task of writing a post or responding to emails. In those cases, I use these five tips to keep me on track.

Turn Off Your Phone!

Usually my phone will be powered off as I complete homework, but in the odd case that it isn’t, I will always turn it off before doing some blogging. In conjunction with this, I will also close down all of my Safari tabs. If you have an iPad – or any other device connected to social media – turn that off as well. In some cases you will need your device to complete blogging tasks (replying to comments, writing Instagram captions) but where you can, do it from the laptop. It makes you approach every task with a more professional outlook, which I find very helpful.

Write A To-Do List

Hear me out here, because you’ve probably heard this one countless times. Sometimes a list in my bullet journal feels overwhelming, so I like to break it down into manageable parts on a sticky note or alternative piece of paper. A task on my to-do list may be ‘write a blog post’, but on the sticky note I will make a detailed plan so I have a structure to the post. This usually consists of five points – which I then adapt on. Write yourself a mini to-do list, breaking down a bulkier task. I promise you it works every time!

Get Some Fresh Air

For some of you, this may not be possible. In that case, just open your window and let the air circulate through. Unless, of course, you’re living in a toxic air space. Then don’t listen to a word I say!

After writing a to-do list, I like to go for a short 30 minute walk. No music, no podcasts, just thinking through and action plan for the task I need to complete. You could call this procrastination, but it helps bring a new perspective to my work. I might have sat through 2 hours of homework, and I just need to stretch my legs. I can’t be sat at the same desk all evening. In winter it gets dark super fast, therefore this idea is impractical. In that case I’ll do a short yoga or meditation. It sounds so fancy to say that – but yes I regularly do yoga!

Perform A Ritual

Don’t get hasty, I don’t mean magic spells! Before I get started on blog work, I always perform a ritual to get me in the mood. For me this is opening my window, cleaning my room and getting a glass of water. It’s nothing special, but after completing that series of events I feel ready to take on my previously thought out to-do list. It will differ from person to person but here are some ideas: make a cup of tea, read a chapter of your book, tidy away your school things, complete a meditation. My school work ritual is making a cup of tea and obtaining a snack of two crackers. Try it!

Just Do It

I know you don’t want to hear this, but it’s the only way you’ll ever complete something. Just do it; get started on the task! I will always need to have a few energising moments after school, before I start blogging. Everyone needs a break, that’s a given. You can’t expect yourself to sit at a desk for 5 hours without once getting up. But your creative outlet is your passion. If you need motivation to do it, it’s probably not the right thing for you.

These self-help posts are some of my favourites to plan and write out. Do you enjoy them? Most importantly, are they helpful? I know productivity is a bit of taboo topic. You cannot be productive all the time, and you need breaks to keep your mind creative. However, during lockdown, I found myself giving up too soon. My evenings were spent watching hours of Doctor Who, not moving much and resulting in feeling just a bit ugh. Therefore I started implementing tips like these to keep me on track. Self-worth should not be measured by productivity. But then again, you only live once and you must make the most of your time on this earth. Key word: balance. Your definition of balance is in constant flux, which makes it hard to define. But effort is never wasted when it comes to self-care. 

Which of these tips are you going to use? Do you have any tips to be productive after a long and tiring day?

Let’s make the comment section a bubble of advice, so we can help those who are finding it difficult to find time post-work for their hustles. And as always, let me know what’s occurring in your life at the moment. You have no idea how much I love chatting with you all.

catherine x

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August Bullet Journal Set-Up 2020 | How I Stay Organised + A Pop Of Colour

Bon matin, mes amis! How are you doing? As I scroll through my published posts (almost 300!) I notice that I haven’t done a bullet journal set-up post since April… oops. I got into the rhythm of filming them for IGTV however, due to the poor wi-fi, I couldn’t edit them. That’s a shame. Maybe the YouTube career is purposely telling me to stay away, haha! So, today’s post is going to be an insight into my August bullet journal set-up. August, if you didn’t know, is my birth month. That’s why I decided on a yellow theme, because yellow is my favourite colour!

This font is new to me; I’ve never tried it before. However I was just experimenting with different ways to write ‘Monday’ and this style stood out to me. For that reason, I have incorporated into the rest of my spreads. I also did some weird squiggly lines, and a bit of black pen here and there. In my opinion, it’s cool. What is your verdict?

Although I usually skip over the quote part of a cover page, this month I thought, ‘why not?’. So here’s a motivational quote by Muhammed Ali.

Continuing on, we have the monthly spread. Here’s my calendar for the month, where I jot down important dates, events and to-dos. I do not use this one for any blog planning, just my personal life. I have 5 friends, two of which birthdays are in August alongside me. My best friend shares her birthday with my brother, on the 31st August. It’s a very busy month in the baking department. However, with a bit of 1D playing, it’s always enjoyable.

As we turn the page, you are greeted by a smaller calendar. This is where I plan what content goes out when. I will not write the titles of each blog post, or the caption of each Instagram post. I use a separate calendar for that on my phone, because my blog schedule often moves around due to collabs. This is just so I know that on Wednesday I need to post on Instagram and my blog, and on Thursday I must write a post for The Positivity Club etc.

Now for my ideas spread! I probably made this one a bit too small, but it’s cute. My problem is that I have so many ideas stored up in my little brain, but I don’t have the energy to actually write the full posts. Can you relate? Or is that just me?

Unfortunately, we have reached the final page of my August bullet journal set up. Sad times, or maybe you’re not sad because you want me to get this over and done with. Since it is my birthday month, I decided to make a page for a wish list. I don’t believe this is bratty, I think it’s very useful. Often we get to the week before my birthday and my lovely kind friends and family pose the question: ‘what do you want for your birthday?’. In that moment, I could choose any random article. That’s why I like to refer to a list.

Plus, a wish list also helps when you are swerved to buy something by an advertisement. You might see a bath bomb, for example, and think ‘ahh, I’d love to spurge my money on this’. Things like that, impulse buys, should really go onto a wish list then be contemplated for a few days before you decide whether or not you truly want it. In the process you may see something else on your wish list that you should prefer to buy, because you have wanted it for longer.

And this set-up only took four supplies, plus a old notebook!

I’m so lucky that I’ll be having a safe birthday this year, surrounded by family. I feel desperately sorry for those who have had to spend occasions, since the outbreak in March, apart from family. Additionally, I hope those in unsafe domestic situations are given the assistance they need. For too many people, staying at home has been the opposite of helpful. 

Wear a mask, wash your hands but don’t dehydrate them. Use hand cream! Please!

What are your goals for August? Do you have any plans?

As always, leave your response in the comments so that I can chat with you! To comment, if you’re not allowed directly from WordPress, you will have to click in the top right hand corner and ‘open in Safari’. It is a bit annoying, I do apologise.

Have a lovely week,

catherine x

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Top 5 Easy Tips On How To Glow-Up/Get Out Of A Slump

Deciding to take a break wasn’t an impulse decision that happened overnight. In fact, the factors leading to my unexplained hiatus were brewing for a few months. I soldiered through my schedule, ticking boxes and the sort, until I realised that I probably need to step back and consider myself for a second. Because though I was promoting self-care and exercise, I wasn’t doing it for myself. It was very hard, at first, to begin my mini ‘glow-up’. Especially because beforehand my schedule revolved around school and being busy. When school closed and all my plans were cancelled, that’s when I found time on my hands. I didn’t spend my extra time productively and ended up binge-eating and watching a lot of TV. It was unhealthy but I caught myself before it got worse. I plucked myself out of my sad hole and said, ‘let’s take a break from social media, start working out, continue with my yoga and stop snacking’. The expectations of myself weren’t realistic, which meant sticking to them felt like I’d conquered heaven and earth. I’m still in the process of keeping to them, of course. Health is for life, not just for January. I’m not an expert but here are few tips for any of you that want to glow up:

1) Exercise

Workouts aren’t my cup of tea but I found an amazing YouTuber called Lucy who does 7 minute regimes that get your heart rate up but aren’t so hard that you collapse on the ground! I found it easy to slip it in to my mornings and it has had a profound impact on the rest of the day, making me feel like I can conquer my to-do list. You’ve heard me rant about yoga previously, and I also do that every morning. At the moment I can only go out for exercise once a day and it’s always a walk with my family. Though I only do a little bit, it has massively changed my life.

2) Waking Up At A Consistent Time

You don’t need to be a morning person to be productive. I always wake up at 6am but if you go to bed later than obviously you still have the same hours in the day (06.00-22.00 or 09.00-01.00). Go to bed at a consistent time and wake up at the same time too. Your body will get into a routine as long as you don’t skip a day (including weekends). I’ve not to a point where I can trust myself to wake up without an alarm but I’m sure you can.

3) No Snacking

It’s tricky, but it’s good for me. It means I can appreciate my meals more and I hardly ever feel bloated. I still have a tangerine mid-morning but I’ve cut out the late-night snacking thing that I really struggled with. 

4) Be Forgiving

I’ll have a packet or crisps every now and then. I’ll miss a workout or wake up later. The key is to not be hard on yourself. And the more forgiving you are, the easier it is to carry on again. I used to do workouts every day but then I’d miss one. Once I’d miss one, I’d think it was pointless then all of that effort has gone to waste. Please don’t do that to yourselves! 

5) To-Do Lists

It’s second nature for me to write a to-do list every day. I find them an effective way to keep on track of what you need to do. Especially with home-schooling, it’s important I’m getting my work done. Sometimes I might need to set my own work just to make sure I don’t fall behind! I keep my to-do lists in my bullet journal. As my bujo is a ‘pretty’ place, I feel a certain extent of pressure to tick off my lists just because it makes me spreads look complete. It’s a healthy pressure though and often means I get things done.

Those are all the five tips I have for you today. I am not perfect and I just want to make it clear that I don’t always keep to these tips. This blog is supposed to be as raw and truthful as possible. This sort of lifestyle is me at my peak, obviously why I’d like to share it with you. I don’t feel compelled to telling you about my unhealthy habits because that’s my past. I only want this to be a positive space, and I am living proof that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. So if you are going through a rough time, please talk to me or someone that you trust. I am always here for those of you that need me. If you don’t want to share with me, just try to follow these few tips. They helped me out of a rut and I’m sure they’ll help you too. 

Do you have any glow-up tips? How do you get out of a slump? Could you share some motivation in the comments of this post, to help someone going through a rough time?

Can’t wait to hear from you,

erin x

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