May Wrap-Up + June TBR

Everything I read in May and all the books I plan to read in June!

Happy Wednesday!

I cannot believe it is already that time of the month; the time where I share everything I managed to read (which…was not a lot this time around) and want to read in the next month.

I read only ONE book in May and have been halfway through another for at least three weeks now. I got so caught up with hustling and if you saw the writing update that I posted last Friday (click HERE to read it), you will know I had a very productive May project-wise. Just not reading-wise, which happens! April was such an amazing reading month that a slump was kind of expected. My goal for June is to get back into reading because whenever I don’t read every day, I always feel off and not going to lie, a little guilty!

Anyways, let’s get onto what I read this month and what I want to read in June!

May Wrap-Up

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

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This is the one and the only book I finished during May and it wasn’t the best read, but it was a fast one. I have a whole non-spoiler review on it which you can read if you click HERE, so I won’t say too much about it. However, I will say that I was very excited to read it but it didn’t really meet my expectations. 3.5/5 stars

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess: Clare, Cassandra: 9781481456036: Books - Amazon.ca

I haven’t finished this book, but I decided to include it because I am 330 pages in but for whatever reason, even though I was liking it, I just stopped putting in the time to sit down with it. I tried to pick it up multiple times, but I just have not been in the reading mood! There will be no DNFing though because I know that if I don’t finish it, I will feel guilty because it is the last book in the Infernal Devices trilogy.

June TBR

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess: Clare, Cassandra: 9781481456036: Books - Amazon.ca

Hopefully, I will finish the last 200 pages or so of this book!

A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden

A Touch of Death (The Outlands Pentalogy #1) by Rebecca Crunden

This is a book I received for review purposes, but I am very excited to dive into it because I need some fresh, new reads to propel me back into reading. This is the first book in a dystopian series that takes place a thousand years in the future where humanity lives behind the walls of a totalitarian Kingdom. Stay tuned for my synopsis and review that will come later this month!

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger by Stephen King

The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger eBook: King, Stephen: Amazon.ca ...

Lately, I am in the mood to read the books I have never picked up on my shelf, and this is one of those books! I have never read a Stephen King book STILL, except for his book on writing, and I want to finally pick one up. I watched the movie years ago and liked it, so fingers crossed that I enjoy the book too. I know Stephen King has an amazing writing style and I am curious to see if I like it or not.

Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman

Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals, #1) by Eleanor Herman

I read this book years ago and remember nothing except that it takes place in Greece and follows multiple POVs, including a young Alexander the Great. I do remember one important plot point, but other than that, my memory of this story is very faint. I own the sequel and have never picked it up so that is the prime motivator for me to re-read Legacy and continue on with the series. I am not sure if there is a third book, but hopefully, if there is, I like the first two enough to continue on!


Those are all the books I read in May and want to read in June, and I hope you enjoyed it! Let me know how productive May was for you and what your upcoming reading plans are because I’d love to know.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked down below.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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4 Tips for Getting Things Done

How to properly attack your to-do list and regain inspiration, motivation, and productivity.

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Happy Monday!

It can be hard to have the motivation to get things done, especially during quarantine when we have nothing but the TIME to get things done. I have not been the most motivated this past week but slowly, I have been getting back to my productive self. That is why I am putting together this short but effective list of four ways to re-ignite your motivation and productivity to knock off everything on your to-do list because I know it really helps me when I need a boost.

#1 Know What You Need to Get Done and How

Even if you write out your to-do list every morning, that doesn’t necessarily mean you know how to get those tasks done. Creating a to-do list and then dissecting each task can be extremely helpful if you don’t feel super motivated to get them done in the first place.

I find often that I have a may have a plan, but I don’t know how to approach it. For example, I am re-typing a novel for a client which is a time-consuming project. It is unrealistic for me to sit down and just type the  15 or so pages I need to type for that day, so instead of just writing “Re-type 15 pages” in my bullet journal, I add underneath my plan of attack like “Write 8 pages in the morning, 5 pages in the afternoon, and two pages in the evening.” This way, the task appears less daunting because you’ve broken down the steps. You now know WHAT you need to get done and HOW.

#2 Plan Out Your Break Time

Whenever I don’t feel like being productive, I find that planning my breaks really helps. It motivates me to get my tasks done because I know once I finish them, I can reap the rewards of watching an episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender or reading for 20 minutes.

Figuring out how often you should break up your workday is something you will have to figure out for yourself. For me, I know I should break my day up much more than I do, but I usually work straight from 9 am – 12 pm and then break (and workout) until 2 or 3 pm. Then, I usually spend from 3 pm to 6 pm working. I definitely recommend taking a 10-15 minute break every hour or so, I just get so consumed in my work that I rarely notice the time! However, I pay for it in sore wrists, an aching back, or tension headaches. Take breaks!

#3 Change Up Your Environment

Lately, any time I feel stuck or “lazy,” it has been because I am tired of staring at my bedroom walls. My work environment now switches between my bedroom and dining room table. I am lucky to be able to move locations within my house because my parents and brother work for the majority of the day, therefore, I have a quiet house to myself.

If you cannot move your workspace, trying re-arranging the room you have. Move the desk, switch up the wall decor, or even just re-organize your desk. These seemingly small things make such a huge difference and I cannot recommend taking actions like these enough. I plan on switching up my room sometime in June. Not only do I want to move my desk, but I am adding a second bookshelf in which is very exciting because it helps to make it feel like a brand new area.

#4 Time Batching

If you haven’t heard of the term “time batching,” then it means you haven’t tried it and it might just be your saving grace. I am a loose time batcher, but it really does help me get all the things done. Time batching is when you group tasks that are similar and do them all at once, and then move onto a completely different category of tasks.

An example of this is my mornings because from 9 am – 12 pm, I work on anything writing-related such as blog posts, creative writing, etc. I also do anything that has an upcoming deadline in this time block as well, but it is always solely reserved for writing. This helps me get into the right headspace and groove, and ultimately, it allows me to work through tasks faster. I then go onto reserve my afternoons for school-related or work-related tasks such as my internship and Coursera courses.


Those are all of my tips to get things done, especially during a pandemic when we suddenly have the time to work on these things. I hope they were helpful, and if you have any more tips make sure you comment them down below!

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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Writing Update!

An insight into my busy, writing-filled month!

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Happy Friday!

May has been a busy month in all aspects and because of that, I thought a writing update was in order. I will be sharing how I’m keeping busy and explaining how I kind of overwhelmed myself with work…as any creative workaholic does.

AZTEC INSPIRED NOVEL

I began this month with the goal to write 1,000 words a day for my Aztec novel but surprise, surprise, that didn’t happen. Overall, I did write 7,000 words or so which means this month hasn’t been a total loss creative writing-wise. There were a few factors that contributed to me abandoning this project:

  1. May has been an anxiety-filled month and I’ve found it difficult to write.
  2. I took on a paid re-typing project that has taken a lot of time.

At first, I definitely did beat myself up about not working on my Aztec project. Since we are quarantined, I figured I would finally have time to work on fiction projects that I neglected for most of the school year, however, here I am, taking on more random projects and having NO time. Although, I have finally accepted the fact that once I am done re-typing my client’s novel, I know I’ll have time to return to my own creative writing. There are still three months before I return to school (ONLINE school too) so I have time. We always have time even if we don’t realize it.

FLANELLE MAGAZINE

Due to having more time to enjoy movies and TV shows, I’ve found interest in learning about the entertainment industry during these trying times. If you didn’t know, I write articles for a fashion, art, and lifestyle magazine called Flanelle Magazine, and have been since March. This month, I did some research and wrote an article on the entertainment industry during COVID-19, which you can read if you click HERE. It would mean a lot if you checked it out because I spent a lot of time working on it!

I really enjoy writing for Flanelle Magazine because it offers me another platform to share my writing and reach a completely different audience than the one I have on here. It also allows me to build my portfolio and work with an editor-in-chief to improve my writing which I don’t have for my blog or creative writing. While I only contribute to it once or twice a month, it is nice to always have another project to turn to if I run out of them (which is usually not the case but still!).

RE-TYPING

I had never heard of people hiring others to re-type their novel before, but I discovered this paid position on my university’s job board and snatched it up. I won’t lie, it is a lot harder and much more time consuming than I anticipated but it has been a great learning experience. I would consider myself a fast typer, but as I mentioned above, this project is taking a lot longer than I would like. However, while I can’t talk about the subject matter of this novel, it has been super interesting to read through and learn about so that really does help.

BLOGGING!

If you haven’t noticed, I post three times a week now (except I didn’t post this past Wednesday but besides that) which has been super fun. I love posting a lot of content onto my blog because it is something I am so passionate about. Like Flanelle, it is a nice break from fiction writing and I find blogging a lot easier to do. I love sharing tips, recommendations, and advice, as well as whatever I am reading and loving at that moment. I love the community here and all the other amazing bloggers on this platform, and it motivates me to keep on blogging.

My schedule for posting on here always changes regarding school and whatnot, but since my fall semester is online, I am hoping I can at least keep up with posting twice a week. My ideal goal would be posting three times a week but since I plan on taking a full course load, that might not happen. I’ll try my best though because like I just said, I love to blog.

MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA INTERNSHIP

Being a marketing and social media intern is a new addition to my never-ending list of tasks, and I am so thrilled to have gotten this opportunity to enhance my skills on social media. I am interning at Gypsy Journals and am starting that new internship on June 1st.

My passion for writing led me to my interest in marketing and social media only this past year, and ever since, I have been doing everything I can to explore the business side of social media and of writing too. When I received this internship, it felt like a step forward towards the career I want which will involve writing and marketing on social media like a social media manager, coordinator, etc. I cannot wait to start it in the next week or so, and I will keep you all updated along the way.


Those are all my writing-related updates for the month of May, and I hope you enjoyed it! Yes, it looks like a lot and I won’t lie, it IS a lot, but it has taught me so much about balancing my time and still staying healthy mentally and physically along the way. I am nowhere near mastering these two things, but it is all a learning process.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. I highly recommend checking out my last Instagram post because I started a new Insta segment called “So you wanna be a writer” where I talk about my writing journey, the opportunities I have found, and how to achieve your idea of success in your life. Give it a read and let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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May 2020 Writing Goals

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Happy Monday!

Today, I will be sharing my May 2020 writing goals not only to help boost my motivation and productivity, but hopefully by hearing my goals, you will feel inspired too.

For the most part of quarantine, I have been riding a wave of productivity and motivation. I developed a routine of waking up at 8 am, doing writing-related tasks at 10 am, working out at 12 pm, and then doing school-related things until dinner. It has kept me busy and allows me to get a lot of things I want to get done, done.

However, there has been a few bumps along the way and currently, I have hit one of them. Friday and Saturday are my more relaxing days, but after having a go-go-go routine for five straight days, suddenly doing nothing takes a hit on me. I was overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety and being uninspired. It was discouraging, but remembering that I do need to go outside really helped, along with looking at my goals for May. Seeing that list in my bullet journal really reminded myself of all the fun writing and reading related things I want to achieve next month, and this sparked that motivation inside of me. While it is not back to the strength it was before, I am pushing forward regardless. I am also telling myself that it is okay to not always feel productive and inspired!

Anyways, to get back into the groove of things, I think sharing with you all my writing goals is a good place to start.

  • Write 1,000 words for “The Obsidian Butterfly” every day

I don’t know if I have shared this, but my Aztec novella I wrote during March 2020 is titled “The Obsidian Butterfly.” For whatever reason, coming up with a title for this story was not an easy task. I had to edit my story four times before I was like, “Ah yes, this is it.” During May, I want to add to this novella and make it into a novel. So, by writing 1,000 words every day (which is a very manageable daily task), I will tack on 31,000 words and that will bring me to a grand total of 51,000 words by the end of the month. I guess you can say I am hosting my own Mayorimo!

  • Write 2 Flanelle Articles

If you didn’t know, as of March 2020, I am a writer for Flanelle Magazine which is a fashion, design, photography, and culture magazine that posts online and in physical formats too. Last month, I only had time to contribute one article, but this coming month I want to get two articles written and published. I have a lot of fun writing lifestyle and film articles, and also practicing the art of article/non-fiction writing. I want to make sure that while I have more free time, I am devoting a reasonable amount of it to the magazine.

  • Post 3 Blog Posts Per Week

I have been proud of myself for keeping up with posting twice a week, however, now that I have finished school, why not up it to three posts every week? I have decided to post on Wednesdays too, along with Mondays and Fridays at 12 pm PST. Back in the day, I use to post five days a week so I know I can keep up with three for at least the summer.

  • Work On Secret Project Marketing Plan

Oooh, a secret project? No, this is not a new writing project like a short story or novel, but I will give you a clue. It is a business I have been contemplating for a while, and now that quarantine has become a thing, I have decided to take it as an opportunity to use my newfound time to plan and create this project. I am super excited to announce it and that announcement will come soon…May 18th to be exact so keep an eye out for that!


Those are my four writing-related goals for the month of May. I hope hearing about mine brought some inspiration and motivation to your life, and if it did, share with me what your goals are because I would love to know!

If you read my last post, I mentioned some charities that are in need of donations and support during this crisis, and I said I would tell you guys where I decided to donate to in my next post (aka this post!). After some researching and thinking, I decided to donate to an organization in my community, and that is the Shelbourne Community Kitchen which understandably, has experienced a heightened demand for food during these troubled times. Due to COVID-19, the kitchen is feeding twice a month instead of once and also doing home deliveries. I think it is a great organization, and I really wanted to put my money towards my own community. It felt really good to do a little something when at times, like everyone else, I feel a little hopeless.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which are linked down below.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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Finding Success as a Writer

It is hard to find success as a writer, especially if your goals and aspirations are high up in the sky. However, it is also easy to find success as a writer, just rare, because it takes a lot of motivation, perseverance, and patience. Success comes in all shapes, sizes, and times in our lives and it is up to us to work for it. Hard. It doesn’t come easy, but here are a few tips on how to find success as a writer and I hope they help!

  • Have a Plan – The first step to finding success is having a plan. In this plan you need to have a list of what you want to achieve in the short-term and long-term of your career. Of course, you are able to change and adjust goals as time goes on, but this is just to give you an idea of what to work towards and what steps to take to find your success. Make sure you also plan out the stepping stones you will need to take because you can’t just leap to goals, you have to work towards them bit by bit.
    • Ex. Long-Term Goal: To be a published writer How Will I Get There?: Writing (almost) everyday and submitting finished work to literary agents, literary magazines, contests, fellowships, etc
  • Learn and Practice – No matter where you are as a writer, there is always more for you to learn. Thanks to the internet, there is an endless amount of resources at your fingertips and I really recommend searching writing advice on YouTube, blogs like mine, or just the internet because you will be surprised by how much you will learn! It is also important to remember to NOT get sidetracked by all these goods, and to actually write. That is the number one way you will get better because if you don’t write…well, I don’t know how you will find success as a WRITER then!
  • Connect with Other Writers – Success in any business is all about connections, so make them! Reach out to writers on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook because those are all amazing platforms for writers. Grow your account and draw other writers in. Connecting with other writers will help make writing feel less lonely, and it will also grow your following base which are essentials when it comes to any success in any business, especially with writing.
  • Keep Writing – To be honest, the key to finding success as a writer is to always keep writing. One thing I love about writing short stories, novels, and essays is that I can keep on my toes balancing multiple writing projects all the time. It also allows me more outlets to submit my work, and each submission is a step towards my overall goal of being a published writer whether because of a book, short story or essay I wrote. Always keep producing new stuff and send it out for people to read!
  • Turn Rejection into Motivation – Rejection is a killer if you let it sink your fangs in you. I like to use rejection to feed my motivation, and help fuel that desire to get better at writing. If you write a short story, send it out to 10 contests/literary magazines and if they all reject it remember that it doesn’t mean your story is bad. And first off, you should submit your short story to as many literary magazines (like 50!) and such as you can, AND then if they are all rejected maybe fix up your story a bit. But don’t let the rejection weigh you down. It doesn’t define you as a person or a writer, it just means your story wasn’t for them, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t for someone.

Those are my 5 main tips when it comes to finding success as a writer, and I hope they were helpful! Remember to never give up. Don’t listen to those trying to bring you and your writing down, only those who help build it up. Success will come within time, but until then, enjoy the process!

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, and all my social media accounts which will all be linked down below 🙂

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Confusing the Validation of Your Own Dreams with the Validation of Others – Midnight Thoughts #1

A few nights ago, around 11:30pm, I was rifling around for some food despite needing to be in bed as I always seem to do. Anyways, I got a thought regarding dreams and creativity, and I realized that I have quite a few of these thoughts every night. I am sure a lot of you have similar thoughts to me regarding our creative paths and choices, so I thought I would make a blog post series called “Midnight Thoughts” where I post rambly posts on different topics about creativity and writing.

episode 28

Lately I have been having a bit of anxiety about my upcoming last year of high school because it means applying to scholarships, universities, and ultimately piecing together my life. I’ve never had a problem with that though, because I have always wanted to write and have known that. Whether that means writing books, short stories, magazine articles…whatever works, I just want to write. While the path of a writer isn’t clearly defined, with lots of different road along the way…I still knew the steps I could take to kind of find my way. So that part is okay, but then I realized I was feeling anxious because I was confusing the validation of my OWN dreams with what other people considered “realistic dreams” that I should aspire to. Writing is not the easiest dream to chase, and I think most of us here have realized that pretty quickly. Personally, as a younger student who still lives at home and depends on her parents, I can afford to pour (almost) all of my energy into chasing this dream without having to worry about putting food on the table, paying for rent or other utilities…I don’t have to do any of that yet, and everyday I work hard so I am not taking it all for granted because it won’t always be like this.

However, recently when I have been sitting down to get work done, this little voice in my head questions the validation of my dreams based on how those around me, and those in general, feel about them. What I mean by this, is that lately I have been wondering what the point of being a writer is, and the point of pursuing it. Millions of stories are already out in the world, some untouched and some beloved by people from all around the world…why does the world need MY story? The journey to even a small success would be tiring and long, so what was the point? Why face all the struggle that it brings, and not just my own inner struggles, but those that the people around me bring as well. All the self-doubt and questioning and struggle…was it all worth it?

The answer is yes. The world needs your stories, and in the end the struggle and hardship will all be worth it as long as you are following your passion and dreams. I know all this, but sometimes I need a reminder because self-doubt and hesitation are strong, they can filter out the positivity when you need it most. I am always surprised when I feel like this because in previous years I rarely felt this way. Overall, I am a stubborn and ambitious person who doesn’t let the opinion and thoughts of others stand in the way of my own dreams and ideas. But sometimes something gets past my “stone hard” barrier and negativity finds a way to trickle in. That is okay though, it is good to question yourself, but only if you can manage to turn all of that hesitation and doubt into more drive and passion.

All I can say on how to diminish this annoying voice and mindset is to keep moving forward. Keep writing, keep creating, and never stop. Watch YouTube videos that inspire and motivate you, listen to creative podcasts and read blogs (like this one!). Just keep moving forward and never stop because if you do, the creative monster might get you. The creative monster feeds on your creativity, keeping it for itself so don’t slow down, pour all the energy you have into your projects and scare off the creativity monster with your ambition and determination to follow your dreams, and remember their validation.

Anyways, that is all for this rambly post and I hope you enjoyed! Let me know how often you question the validation of your dreams, and how you get over that negativity in the comments below!

I also wanted to say that tomorrow is day 1 of the Biannual Bibliothon! Whooo! This is a week long readathon that has reading, video, social media, and blogging challenges, so expect a week full of blog posts based on the different challenges they have. I will also being doing daily updates so stay tuned for that as well.

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Reading + Writing Goals – May + June 2018

It is that time again already where I go over everything I accomplished in March and April, and then what I hope to accomplish in May and June. March and April were actually very productive months and I am incredibly proud of what I got done, so fingers crossed the next two months will be the same!

For March and April I had a total of 7 goals and if you want to see what they were check out that blog post here but out of of those 7, I accomplished 6! The only one I didn’t accomplish was to read ten books but you know what, sometimes you just can’t read all the books!

May + June Goals:

  • Read 8 Books – Since 10 was a little too much, I thought I would bring it down a bit. However, I think this will still be a challenge considering May and June are extremely busy months school wise. I have high hopes though!
  • Get Accepted into My Universities uStart Program for Writing – This is a program that allows you to take a university level course during your grade 12 year, and has been something I really wanted to do for a while now. If I get accepted, I would be taking Writing 100, so fingers crossed it will happen! I don’t usually write down goals that I can’t control the outcome of, but I am making an acception for this one.
  • Finish Draft 1 of WIP by May 31 – I am currently halfway through my WIP, so I am almost positive I can get this done. That is, unless I decide to continue being lazy and NOT write.
  • Submit to 3 Writing Contests – This was the number (I think) I submitted to in the last few months, so I am sure I will easily be able to do it again. There are a lot of writing contests that are catching my eye for the next two months, so hopefully I have enough time and inspiration to pump out a few stories for them!
  • Submit to 1 Literary Magazine – Again, I submitted to 1 literary magazine last time, so I am sure I will be able to do it again!
  • Prep for Editing WIP – This is definitely one of my most important goals because my first drafts are always so random and bare that I need to fill in a LOT of things during the next write. In June, while I am taking my break from writing, I need to just sit down and get all my new thoughts down so I can write an even better second draft.

That is all for this post and I hope you enjoyed! Make sure to comment some of your monthly goals that you want to achieve, and also check out my last blog post and follow me on social media 🙂

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Tips on Productivity

This blog post isn’t just directed towards being more productive writing or reading wise, but how to be more productive in every aspect of your life. These tips can be applied to your personal or work life, and will help you achieve more each day!

Step 1: Planning

  • Brainstorm All Your To-Dos – Grab a piece of paper and a pen and write down everything you want to accomplish either today or this week. Don’t worry about the order of “most important to least important”, just get all your to-dos on paper so you can see them.
  • Organize To-Dos Based on Feeling and Deadlines – Deadlines are important, but if you force yourself to complete tasks you really don’t want to do, your productivity levels will only go down. Of course, if it is something you have to get done, then do it, but if you can complete your to-dos based on what you feel like. You will be surprised at how much you will accomplish.
  • Create Smaller Lists – Once you have organized your to-dos based on feeling and deadline, separate these tasks into smaller lists for each day. If you look down and have a massive to-do list for only one day, it will be daunting and might even make you anxious to begin. So, only tackle the things that are due that day or the next, meaning that each day will only consist of a few tasks.

Step 2: Tasking

  • Work Your Way Down Your List – Now it is a time to actually start being productive. Pick an item off the list that you feel like doing, or maybe really, really need to do, and do it. Don’t think about it because then you might end up talking yourself out of that task, or losing any trace of motivation you once had to do it.
  • Take Breaks – The last thing we need is to burn out after being super productive (or not), so it is important to take breaks. Maybe you work better in shorter sprints of work, and if so, think about taking a 5-minute break every 20 minutes. If you are like me and work better in the longer sessions, take a 10-minute break every 45 minutes to an hour. This will reduce the risk of burn out and you will be able to continue being productive!
  • Reward Yourself – If you had a lot of things on your to-do list and you accomplished most of them, if not all, reward yourself! Some days it is hard to complete even one or two things on your list, so relish the days that are a success. After a while, this will train your mind to get excited, or at least motivated, to tackle your to-do list with the idea that something will be waiting for you at the end. Some examples of rewards that I choose are:
    • 30-60 minutes of TV or reading time
    • A coffee or tea
    • A longer break of doing nothing

Those are my tips for being more productive, and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog posts and also follow me on social media so I can follow you back 🙂

Last Blog Post: May 2018 TBR

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