September Goals

2018, lifestyle

Hello!

I’ve been doing these posts for about six months now and I find they really help me focus on specific tasks for the month, especially because I’ve integrated them into my bullet journal spreads.

However, in previous months I’ve done a review of the last months goals before setting my new goals for the month and I’ve decided not to do that this time – these reviews should be a personal reflection for me to adapt and respond to but I don’t think anyone else needs to know or cares about last months goals!

Last months goals went quite well, ironically, you can read that post here if you like!

September has always been my favourite month, whether it was because it was my birthday month, whether it was back to school I was excited for or just going into the Autumn/Winter season, September makes me happier and I’m excited for this month.

[ S E P T E M B E R   G O A L S ]

  • work 12 hours a week – I’m fortunate enough that my mum has let me work for her company as a kind of Office Assistant/PA/learning about business management person and she’s always been open to letting me help but I was so focused on graduate job hunting that I hadn’t accepted it till now. I want to dedicate specific time to working for her company and I’m starting with (minimum) 12 hours a week and I’m actually kind of excited about it.
  • write 20,000 words (667 a day) – last months writing challenge was a huge success so I wanted to up the stake a little bit – I wrote 15,000 words in August so I’m aiming for more this month! I’m basically training myself up before NaNoWriMo (50k in November) but I’m really enjoying the creative freedom that writing gives me and being in the mental position to write again, I just love it.
  • driving – guess who booked her theory test and her first lesson on a whim when she was tired one night? Yes, it was me. My theory test is towards the end of this month, my boyfriend will (hopefully) be taking his test soon and we’ve nearly got our own car too. Right now, I feel the same as I did when I was 17 – I don’t want to learn to drive, I just want to be able to drive but it’s not the simple so I’m biting the bullet and doing it. My first lesson is on the 7th so wish me luck!
  • maintain no pressure exercise – I’ve written a couple of posts now about exercise and I think it’s not a phase that I’ll get bored of? It’s been about four weeks now and I’m still integrating it into my routine? And I like it? I’m having to change it up quite a lot because I get bored or I feel like it’s not doing anything but I’m actually enjoying exercising and boy I need to lose weight so hopefully by this time next month I’ll actually be able to see some results!
  • positive job hunting – will she ever stop talking about job hunting? Probably not! Being an unemployed graduate (bar working for my mum) has really got to me mentally – I went for a job interview that I felt really good about and then I didn’t get it and I felt like giving up. So alongside feeling really mentally low, I just didn’t have the motivation to apply for anything else. However, I’m pulling myself out of it and I’m trying to get back into the habit of applying for jobs positively and not looking at it as a mindless chore that will never amount to anything because if that’s the attitude I have than it never will amount to anything! Even if it means taking it a bit slower, I want to maintain a positive relationship with applying for jobs.

I’ve tried to make these goals realistic and achievable – September is a time for new starts; going back to school, back to uni, back to work and I’m feeling that kind of motivation without having school, uni or a job to go into it but I’m making my situation right now work as best as I can.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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balancing a job and university

2017, lifestyle, student

Hello!

This past week has been difficult – I was at work four days in a row and I have two deadlines this week and it’s all kind of getting on top of me. I’m not doing very well at the moment, I just kind of want to be a bit sad and not do anything but everything bad is happening while I have lots and lots going on and my assignments are piling up and what I’m making is just really bad and I can’t figure it out or make it up or get it right and I’m a bit overwhelmed right now.

But before this week, I’ve managed having a job and keeping up with uni for a good couple of months now so so I thought I’d collate a few tips for anyone who isn’t sure if they should get a job at uni or anyone who needs a bit of help, like me, right now.

Make a list of everything that needs doing – I talk about lists a lot, I’m a bit of an advocate for a list, but I find that listing out all of the uni work I have to do in more detail than just ‘this assignment, that assignment’ and also writing down when I’m working and when I’m in uni, means I can spread my workload out evenly over the days I have time to do work and I’m finding that it’s really helpful. Just doing a little bit every day or whenever you have time is so much easier than waiting till the day before it’s due and getting really stressed.

See if there’s any work you can do on paper on shift – obviously this depends where you work and what your manager’s like, but where I work if it’s really quiet and there’s nothing to do, I’m allowed to write out a to do list or if I’ve got any work I can write out on paper that’s fine as long as it doesn’t interfere with customer service (because contrary to Paperchase’s belief, I’m good at customer service, the managers at Paperchase are dicks).

Sacrifice social time if you have to – it’s difficult enough to manage having a job and uni but throwing a social life into the mix is even more difficult. I’m not saying don’t have a social life, I’m saying just be really sensible and don’t throw uni work out the window just because you want to see your friends – sometimes you have to say no to the pub or a night out or a movie night if it means you have to get work done. And that sucks but once the assignment or the work is done and summer rolls around, you’ll only have to balance a social life and work and that’s much easier. Well, for now, I think it is.

If you have an hour break at uni, go to the library – it’s easy to say ‘yeah sure, I’ll come to McDonalds’ or just chill with your friends for a bit but if you’re struggling for time and you have work that evening or over the weekend, make the most of the time you have to read a couple of chapters, write up some notes, make a list, write down some ideas – you can do a lot in an hour.

Now that I’ve written this all out, I should probably stop using my blog to procrastinate and actually do some work. I know it’s really easy to say ‘make a list, make the most of your time, it’ll be fine’ and not do it – god knows that’s what I’m doing – but at least trying is a step in the right direction.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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productive, but chilled

2016, lifestyle

Hello!

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had three deadlines and a lot of stuff to do, so managing my time has been a particular challenge. But I’ve found a way that helps my productivity sky rocket so I thought I’d share!

Working with 100% focus, no distractions and complete silence doesn’t work for me – I get really tempted to do anything but what I’m meant to be doing and I spend the whole time thinking about everything else I could be doing.

In the run up to a big hand in of a research workbook, I knew I had a lot of work to do. I sat on the sofa in the living room whilst my flatmates played GTA, my iPad set up to one side with YouTube playing, headphones on and just slowly worked away at my workbook.

With having YouTube on in the background and being with my friends, feeling like I was only working at 60%-70%, I worked for five hours straight and got about 15 pages (of what would become a total 41) done. I continued this success with more ‘chilled productivity’ sessions and got the whole thing done and uploaded with plenty of time to spare.

Since then, I’ve done pretty much all of my work with YouTube on in the background, or in a coffee shop or with my friends in the room, rather than in complete silence and isolation. I feel like it means I can work for longer without feeling as tired and what I make in the end is of higher quality too because I wasn’t pushing myself to make it.

Obviously this only works if you allow yourself enough time to work that way and it doesn’t work for every kind of workload – I have a lot of coursework based assignments but if you’re wanting to do some intense revision, having YouTube videos on in the background you probably won’t absorb any information, but it can still be applied in other ways.

If you have the kind of workload that allows for ‘chilled productivity’, I thoroughly recommend it because in the end, I enjoyed making my workbook and I liked making the pages look as creative as I could. And I caught up on so much YouTube in the process, I’m nearly not behind anymore!

And to anyone that says the quality of the work won’t be as good because you’ve not paid full attention to it – I got a first for this assignment and my workbook was the highest part of my marks.

Different things work for different people, but everything I’ve ever seen about revising or being productive has involved putting your phone to one side or not letting yourself listen to music, when depriving yourself of these little pleasures aren’t always certain to make you more productive. It takes a lot of experimenting before you can find out what’s right for you!

Another thing I’m thinking about trying in the New Year to help my productivity is bullet journalling but I have no idea where to start right now, so if you know anything or have any tips please do leave it in the comments!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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Working in Retail!

2016

Hello!

I’ve been working in retail for three months now and it was my first retail job and comparing it to my last job in customer service and fast food, it’s a very different atmosphere.

I work in the stationary store Paperchase and you get a certain type of customer, so I’m lucky that I don’t have any particularly bad customer experiences but people still treat you all kinds of ways. There was a woman who kept me for about ten minutes once just to tell me how she didn’t like any of the notebook designs and I should pass it on to my managers… like we have anything to do with designing the products… so that was fun!

The only instance where customers really don’t want to be bothered is loyalty cards. We’re not supposed to call them loyalty cards, they’re ‘Treat Me’ cards and they’re actually really great (no joke), you get money on your birthday and discounts and vouchers left, right and centre, it does literally take a minute to set up and they’re actually really useful cards. But people don’t want them, I know that but I have to ask if you want one! We get scored based on how many cards we issue or scan against how many transactions we make so I have to ask, I’m not trying to slow you down or irritate you!

The thing that annoys me the most about working in retail is when someone decides they no longer want something and they just dump it on the nearest shelf. That’s not where it goes is it? It clearly doesn’t belong in that range and it’s my job to keep the store tidy, though I suppose it gives me something to do while the store isn’t massively busy and there’s no stock to put out.

Don’t get me started on how messy the card wall is, but if I started tidying that I’d spend literally all day there. It’s so messy.

Another part of my job is greeting and engaging with customers – I didn’t expect this to be part of my job description when I started at Paperchase because that’s something I never expected or recalled encountering at the store before, but it’s part of being a Sales Assistant so I have to say hello to everyone and offer my assistance to anyone who could need it.

It’s mostly just ‘do you have these cards’ or ‘do you have this specific product’ and occasionally someone buying a present for a partner or relative and not quite being sure where to start. But if someone asks you if you need any help and you don’t, a polite ‘I’m fine thanks’ is okay – no need to be snappy because I’m doing my job.

And I think that’s what is the best thing to take away from this – whether someone is working in retail, customer service or waiting tables in a restaurant they’re just doing their job. If something they do annoys you, it’s unlikely it’s personal and it’s probable their manager asked them to (I know in fast food, I had to ask if every meal ordered was a large and 90% of the time people would say no).

Treat staff respectfully, because they’re just doing their job.

Thank you for reading!

Sophie xx

 

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