a busy bee’s guide to being a busy bee – studying, blogging, reading, etc. (aka how to keep up with the mess that is life) + ANNOUNCEMENT

as a fellow busy bee, i can safely say that it’s not an easy job. busy-beeing usually recquires a lot of work and effort. and between all the activities, it’s hard not to just abondon everything and lay down (which is still something we should also do).

i personally always have this very bad habit of never being satisfied with how productive i am. i always look for more. and while i do not make a detailed program of my days (because…no), there are some things i have learned throughout the years that keep me sane.

since it’s time for finals to loom over us (sigh), i decided to write this post explaining how i study, blog and read, hoping it can help whoever is busy, or just want to do more activities.

this post will be divided into three sections: how i study (i’m gonna spill all my secrets, tips and tricks), how i blog and how i read.

disclaimer: i do not garantee this will work. this is just how i roll, and i figured maybe it can be helpful.

how i study

okay so this probably going to be the longest section because i have never really talked about it on here. it’s a pretty simple method i’m using to study but it recquires a lot of explaining so buckle up!

i may be a mess when it comes to reading, but when it comes to studying i only have one braincell and i need to keep up. that’s why, over a year ago, i developed a little method of studying that i used for my last year of high school and kept up with in college because it worked.

since i’m a psychology major, i have a number of subjects that recquire learning, and others that recquire working on exercices, along with a lot to read. for each type (?) of subject, this is what i do:

for practical-type subjects (i don’t know what to call them so we’ll just roll with that):

obviously, when you have dozens of exercices to get into, it’s not easy getting doing them, and it’s even harder remembering each solution. that’s why, while doing mine, when i get a question wrong, i highlight it, then write on a sticky note what i got wrong along with the correct answer, and save it with a sticky bookmark. for example: let’s suppose we’re doing a math problem. i got question 2 wrong. i’ll highlight the question in the textbook. the sticky note with the correct answer will be in the same page, along with a little sticky bookmark, that way i can come back to it later.

this is everything i use for studying. it’s…a big budget, let’s leave it at that.

you’re probably asking yourself: why would i do all of this? because that way you’ll have easy access to your errors, will remember them, and if put in the same situation during the exam, will not make the same mistake. what i usually do after finishing and correcting all my exercices is that i take a look at all the ones where i screwed up, and reread the wrong answer and the correct one. it also helps me because that way i can focus more on what i need to work on, because i find it pretty useless to do exercices and not remember anything from them, or keep working on something i already know how to work on.

now if you can’t write on your textbook because you don’t want to or you’re just borrowing it or something, you can always have a little notebook where you can mark the page’s number, which exercice it is, along with the wrong + right answers.

for learning-type subjects:

when you’re learning, what you can do is write down some questions about what you’re learning (what you believe is the most relevant), then try to learn (in whatever way suits you), and after that come back to the questions and try to answer them. you can come back right after learning or do something else then go back to it, whatever you like. what’s important is that testing yourself is as important as actually learning, if not more. it helps the information stick into your brain.

for compulsory reading:

in my field of study, i have to read. a lot. from articles to books, reading is a big part of my studies. what i do to save the most important information out of everything is…i annotate. i almost never annotate my fiction books, but i always annotate my college reads. it helps me 1/ remember what i’m reading, 2/ sort out the main ideas/what’s important from what’s not and 3/ it’s a life-saver in case i forget what it’s about and just want a quick scan.

close-up of one of my annotated reads for this semester, if that can help.

here’s my color coding for compulsory reads, if that can help (note: what i read is usually very scientific, so it may not help everybody):

  • yellow: for extremely important/main ideas. i sometimes also put a (yellow) sticker bookmark with it. i underline other less important info with a pencil.
  • green: for new terms, concepts, etc. that i’ve never heard of before.
  • pink: for names of scientists i have to remember.
  • blue: for scientific experiments.

i also sometimes turn paragraphs into little diagrams or sketches and write them on the edges or on a sticky note, since, as you can see, i am a VERY visual learner.

what i usually do while i’m studying is switch between types of working. for example, i start by learning, and when i feel like i’m losing focus and/or starting to procrastinate, i switch to compulsory reads/practical work. and so on. also, please remember: it’s really not about how much time you spend on studying, it’s more about what you learn from the time spent studying. you can spend 8 hours working non-stop and come out with absolutely nothing except tiredness. do NOT feel bad if you don’t spend the whole day studying, it’s not the end of the world.

how i blog

with everything i have to do in life, it’s sometimes hard to find time to sit in front of my computer and blog. and it has been harder this year since i started living alone and responsibilities fell on me.

that’s why i usually write ideas for blog posts on the go. if you check my notes app, you’ll find it full of random ideas that i have develop or have yet to fully write. i write those on my way to uni or home, when i’m struck with an idea out of nowhere, and anytime really. that’s why i won’t forget them!

another thing i use my notes app for is writing notes for future book reviews. as soon as i finish a book i’m planning to review, i type my thoughts as little bullet points (each one corresponding to one paragraph in the full review). it helps me when i’m writing.

what i also do is that i make a specific time in the week to blog (if i am in the mood for it, of course). that is when i write detailed blog posts, edit others and maybe start writing some. of course, i’m still a mess when it comes to blogging, but this helps me stay (at least a little) on track.

how i read

i feel like my post about good reading habits is much more helpful concerning how i read. during stressful times, however, i tend to read lighter, happier (mostly contemporary) type of books, such as romance. i also like reading erotica during those periods because it gives me a boost of serotonin (even though sometimes i grow addicted and it may become concerning).

i also listen to a lot of audiobooks because i find them helpful and life-changing.

another thing i do is just…not force myself. i don’t have to read everyday and i do not (especially during finals’ week), but that’s totally okay. you’re a reader whether you read a thousand pages a day or only one a year. if you want to be a reader, then you are.

other random advice:

  • eat well and drink a lot of water. seriously, it’s okay if you pee ten times a day. JUST STAY HYDRATED PLEASE.
  • take breaks while studying. it helps, a lot.
  • whether you’re busy or not, save time for other fun activities, like cooking or journaling or drawing or just laying down on the floor thinking about life.

aaand that’s it. this was just a little help for people who have hard times ahead of them or are struggling to get through their work. i really hope this was helpful for you all!

how do you manage your life as a busy bee? any advice?

ANNOUNCEMENT:

i’ve been doing some thinking for a while and i finally decided to make a bookstagram (instagram for books)! i’m kinda anxious about it and am still getting used to it…but yeah! i’m now on instagram! follow meee at @/sunshinenbooks_!

13 Replies to “a busy bee’s guide to being a busy bee – studying, blogging, reading, etc. (aka how to keep up with the mess that is life) + ANNOUNCEMENT”

  1. Omg this is so organized I love it 😭 I so agree with what you said about not having to force ourselves to do things! Sometimes I feel guilty for not reading / being ‘productive’ etc but at the end it’s important to do the things which bring you joy. Also I do so much things on a whim it’s terrible! Though I do plan my posts by the dates and the months (not writing the posts beforehand, just putting their titles on an electronic sticky note haha) and it makes everything so much easier for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much!! and even though i keep insisting not to feel guilty not reading, i do admit i sometimes feel guilty myself.
      as long as you are comfortable with what you write and post on your blog then it doesn’t really matter how you do it! i change my blogging habits every 5 seconds!!

      Like

  2. This is a very organized method!! I also highlight/annotate my textbook/reading for uni and use sticky notes for practical subjects. For memorizing, I usually do the studying 3 times 😅 The first time was at least 2 weeks before finals, just read through the materials and create a summary. The second time was the week before, to reread my summary and start memorizing. The third time was the night before, by creating possible questions and answer with what I’ve learned. It’s a lot of work and may not be for everyone, but I figured it’s the best method for me 🙈

    In general I posted twice a week, but when I’m really busy, I don’t mind not posting and just… suddenly disappear 🙈 I do have a lot of random notes of ideas on my notes app and half-finished draft on WP as well as list of tags to do when I’m short on time and idea, but in general, I try not to stress on it so much.

    Fantastic post, Maha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. your method is also very very good (especially if it works for you)!
      i also try not to stress too much about posting because there are no advantages to that, at least not for me.
      thank you!!

      Like

  3. this is such a helpful post, maha!! i’m absolutely the worst at studying so i will definitely refer back to this post to help set up my own system ❤ and omg i wish i could write blog posts on the go like you! i genuinely cannot focus unless i'm at home sitting on my computer 😭 also yes… drinking water is so important… i'm constantly dehydrated yet do nothing about it aahhh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i’m glad i can help you ❤️ and what’s important is that you find a technique that is good and healthy for you!! and DRINK WATER WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!!!
      thank you ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. These were great tips, thank you so much for sharing! I need to have a planner on me at all times (and that’s why I’ve gone digital) because otherwise my mind and life would be a mess. When everything’s “normal”, I have so many activities going on, and I’m always running from one place to the other. I’m part of three groups of my faculty, and it gets hard to keep up. And yet I never feel like I’m being productive enough! Since I’m staying home, I’m not as busy with those groups, but studying has been hard. I need to motivate myself to write my report and the only way to do that is to literally put an alarm and write as much as I can within a certain time; for the languages, I just practise; and for the rest, I just try to memorize and understand. I try to work on my blog once per week, but it depends … Overall, it’s just a mess! I find the expression busy bee super adorable, but this busy bee is very messy xD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much! and yes! studying can be very messy at times but i try to organize it as much as possible (with a lot of failure). and your tactics look very good! i might try them! ✨

      Liked by 1 person

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