Few things irritate me more than having a deadline or appointment jump out at me from nowhere. It makes me feel like my whole world is upside-down and I need to take back control of my life. Here are a few tips to help you never miss an important event or date.
1) Buy a planner- I love Typo planners but they’re a bit too expensive for me. Instead I use an ordinary dated diary as well as my cellphone to keep track of dates.
2) Write down everything- First start with concrete events that you know won’t change such as birthdays or your weekly night out. Then enter in important dates such as deadlines for a project.
3) Plan a week in advance- I like to think of myself as pretty organised. Those dates that I miss are usually family events that for some reason my mother doesn’t tell me about (am I not family? Maybe not). To compensate for her serious error, I ask her well in advance if she/me/we has any plans for the week ahead. If she gives me an event we need to attend, I list it down. If not I simply plan my week around that.
4) Use your planner on a regular basis- You could have the most gorgeous (Typo) planner but it doesn’t matter if you’re not using it. Be sure to check your planner often to keep on track with dates and to add in new ones.
How do you keep track of everything? Have you ever forgotten an important date? (I forgot my parents’ anniversary once). Let me know below.
I’m writing this at 7PM on a Saturday. I worked today and I am totally and utterly exhausted. I was watching a video on Youtube where one of the lifetstyle vloggers spoke about her internship experience. She mentioned not enjoying the office environment and found it crazy that she had to wake up at 7:30 each morning (I wake up at 5:30. I’m very jealous). I feel like there’s a huge difference between the college life and the working world. Most of the time, graduates are not prepared. So here are some of the things I think college graduates need to know about their first job.
- This may not be the job for you- Guys, this is SO SO SO important. Sometimes your first job may not be for you. I had a friend join a company where she was utterly miserable and could not hide it. She would do the bare minimum of work to get by simply because it was not what she wanted to do. Not every job is for every person and I don’t think lots for people realise that.
- You may not have your dream job- Similarly your first job may not be the job you wanted. I spent four months looking for jobs in Media and Publishing before giving it and taking the first job I got. Was it in the field I wanted? No. Did I learn from it? HELL YES!
- There will be a transition period for you- Adjusting from the world of skipping classes just coz you could to a workplace where you need to be in is a HUGE adjustment. I’ve been working for ten months and it still makes me sad that I can’t just skip work on Fridays and stay in bed. Damn you, Uni for spoiling me.
- It is not always pretty or fair- Such is life. Guys, I can’t even tell you how many times I have been left gaping at the sheer unfairness of life especially in the working world. There’s lying, back-stabbing, betrayal. Think about a Housewives reality show and you have a good idea. WATCH YOUR BACK!
- You probably won’t have the salary you want- Starting salaries are incredibly low. I also feel like Durban salaries are especially pathetic. Please can someone explain to me how to survive on R2000-R3000. Have you heard of a little expensive thing called petrol?
- Your degree probably won’t count for much- It is very rare to find a job in your field especially if, like me, you studied something in Humanities (also, can I please point out that Humanities is the biggest college in my university and yet they do nothing for the students to find a job? Yes, I am still pissed about that. You’ll soon see why). At the beginning of your job hunt, your degree might not make much of a difference in your career. I had a friend (non-Humanities of course) who worked for three years after university before he finally got a job in his field. I was equally parts impressed and jealous.
- It’s not what you know- Following from the above point, it’s more about who you know that what you know. The wonderful job where I learnt so much? My aunt recommended me for the position. While I am grateful to her, it annoys me that my degree was so useless. Why did I waste three years studying when I could have just had someone recommend me for a job. That being said, NETWORK! It is a great way to make connections and you never know where your next opportunity will come from.
Nothing makes me happier than having money at the end of the money, BEFORE payday arrives. I’ve been working for about a year and it still amazes me that the one thing in my life I have relatively good control over is my finances. Is it because I live with my parents? Is it because I have fewer expenses than most people? Maybe. But I personally believe that it’s my very strict budget. All through my life my father has told me that I don’t know how to budget (which at the time was true). However when you start working for your money, you learn quickly what works for you and what doesn’t. Here is my quick course on budgeting:
1) Save before you spend: Before you start drawing up your budget, be sure to put aside some money in a savings account. I have a certain amount set to transfer to a savings account every month as soon as I get paid. Which leads me to my next point…
2) Pretend you earn less than you actually do: I consider my earnings as a little less than the amount I have left AFTER I have saved. For example, if I have R500 after saving then I pretend I earn R300. That R500 is to remain untouched until absolutely necessary (I will discuss this later). This method work out as a great way for me to save money since at the end of every month I am surprised by my bank balance. Why do I still have money? Oh, yes- I earn more than I think I do. It feels like a present from me to me. Thank you, me.
3) Make a budget…but round everything up: I like to round up my expenses to the nearest hundred. This ensures that I am able to cover them sufficiently as well as having some extra money in case I need it. For example, the petrol price went up by a HUGE amount one month. It was a major strain on finances but it affected me just a small bit because of all the money I have saved.
4) Similarly, round up your spending budget as well: Make a list of what your usual purchases are and round that up too. I always over-budget for food (which I rarely buy) and clothes (just in case it turns out that I’m outgrowing them…AGAIN) so I know that I am always covered.
5) Remember to keep something for a rainy day: This is very important. Put aside money to use in case of an emergency. When I first started work, I was crazy about this. I insisted on keeping R500 in my account no matter what. I wouldn’t use the money even if I had no money for petrol or food. That money was not to be touched. This came in handy when all of a sudden, my car battery died and needed to be replaced. I was thrilled that my responsible ways finally paid off.
How do you budget? Are there any tips you have that I might have missed? I’d love to know below.
I did an article for Her Campus where I tried sleeping for eight hours each night. You can find the article here.
Since completing that experiment I strongly believe in eight hours of sleep a night. It makes waking up in the mornings easier, I find myself more prepared to work than nap at campus. Now I’m not saying that I don’t nap because the truth is that I’m incredibly lazy and yes I do need my naps.
But instead of being unbearably tired and unable to function, I know it’s simply the effort of travelling to campus (I leave home at 6AM) that makes me tired. I am able to do the work I need to do and I don’t fall asleep in class(something I’ve had a serious problem with in the past).
That being said, if for some reason you absolutely cannot make it for eight hours, keeping a regular bedtime is just as good. Your body adjusts and starts to realise when it should be getting ready to sleep and when it should wake up.
Have you ever tried sleeping eight hours a night?