Focusing While Traveling

I have been traveling a lot lately (and will be traveling even more in the months to come) and always have a tough time studying when I’m gone. I almost never have breaks from school (go me) so if I have time to study on a trip, I study. This week, I’m in Colorado (woot!). It’s a school trip, to be fair, so I’m actually technically doing school right now, but I also have a couple other classes I need to keep up with. Okay, so fun fact about me, I actually like studying in airports (only in airports, not in planes). I don’t know what it is, I guess I just study better when there’s noise. However, once I get to my destination all motivation that I had during my layover is now gone. I feel awful because of flying; I want to eat but I can’t. I’m sleepy and I pretty much don’t want to do anything the rest of the day (unless it’s a late night flight, in which case the morning before the flight is exactly the same). When I’m on a trip, usually I can still study at night (I’m going to be on social media for a couple hours anyways), but a lot of times I don’t (hence the social media). If you’re like me and you find it difficult to study during a trip, or even a hectic time of life, then this post is for you! What do I do to make studying on trips actually happen?

one. First of all, make sure you plan ahead. Usually, we have a vague idea of what is going to happen during a trip. Think through the rough schedule and highlight times in your mind when you’ll be able to study. For me, it usually lands on evenings. If I plan a few days ahead of time, then when the time actually comes, I have not only motivation to make it happen, but direction. The next morning won’t find me remorseful because I forgot about a project I could have done in the two hour slot everyone around me was doing nothing. You can also tell someone about your plan. Tell your mom, or your friend, or your teacher. Or better yet, someone on the trip. Even if they don’t keep you accountable, you’ve audibly promised yourself you’d study. But first and foremost, and I can’t emphasize this enough, plan. Plan plan plan.

two. Second, make it easy on yourself, dude. Do the hard stuff before you leave. Prepare. For instance, I find it so much easier to sit down and write a paper if I wrote the outline the day before (instead of right before). If it’s easier to study, you’re more likely to do it. And if you have assignments you’re going to actually enjoy, leave those for your trip!

three. I ran into this one just the other night. I’m getting ready to go on a trip so this is kind of in my brain (how am I going to get Statistics done???). I really didn’t want to study, and it was only like 10. All I wanted to do was hit the sack. Well, I had the thought, “If I can’t work right now, how am I going to work when I’m traveling?” So I decided to push a little longer and get some more done. (P.S. I stayed on social media for a little bit longer and then went to bed. Do as I say, not as I do.)

These tips really can help at any point in life, especially if life is insane. All of these take discipline, but think about how awesome you feel after you’ve accomplished something!

Do you have any other tips for staying focused while traveling? I’d LOVE to hear them! Comment below!




The Power of the LIST

Last year, I thoroughly discovered the power of the list. Being a CollegePlus student, I’ve experienced more than my fair share of what they call “Action Steps” (which that reminds me, I need to look at mine for this week again) and sometimes I like to make fun of them. However, I’ve been realizing over the last couple weeks that I implement “Action Steps” all the freaking time. This semester, I’ve had a whopping To-Do list every single day that I habitually write out before I start my day. Last semester, I started listing my goals (both long-term and short-term) and found that after doing so, my motivation levels shot straight up. Like nothing else I’ve ever found, lists provide a strong sense of direction. And as people in this day and age who usually have more goals than we probably admit, it’s important for us to have direction. Distraction lurks with every click. No lie.

There are three different kinds of lists that I find myself utilizing regularly.

The Power of the List

The first one is a “Goal List”. If you’ve been around for a minute, you know that people are constantly talking about long-term and short-term goals. Well, I’m here to tell you, they are worth the hype, but only if you’re all in. I’ve tried making lists of goals and really only having my toe in the water. Don’t do that. Make the list when you’re ready to. Think about it and chew on your ideas. THEN write them down. They’ll go much further, trust me on that.

Alright, well these types of goals seem pretty self-explanatory, but in case you’re still confused, I’ll give you some examples. Long-term goals are super forgiving. Some of my long-term goals are to become a professional songwriter and work in that industry (but behind the scenes), start several successful businesses mostly non-profit for-profit type businesses with a strong online platform, become a stronger creative and learn better how to discipline creativity, and duh travel. Some of those are much more concrete than others, some are more developed, and some are just plain expected (like travel). Short-term goals are really where the magic starts happening. Some of mine include building my online audience using my blog, and social media, become a better photographer through resources online and studying other photographers, finish schoolstay alive, and maybe even paint my nails finally (it’s the little things, right?). When you list off your goals, make your long-term goals first. Dream big! Seriously, you’ll never ever do something if you don’t think of it first. After you’ve successfully made a list of long-term goals spanning anywhere from 3 to 10 in number, make short term goals. If you have quite a few long-term goals (in that case, go you!), pick two or three and make short-term goals based on those.

What this has done for me: I keep these lists where I can see them, in a notebook I frequent often, hung up on a bulletin board, in a note on my computer, anywhere I’ll see them. As a student, World Religions doesn’t seem like it does much for my Marketing degree, but with my goals up where I can see, something that seems like a waste of time suddenly has more meaning. If it’s not in the content (which in a small way, it is), it’s in the 3 more credits that bring me that much closer to my Bachelor’s. I can’t wait to wake up the next morning and begin working on my new goals. Seriously, it’s magic (you knooooow).

The Power of the List

Secondly, lists can do wonders for time management. I’m extremely unconventional in the fact that a meticulous daily schedule actually derails my day. I’ve had to do those for school and it just ruins my motivation and productivity. If you’re the same way, and a strict schedule actually stresses you out and makes you watch YouTube more, don’t be ashamed! Find ways to manage your time differently. I do this by making a list of tasks to accomplish every single day. I do this either the night before or in the morning before I start anything. Since I have so many ‘sections’ of my life, I usually make a To-Do list per section. For me that is School, BlogCollegePlus Work, and Social Media. I sometimes throw in a Misc. section for tasks like cleaning the bathroom or going grocery shopping, or even something bigger, like applying for a school or a job. Above all of that, I list my daily devotions and working out, two things that I should always start my day with. But of course, I’m not perfect, it doesn’t happen as often as it should, let’s be honest. BUT I find I do it more often when it’s written on my list.

What this has done for me: Even if I have a page filled to overflowing with To-Do items, it gives me a place to start. I can still utilize a schedule and just schedule in blocks of time to be spent per section. Those moments when all I want to do is scroll through Facebook or watch YouTube, I have no excuse like, “I have so much to do that I don’t know where to start.” Everything I need to do is right in front of me. Nuff said.

The Power of the List

Third (congratulations for getting here, by the way). I like making what I call “Creativity Lists”. I’ve done this a handful of times, and I really should do it more, honestly. A few months ago, I just filled a page with phrases and words that I thought would sound good in a song. I had reached a point where the songs just weren’t coming, no matter how hard I tried. As I looked at pictures to jog my creativity, my page of potential lyrics blossomed before my eyes. Multiple songs were born based on one single phrase, and some of my most challenging and artistic songs too! Yesterday, just on a whim, I did something similar and started listing random words. After about ten, I realized that every word I listed was some sort of theme in my life. I came up with 68 and if that doesn’t tell you how much I try to do, I don’t know what does. When I reviewed my list, I realized that I could probably write a blog post on every single word I had written. They may not all be super quality posts or even very interesting, but most of the blog posts that would actually work I would never have thought of without that Creativity List.

What this has done for me: All creatives have flow times and empty times. These lists are a life-saver during the empty times. It’s an exercise that is worth at least trying, and usually it only takes 10 minutes at the most! (If you don’t believe me, try it. See how long it takes you to write just ten words or phrases while scrolling through Pinterest.) (No really, I’m serious.)


These are just three of the ways that lists have had a powerful impact in my motivation, my productivity, and my life. Which ones do you use already? If you haven’t tried the Creativity List, try that if nothing else. It’s short and sweet and can make a huge difference in your inspiration boost!

And thanks for getting all the way to the end. Yes. Yes I did just write a 1200 word post on ‘lists’. Go me.



Another TED Talk

So. My life has been completely overridden with emails, Skype calls, trips, work, logos, marketing strategies, social media, planning future trips, getting ready to go back to LA, getting excited about produce sales (no, just no), planning events, figuring out how to make money, and applying to Thomas Edison finally. Not to mention the Statistics course that I just bought yesterday and the reading and papers that need done before the end of this week. Oh, and my arm injury is flaring up again which makes computer stuff difficult (I’m typing carefully, don’t worry). So yeah, needless to say, my life is insane. Don’t feel sorry for me though. I thrive off of impossible to-do lists.

All that to say, I don’t have time to do the research for the “How to Google It” post that I’m going to do eventually (stay tuned for that) so I’m going to share another TED talk. I watched this TED talk right after the one that I shared last week so it totally works.

Soooo, yeah, it’s 1:22AM and this is definitely late. I’ve been on either Skype or Google Hangout literally non-stop since 4 this afternoon. I had a meeting, and then an impromptu meeting, and then Skyped some family, and then did a Google Hangout with friends to figure out our trip to Colorado (!!!), and then me and one of the other girls just stayed on the call until literally two minutes ago. Gosh, I love those girls. Anyways, so, yeah, sorry this is late. Think of it this way, it is still Thursday in Hawaii.

Hope your week is going well so far!




DAY 051 | //A Writing Method I Swear By

Do you have to write in bulk? Whether it’s for school or recreation, any writing can be time-consuming, easily unorganized, and discouraging.

A Writing Method I Swear By: How To Write an Outline.

I’ve grown up writing. It’s really been my life. There are several notebooks in my basement filled with writing assignments from fourth grade until the end of High School. My laptop has dozens of large writing assignments still saved from High School and College. However, it really wasn’t until last semester that I narrowed in on my writing method and it birthed some of the best writing I’ve created (and I did it in record time). Two heavy, 8-week classes dominated my time for a couple of months last semester and people looked at me like I was crazy when I told them how much writing I was doing. The last week of classes alone I wrote more than 3600 words. Inevitably, I developed a method. And that is what I am going to share with you!

I grew up writing with the Institute for Excellence in Writing curriculum. My family is now selling for them because we really believe it is the single best writing curriculum and method out there. I would encourage you to check out their website. If you are in High School or College, think about getting the Advanced Communication Series to hone in your writing skills. Obviously, the IEW method has stuck around with me and I am going to show you the bare bones of how I typically write a paper or a blog post.

Alright. First we start with an outline. You probably already are familiar with what an outline entails, and you might think it’s a waste of time. Personally, I think those flow chart outlines or spider outlines or whatever they call them are a waste of time. All it does is tell you what category your thoughts are in. Blah. What you really should be doing is just a basic, numbered outline and I’ll be showing you how to do that. Rarely do I write anything without first writing an outline (and when it comes to school, never). The reason I always write an outline is because when I am writing the beginning of the post, I know what will be at the end of it. Having it all planned out gives me control and a knowledge of the big picture. Here are the steps:

one. Figure out what your paragraphs are going to be about and how many you’ll have. I like to write one or two key words and box it up like so:

A Writing Method I Swear By: How to write an outline. Read more at

In this outline, I have three boxes and three paragraphs. This timeline makes my writing organized, concise, and to the point. two. Each paragraph gets a Roman Numeral. After the Roman Numeral I write the topic of the paragraph. Then, I number my thoughts. A “thought” consists of 3-5 key words all of which make it into the final sentence in either the original form or as a synonym. In addition to your key words, feel free to use symbols and pictures and even shortcuts (for instance, writing a word, circling it, and crossing it out to represent not doing that thing). A symbol doesn’t count as a word, so go all out with those! Each line usually becomes about a sentence; sometimes I write a point in two sentences, sometimes I combine two of them to make one sentence. This provides for a skeleton. As I actually write the paper or post, I am better able to brainstorm and let ideas play off of ideas. three. Now it is time to actually write the first draft. Hopefully I haven’t lost you yet! Bear with me. When you write off of an outline, all you have to do is structure the sentences around the words and symbols you’ve written down. That is the easy part. You might still be thinking, “What is the point of all this? Outlines are a waste of time and I am organized enough to just skip it and move on with my life.” I’d venture to say that none of us are. We all can benefit greatly from a plan, and really that’s all this outline is>> a structured plan. Now is the time to execute. Yes, it goes further than just writing down the words you planned to write down. Your job is to sound like you know what you’re talking about. How do you do that? No, the ultimate secret is not found merely in a Thesaurus. It is actually found in changing the structure of your sentences. Sound fancy? It’s actually quite simple. Here’s an example>> It is easiest to start a sentence with a noun. Just take this entire paragraph (Look at which words I started with in each sentence: Now; Yes, it; Your job; The…secret; It; It’s). Only one sentence in this paragraph didn’t start with a noun or pronoun of some sort. Here’s the challenge>> You’ll want to start your sentences with different parts of speech like Adverbs that end in an -ly, Prepositions, Verbs ending in -ing or -ed, and a word like “When” or “While”. I know this probably just looks atrocious and makes less sense than is humanly acceptable. Here’s an example>> Sentence 1: She forced him to go shopping with her. (Opening with a subject) Sentence 2: Typically, she forced him to go shopping with her, and he hated it. (Opening with an adverb [-ly]) Sentence 3: Instead of asking her friends to come, she forced him to go shopping with her. (Opening with a Preposition) Sentence 4: Although she knew he would hate it, she forced him to go shopping with her. (Opening with an Adverbial Clause which means you use one of the following>> “When”, “While”, “Where”, “As”, “Since”, “If”, “Although”) Make sense?

A Writing Method I Swear By: How to Write an Outline. Read more at

So how does this method help you? Well, the outline saves time and makes you organized. When your thoughts are organized, you sound like you know what you’re talking about. Also, if your sentence structure is mixed up, the attention of your audience will be held more easily which is just a win-win for everyone (since your opinions will obviously make the world a better place). If you have a lot of papers to write for school, the best way to get them done is to have a Ready-Aim-Fire approach and this method is just that. The structure of the outline causes you to have to ask yourself questions and that helps a bunch with writer’s block. When you have structure and guidelines, brainstorming comes a lot easier and more ideas ensue. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. With these building blocks, execution will become second nature and you’ll be able to write anything and everything! And as much as that freaking teacher assigns you.

If you know what comes at the end when you’re still just working on the beginning, your whole paper will be stronger, more concise, and easier to read. And that’s the main thing this kind of outline offers you>> omniscient knowledge of your entire paper.

Hope this helped! Writing is something we all need to be able to do, arguably more so now even than math (guys, we have computers). If you can write a thought down, you can do lots of things like create a personal brand, minister to people, get into college, and so much more. I’d encourage you to practice using this outline method that I’ve laid out! I swear by it and always will!

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