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work

  • Articles

    Creating a Work Space to Increase Productivity

    work space productivity

    Often, the environment you are working in can have a big impact on how productive you are. Over the years, I have learned that a quiet space with natural light and limited social media is optimal for me, whether it comes to getting school work done or studying for exams. However, each individual is different, and people have various preferences when it comes to limiting distractions and staying focused.

    Here, I have outlined several common elements that make up individuals’ study/work environments. Keep in mind that a workspace should be where you get work done, but also where you feel relaxed and can think freely. I urge you to read on, and if something seems like it might work for you, try it out! A productive environment is composed of several factors, so put together the aspects that work for you.

    Desk:

    I think this is the most important part of a workspace! Although it may be more comfortable to do work on the couch or in bed, studies have shown that people are more productive when they sit at a desk to complete their work. If you don’t already use a desk, I would highly recommend getting one and using it regularly. You will be amazed at how much more attentive and focused you will be on your work.

    Sufficient Natural Light:

    Studies have shown that health and productivity go hand-in-hand. When exposed to natural light, individuals experience better sleep, receive more vitamin D, and tend to have more energy during the day. Therefore, it makes sense that they are able to be productive! My recommendation is to create a study space near large windows so you get the most out of the natural light during the day time. Also, go outside and study when you can! Getting some air is helpful for feeling fresh and can help you focus on getting your work done!

    Place for Electronic Devices:

    If you’re like me, it’s really difficult for you to get any work done when your phone is around you. I would recommend finding a different place for this, and any other distraction, while you work. For example, I frequently use my laptop to complete assignments, and since I don’t use it to check social media, I keep it on my desk when I work. On the other hand, I put my other electronic devices in a space in the corner of my room. That way, I don’t feel tempted to constantly keep checking them. I would recommend finding a place for electronic devices if you’re like me and get easily distracted.

    Music/No Music:

    I personally prefer working in a quiet environment and cannot focus when there are noises around me, including music. However, I have many friends who find it easier to concentrate in louder spaces or when there is music playing. I think this is mainly personal preference, so implement what works best for you into your space.

    Or if you like sound, but can’t have music playing try white noise!

    Plants and Other Decorations:

    Some individuals like to decorate their workspace with things they like. Think plants, inspirational quotes, and other types of decor. Items like pictures, mementos, or other significant objects can also be helpful to have.

    Water/Snacks:

    I always have a water bottle with me when I’m trying to get work done. Staying hydrated is very important! Water helps with cognitive processes, so it’s really no wonder that people are more productive when they are hydrated. If you can eat while you work (and still be productive!), having snacks at your workspace may be helpful.

    Desk lamp:

    We all have days when we have to work on things late into the night, and it’s sometimes easier to see if you have a desk lamp. I’ve heard this is pretty common, so if you don’t already have a desk lamp and think brighter lighting over your desk may be helpful, consider buying one!

    Basic Office Supplies Easily Accessible:

    Having items like writing utensils, erasers, tape, and a stapler easily accessible in your workspace can come in handy. Most of us use these supplies on a regular basis when we’re trying to get school work (or other work) done, so it always saves time to have them at hand when working. Using bins to organize these items can be helpful as well.

    Fan/Heater:

    Although most individuals have a heating/cooling system in their house, it may sometimes feel more comfortable to work in a particular temperature. I prefer to work in a cool room, so using the fan is always very helpful during the summertime. It is key to feel comfortable in your workspace, so finding a temperature that you work best in is very helpful.

    Space to Get Up and Walk Around:

    Taking breaks is also very important and is known to increase productivity. It’s good to have room to stretch/walk around a little in your work environment. If you don’t have much space available to you, I would recommend making an effort to leave your workspace to go outside every once in a while. This can help clear your mind and will allow you to return to your task feeling more refreshed, allowing you to be more productive in the long run.

    If you loved these tips, check out this one on how to be more productive!

  • Lifestyle

    Coping with Short-Lived Poverty

    Coping with Short-Lived Poverty

    To this day, I refuse to eat spaghetti in any form. When boxes of noodles are 2 for a dollar and the pasta sauce is only 95 cents, you just have to suck it up. I remember my mom would jokingly ask us what we wanted for dinner at night, and before we could even say anything she was halfway finished with cooking another pot of noodles. Sometimes she would switch it up and we would have four canned vegetables and maybe some mashed potatoes.

    Though the food situation was not ideal, it was manageable. The real problem came with needing clothes, school supplies, and wanting to do extracurricular activities. Our household income was only a thousand dollars more than what the state considered to be in need of free lunches and EBT cards. At the time I prayed for that to be the case because I was so embarrassed that I would have the lunch lady say aloud how poor I was every time she rang up my food. But as I get older, I understand that it would have been better for my parents and for me had we been offered those assists.

    When you are used to one life style and then quickly have to adjust to a new one it’s never easy. I ended up taking on two after school jobs and an internship to help pay for the things I wanted most, and then did without the things that were not so important. I joined my school’s Show Choir and was able to make the $60 monthly payments by doing fundraisers. I won every fundraiser that my group did, because I knew that I had to in order to stay in it. If you can’t find a job or don’t have the ability to fund-raise properly, then seek out sponsors. I asked a local restaurant to sponsor me and my softball team throughout school, and never had to worry about paying for equipment. When I wanted to go out of town with my friends, or even just go to the movies, I did odd jobs like gardening for my neighbors or cleaning some friends’ houses.

    If you are embarrassed of your situation, just consider that maybe you are not alone. Only one of my friends in high school knew how bad my situation was, and the rest were completely oblivious. It always made me wonder how many of them were just as good at hiding it.

    If you are worried about working and keeping up with your grades, then don’t seek an official job. Most part-time employers will work with your schedule, but sometimes you may need to look into less obvious work. I worked events on the weekends for companies that paid $20 an hour. I had little experience and was making a killing. I will add some links to those jobs down below if anyone is interested. The pay comes every 1-2 months, so make sure not to count on living paycheck to paycheck unless you work a ton of events back to back. Check with your local football or baseball stadium, sometimes the catering companies are hiring 15 and up to work weekends. Starting pay is typically pretty good and the work is not hard.

    Always make sure to ask a parent of guardian before starting a new job, because they deserve a say in what you are doing. If you are 15 years-old, then you will need a work permit that is approved by a legal guardian and your school. If you have a shopping addiction, then try working for a retail store that you like so that you can get that 15% or more discount.

    You should not be embarrassed to have a job while in school. It looks great on resumes, and lets future employers know that you can handle multiple tasks at once. If you pantry looks anything like mine did when I was in high school, you might want to consider the above suggestions.

    Links to employment:

  • Articles, work

    4 Ways To Earn Money As A High-School Student

    4 Ways To Earn Money As A High-School Student

    by Hanna Sha

    When you’re in high school, sometimes extra money really comes in handy. Maybe your allowance isn’t enough, or your parents just don’t give you any at all. There are many costs that need to be covered in high school: school dues, clothes, entertainment, etc. As a teen, you might want to earn some more cash, but it can be difficult trying to figure out where to get the money.

    Here are 4 simple ways to earn some cash.

     

    • Tutoring: If you enjoy teaching others and understand the material, tutoring is a great way to earn money and help others. Many students struggle with their subjects, and a lot of parents are looking for reasonably-priced tutors for their children. Find a tutoring organization to join, or just offer your tutor services to your community.
    • Babysit: Many parents often need others to look over their young children, especially if both work. You can ask your parents if their friends are in need of a babysitter, or ask around your neighborhood.
    • Turn your passions into a business: For example, if painting is a hobby of yours that you are super interested in, you could paint some that are for sale, and start a small business. You can sell it online or in person. Take things that you find joy in and make some money off of it.
    • Get a part-time job: Many restaurants, movie theaters, pools, and other small businesses accept high schoolers as their employees. Look for ads around your community, and ask upperclassmen or other friends about places looking for employees. If you’re 16 or older, it’s not hard to find one that will accept you. If you’re still 15 (or 14), then it becomes a little more difficult, but it is still possible.

     

    So, if you’re a teen in need of money, it’s definitely not impossible to earn some extra cash. Hope this helps your future endeavors!