Anatomy of a To-Do List


I am constantly trying to find new ways to get organized and stay on top of everything. I read a ton of blog posts and search for videos with other people's tips and tricks and what they do. I love seeing what works for other people and I think it's really fun to try it out for myself! Today, I'm going to be sharing what works for me. Obviously, my agenda helps me so much and I am definitely slightly OCD about organization, sooo in addition, I have to make a to do list
every day.
Sometimes, I will start my list in the morning, but usually I wait until last period for what I need to do after school because that is when I get the most work done. My lists aren't just reserved for my school work because that's what I use my agenda for. Here are the steps I follow when creating my list:

1 // School Assignments
I start with the most important aspect, school work. Right now, school is my job and the most important thing, so I include this first. Writing assignments down in my agenda and on my to do list help to reinforce how important it is because sometimes I can procrastinate just a little... :)

2 // "Fun" To Do's 
I like to include fun things to do and switch off completing one of these and a school assignment. This helps to motivate me and to treat myself to something fun after doing important work. Some of these could include to catch up with blog reading, paint my nails, write a new blog post, etc. I highly recommend including multiple break times to break up your work to keep you on task and more motivated. This is something that has helped me extremely.

3 // Things I Need
Usually when I start a list, it really gets my brain moving, so I tend to think of things I need. If I have a project or am planning on baking something, I add those supplies to my list. I always keep my to do list with me, so when I pull it out to check things off, I am reminded of what I need to pick up the next time I'm at the store.

4 // Things I Want to Do
Right now I have an ongoing list of books I want to read over the Christmas break (even though it's a little far off, a girl can dream). My mind goes a mile a minute when I start writing and planning everything going on and it's nice to see something fun to work towards like ice skating over the holidays with friends or curling up with Gone Girl (currently reading!!) by the fire on the same paper as my workload.

*Tip* : I highly recommend color coordinating. If you don't do it, give it a shot with your agenda, list, or class notes. It is truly a game changer.

Creating this list with all the sections (or at least the first two if I'm running low on time) helps my productivity tremendously. I hope you try this out for at least one day and it helps you out! Happy Wednesday! xo

PS. I've been really into reading Lifehack and Thought Catalog recently and here are two of my favorite articles I've read! 
one // two

4 Tips for a Regroup

This week I am focusing on regrouping myself and getting my motivation levels back up for the final 6 weeks before exams. I'm very thankful to be feeling especially inspired on a Monday morning and I'm excited to finish out this semester strong and keep my grades up. It feels good to be staying organized. Here are my top tips for regrouping yourself and staying productive throughout the cold weather months:

1 // Keep a Clean Room
This is crucial for me. When my room is clean, my laundry is done, and my bed is made, I feel like I can accomplish so much more. I don't know about you, but having a messy room makes my daily to-do list feel a lot longer and less manageable. I make it a priority to make my bed every morning before school and put away my clothes/clean up my room before bed.

2 // Sort & Organize
My school divides our semesters up into 3, 6 week grading periods. Each 6 weeks, I sort through all of my papers and notes and decide what to keep and what to throw away. I have to do a sweep more often than just at the end of every semester, so I don't feel so bogged down. Just this morning, I organized all of my papers in my folders and locker and I already feel so much better.

3 // Stay Healthy
This is something I have been slacking with quite a lot lately. Diet and exercise has so much to do with how you feel and how productive you are throughout the day. I'm putting healthier eating (more fruits and veggies and less sweets, Panera, all things delicious...) and getting at least 3 days of working out in at the top of my priority list this upcoming winter. I'm planning on doing a post dedicated to health and fitness after I finish completing a few goals I've set for myself and have more to share.

4 // Mix it Up
With colder weather rapidly approaching (we had our first snow in the Bluegrass on Halloween night!), it's important to not get stuck in a boring routine. I've been mixing up my makeup routine, accessories, and workout routine lately and it has helped my productivity tremendously. Try a new lipstick or quick Pinterest workout (I love this one) to help boost your spirits. It's no surprise that when you're in a better mood, you can get more accomplished!

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Friday Happenings

I am more than glad that this week is over! I've been feeling really frustrated and overwhelmed with work and other personal things going on, so I'm overjoyed it's the weekend. Thinking about sleeping in tomorrow morning is making me so happy lol. Here are my favorites for the week:

ONE // Good Friends
Going through rough patches and the everyday stresses of high school are a lot easier when you have a group of friends that care about you and support you no matter what. Wednesday after school, I was feeling really stressed about the 3 tests I had Thursday and when my friends invited me to dinner, I was so happy to have time to relax and forget about my work... at least for a little while.

TWO // Rain, Rain
I've been using this app that mimics thunderstorm sounds to help me fall asleep at night. This one has so many different sounds and I love that you can set a timer so it doesn't play all night. My favorite is the original thunderstorm and I set it for 45 minutes.

THREE // Music Favorites
I have been LOVING Lana del Rey's album, Ultraviolence, and Ariana Grande's new album, My Everything. I listen to them on repeat on Spotify and I'm obsessed! I tried to narrow down my favorites from each. Check them out if you haven't already:

FOUR // NY Times
I've been trying to read the New York Times every morning before or during school. Being updated with important, current events in the US and World charges my brain and gets me ready for the day. I love clicking around in different sections and reading new things. There really is something for everyone, even if you don't want to read about politics.

FIVE // Favorite Finds
I've been obsessed with Tumblr lately and these are a few of my favorite finds:
one // two // three 

Have a great weekend!

Monday Motivation

(12) Tumblr

Happy Monday!!
I said in my post yesterday that I was getting organized and resting and somehow that turned into not finishing any homework and staying up until 1am on Tumblr... whoops
Anyways, I have always been a huge fan of inspirational quotes and consider my "Inspiration" board on Pinterest one of my greatest achievements *insert crying laughing emoji here* Back in June, I started sending Monday "motivations" to my 3 best friends in our group message. I've somehow kept it up and wanted to bring it to the blog! I thought that today I would get personal and reflect a little on the above quote as I start out my Monday sitting in class only slightly sleep deprived...

When I found this photo on Tumblr, it really inspired me. Too often, I find myself saying yes to things and doing things because I feel pressured or it seems like it would look good on a college application. Junior year is already really hard and not just because of the excessive homework load. Being a teenager is hard enough, but when you top that with guidance counselors, teachers, and parents throwing so much at you about AP classes, ACT testing, and college planning all at once, it can be really overwhelming. It's hard to live in the moment or do what you love when you constantly feel like you are trying to play catch up from yesterday's to-do list or have the "perfect" resume. It is so easy for me to get caught up in all the work, cheer practices, and expectations that I forget to focus on what's actually important to building up the kind of person I want to be. Of course, doing my homework and not failing high school is kind of crucial, but in 10 years, I don't want to remember high school as a time where I cried every single night drowning in papers and signed up for activities I really didn't want to do just because I thought it was the "right thing" to do. So starting today, I'm challenging myself to live in the moment and take more time to do what makes me happy. I'm going to make an effort to close my textbooks and put away papers that I've been staring at for hours that are stressing me out x100. I'm going to start taking a deep breath and say no when I really don't want to do something. I'm going to sign up for clubs and go to events that I really want to go to because they make me feel good. For my own sanity, I need to stop holding everything in and start letting things go and doing what makes me happy. Being a people pleaser and a pushover can really get to me at times and there are a few things that I have to continue to remind myself to stay afloat:

1. Worrying constantly about the future isn't doing anything positive for me.

2. Signing up for classes and activities that will "look good on an application" is only going to make me more unhappy.

3. Make the most of what I have at the moment while I'm working hard for what I ultimately want.

4. Don't get caught up/Keep things in perspective.

This post was insanely rambly as it is a combination of my thoughts in just about every class period today. However, writing this post and giving "advice" to others is really to help me keep everything in perspective. Translating my feelings and thoughts that are floating around in my head into a blog post reminds me to do the above 4 things and that no matter how hard things get, I'm really not drowning :)
I hope everyone has a great week and I hope this post helped as least one person as much as it has helped me get through this Monday!


What I'm Wearing: Summer Wedding

Today my family and I are going to a wedding for a close family friend and I thought I would share  what I am wearing!

Starting with my accessories, my earrings are from a local boutique called Handpicked. They are sterling silver, engraved with my monogram. My clutch is from J Crew and my pearl bracelets were passed down to me from my grandmother. The silver bangle is from Alex + Ani. I've really been loving these Old Navy sunglasses this summer that are not available online.

Lips: Estee Lauder lipstick in 25 Melon

My dress is from the Lilly Pulitzer spring collection. It is the blue seersucker "Vivienne" dress. It was a part of the Lilly After Party sale, but is no longer available. I wore this dress to prom when I went my sophomore year. I love this dress because it can easily be dressed up with a pair of heels or worn semi-casually with Jack Rogers like how I'm wearing it today!

I've already had a really fun start to my weekend. Last night was my first home football game cheering this season! I'm so excited to see our close friend get married tonight and start this new, exciting chapter in her life! I hope you all love this outfit as much as I do and stay tuned for more posts, coming soon! Thanks for reading,
xo- Baigin

P.S. Huge shoutout to my best friend, Anna, for taking these pictures for me :)