Your Morning Routine

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This week’s theme is ’Morning Routines’

Good morning! The way you start each day determines how you end each day. With a positive, healthy, disciplined morning routine, you can truly transform your life. Your entire quality of life — your relationships, your successes, your achievements, your mental health, your happiness — depends on the habits you establish in the first 60-90 minutes each day. This week is a great opportunity to put in place a few key habits to get each day started the right way.

Without fail, I begin EVERY DAY with a glass of warm water and 1/2 a lemon, probiotics (for digestive health) and turmeric (to reduce inflammation and increase overall health). Then I sit on my meditation cushion and do 20 minutes of active meditation (using an APP like Headspace or Buddhify). Afterwards I drink a cup of black coffee and do 10min of gentle yoga.

A morning routine is a habit cultivated over time. I would like to improve my morning routine, with vigorous exercise or journaling for instance. I commit with you to try to improve my morning routine by adding 1-2 things from the list above to continue to get the most out of my day.

READ

You Make Or Break Your Life Between 5-7 AM

34 Quick Habits to Add to Your Daily Morning Routine

DO

Want some inspiration on how to build YOUR morning routine? Check out https://mymorningroutine.com to read about how top athletes, business people, celebrities etc start their day. There will definitely be something in there that gets you started!

This week, add one thing to your morning routine. Next week, one more and the week after that, one more. I recommend the following (biggest payoff for least amount of effort):

1. Warm water with lemon as soon as you wake up

2. 10 minutes of silent meditation

3. Writing 1-2 lines in a gratitude/positivity journal

4. 5-20 min of stretching and/or yoga

5. Don’t touch your phone!

WATCH/LISTEN

MORNING MOTIVATION - What Successful People Do In the First 8 Minutes of Their Morning

Organise Your Life

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Do you ever have that feeling that life is getting away from you, and you don’t even know where to begin to catch up? There’s nothing worse than being disorganised; especially when it holds you back from realising your potential.

A few habits, tricks and tools, used consistently, can help you stay on track of your commitments and deadlines, and takes the stress out of every day, leaving more time for enjoyment! A simple system of To Do lists, saving reading, bookmarking websites, organising emails, or scheduling your work, school, fitness and social time with a good calendar system can make all the difference between being on top of your life and constantly trying to catch up, missing opportunities to be your best self. A little organisation goes a long way, and this is the perfect week to get ahead of it!

READ: This article contains 7 great tools for you to use that will help keep everything from your reading to your time to your deadlines organised.

DO: I use ‘Pocket’ all the time to save articles I want to read later, or when I’m in a queue or on a train. Download Pocket to your device and your laptop now and never miss important reading!

WATCH:

A Motivational Mindset

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This week I’d like to talk about the power of having a motivational mindset. Ultimately, nobody is responsible for your success in life but YOU. Your parents, teachers, friends, work colleagues — they will care about you and support you, and maybe they might even hold you back. But unless YOU decide what you want out of life, and YOU put the steps in place to get there, nothing will happen and you will never realise your true potential.

Having a motivational mindset takes practice. It’s not something that happens naturally. Every single day you must determine what is important to you, and make a commitment to move yourself closer to your goals. Every day offers a new opportunity to prioritise your success. Nevermind what happened yesterday. Today is a new day, and a new week, and a new chance to get your mind right.

READ: This article from Inc. Magazine (which is a great resource for learning about businesses, brands and trends in industry — I recommend you add it to your subscription list) offers 12 ways you can look within yourself when you’re struggling, to find the motivation you need to succeed. Sometimes putting action into place is the best and fastest way to change your mindset, little by little, every day.

DO: Make a short list of THREE things you are going to accomplish this week. Three clear goals that you can achieve this week. One should be professional, one should be personal, one should be physical. For example:

  1. Do all of the Readings for each module before class.

  2. Sign up for a weekly newsletter/Join a club/Write in your journal every day/Create a Vision Board.

  3. Walk 30min, 3x/week/Go to the gym 3x/Take a hot yoga class.

Next, choose an ‘Accountability Buddy’ — share your goals with a friend, and have them share their goals with you. If you’re struggling throughout the week, ask for support. At the end of the week, check in with them and see how you did. Repeat this weekly.

Identifying Your Dreams

The beginning of a new school year (or Autumn, for non-students) always feels like a time for a fresh start. The air becomes crisp, the leaves start to turn brilliant colours and the days become shorter — it’s like Mother Nature is reminding us that the long and lazy days of summer are over, and it’s time to buckle down, get focused and commit ourselves to the pursuit of our goals and dreams.

It’s a great time to take stock of where you are in life, and what your big plans are for the future. Do you know what your big dreams are? Do you have a plan to get there? The focused energy of the first week of October offers a great opportunity to identify your dreams so that by this time next year, you are that much closer to realising them.

This week, spend a bit of time reflecting and mapping your dreams.

READ: This is a great article that will get you started. It asks key questions and helps you frame the first steps to going out and realising your dreams. I love this quote:

A dream is an inspiring picture of the future that energizes your mind, will and emotions,
empowering you to do everything you can to achieve it.

DO: The article above lists 6 areas that you must consider in the pursuit of your dream. Pull out your notebook, and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Mentally prepared: Am I reading and studying the areas of greatest interest?

  2. Experientially prepared: Do I engage in activities that are related to my interests?

  3. Visually prepared: Do I surround myself with pictures of people and things that inspire me?

  4. Hero preparation: Do I have a list of people who inspire me, and whose footsteps I can follow:?

  5. Physical preparation: Am I physically fit enough to follow my dream?

  6. Spiritual preparation: Do I seek inspiration from a power higher than myself, to guide me in pursuit of my dream?

If you answered ‘NO’ to any of the above questions, take 15min and write a short list of all the things you can do right now to improve your preparedness. It could be something as simple as putting up a picture or a vision board on your wall that represents your goals. Or you could dust off your trainers and make a workout schedule for the week. You could identify a club, organisation or MeetUp where you can meet like-minded people, or even just check out a book in the library that is related to your key interest. Every small action counts to getting you one step closer to living your dreams!

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Welcome (back)!

Hello,

If you are receiving this blog, you’ve been enrolled as a student in the BA Advertising, PR and Branding at Middlesex University. I am your Programme Leader - I look forward to working with you throughout your degree to ensure you get the most out of your education!

I will be using this blog as a way to communicate with old and new students — sharing life optimisation hacks to help you live your best life, succeed in your studies and career, and also share musings about the amazing and creative industries of marketing, advertising, PR and branding.

If you would prefer not to receive these emails, please don’t hesitate to unsubscribe. Alternatively you can also subscribe using your personal email address.

This is Welcome Week - a time to get your living arrangements sorted, ensure your timetable is correct, and get ready to apply yourself to your studies. Watch out for emails from me detailing the activities we are offering to help you settle in and meet your fellow students.

I look forward to seeing you!

Giannina

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'Setting Priorities'

Happy Monday!!

This is a great week to get yourself organised and sort out your priorities as we approach the last quarter of the academic year.

This week’s theme is ’Prioritising Success’

When you’re faced with competing deadlines, tons of interests, a part-time job, demanding friends and family, AND an inner desire to succeed and be the best you can be, it can be very difficult to know how to prioritise! Everything seems important, all the time. This week’s insights should give you some ideas how to put yourself and your most important needs first. Hopefully with a few minutes spent organising your To Do list, or even identifying the things in your life you value most, you will start to learn how to get everything done in a systematic and organised way - and not let yourself or anyone else down in the process!

READ

Warren Buffet is a famous investment guru. Here is an article from one of my favourite websites, Live Your Legend (download their toolkits) 5 Step Process for Prioritising True Success (and Why People Never Do it): 

This is a more basic article about how to organise your prioritise on a daily basis, so that you can get all your work done.

DO

Every day this week before you go to bed, write out a list of To Do items for the next day. Write down everything! Then go through the list and circle the 3 MOST IMPORTANT things you must do the next day, and focus on crossing them off your list before mid-day. The article above offers an easy 10 point plan to make prioritising and achieving your goals very easy.

If you REALLY want to get good at this, make a weekly To Do list every Sunday for the upcoming week. Prioritise the items by day, and choose your 3 most important tasks every day. Next Sunday, go over your list and see how much you accomplished - I bet you’ll be surprised at how much you can get done in a week by learning how to prioritise!

WATCH/LISTEN

How to Prioritise Your Time as a College Student: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EbKDbH8Rt4

How To Set Priorities - The Ultimate Solution To Prioritizing Tasks and Mastering WorkLife Balance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QL-cZieoIk


PONDER:

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'Avoiding Distractions'

Hello and Happy Monday!

I hope you’re feeling motivated to kick your life into the next gear! But passion and excitement will only get you so far. Now it’s time focus on a bit of discipline.

This week’s theme is ‘Avoiding Distractions’

It’s way too easy to allow yourself to get distracted on anything else but what you’re supposed to be doing — reading, taking notes, planning essays, studying, thinking about difficult things. But your ability to FOCUS — to stay in the zone, use every minute effectively, and keep your attention where it needs to be for long stretches of time — is going to dictate whether you will succeed or not. This week, some tips on how to get better at avoiding distractions.

READ: This article will help you focus on learning and creating, rather than being entertained and distracted (9 min read)

DO:
This week, experiment with one of the many tools and tricks out there to limit your social media use when you should be focusing on your studies. This article identifies many great tools like Extensions, APP Blockers or Router Filters that will help keep you focused. Just try using one of them when you need to get things done!

WATCH/LISTEN: When I need to get serious work done, I use Binaurial Beats mixes on Youtube. They are designed to help you focus your brain on the task at hand, and my noise-cancelling headphones block out physical distractions. Best of all, there are hundreds of mixes for different lengths. One of my favourites:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dnWev0CvX4&t=3773s

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'No More Excuses'

Happy Monday!!

Things are ramping up now as assessments come due, group work demands more of your participation, and lots of deadlines, classes and responsibilities compete for your time. It might be easy to let yourself off the hook — too much snow or a late bus means it’s too difficult to get to class, or missing a group meeting here or there won’t hurt the overall completion of the project, right? WRONG. 

This week’s theme is ’No More Excuses’

All of the reasons you tell yourself for not achieving results, getting the grades you want, contributing to group work or attending school are just excuses you are using to let yourself off the hook. In most cases, they are simply not valid. YOU have the power to choose your actions, and YOU are in a position to take responsibility for your life, no one else. Do you want to be someone people respect? Do you want to achieve success? Now is the time to stop making excuses for yourself, and start to realise the potential that you have to offer the world.

READ

30 Excuses Stopping You from Living Your Best Life (and 30 Solutions to Overcome Them) (15min read)

DO

Grab a pen and notepad. Write down all the reasons why you can’t achieve at least a 2:1 in all your modules this year. Write another list with all the reasons why you won’t get an amazing internship this summer. Then go back to the article I posted above and find the excuses you listed. Take heed of the solution! Tell yourself: NO MORE EXCUSES.

WATCH/LISTEN

No More Excuses: Motivational Speech (4min)

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Organise Your Life

This week’s theme is ’Organise Your Life’

It can sometimes feel overwhelming when deadlines are piling up, you’ve got a crazy schedule and you can’t seem to get organised. I’ve been there!

A few habits, tricks and tools, used consistently, can help you stay on track of your commitments and deadlines, and takes the stress out of every day, leaving more time for enjoyment! A simple system of To Do lists, saving reading, bookmarking websites, organising emails, or scheduling your work, school, fitness and social time with a good calendar system can make all the difference between being on top of your life and constantly trying to catch up, missing opportunities to be your best self! A little organisation goes a long way, and this is the perfect week to get ahead of it!

READ

This article contains 7 great tools for you to use that will help keep everything from your reading to your time to your deadlines organised.

DO

I use ‘Pocket’ all the time to save articles I want to read later, or when I’m in a queue or on a train. It works offline on every device and means I’ve always got reading ready to go and stops me from scrolling aimlessly. Download Pocket to your device and your laptop now and never miss important reading!

https://getpocket.com

WATCH/LISTEN

How to be Organised for School, College or Life - The 6 Habits of Highly Organised People (5min)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88MjoZalHpM

6 Ways to Organise Your Life - How to Adult 101 (7min)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zi2BMmR2vpg

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Time Management

This week’s theme is ’Time Management’

I’ve got an absolutely packed week ahead. Classes resume in full swing this week, with many assessments coming due, which means lots of tutorials for me, and lots of stress for students.

One of the most valuable tools I’ve developed over the years is time and calendar management to help keep me on track. Time management is one of the most important skills you can develop, and can always be improved.

Time in university is perfect for learning time management tricks. It’s time to practice the process of seeing the big picture, identifying everything that needs attention, allocating enough time every day to work efficiently and check things off the list, while also giving priority to life admin (fitness, laundry, healthy eating, social time) - and not cramming everything into the last minute!

Now’s the time to get some systems in place to ensure you can be productive and get everything done effectively, and with not too many all-nighters in the process!

READ

This article outlines why the good use of calendars is WAY better than To Do lists at managing your time. Some great tips to get started! (5min read): Why Calendars are More Effective than To Do Lists

DO

Take some time this week to plan your calendar for the rest of the term, Note down deadlines for all your modules, and write in self-imposed deadlines for getting key milestones accomplished like completing your research or drafting an outline for your essays. Plot in the meetings for tutorials with your tutors. Then take it a step further - look at next week, and plot in time for reading, exercise, social time, or anything else that is a priority. I like to colour-code my calendars (in Google Calendar) for extra efficiency. Purple is work, blue is study, red is social, green is fitness, brown is life admin. Try it, it’s very satisfying!

WATCH/LISTEN

Here’s a great tutorial for how to use Google Calendar for 2018 (14min):

Finally, something to Ponder:

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