Maintaining Creativity

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When it comes to any creative outlets sometimes you lose your sense of creativity. With blogging I get to a point where I can't come up with blog post ideas and can't get my creative juices flowing. Which is understandable, we all get writer’s block but here are some things to keep in mind to maintain your creativity.

Don't compare

I feel like one reason why people lose their creativity is because they're comparing themselves to others. And I am so guilty of this as well. You start to compare and then you think that the things you are creating are not good enough or could be better. So instead of coming up with original ideas that you enjoy making you try to be like someone else. And that causes you to make content that is not good because you don’t enjoy making it. Everyone falls victim to this at some point. But don't worry just keep in mind to not compare but be inspired which brings me to the next tip.

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Look at inspiration

Sometimes if I am not sure what I want to post on my blog or need some ideas for Instagram I will try to find inspiration through making a stroll through Pinterest or watching a TV show or just getting out the house. You can get inspiration from anything and everything. When it comes to getting inspiration never copy but get inspired by it. Do your own spin or twist to it. Never forget to be you at the end of the day.

Go and do something fun

If you're like me with a million things to do you know that going out and having fun doesn't happen often as we would like it to. Having a bunch of school and blog work can be a lot. I spent a lot of time cooped up in my room working on things. And being cooped up in the house is when I feel the least creative. Getting out catching a movie, going out to eat, trying new things will drive your creativity. I recently went on a small vacation which I haven't done in a while and I was so refresh when I got back. I was less stress and saw things in a different light. So, getting out and just letting your hair down well bring you new ideas.

Setting and Achieving Goals

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I love setting goals, to tell you the truth I think I set too many goals. Goals for me is a way to motivated me to achieve something. I feel like when I set goals for myself I feel more accomplish when I finish them, and I feel like I'm growing and getting better.

 Make realistic goals

When it comes to setting goals, it is easy to get overly ambitious. Set goals that are challenging but realistic and reachable. If you have 50 followers on Instagram, you can't just say your goal is 1 million. Yes, maybe that's something you can reach down the line but maybe for right now make your goal 100 followers and then 500 followers and so on. Setting realistic goals will make you more motivated to keep going if you reach that goal you set, you will be ready to challenge yourself even more with the next goal.

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 Make new goals

After I have reached a goal I always set a new goal. You should always be striving for something better. By making new goals that makes me continue to work hard and keeps me moving forward. Don't ever get comfortable where you are, things can always be better.

 Step by step

Not only do I make goals, but I think about the necessary steps I need to take to accomplish those goals. For an example if my goal is to lose 5 pounds, I will write down the steps I need to take to get there. Maybe that’s going on a low-carb diet or increase my cardio. I do this, so I know what it is I specifically need to do to achieve my goal.

 Time

When I set a goal for myself I put a time limit on it. This allows me to keep things moving along and not have a goal for too long. At the beginning of the year I set yearly goals and I also set mostly goals. My monthly goals are a little more specific and smaller then my yearly goals. Most of the time the monthly goals will help me in achieving and reaching my yearly goal. Setting a time on your goals will make you push yourself even more.

 Don’t give up

Setting and achieving goals is not an easy task. Sometimes you might not reach your goal at your set time and that's okay. Just reevaluate and never give up. You will get there through perseverance!

How I Juggle All My Responsibilities

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For those of you who don't know I am a full-time college student, I work part-time, I blog, and make videos for YouTube. I know it sounds exhausting just thinking about it. But over time I have mastered the art of juggling. Now it hasn't always been this way, to be honest it's something I mastered recently.

Schedule Everything Out

When you have so many responsibilities it's best not to just wing it. I have had so many times where I thought I could just go about my day with a list of things to do and remember all of them and get them done but that never works. I have learned it's best to schedule everything out. I schedule studying, taking pictures, drawing, writing post; you name it, I schedule it. It's best to do this, that way you get everything on your list done.

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Don't over think

Sometimes I find myself thinking about the million and one things that I must do and all that does is make me feel overwhelmed and stressed. So, when I find myself doing that I say “Manique snap out of it.” Don't overthink, it will only do you harm. Instead think of one task at a time and focus on that until you move on to the next task.

One day at a time

This is kind of like overthinking. The best thing I ever started doing is taking it one day at a time. The way my mind works is that I will think months in advance which is a blessing and a curse. But I found out that it was stressing me out. So now I try to take things one day at a time. If I dwell on the busy week ahead it will only make it worse, so I focus on Monday then Tuesday and so on.

Breaks

Every now and then I take breaks. That might be for a day or sometimes even a week. And I take breaks in many ways. It can be a social media break or a Blog break, whatever break I choose it helps me refresh and get a better perspective on things. Taking a break can only make you better. Sometimes you get caught up in constantly moving and you forget to take care of yourself. I have had times where I push myself so much I end up making myself sick. I had to learn that it's okay to take a breather.

Stay motivated

Staying motivated is probably the hardest for me. Sometimes I don't feel like taking pictures for Instagram or studying for a quiz, but I try to motivate myself to do those things. One way I motivate myself is by looking at the bigger picture, now this is when looking ahead can be a blessing. I look at what I am trying to accomplish, the goal I am trying to reach. And normally that's all the motivation I need. So, when you don't feel like doing something think about the feeling you will have once you meet your goal.

Why Going To A Small Town Can Be The Best Vacation

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I recently went down south to visit some family and every time I go I have the best time, which made me wonder why? I only ask myself this because I was born and raised in a city/Urban environment in DC. So why some people find it boring going to a small town, it has the opposite affect on me.

Relax

When I went on my vacation I didn't have a care in the world. I didn't think about school, blogging, or anything. Most of the time when I go to the South I'm able to relax in a way I can't in the city. I swear I have never slept so much in my life. I was kind of scaring myself by how much I was sleeping. I don't know maybe it's the Clean Air, or the quietness but it's so damn peaceful there.

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Hospitality

Every time I go to the South or a small-town the hospitality is unmatched. Everyone says hello and has a smile on their face as they greet you, it's amazing and such a warm feeling. In the city you don't get that. Everyone is very cold and to themselves. So when you see someone waved at you for no reason but to just say hello or hold the door for you it's like the best thing ever. Southern Hospitality is real and I loved every minute of it.

Food

Don't get me wrong there are a million amazing eating spots in the city but it's something about southern comfort food that is just irresistible. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. In small towns they don't cut corners on ingredients and everything is so fresh because everything is locally grown. Also they are not stingy with their food they will actually overfeed you and tell you to take some home. Hey, but I'm not complaining.

Ways To Refresh Your Room Without Buying Anything

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I have recently been feeling the urge to change up my room but I don't want to spend a lot of money. As a senior in college have to start thinking about saving money and not spending it. So I thought of different ways to refresh my room without buying anything.

 Move your furniture around

 Rearranging your furniture can make a room look completely different. I've had my room setup the same way for a long time so changing things up made me feel like I was in a different space. Also arranging Furniture in a way that is more functional can make a space more enjoyable.

 Declutter

 Getting rid of a few things will make a big difference in your space and free up room for other things. Decluttering a room can make it more open and help you feel more free. I always go by the rule of if I haven't used it in the past year or more I will toss it. This helps me not hold on to things I don't need.

 Lighting

 If you have a lamp or a standing light I would recommend seeing how it looks in a different spot in your room. Try it on the opposite side of the room and see how it looks, you might end up liking in the new spot better.  Changing the location of lighting can really bring a freshness to a room and it doesn't you cost anything.

Becoming a Morning Person

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I am not going to sit here and tell you that I love getting up early and starting my day at 5 a.m. but with a busy schedule I have learned how to become a morning person even though I sometimes don't like it. Living in DC traffic is crazy here so you have to be out the house on time or else you'll be hella late.

Prepare the night before

This is hands-down my number one tip. I cannot stress it enough how important it is to prepare the night before. Don't try to get everything done in the morning. For me how I prepare at night is by knowing what I am going to wear. I also make my lunch the night before so I am not in a rush to make it in the morning. Sometimes I will even go as far as making breakfast at night before so if it's like breakfast meats sausage bacon or whatever I'll go ahead cook the night before. These things will help your morning go a lot smoother because in the morning every second counts.

Give yourself time

It is best to give yourself more than enough time and be early then give yourself just the right amount of time and barely make it on time. I commute to school so if I have a 9 a.m. class I like to leave out an hour and a half earlier which means I need to leave the house at 7:30. It only takes me 30 to 45 minutes to get to campus but if there's a bad accident or something  happens, then I like to have that extra time and not be in a rush. I give myself plenty of time for things that are Beyond My Control.

Don't use your phone

I know it's tempting to wake up and check your phone but don't. Getting sucked into social media and what's trending on Twitter can just make you stay in bed longer. When I wake up I do check my phone but only for two things the weather and school emails to see if a class has been cancelled or something. Other than that, I stay away from the social media apps.

Breakfast

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I love breakfast foods. So I use breakfast as a motivator to get out of bed. If I know I have some amazing avocado toast waiting for me I will be ready to get my day started. So just have your favorite breakfast stocked in the fridge.

Don't snooze

I am so guilty of hitting that snooze button, it's ridiculous. Hitting the snooze button is the worst thing you can do for yourself. I have missed so many classes and have been late so many times by hitting my snooze button and sometimes accidentally hitting the cancel button. I have two tricks to help me out with this problem. Put your phone or alarm clock across the room. That way you must get out of bed to turn it off. Another tip is to set multiple alarms. I have alarm set on my phone as well as my iPad so when one goes off and I might hit snooze or stop, the other one will go off as well.

How I Plan A Work Day

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Planning a work day for me is a little complex. I always have a million and one things on my plate. Going to school full-time while trying to blog and on top of that work, is a lot to juggle. So when it comes to planning a work day every second counts. 

Prioritize

First thing is to prioritize tasks. I normally will deal with time-sensitive things first. On a typical work day I will start out with school work because school always comes first. Once I have done my school work I will work on blog post for the upcoming week. Most of the time I will have the blog post written out but I just need to take pictures for the post so in that case I will take photos. Next I might work on scheduling out social media posts. Then if I have time I move on to YouTube content maybe edit a little. But that's pretty much how I prioritize. School, blog, social media, and YouTube. YouTube is usually last on my list because it's newer and something I just started doing.

Make  A list

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Normally the night before a work day I will make a list of all the things I need to do and I make sure the list is detailed. So instead of just putting school work I might put landscape project AutoCAD drawings or landscape perspectives street view. That way I know what I exactly need to do.

Batching

One thing I have learned when it comes to juggling a lot of different things is to not multitask. If you multitask you are only setting yourself up for failure. So what I do is I will batch different task. The blog stuff in one part of the day and maybe the school work in another part of the day. For an example I will  take pictures for the next 2 hours but I will not focus on anything else other than taking pictures.  As far as school work unless I finish all of my landscape architecture work I will not move on to my other homework or anything else until that's done. Focus on one thing at a time.

Timeblock

When it comes to a work day I will go as far as time block to make sure I get everything done. I will block out specific times for different tasks. I get that specific because if I don't I will just spend all day on one task and then I will still have a list of things to do.

Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before College

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I can't believe that I am saying this already but summer is over and school is start up again! Normally I dread going back but this is my senior year of college so I am so ready to just get it over with. Because this is my senior year I have recently started thinking about my whole college journey and wanted to share some things I wish people would have told me before starting college.

It Goes By Fast!

When you graduate high school and getting ready to start college it seems like another 4 years or more of school is that last thing you want to do and seems like it’s will take forever. But I am here to tell you it won't. I can't believe that I am almost done! Those years go by really fast and you didn't realize how fast until the end. So just know time will fly by!

Take Your General Classes First

I would say this is a great tip for those who really don't know just yet what they want to major in, but it is also good advice for anyone. Coming up on my senior year I only have to the classes for my major left and don't have to worry about my general classes, which is awesome. The sooner you get those classes done the better. That way you can have more free time to enjoy your senior year.

Fall Semester Classes

I feel like this is a personal thing to me but I like the fall semester a whole lot more than the spring semester, maybe it's because I am just coming off of summer break so I feel more motivated and excited to start school. But I also think that fall semester classes go a lot faster than spring semester. If you live on the east coast like me then you know during the spring semester it’s the coldest (Jan-April) and when it's brutally cold outside I just want to sleep in. In the fall semester it starts to get cold around Dec and by that time it's winter break.  With that being said, normally I try to take majority of my classes in fall or the classes I dread taking (like math ughhh!) because I know that semester is faster and in the spring semester I will be less motivated to do it and more ready for summer to start. 

  It's Ok Not To Have Everything Figured Out

When you start college, you feel like you need to have everything figured out which is so not true. It's okay not to know what major you want to pursue or what you want to do with your life. For me I changed my major once but I have friends who changed their majors twice maybe even three times and that's okay. College is about figuring that stuff out so don't feel like you have to have everything under control or know everything about your future. It will come to you in time.

Community College

After High School there's this pressure to go to a college and I wish someone would have told me it's okay to start off at a community college cause at the time I didn't know where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do. I feel like a community college would have given me that time to think about those things. So my advice would be to go to Community College if you want and don't worry about what everyone else says, just do what you think is right at the time.  I feel like it's this stigma around Community College but it doesn’t make you less of a person if you start there. A degree is a degree no matter how or where you got it.  You can start off taking all of your general classes there, and it’s a  lesser rate than if you took them at a 4 year college.

Be True To Who You Are

I feel like in college sometimes going to a new place, meeting new people,  having new experiences can make it easy to lose yourself. So I would say never forget where you come from, what values you have and know what's right from wrong. Because in college that can be the most testing time in your life.

Trust Your Gut

What I always lean on is my intuition and you will need to depend on that and trust your gut a lot in college. No matter the situation you find yourself in always listen to your gut. Trust me it’s right 95% of the time.

Enjoy it

And the last thing is to just enjoy yourself. This is one thing that you'll never experience again in life so just soak it all in and make the best out of those years, because they'll be some of your best memories.