Friday, November 30, 2007

Assignment #6

I can not believe this semester is actually over and how long I have kept this blog going for. When I first created my blog I honestly was not very excited about it. I was worried that my topic would be too difficult and that it would be hard for me to find enough content each week. At first a struggled a bit, but by the end I realized I really had a good handle on what was appropriate to post. I realized that time management can be applied to every aspect of someone's life. It doesn't just stop at juggling work and school, but also in how we spend our free time, how we plan parties, how we exercise, what we cook, what we wear, etc. Once I figured this out I had a lot more fun with my blog. I tried to find more offbeat articles to link (like the quicky sex one) and tried to get a little more creative with my photos. I realized how "into" my blog I had gotten when I got to the Red Sox parade and saw the girl holding the sign that said "Thanks Sox, now I can do my homework again." I pushed a dozen people out of my way so I could get that shot!

I think I got a lot out of keeping this blog. Most importantly I think I learned how to be a beat writer and still stay creative. I don't think I would have done anything differently but I wish I had had more opportunities to take photos. I didn't share my blog with my family because if they really knew how much I was working and how little time I have they would kill me! I most likely won't continue my blog, but I know I will still find things everyday that will come to mind as something that I could turn into a post.

If you had asked me a year ago what I thought about blogs I would have said they are a waste of time. After I lived to Spain, however, I realized that blogs are powerful means of communication. I used my blog in Spain to show all of my friends and family at home what I had been up to and where I had traveled to. Friends and family and co-workers of family and people I have never even met started looking at my blog regularly and it really surprised me. One my friend's parents even allowed her to go abroad after they saw what an incredible time I had. Now I am a lot more appreciative of blogs and I realize that a lot of them do a have a place and a purpose. Knowing this ahead of time really helped me to be more open about starting a new blog for this class but I definitely had to step up my game in order to post as often as we did this semester. Now that I know I can keep up a blog, I am positive I will have another in the future once I find a new beat to interest me.

Short-Story Stocking-Stuffers

For busy people who love to read, a good collection of short stories is vital. I, myself, am a big fan of Alice Munro's short fiction works. Check out Barnes & for the best selling short-story books to give this season.

No Time to Play Games

Sometimes hanging out and playing a board game with friends and family can be a fun and relaxing activity. But with people always on the go, not everyone has time to sit down for a three or four hour game of Monopoly these days. I did a search trying to find out which board games take up the least amount of time and realized I'm not the only one looking for fun within a time frame.

Hasbro Inc., the largest game company in the U.S., has started to released Express editions of favorite games such as Monopoly, Scrabble and Sorry. They have also come up with a streamlined version of Life which uses an ATM card instead of paper money to cut down on game-time. There have also been trends towards DVD games which are faster to play than normal board games. DVD versions of Clue as well as Candy Land are now available. I think all of these ideas are great for the modern family. It allows people to still play together and spend time with each other without committing an unreasonable amount of time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

TV Time

Sometimes it's really difficult to fit your favorite TV shows into your schedule. For example, now that I work Thursday nights, I have given up watching Grey's Anatomy. However, if I wanted to catch up, NBC and ABC have great websites now where viewers can log on and watch their favorite shows on demand at any time. Unfortunately the websites throw annoying commercials into the streaming video so it doesn't really cut down on watch time., however, does not use commericials during its online TV shows which allows to viewer to get through a half hour program and in a little over 20 minutes, thus making it even more convenient.

For those who are REALLY short on time, check out the new Minisode Network. The Minisode Network operates out of and basically compiles well-known classic TV shows (think Charlie's Angels and Starsky and Hutch) into short episodes known as "minisodes." Basically the videos will show the introduction, a few action scenes, and then the conclusion of the episode. Perfect for TV lovers with little down-time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Conquering the Vending Machine

When you're on the job or going to class all day, vending machine snacks can become quite tempting. Lately I have noticed that more vending machines are offering healthier options than the typical Twinkie or M&Ms. The other day in Shillman Hall I noticed a disclaimer on a vending machine announcing that it had healthier snacks such as Stacy's Pita Chips. offers a great breakdown of the worst and best vending machine snacks for those days when you really can't wait until your next meal.

Pre-planned Parties

I for one love to play hostess during the holiday season. Cocktail parties are a fun and easy way to get all of my friends together during the busy holiday season that is normally dedicated to family time. Planning a party, however, can most definitely be a time consuming endeavor. Thankfully, is right on point again this week with an article that gives readers ideas for several pre-planned cocktail parties. Each theme provides a shopping list of where to buy everything from tablecloths to martini glasses. Some of Boston's best bartenders share their favorite holiday drink recipes as well. I do have to say the music play lists they have generated for each party are all equally horrible. My advice: put iTunes on party-shuffle and enjoy.

Monday, November 26, 2007

At Home Shopping

An article posted on reveals the latest in effortless shopping. Sales associates will make at home visits for companies such as The Worth Collection which provide direct sales of upscale retail garments. Many women are attracted to this form of buying because it allows for a lot more flexibility and cuts down time spent in traffic, parking, browsing different stores, etc. Be prepared though, at home shopping comes with a higher price tag than you may find in the store.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Another Podcast

Subscribe to Ruth Klein's Time Management Secrets on iTunes. Her advice on Time Management is much more abstract than others. Klein speaks about how people can save time through attitude and emotions. I'm not usually a big fan of emotional advice, but it could be worth a listen!

Time Management Podcasts

iTunes allows users to subscribe to many free podcasts. Download time manage coach Dave Durand's podcast for some great tips. His latest podcast features audio from a live presentation he gave titled "Time Bomb." Download it on your iPod so you can listen to his tips on-the-go.

Managing the Holidays

It may be the most wonderful time of the year but it's also the busiest. This great article on gives a detailed breakdown of what to do each week leading up to Christmas in order to help manage the holidays better. My typical strategy is to get to the mall on Christmas Eve to start and finish my holiday shopping. Maybe this year I can use these steps instead.

Assignment #5

The following interview is a question and answer with fellow student Maggie Kowalski. Maggie is a full-time Northeastern student who also works at Cask n’ Flagon.

About how many hours a week do you spend doing school related stuff
(class, homework, etc) and how many hours a week do you work?

I spend about 25 hours a week in class or doing schoolwork. On a slow week at work, I might only be there 15 hours. But during the baseball season, and especially when the Sox are home, I put in between 30-35 hours per week.

Do you find it hard to manage your time between class, school and a social life?

Yeah, it can be really hard to find a balance between school, work and having a social life. I know that this semester I saw a lot less of people because of my job. Sometimes it was because I was actually at work, but a lot of times I was just too tired or had to catch up on schoolwork. But when you know you have to make money, you find a way to make it work.

Any tips for time management or organizational strategies that help
you get things done?

The best advice I can give is just prioritize. If there are things that you'd like to (but don't need to) get done for class but you just can't fit it in, just skip it. Do what's important and what needs to get done. If there's time for the rest, great. But if it comes down to spending time with your friends or trying to get some work done early or something, I try to pick my friends. There's only so much you can realistically do, for your classes or for your job.

If you had more free time, what would you spend it doing?

If I had more free time, I'd spend it with my friends. I didn't get to see them as much as I'd like to this semester. And I'd probably try to see my friends at other schools more. It's hard to get a whole weekend away from school/work, so if I had more, I'd try to make more trips out to see people outside of Boston.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Watch Out!

My watch is a permanent fixture on my left wrist. I estimate that I probably look at it an average of 40 times a day to check the time. Seeing as I have worn my current watch so much I was thinking about asking for an upgrade for Christmas. has a great slideshow of the world's best watches. I'm pretty sure I won't see any of these in my stocking this year, but maybe some day!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fashion on the Run

Sometimes there just isn't enough time to change from your day clothes to your night on the town ensemble. The key is acessorizing your day outfits to make them more dressy. Click on the picture above from the NY Post website to learn how!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Women: schedule in an extra 20 seconds

My classmate (thanks Matt!!) forwarded me this article from which concluded that women are discriminated against in coffee shops. An economics professor from Middlebury College and her students set up a study using 8 coffee shops in Boston. The conclusion of the study is that women wait an average of 20 seconds longer than men do to receive their coffee, regardless of how complicated the order is. When all women are working behind the counter, however, women get their coffee much faster.

On my way in to work each night I know that it will take me about 5 minutes to get a coffee from Starbucks as long as there are less than 3 people in line. Waiting an extra 20 seconds actually does make a difference when I am in a rush. I guess when time is a factor
(and when isn't it?) women need to consider the extra waiting time before jumping in line.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Healthy Fast Food

When you're out on the run and hungry, fast food is always the quickest dining option. However most fast food restaurants don't offer healthy selections. In the past few years, several fast food restaurants have popped up in the Boston area which offer healthy burgers and fries ready to go quickly. Know Fat and Be Good are two of the healthy fast food joints that I have tried and both were actually really good! So if you're in a rush, skip BK and try one of these places:

Friday, November 9, 2007

Student Statistics

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has a great website with multiple charts and graphs concerning how different age groups spend amounts of time doing various activities. The pie graph that I was most interested in is labeled "Time use on an average weekday for full-time university and college students." According to these statistics the average student spends 3.9 hours per day doing leisurely activities or playing sports, spends 2.8 hours working and sleeps an average of 8.4 hours a night. Really? Reeeallly?? I don't know, I'm sure there are a lot of students who have this kind of free time, but I don't know a single student at NU that has almost 4 hours free each day to dedicate to "leisurely activities." It's impossible for me to fit my normal 2 mile run into my week more than 3 times, and it's certainly does not take me 4 hours to run it!

The following text is taken directly from the BLS website:

Time use on an average weekday for full-time university and college students

Sleeping 8.4

Leisure and sports 3.9

Working 2.8

Educational activities 3.2

Other 2.3

Traveling 1.6

Eating and drinking 1.0

Grooming 0.8

Total 24.0

NOTE: Data include individuals, ages 15 to 49, who were enrolled full time at a
university or college. Data include non-holiday weekdays and are an average for

No Time for Sex!

OK, I admit this post is a little risque, but I found it on MSN so I decided it's legit! The article below is geared toward "time-pressed couples" who don't have time to spend hours in the bedroom. It lists six tips for getting the most out of the time you have in the form of quickies—"those fast feats of desire that can happen anywhere, anytime."

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

7 Great Habits

I did a quick search for time management books on Barnes and Noble's website and kept finding Stephen R. Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Thankfully I don't have to buy the book to get the basic idea as my good friend made a list. Some of these tips may be found helpful:

  1. Be pro-active
  2. Begin with the end in mind
  3. Put first things first
  4. Think win/win
  5. Seek first to understand, then to be understand
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the saw

For longer explanations, check out the wikipedia site:

To purchase Covey's book:

Going Paperless

As I've stated before I am somewhat of a slave to my planner. My planner helps me to remember things I've committed to do, homework assignments, appointments, etc. Lately with the huge rise in PDAs and internet capable phones, I've been wondering if buying a device with an electronic planner would be beneficial. As a big fan of Apple products in general, I am naturally interested in the iPhone or perhaps the new iTouch iPod which is basically the same machine sans phone capabilities. They are both running at a price of about $400. I think that having portable internet capabilities would be helpful since there are many occasions when I am out of my apartment for the day and can't check my email. However, I've yet to truly determine if I believe I really do need an iPhone or if I just want a fun new gadget.

From Traffic to Treadmill

Sitting in traffic during a morning commute is definitely something that many workers need to factor into planning their daily routines. The new trend, however (which I discovered from an article on linked below) is that many people are starting to leave their homes much earlier and head straight to the gym instead of wasting time in traffic. By leaving early in the morning (5 in the morning early) many people have realized that the time they were accustomed to sitting in traffic can actually be spent getting in a full workout before heading into the office.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Caffeine Snacks

Right on track with the post I made the other day about caffeine turning up in unlikely places, my roommate came home with Shot Bloks--gummy-like snacks that boast 50 mg. of caffeine per "shot."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

170 Million Addicts

Caffeine. 55% to 90% of Americans consume it every day. And now caffeine is being hidden in products that don't just come in Starbucks cups. According to an article that I found on today, caffeine is now being infused into gum, lip-balm, mints, beer, candy, sunflower seeds, and even soap. One product that I have come across a few times lately while studying the affects of caffeine is called "blow." Its' name and packaging are both intended to resemble cocaine. The white powdered substance is sold in a plastic vile and is meant to be stirred into water or other drinks.

Although these products are making money, the affects of caffeine addiction and withdrawal can be uncomfortable. I for one developed the habit of drinking a venti latte, made with three shots of espresso, at the beginning of my work shift every night. By midnight, I would develop a splitting headache and would have to drink coke or another soda with caffeine in it in order for my headache to subside. After a week or so of this, I decided I was consuming way too much caffeine. I switched my regular venti latte to "half-caff"--a mix of part decaf and part regular. Since then my headaches haven't returned.,9171,1663847,00.html?cnn=yes#

World Series Champions!!!!

So the Sox must have read my plea last week because they successfully swept the Rockies! Thanks boys! Today I'm going to crunch the Sox parade into my schedule by trying to take in as much as I can between my two classes. My mom called me yesterday and said everyone must be excited for the Sox but also relieved that they can start sleeping again...we'll see.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sleep Loss Leads to Mental Illness

I came across a few new articles this week dealing w/ a study done by UC Berkley as well as the Harvard Medical School. Findings from the study have proved that sleep loss directly relates to psychiatric disorders. I better watch out...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

NU Offers Time Management Coaches recently posted an article dealing with time management coaches that Northeastern is currently offering to the students in the Professional and Continuing Studies program. Adults in the program can choose to team up with a personal coach who they will hold weekly phone calls with. The coach will help the student to plan his or her time, to better juggle full-time work schedules and college courses which are taken at night and during the weekend.

Northeastern says in the article that only half of their continuing students graduate as it is difficult to take classes, work full-time and also raise a family, as in some students' cases. NU is one of only 13 schools nationwide that has hired the company InsideTrack to provide the coaches to the university.

I seriously doubt that NU will ever decide to offer the same benefits to their Undergrad students. I wonder if they did extend the availability of the coaches to undergrads, if students would take advantage of it. I for one, consider myself too stubborn and independent to be willing to take advice from a time management coach. The coaches do seem better suited to adult students who need to live by stricter schedules than younger students may have to. For example, I could pull an all-nighter to get a project done if it was necessary. But a mother who needs to get her kids ready for school in the morning could definitely not consider this option.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Napping is Natural

I love to nap. Lately I haven't had much time to squeeze in a really good one though. I often long for the days of last semester which I filled with Spanish-style siestas. I recently came across this article which describes the idea that humans were evolutionarily made to take naps during the afternoon and that a nap as little as ten minutes can actually be very beneficial. It also says that naps should not last more than 45 minutes, to avoid falling into a deep sleep cycle and becoming too groggy. I think I'll definitely try to fit in a good 45 minutes between my last class and work tonight.

Sox: Please sweep so I can sleep!!

Don't get me wrong: I am STOKED that the Sox came back to win the ALCS. BUT, I do recognize that entering the World Series means another few weeks of even less sleep. With all these after 8 pm games that don't end until around midnight, I know I definitely won't be getting to bed any earlier on my nights off. This past weekend I had Sunday night off. I should have been at home prepping for my midterms this week and getting a good night's rest. But instead I was huddled around the plasmas at Cask n' Flagon watching every victorious play. My biggest hope for this series is that the Sox sweep the Rockies. That would definitely be a great "win, win" situation for me. Not only would we be the World Series team winner but it would also free up a little bit more time for myself.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fighting the Flu

When you have a hectic schedule, you can't let getting sick slow you down. As the colder weather, and flu season approaches, we should all do a little extra to keep ourselves healthy. Here are some tips to avoiding getting a cold, such as taking Vitamin C, eating a healthy diet, and washing hands often.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hottest Accessories for Fall

I live by my planner. Every appointment, homework assignment, work shift and social engagement I plan to attend will be hastily jotted down in my calendar. Since more and more people are becoming slaves to their planners, naturally the planner has become not just a scheduling tool but a fashionable accessory. Check out some of these hot for Fall patterns from my favorite accessories store--Coach.

Leisurely Reading

On my flight back from Los Angeles last week I reclined my seat and did something I haven't had a chance to do in months--I opened a book. I love reading, but I haven't had enough time lately to actually sit down and get into a good piece of literature. I started wondering how many Americans actually read anymore, and I came across this article which mentions an AP poll. The poll found that the "typically person" reads four books a year. Of the others polled, half read more books and the other half read fewer but one in four didn't read a single book last book. I supposed I would fall into the "typically person" category. I used to read daily, but now if I get a free block of time, I'd prefer to just read a book cover-to-cover.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Quick Workout Moves

I love working out and especially going for runs. With my schedule this fall, however, I've cut my daily running routine down from everyday to about three times a week if I am lucky, and I definitely never have a big enough time chunk to hit up the gym.

The website below gives some good tips for how to incorporate a few small exercises into a daily routine so that you can stay healthy without devoting any time away from your regular activities. Don't be surprised to see me doing calf lifts if we're ever riding in an elevator together!

Cut Cooking Time

When I do have a decent amount of time to cook dinner before I head to work, any time saving tips definitely make a difference. Check out these 10 tips to make prep and cooking time a little quicker.,,b389,00.html

Dinner Bell

I love to cook. If I could I'd make a three course meal for dinner each night and invite guests over for a long leisurely meal. But in the real world, my time constraints usually mean I have to settle for slapping some chunky peanut butter on a couple slices of 12 grain bread and eating it en route to the T.

Lately I've befriended my microwave and tried a variety of what I hope are healthy frozen foods. The article below gives a good recap of which frozen foods are healthiest and what to stay away from. Hey, it's not gourmet, but it offers a welcomed break from PB&J.

Check it out

Click the link below to check out this blog which deals with 33 classic time management tips. All of the tips are links to other articles and offer some great advice!

Thursday, October 4, 2007


...that is the sound I wake up to every morning. As a slave to my alarm clock I depend on it to wake me from deep slumber on a daily basis. I usually set two to three alarms on my cell phone, double check it twice and if I'm still feeling unsure, set my iPod speakers to go off as well. If getting out of bed is tricky for you as well check out one of these new alarm clocks. There is "Clocky" invented by an MIT grad who will run around the room until you turn him off, or Sleeptracker, a device that will wake you during light sleep so that you won't feel tired.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Energy Drinks

It seems to me that drinking excessive amounts of energy drinks would definitely take a toll on someone. I read several articles on energy drinks, however, and I didn't encounter too many negative stories written about them. The least positive is linked below which explains that energy drinks can only really be dangerous when mixed with alcohol, a recipe that is becoming increasingly popular. I personally think that most energy drinks taste like nasty cough medicine and steer clear of them, but I do have some friends who seem to live off them.

Time Management

I did a quick google search to find out about books written about time management skills and found hundreds on the topic. It seems a little ironic to me, however, that someone who honestly has enough time to sit down and read an entire book really has that little amount of time to work with. I haven't read anything for pleasure since school started up again, and feel like picking up one of the novels I started over the summer is a luxury I can't afford right now.

If anyone really is interested in learning about time management, Julie Morgenstern's Time Management from the Inside Out, seems to be a popular choice on Amazon.

Sleep Study

I found this article on USA Today which talks about a sleep study done on college students. No earth-shattering results were found but there is a correlation between students pulling all-nighters to study and lower GPAs.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Average Work Week

The standard US 40-hour work week doesn't apply to all countries. After living in Europe I know that 30-hour work weeks are very common in many of the western countries. However, there are some countries where the standard worker puts in more hours than the average American per week. I know wikipedia is not usually considered a trusted source, however, I found this bar graph extremely interesting. Workers in South Korea work by far the most amount of hours per year out of any other country in the world--and 34% percent more than the average American. I can't imagine how South Koreans juggle what little free time they have.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pill Popping

While researching sleep studies, I recently came across this article dealing with college students who regularly take Adderall. Adderall, which is a prescription drug given to people who suffer from ADHD, has stimulant effects on those who take it but do not have a hyperactive disorder.

The article interviews several students who attend Columbia University and discusses the Adderall culture that has developed there. It surprises me that at a school like Columbia, the use of Adderall has become something that is commonly recognized and accepted. Students attribute their high GPAs to their ability to study all night or write papers for hours because of their use of the drug. For about $5, students can score a pill from classmates who legitimately have prescriptions.

Reading the quotes in this article, it appears that no one seems to be concerned with discovering the if there are negative health impacts from taking the pills. The main point of the article seems to be more a question of morality, and if students who take Adderall are essentially "cheating" in order to keep their grades up.

See full article here:

4 Cups a Day

As I started my morning today with a thermos full of black French-roast, I couldn't help but wonder if my coffee intake could negatively be affecting my health. To my appease, however, I found an article on WebMd which says that drinking coffee can cut the risk of type 2 diabetes as well as Parkinson's disease, gallstones and colon cancer. Although the statistics gathered showed greater benefits for men than women it's still settling to know that living on 4 cups a day might actually have a positive impact.

The full article can be seen at:

Monday, September 17, 2007

Students with Jobs

Fortunately I do not belong to the group of college students who are forced to work during the semester in order to pay for their tuition or rent. In contrast, I choose to work mainly because I seem to have adopted my father's work-ethic and my mother's love for shopping.

According to an article I found on (which originally appeared in Marshall University's The Parthenon in 2003) 57-percent of college students have jobs. In 2000, one out of every ten students worked full-time and attended class full-time. I can only imagine that in the past seven years and with the yearly increase in tuition, that one out of ten is a dated statistic.

Click here for the full article:

Friday, September 14, 2007

Work to Live

The Spanish motto of work to live, don't live to work, definitely described the lifestyle I upheld while studying abroad in Seville last semester. I had classes only four days a week, little to no outside homework assignments and no side job. I took a siesta every day, and hit the beach on the weekends.

Just a few short months later, I dove head-first back into the typical role of an American college student. I have class five days a week, am an active member of two student groups on campus and work 40-hours a week as a waitress. During the small periods of time I have off, I attempt to reconnect with friends whom I haven't seen in the past eight months.

I can't help but feel nostalgic about my experience in Europe, and wonder why in the United States the commonly accepted work ethic more closely mimics the concept of live to work.