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."