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10 Tips to Prepare Yourself for Graduation Day

10 Tips to Prepare Yourself for Graduation Day

Graduation day is an exciting time, but you want to make sure you plan ahead so you can truly enjoy it. Here are ten tips to make your graduation day go smoothly!

1. Keep up with your schoolwork

First things first, if you want to enjoy your big graduation day, make sure you do the work to get there! It’s easy to get caught up in college applications or just celebrating your senior year with friends, but make sure you’re still doing your schoolwork and keeping your grades up.

If you need motivation or a helping hand, you can look to parents, teachers, or your guidance counselor for advice and assistance. Plus, there are tons of great organizations devoted to helping students reach their dream of graduating and heading to a better college! Here’s an example of heart-touching story of Christopher Yanov who helped many such students get scholarships and transformed their lives. You can’t expect a better helping hand than this.

2. Plan for the future

Though it may sometimes seem like high school is going to last forever, senior year will be over before you know it and you need to have a plan for life after graduation.  Whether that means going off to college, joining the workforce or travelling the world, you need to start planning for it before graduation.

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If you are headed to college, make sure you have your finances in order, too, from filling out FAFSA to applying for scholarships. Last year, in 2015, these 7 students cracked Gates Scholarships of more than $500,000 each. When things are already planned out, you will feel way better, when you walk across that stage to get your diploma as you have done everything to make sure your college dream can become a reality!

3. Create a schedule

From dealing with college applications to planning the day of your graduation, you have a lot of things to organize during your senior year. To make sure you stay on track, draw up a schedule for yourself.  If you have scholarship or school application deadlines, add them to your calendar.

If you need to request graduation tickets or order your cap and gown by a particular time, put those on the calendar too. Even for things that might not have specific deadlines, it’s a good idea to come up with some dates to aim for, just to keep yourself on track. If you do everything on your calendar in time, your graduation day will be a piece of cake!

4. Get senior pictures

Senior pictures aren’t just for the yearbook, they’re the photos your parents will frame and you’ll want to give copies of to your friends. Lots of people choose to go to a professional photographer to do a special photo shoot for their senior year. You can take formal pictures as well as more casual ones like snaps of you doing your favorite activity, from football to ballet to hanging out with your family dog.

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Just be sure to schedule your photos early, because lots of other people will want to take their senior pictures around the same time. Plus, you need to make sure you get them in time to get them in the yearbook and have copies ready to share with friends.

5. Send announcements

It’s a tradition to send graduation announcements out a few months before the big day to let everyone, from your grandparents to your neighbors, know about the big day. It’s basically a formal way for your parents to brag about you. You’ll want to order invitations in advance to make sure you have time to send them out well in advance of your actual graduation day.

6. Invite friends and relatives

For an occasion as important as graduation, you want to have your closest friends and family in attendance. Schools often have a policy where they reserve a couple of tickets for each student right off the bat, but you may be able to request a few additional tickets if you get around to it early enough. Once you’ve made sure there will be seats available go ahead and invite your friends and relatives.

7. Order your cap and gown

Every graduation picture you see features happy students properly wearing gowns and tossing their caps into the air. If you want to be one of them, though, you have to remember to order your cap and gown in time for the ceremony. Usually a salesperson will come to your school with order forms or you’ll receive information from the school about how to order them online.

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This can also be a good time to get a class ring or any other graduation paraphernalia you might want. Or, if the cost of the cap and gown are a little steep for you, there are also options to rent or buy used.

8. Pick your outfit

While it’s not quite prom, graduation is still an important event and one definitely worth dressing up for! You’ll be walking across a stage, having your picture taken and spending time with all of your closest friends and family, so you want to find a nice looking outfit for the occasion.

Guys usually wear a suit or nice pants with a shirt, and girls usually opt for a nice dress, though, of course, you should wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Also, be sure to plan ahead for the weather – graduation can be really hot, especially if it is an outdoor ceremony, so try to pick something light.

9. Get gifts for teachers

Yes, graduation is supposed to be about celebrating all of your hard work, but it’s also a time to recognize your teachers for helping you along the way. Usually the last day or so of classes is a good time to give something to teachers to show your appreciation.

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If you’re strapped for cash, you can just write a nice card to a few of your favorite teachers or bake them some cookies!  Just be sure to think about it in advance or before you know it you’ll be done with classes and it will be too late!

10. Plan your celebration!

Whether you just want to go out for a nice dinner with your family after the ceremony or you want a graduation party full of friends (or both!), be sure you make your plans in advance. Since there will likely be a lot of people planning graduation celebrations around the same time, you’ll need to start planning early.

If you want a graduation party, plan it for a weekend before or after graduation—people will have too much going on during graduation weekend itself! For getting dinner the night of graduation, remember that most other graduates will have the same idea, so you want to get a reservation at your favorite restaurant before it’s all filled up!

Graduation is an important and exciting day – just be sure to get ready for it in advance so you can enjoy it, when the day comes. After all, you are marking the end of over a decade of grade school – that’s going to take some celebrating!

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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