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Getting Organized

With the school year in full-swing, you, your kids and friends are all working to develop an efficient and organized schedule. Here are a few tips to help you do so.


by Alyssa Banks of the Matt Townsend Show


1. Use a planner. Stop writing things on random sticky notes. You know you’ll forget about or lose them eventually. Use your phone calendar, an app or pick up an “old-fashioned” planner from the store. Just make sure all your thoughts and to-do’s are organized in one place.

2. Plan your week. At the beginning of each week, sit down and think of the goals you’d like to accomplish. Don’t just write these goals down. Prioritize them alphabetically or numerically, so the next time you look at your list, you don’t have to look at it for a few minutes to determine what you should work on. You just go to the number one or letter a, and get started.

3. Clean your space. Designate a space you want to clean each day of the week. It could be your desk, room, drawer or a closet (or even just a couple shelves in your closet). Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to tackle other cleaning projects. Finish the goal you set for the day, and keep this space clean throughout the week.

4. Assume you’ll forget. It’s easy to think you’ll remember to finish a small task when it’s all you’re thinking about. Avoid forgetting the small details, that indeed mean a lot, by setting yourself reminders throughout the day. This is typically different than calendaring events because these items are the small things you plan to do but never actually accomplish.

5. Take a mental trip through your day. When it comes to planning, sometimes it helps me to mentally go through a day, and make sure I’ve covered everything. For example, picture yourself right after your alarm goes off in the morning, which may actually remind you to set your alarm for the next day. What do you do? Are the clothes you want to wear clean and ironed? Do you have the food you need for breakfast and grabbing a lunch for the office? Have you completed the promises you made to others the day before? This system helps me to double check my list and make sure I haven’t left anything out.

6. Just do it. Enough with the planning and organizing. You can only do so much. Get busy, and follow through with the things you chose to complete.



The Etiquette of Breaking Up

This week on “The Matt Townsend show” we’re hosting relationship expert Vinita Mehta. She’ll talk about our generation’s inability to create lasting relationships. This week, I decided to assist you with one of life’s many sticky situations.


The Etiquette of Breaking Up:

1. Don’t beat around the bush. Be straight to the point by using words that communicate your feelings clearly. It can be hard to tell someone you don’t want to be with them anymore. While it’s tough to end the relationship so bluntly, it will be better for both of you to communicate your feelings clearly before ending the relationship.

2. Let the other person express their feelings. Getting your point across is important, but both people in the relationship want to be heard and understood. Try to listen to the other person’s concerns, so you can establish closure before going your separate ways.

3. Be fair to the other person by speaking with them in private and when they have enough time to speak with you without becoming distracted. 

4. Don’t email, text, Facebook message, tweet or call your significant other to break the news to them. People deserve to speak face to face for such an emotionally taxing topic and conversation.

5. Make sure you will be happier ending the relationship than staying with the person. Sometimes people become frustrated and jump to the idea of breaking up with someone before thinking about it. Break up with the person for a legitimate reason not just due to a juvenile argument you don’t want to work out.

6. Do it sooner rather than later. People often wait for the perfect time to break up. The truth is, there is no perfect time. You don’t want to get in a complicated and confusing stage where you start acting awkward when the other person wants to hang out or go on a date. Just cut the cord, and move on.


What to Do Before the Snow Starts Falling

Believe it or not, the snow will be here before we know it.  Here are a few last-minute ideas to squeeze into your schedule before the cold weather hits.


1. Go on a hike. While here in Utah is probably the "Mecca" for amazing scenery, there are beautiful walks in every city and town. Take advantage of it.

2. Visit a park. The options are endless here. Bring a backyard game, (bocce, croquet, frisbee, football) fly a kite, walk your dog, or just take a seat, and enjoy the weather.

3. Have a picnic. Pull out the checkered blanket and wicker basket, and relax on some green grass.

4. Teach your kids how to play a game from your childhood. Maybe they’ll prefer kick the can over video games.

5. Run around a high school track four times in a row (1 mile). If it’s too hot to enjoy your run during the day, plan to run when the sun goes down.

6. If you do live in Utah, shop at City Creek, and eat at an outdoor table. Or in your town, find a fun place that lets you eat outside.  There’s no need to hurt your wallet. Window shopping will do, but if you must, splurge on that coveted item you've wanted for months.

7. Watch a movie at the drive in. Pop some popcorn, and bring your own candy to enjoy a fun family night at the drive in.

8. Visit your local zoo. Lather on the sunscreen, and get the kids excited to learn about new animals.

9. Play with sidewalk chalk. Make the world’s longest hopscotch, or settle with doodling all over the driveway. Either way, get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.

10. Make an outdoor obstacle course. Yes, you can challenge your husband or wife even if you’re 40. You’ve heard of mud runs. It’ll just be a more exciting way to fit in some exercise for the day.

11. Have a fire, and roast marshmallows up a canyon. Or the beach.  Or the riverfront.  Whatever your town offers. Playing ghosts in the graveyard wouldn’t hurt either.

12. (Bonus) And just in case you’re upset about Utah weather kicking in soon, remember you can look forward to the snowy winters filled with hot chocolate, snowmen, sledding, movies, blankets, and skiing.


From the desk of Alyssa Banks, who helps produce “The Matt Townsend Show”

How to Deal with Being a Perfectionist


by Alyssa Banks, of the Matt Townsend Show


Perfectionism can seem like a good thing when it comes to making sure everything is completed in a seamless manner. However, it can be a real hindrance with progressing. So, today we’re talking about dealing with perfectionism in a healthy way.

1. Work to understand differing opinions before insisting on doing things your own way. Being a perfectionist relates closely with wanting things to look and feel how you believe they should. Taking time to understand another person’s perspective may help you realize there are other, and sometimes better, ways of doing things.

2. Laugh at the things that ultimately don’t matter. There are tasks you need to worry about and stress over when they don’t work out. The majority of dilemmas, though, are not as vital as you might think they are. In addition, many of the outcomes you don’t love can’t be changed. Figure out why the problem occurred, so you can avoid it in the future, but don’t let it continue to bother you.

3. Find the silver linings. Sometimes it seems like I’m looking at all the outcomes that didn’t end up how I planned. When I step back and think about what worked out, it’s usually a longer list than I care to admit.

4. Embrace the unknown. It seems like there is a common theme with perfectionists. They don’t welcome change. By welcoming change, you’ll find your stress level significantly decreasing as you understand things can turn out differently than planned and still be just as great as you expected them to be.

5. Don’t micromanage people. Like you, each person has a certain way of doing things. If a person’s method doesn’t change the overall outcome of a given goal, it’s okay for them to work their own way to achieve the goal.

6. Force yourself to take criticism as a stepping stone rather than an insult. The Huffington Post published an article about perfectionists that said perfectionists tend to take things too personally and be overly defensive when others hint at criticism. Instead of being offended and hurt when someone criticizes your work, make a goal to follow the criticism and improve on something you've always wished you were better at.

7. Be patient. Change is hard, so don’t get discouraged when you aren’t maximizing this entire list every day of your life.


How to Deal with Stress

September 2nd marked the first day of school for BYU students. With that comes all the worries and to-do’s with first days back at school. Here are 5 ways to deal with the stress:

1. Write everything down. Many of my worries come from forgetting the to-do’s I’ve built up in my head. When you think of another to-do, don’t brush it off thinking you’ll remember when you have time. Write it down. While your to-do list will be longer, it will also be more obvious that you’re getting things done as you continuously mark things off.

2. Learn to say no. When you have plenty of items on your plate, saying yes to every favor others ask of you can turn into an overwhelming list of to-do’s quickly.

3. Take time to meditate. According to the Huffington Post, meditating for five minutes each day can increase your attention span. A better ability to focus on tasks will increase your efficiency and lower your stress level.

4. Plan ahead. This gives you more room for error. When you realize you need to turn in a project, finish a paper and participate in an extracurricular activity on a certain day, planning ahead gives you the ability to complete everything and also put 100% into each aspect of your life. The alternative would be scrambling to complete both the project and paper and also missing out on some much needed relaxation time.

5. Talk to a trusted family member or friend. Sometimes blowing off a little steam is healthy and necessary. Find someone you can trust, and tell them how you’re feeling. Be careful not to dwell on the issue. Get your feelings out, and move on. Don’t let your worries control you.


From the desk of Alyssa Banks of “The Matt Townsend Show”

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