10 Ways to Take a Productive Break

There are tons of blog posts recently about how taking mini-breaks is actually productive. I’ve been thinking….what if I want to take lengthy breaks? How can I make that productive?

1. Sporcle.  It may sound like a weird dance move but it is actually a quiz website (that you can waste time on while being productive).


My personal favorites are naming U.S. presidents, states, and capitals. I’ve even learned how to name ALL of the countries from the “Countries of the World” quiz.

2. Check the news! Knowing what is happening in the world around you is valuable. Whether you are reading about U.S. politics or another crisis in Egypt, the news is productive (as long as it’s not ENews)!

3. Pick out your outfits for the week. Put on your own fashion show in your bedroom! Picking your outfits out is not only fun but will save you time for the rest of the week.

4. ORGANIZE your Pinterest. Stop just scrolling through Pinterest and actually go through your boards; delete ones you haven’t pinned on in ages (or at all), edit pins that ended up on the wrong board, and change those irrelevant descriptions from other users.


One cluttered wedding board? Nope! I have 5; engagement, food, ideas, decorations, and wardrobe.

5. Make lists. Lists are fun….and even if you don’t complete everything on them they still help you structure your thoughts.

6. Read a Classic Book Online. There are different websites where you can read ebooks for free but my personal favorite is Project Gutenberg.

download alice06 finn

7. Talk to someone you haven’t in a while.

8. Play a strategy-based board game. My favorites are Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, and Civilization. Heck! if you can, make the board game giant!


Blog post coming soon: How My Friends and I Made Giant Settlers of Catan

9. Go out. Go out with co-workers, study partners, peers….bonding is important.


Going to the beach is productive if we call it executive board bonding, right?

10. Blog! Blog! Blog!


Planning for a Student Organization

My RHA planner has everything I need (from event dates to bidding deadlines to when the executive board should bring up issues).

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When planning for a large student organization like RHA, I have a few rules:

1. Every executive board member should have an agenda.

2. You need to consider EVERYTHING.

3. Every plan should have a back up plan.

Things can easily start to fall apart when you don’t bring things up soon enough or when there is no plan B.


Here is my short list of things to consider:

1.  When to send emails (plenty of time in advance)

2.  Event dates

3. Scheduling discussion for event logistics (about 1 month ahead of time)

4. Affiliation deadlines and dates

5. University deadlines and dates (i.e. student org registration, student org training, student activities fair, etc.)

6. The academic calendar (holidays, academic breaks and dates, etc.)

7. Member and advisor birthdays

8. Member and advisor vacations/trips

9. Conference and business meeting dates

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After considering all this you’ll have lots of dates, so here are my other suggestions:

1. Color code! Highlight, use colored pens, used colored sticky notes, whatever!

My categories are executive board, general assembly, university events, important deadlines, philanthropic opportunities, community council events, and other.

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2. Use flags! Flag EVERY page with pending to-dos and issues. If you don’t, you’ll forget to re-visit.

3. Use the extra pages in the agenda! Most agendas have contact info and notes pages, use them!

4. Make a weekly checklist.

Mine has update OrgSync/Website with new dates, plan executive board and general assembly schedules, pin using the RHA Pinterest, and update Facebook and Twitter among other things.

5. Make a social media calendar (include event dates, holidays, academic breaks, etc. for easy posting).

Here is a sample of mine:


So, I started a blog…

….this makes me one of a million other cool kids; let me say that I am glad to have joined the club.

Naturally, I’ve spent the last few days searching the web for blogging tip after blogging tip. I’ve developed a general list:

  • Find a niche.
  • Create a memorable tagline
  • Pick a clever name/url
  • Start posting in a unique way
  • Use common keywords

For the first time in my life, however, I am NOT going to follow all the guidelines and work to be the best. This blog is simply meant to be a true representation of me (a Lauren-sion or extension of myself if you will). I’ll admit it now: I am no master blogger or HTML coding expert. I am just a very organized young lady who is interested in student affairs and politics.

What else can I say about myself? I am a child of the 90s and currently in my third year (and hopefully last) as an undergraduate student at Grand Valley State University. I have a double major in Political Science and Economics. I want to go into student affairs – but then again I’ve always been set on law school. At least I know one thing for sure….I am a great administrator.

As the fabulous ESTJ that I am, I excel at my position as President of Grand Valley’s Residence Housing Association. Our mission is “Collaborating with the Grand Valley student body as well as Residence Life, in order to personalize and enhance the college experience through active involvement, community service, and unique programming and leadership opportunities.” We’re also affiliated with the state, regional, and national organizations, respectively; MORHA, GLACURH, and NACURH.

In my enormous amount of free time (outside class and RHA), I find time to work in GVSU’s Pew Campus Operations department as an office assistant. I do all the general clerical work a person thinks of when imagining an office assistant but I have some special projects too. I organize crazy amounts of papers and binders and order the janitorial/office supplies.

My BIGGEST concern/focus, like every other undergrad, however, is getting a job after graduation.

In this blog, I plan to write about student organizations, student affairs, politics, organization, and my job search efforts. I expect my purpose will mold itself and change as my blog grows. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!