Utilizing Free Time: Guest Post by Sophisticated Student

Hi guys! This week was super hectic with my newspaper being in deadline (check out Laura for a post on that), and I had a great idea for today’s post but didn’t have time to execute it properly (stay tuned for that next week!). I took to Twitter to find a guest blogger and Katie responded – I was so thrilled she was willing to do something so last minute! I absolutely Love Katie’s blog (we’ve bonded over a mutual love of Mindy Kaling), so definitely be sure to check her out. I’m a senior in high school now so I absolutely love reading about her take on college life.

Hey there, I’m Katie from The Sophisticated Student! I’m a new blogger and I share tips and tricks to help you be the most successful, sophisticated student you can be. There’s also some fashion mixed in there too, of course!

You should know that I’m a multitasker. I love it. Sure, it’s been proven by science that multitasking is not actually effective, but I still do it. In this guest post, I’ll share some small things you can do in your free time–whether you’re waiting in a line, on the bus, or have a few minutes in between classes–to increase your productivity and gain some knowledge. Without further ado, let’s begin…


DuoLingo / I love this app. You can learn (almost) any language in a series of short, interactive activities. It has an amazing interface. The activities are short and can be stopped at any time. If you do it daily, during whatever free time you may have, you’ll pick up language skills. I’d say that’s a productive use of free time! Similar apps include Luminosity, Fit Brains, and Elevate…all of which are brain games to sharpen your mind.

TED Talks / If you have ever listened to or watched a TED talk, you’re probably addicted. If you haven’t, watch one and I promise you’ll be addicted! The iHeartRadio app has a station that’s a playlist of TED Talks. I love to listen to these while I walk to class, do the dishes, clean my dorm, workout, go for a run–you get the idea! There is a huge variety of topics, so you’ll learn things you never knew. There are also podcasts for free on the iTunes Podcast app, like NPR, that cover a variety of informative topics.


Exercise / There are SO many short workouts that can be done in no time. Take a few minutes and try one, it increases your energy and gets your blood circulating. If you usually shower in the morning, wake up 15 minutes earlier and do a short workout from Pinterest. If you usually shower at night, do some crunches or burpees while the water heats up!

Network / Have 10 minutes? Send a quick email off to someone in professional circle. Update them on what you’ve been up to, or ask them how their job is going and when an internship will open up (hint hint).


Read / You guys. You HAVE to read. Not only does it expand your vocabulary and help your writing skills, but studies have shown that successful people read daily. If you have an iPhone, get the iBooks app and read a chapter while you eat your breakfast, while you sit on the bike at the gym, etc. (Hint: most libraries now have a digital catalog where you can get electronic books for free, sent to your Kindle) If your eyes aren’t available to read, use your ears! Audible has a massive library of audiobooks, which are perfect to listen to while you work out, run, walk the dog, drive anywhere or walk anywhere. See what I’ve recently read here.


Paint nails / Ah, so maybe this doesn’t expand your mind. But, if you like to have a nice manicure, why not do it while watching a documentary for school? Or reviewing your notes from class? I like to do my nails when I know I’ll be sitting down and do something sedentary for at least an hour. That way my nails can dry while I can still check things off of my to-do list!

Squats/Calf raises / Don’t just do squats when you go to the gym or workout, squeeze them in whenever you can! Squat during an elevator ride, squat while brushing your teeth. Do calf raises, too. Standing in line? Just go up and down on your toes. Do few of these here and there every day and you’ll eventually see results.

Social Media / I love Twitter and Instagram as much as any other person in this world. In fact, I love it too much. I can spend hours…entire…literal…hours on there! It’s a huge waste of time. I try to only check my Instagram and Twitter feed during bathroom time (TMI?). Try it. It’s the perfect amount of time to see what’s happening quickly. If you REALLY want to increase your productivity, go without social media altogether (see Jamie’s post about it).


Meditate / If you have a few minutes, try to find a quiet spot and close your eyes and take few deep breaths. It’s relaxing and rejuvenating. I took this picture on the way to class; I made sure to stop and take a few seconds to appreciate it. I also do a quick-meditation in the elevator (if I don’t feel like squatting). Humans only use a small capacity of our lungs when we normally breathe. Try to take deep, long breaths to fill your lungs up completely!

These are just a few ways to increase your productivity. What kind of multitasking do you? I’m curious, let me know in the comments!

Of course, I have to thank Jamie for giving me the chance to guest post!

-Katie from The Sophisticated Student

P.S. All pictures are from my Instagram; I love Instagram…fun fact, that’s where I found Jamie!

I love Katie’s instagram too! Again, thank you to Katie so much for taking the time out of her busy schedule to do this. I absolutely loved this post and learned so much from it – I hope you all did too! Definitely make sure to check out Katie’s links, her blog is so great and definitely needs to be added to your everyday blog roll.

Katie: website / twitter / instagram

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2 Responses to Utilizing Free Time: Guest Post by Sophisticated Student

  1. Katie says:

    Aw, you’re so sweet! This looks great, I’m so glad we’re working together :)

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