So, you’ve found yourself in a low place. You might have failed a big test, or gotten a bad peer review on a project, and your world honestly feels like it’s crushing you into a human jelly. We get it, and we’ve all been there. Unfortunately, that feeling isn’t uncommon for adults, either, and it’s something that we all need to work on, even if it’s just one slice after another. The good news is that, even though that dark space in your mind and body feels pretty intense, it’s not the end of your journey, and it’s definitely not the last time that you can tackle that project. Here’s how you can get that motivation back:

Step 1: Breathe.

What happened, happened, and you can’t go back and change the fact that it did. (If you can retake a test, great, but not everyone is so lucky.) Clear your mind with some deep breathes, because you’re just getting warmed up, and all the world’s going to see your determination and dedication.

Step 2: Understand the Problem.

This is probably the hardest part of everything, because you need to humble yourself enough to analyze what went wrong the first time. Did you study enough? Was there something on your mind? What answers got away from you and why? Another question to ask yourself is: “Do I care?” If you don’t care about what you’re doing, then you’re going to put out sub par work and effort. Should you completely hate the subject and have only a legal obligation to complete it, then find a silver lining; what will completing this task gain you?

Step 3: Make a Game Plan.

Once you’ve discovered the issue from the first failure, then build a solid way to carry your new goal home. Realized you didn’t study enough? Set aside a specific time for studying each day so that it doesn’t get away from you. Did your nerves get the best of you during your recital? Try practicing in front of more people each day, and tell yourself every day with a new inspirational quote or two that you’ve got this!

Step 4: Rock It.

Plain and simple — own your next task, project, test, recital, whatever. You got this. We are all human, and subject to setbacks at one point or another, because no one is perfect. Take the ashes of your last failure and use them to birth the phoenix that is your next triumph.

We could all use a little more productivity in our lives, because we all have goals and tasks to complete. Truth be told, though, we have our moments where we just stare at our work, shrug our shoulders, and think, “Nah, not right now/today/tonight/this week.” Distractions — natural or man-made — play into our own human desire for procrastination, and next thing we know, it’s too late! So, here are five of our tips on how to increase your productivity:

1. Sleep well.

Sleep is pretty much the biggest factor in any form of productivity; if you don’t get enough of it, you’ll find your mind wandering, clutching at anything that isn’t the task at hand. Or maybe you’ll just say you’re too tired and turn in for the night. Either way, getting the proper amount of sleep is key!

2. Stay hydrated.

That means water. Coffees and other things are fine, but the sugar content is too high most of the time, and will send your brain bouncing off the walls like a cat who’s just rolled in a pile of catnip. Then the crash comes, and you’re too tired to carry on. Drinking water will keep your mind sharp, and your body healthy!

3. Take frequent breaks.

Pro tip: use your bathroom breaks to stretch out your limbs and get the energy flowing. Small, five to ten minute breaks have proven to be beneficial for productivity, because your brain isn’t meant to concentrate for long hours at a time! They’ve adopted this practice in schools with long class sessions, so why not adopt it for the workplace?

4. Set aside the smartphone.

Your phone is one of your biggest distractions, because a lot of your life is on it; we’re not saying the phone is bad, but it definitely can cause a problem when a task needs to be completed. Put your phone on vibrate (so you can hear it in the case of emergency), throw it in a bag or in a desk drawer, mute all of your social media notifications (especially if you have to use it on your computer), and focus on your task at hand. This is something that can’t be brought out during your breaks, but can definitely be used at your lunch!

5. Set self-imposed deadlines.

While your tasks and projects may not have deadlines, setting them yourself (even setting a reminder or two on mobile and digital devices, as well as leaving physical notes around your work space) will push you to get it done at that time. You can trick your mind into thinking that the deadline was set up by someone else with the constant reminders, and you will automatically make it something to get done that day.

What other ways do you make yourself more productive? Let us know in the comments!

It’s hard to believe that school is just about ready to start up again. While you might be disappointed, you can’t deny that there’s a certain type of joy that comes with buying all of your supplies for the year again — because they’re not just supplies; they’re a form of (albeit contained) self expression. The real trick, though, is getting everything organized for a new year — and keeping it organized. We know the struggle, so here are our five tips on how to keep yourself organized for the upcoming school year!

1. Always clean up after yourself.

We totally understand that, by the end of the day, you’r just ready to get out of there, but if you time it right, you can keep your desk clean for the next day, which will save you a whole lot of time in the long-run! No more digging through papers and pencils and handouts just for one small thing!

2. Binders.

Oh, how binders just make the world a better place. They’re a gift to human kind. They might be bulky, but trust us, these bad boys are worth it. Make sure to find one with color-coordinated tabs for easy access. Can’t find one of those? That’s fine! Grab a regular binder and a bunch of cheap, single-sleeve folders.

3. Color code everything.

We’re not even kidding. Pick a designated color for each subject, and write that subject in big letters so you can see. Eventually, you won’t need to search, because you’ll just know that purple means English, and green means science. (That’s just an example; it’s obviously your choice.) Depending on your classroom rules, try color coding your pens and highlighters, too.

4. Get yourself a pencil case.

Please, for your own sanity, get yourself a pencil case. Not only that, but fill them up with as much as you can, because pencils and pens and highlighters magically disappear during class. Make sure your pencils are the good #2 kind, and not those pencils covered in a plastic design — those are not only of poor quality, but they also clog up the pencil sharpener.

5. Don’t procrastinate when it comes to cleaning up/out your desk.

Keeping a clean work station not only makes it easier for you to concentrate on your work, but it also gives you the confidence to apply your no-procrastination skills to other things in your life.

What are your favorite ways to stay organized during the school year? Let us know in the comments!

Summer camps are oftentimes a dream come true for a passionate hobbyist; to be surrounded by and learn about your favorite hobby is something we all would — and should — love to do. There are camps for sports, art, and even hunting! It would only make sense that there are camps for coding — and, luckily, we offer many different types! Here are our reasons why we think you should definitely go to coding summer camp:

Camps offer a specific focus on a subject that may peak your interest.

There are many different camps that we offer, such as WebRox, which is a camp for ages ten (10) and up and focuses on website coding; Mobile Madness, which is for ages nine (9) and up and focuses on mobile app development; and Rise of the Machines, a camp for ages nine (9) and up that works on AI – Artificial Intelligence – for beginners. Those are just a few! We have camps for older school age kids, as well as the younger group — ages six through eight (6-8).

Fostering a sense of community is a driving factor behind why camps are so successful.

You will meet so many similar-minded friends in our week-long camps, which are all about a six-to-one (6:1) ratio. Meaning you will get to have close conversations and work with all of your camp-mates. Our passionate instructors will help you with not only a lot of on-computer learning, but also get you moving with offline coding activities. Think of it like a really fun school week (our camps are usually 9am – 3pm). While our goal is to teach you, we also want you to have fun, and walk away with a new sense of community! Being part of the coding world is two parts coding, one part friends, so we won’t take that lightly!

There’s nothing like walking away from one of these camps with a new skill tucked away in your brain.

It boost your confidence not only in your craft (which is coding), but also in yourself because you did it! At the end of the camp (Friday), we have a demo of your creations to show to everyone. Now that you’ve shown off your creation, learned how to utilize the software or skill, you can take it and use it for future projects, or bring it back next year for another camp!

So if you want to learn a new skill, meet new people and make new friends, and give yourself a huge confidence boost knowing you conquered this new skill in just a week — check out our camps page. We hope to see you there!