A little background of myself, I am currently in my senior bachelor's degree year, with an ongoing part-time job, while being the president of a club. It certainly wasn’t easy to take care of all those while ensuring my mental and physical health.
Frankly speaking, I’m not the to-do kind of person, I don’t list down what I want to do every day.
Rather, every Sunday, I’ll leave a mental note (yeah, not a physical note) to myself on the goals to achieve for every side of my life. If they are urgent, I write them down.
I know that life does not go smoothly, bugs may creep up and I need to fix them immediately, lecturers announcing tests, or my car may break down anytime, so I decided to go along the flow, with the general direction of accomplishing the goals.
Sounds lame, huh? No sticky notes, journals, or whatsoever, this is how a messy guy manages his life, but it’s been working well for me!
Doing the Tasks
So, how do I exactly settle the goals? Well, most of the time it follows where my heart goes as long as the direction is right.
I have about 18 hours of classes each week, and including commute time, I probably spend at least 22 hours per week on lecture classes.
However, thanks to my learning habit, I was already familiar with several things that were to be covered during the classes. This has allowed me to focus on other tasks during classes (I know it’s probably not good) and read on the slides afterward.;
Wasting No Time
As long as I’m bringing my laptop with me, I can do my tasks anytime, anywhere. That’s how I try to use every available time possible.
During the breaks, during the commute (sometimes), and at home, if possible, I’d continue to work on whatever I’ve left off earlier.
Getting into Zone
I believe I saw this in many places, starting to do something is the hardest part and yes, it applies to me too.
As long as I put myself into the work, I’d be able to focus for a long time till I’m done with my tasks. Of course, this doesn’t apply to everything, it mostly concerns the programming part.
However, non-programming tasks are harder to focus on for me, like doing written assignments and listening to lectures.
My This Week
I’ll show how it went by this week.
For part-time, I was supposed to finish up authentication, and user settings.
For university, I needed to contact lecturers to seek advice for my Final Year Project & attending every class for attendance. (Assignment season hasn’t arrived 🤥)
For my club, I had to write a weekly report, and review the preparation for this Saturday’s events.
For my website, I wanted to finish the remaining parts this week.
Lastly, for myself, I wanted to read more and do more exercises.
Phew, quite a few things there.
What about priority, you ask? It’s a very simple one, Results > Part-time> Club > Me. My main goal now is still to maintain my >3.7 CGPA to get first-class results.
One thing for sure is that the part-time job is a continuous commitment, I must spend several hours per day doing them, but at least the timing is more flexible.
Meanwhile, I have to attend every class in university, but as online is still a viable option, I chose to attend virtually except for certain specific classes to save more time.
Club work is more towards a responsibility, as I was being trusted with the work, I ought to give my best, I’d spend up to 6 hours per week sometimes, dealing with meetings, and other stuff related to the club.
Finally, I didn’t want to drag my website any further, so I decided to spend more time finishing it up too.
As I said, I can’t focus equally well on all tasks, primarily, non-programming tasks. I do get distracted myself.
More often than not, I’d start browsing social media like Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, and even GitHub Explore, to procrastinate and distract myself.
Honestly, it might not be all bad for me. I don’t get distracted when I’m having a lot of ideas, but during which I don’t know how to progress. It usually won’t take more than a few mins, though, then I’d get back to my work.
On the other hand, I’ve been more concerned about this issue recently.
Sometimes stress will just creep up, and I’d get anxious about not being to finish anything. Luckily, as things get lesser recently (this happened when I was doing two internships), this doesn’t happen as much.
I do worry that it’ll come up again as university assignments begin to pop up.
Anyways, I believe that as long as I can cope with it, it’ll be all well, and in the end, the results will be more rewarding.
And finally, what did I get from all this hard work?
While most of my peers just had a four-month internship experience, I managed to accumulate over a year’s development experience. Not just in terms of job prospects, but these experiences have widened my horizon in the field.
Skills & Knowledge
Well, not just from work experience, but reading as well has brought me a significant amount of knowledge. I grew a lot just within a year, and it has been almost a different person compared to myself a year ago.
Along the way, I met many interesting people. Some guided me, some became teammates, and I might have guided the others. They have brought a different tint to my life and though some may have parted, they’re always in the memory.
Finally, this is the tangible reward that I can feel every month without much explanation needed 🤑.
Do I Regret it?
No, not at all. I believe that somewhere in the future, I’ll be grateful for what I’ve done during this time!