Managing Space and Time in a Pandemic (Part 2)
(If you’re a normal person who likes to read things in order, go to Part 1 on managing space).
My timetable is a much emptier than it was last year.
It is freeing. It is terrifying!
This year is really shaping up to be a test in time management. Not only do I have fewer timetables sessions (but more work), but also because of blurring time and space boundaries between work and home.
Here are some things I’ve been grappling with:
Creating clear boundaries between studying and relaxing (where possible)
When there’s about a half meter distance between my desk and my bed, it’s very difficult to separate my work and relaxation space. As such, I think it’s even more important to separate my work time and relaxation time.
Where possible (making allowances for that rush just before a deadline) I want to avoid working after dinner. I’ve dedicated my time after dinner to doing relaxing and creative things like digital art and writing this blog post.
Why do I do this? Because I don’t want to dream about implementing an abstract syntax tree in C++ – because sweet dreams are NOT made of this.
Managing millions (okay, maybe not millions) of calendars
I’m not sure how someone can live without a calendar right now.
My department’s approach to Covid-themed learning has been a mix of asynchronous and synchronous online lectures, as well as both face-to-face and online labs. For a Warwick DCS student, there are two main calendars that really matter: our timetables on Tabula, and our Office365 calendars.
It took some time to get used to. At first, I found my timetable highly sus and was constantly paranoid about missing something. But now I think I’m sorting my life out.
How? By combining my calendars to make a MEGA SUPER-DUPER calendar of all calendars. A superior sort of calendar.
I have imported my Tabula timetable into Office365, and also included personal events.
See the dark green stuff? That’s from Tabula. I’ve added stuff around it, including times for when I’m going to watch my asynchronous lectures. Also, because we use Microsoft Teams for our synchronous online lectures and labs, as well as general meetings, these automatically get put into the calendar (see the things in blue).
I would 110% recommend doing this, as it makes life so much easier!
Calendars, I’ve found, aren’t that good for deadlines – perhaps for really big ones, but for small things like watching some asynchronous lectures by a certain date? Nah.
Enter Trello, stage left.
I’ve mentioned Trello before as part of my studying application toolkit, but I’ll do it again because it’s just so good.
(I’ve just realised that I used a pug for the cover photo of that blog post as well, and can I assure you that was not deliberate at all! It just appears that there are many pug stock photos on the internet)
This year, having a Trello board has been an absolute lifeline for keeping track of which asynchronous lectures I watched, as well as for managing other deadlines. I’m going to just show you what it looks like, rather than wax poetic about it:
As you can see, I’ve created lists for all my modules and set small deadlines. It really helps in keeping track of what I’ve done and what I need to do.
And oh, would you look at that! I need to catch up on some lectures. Better wrap up this blog post.
Especially as we head into a national lockdown (again), best of luck with managing your space and time. It’s hard, and despite everything I’ve written I keep slipping behind, but on the other hand just imagine how amazing we will all be at managing stuff after this pandemic is over?