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  • Writer's pictureTasha Vong

A Documented Series: Define Success - 2

Updated: 3 days ago

From my last post, I made the plan to volunteer as well as become more active. Luckily through my research, I was able to find a nearby art gallery that needs a volunteer for their archival room. Having experience with my diploma as well as work experience, I believe my skills should be sufficient for them to accept my application.

One thing I recall from one of my previous lectures was about identifying time wasters and overall how do I spend my time. An application I've been using since high school is Life Cycle (FYI this is not sponsored.) It uses the GPS on my phone to track where I am and gives me a variety of charts to show within different time spans where and what I am doing.

For example, last week I had a total commute time of six hours. This is of course due to the fact I use the bus, so leaving 30 mins to an hour early adds up. Additionally I have a total of 85 hours at home, 54 being sleep. Therefore 31 hours at home awake.

That doesn't narrow down the specifics, but does let me know where I am and how much time is going by. I do know thought I spend most hours at home on my PC; gaming, homework, watching shows, streaming and other creative endeavours. Along with that I have a chunk of time for eating, showering, taking care of my cats and other chores.

I have tried many methods of breaking up my time, though I haven't found the most effective one yet. In one of my lectures we talked about The Eisenhower Matrix, a way to define a tasks urgency and importance.

This chart I find is more geared towards work related duties, but can be helpful in a school setting as well.

Another method I tried is time blocking. Using a calendar, in my case, Notion Calendar placing blocks, or events with notifications helps you stay in order and give a little reminder of what your time should be used for. Unfortunately, I find the method overwhelming. My calendar is already quite full of my full time school, part time job and other appointments or streaming days. I also had to make time estimates of how long each task may take and in the case of education, some assignments do take longer due to the nature of learning. I am lucky that I already understand 80% of the program so things are easier, however, other things are a variable on my time.

One method I have used for a while is a To Do List. In my morning I write out a list along with the checkboxes of what needs to be done. It has been the most effective method, but adding timers on my phone also helps in keeping me in check. I have wanted to add the timer concept for a weekly basis, aka using the Reminders application on my phone or setting a mock event in Notion.

There are a few things that have to get done in the month and I've been trying to lessen the load and automate where I can. I recall back in high school one of the catchphrases one of my teachers used to say was "to chip away at your work." I find I binge work on things (which in retrospect is not good for both stressing and sleeping.)

Along with my two goals of starting volunteering this month and starting routinely workouts, I want to do the following:

  • minimize my wardrobe

    • donating and selling

    • having less means less laundry

    • less choice means less time picking an outfit

  • have a weekly cleaning plan for my house

    • mainly just cleaning cat hair, they shed a lot

    • I have an air filter that also should be cleaned more frequently because of the cat hair

  • have my weekends for driving practice

    • this month is my drivers test (wooo!) and I hope to pass the first time, not only for peace of mind but also because my license is expiring (if you're young do your license stuff asap, don't be me!)

To leave you with some knowledge or advice, automation is one of the best things you can do thanks to technology.


  • auto-billing!

    • great for phone bills. subscriptions etc (so long as you check your finances and monthly statements)

  • auto-backups

    • I used to backup photos and files daily, but due to the amount as well as software limitations I stopped. My recommended backup is the Google Suite. Google Photos is an amazing tool for photos and videos. If you use Docs, Sheets etc, then you are already looped into their ecosystem.

  • thermo/lights/smart tech

    • with the power of technology once again, you can save money and time by switching to more technical choices. If you live in an older home like me, some options may be a bit more costly (switching thermos) but things like swapping to smart light bulbs or Roombas (which are good for bungalows) can help you save some bucks. You can automate when lights turn on or off and if you don't have people living in your home that can turn off your lights, you can do it on an app.

  • get rid of junk! (this isn't automation but helps a lot)

    • specifically junk mail, spend the time unsubbing to those mailing lists. I mean when is the next time you're going to shop at that place right? Utilizing the Quick Parts tool in Outlook for example, can help you building emails, archiving, sorting etc.

  • automate the pets!

    • auto feeder, litter box, can save time (I don't have the big bucks for those premium litter boxes, but you can still get a decent one that can help you out.)

Let's see how the next few days take me, so far with recent weekend events, it's been very dry due to my cats suddenly deciding to have a UFC match. I shall update soon, take care.

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