Week In My Life Part 1

Sunday Night 

My most productive weeks start on Sunday night. I try to finish up laundry, dishes cooking that I started over the weekend, pack and plan for the week.

I usually start with making sure all of my classes and meetings are in my planner and then I figure out when my big blocks of time are and when I have only 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

I also review my running to-do list and figure out what has to be done this week and what else I think I can get done and make a to-do list for the week. 

I usually don’t plan out the whole week because as things change and team meetings happen throughout the week, I can never stick to the full schedule I planned on Sunday night. Instead, I list my top 3 priorities for the next day.  I usually do top 3 or the time im at work and then top 3 for before or after work (going to the store, sending emails, things like that).

This week, my Monday top 3 for work are benchmarking and plots for a project I am working on and updating my weekly report that I neglected over the break. 

I packed my gym bag and a lunch of random leftovers and went to bed by 10.


What I practiced: Not being busy for the sake of being busy. Recognizing easier days and using them to incorporate extra rest.

Monday I got up around 6 and went to the rec center on campus. I drive about 10 minutes to campus and park in a nearby neighborhood and walk about 10 minutes to campus.

I worked out from 7-8:15 showered and got ready and walked to my lab building a little before 9.

Every Monday we have a lab group meeting with my advisor so I spend about 2 hours working and then go to the meeting at 11. We talked a little bit about Spring semester planning but spent a good part of the hour talking about the goals we had set for winter break. We each talked about what goals we had set and what we had learned from the process. Some people talked about dividing goals up into those that could be accomplished while traveling and those that had to be done in the office. I talked about how I had spent some unnecessary time finding papers when I could have talked to a senior student who had already done some literature review in the same area. 

After the meeting, I ate lunch with one of the other girls in my lab and then worked until 2 . I had class from 2-3:15 with 2 other people from my lab group. I’m taking Microelectronic Integrated Circuit Fabrication which is cross-listed as an undergrad and graduate class. 

After class I went back and worked for about another hour and then headed home around 4:30. I don’t always leave that early but I had gotten a lot of work done and was getting hungry. One thing I’m working on is not pressuring myself to work harder than I have to. I know there will be days when I have to stay really late so on days where I can leave a little earlier I take advantage of it. 

I went home and had pasta with some leftover veggies and watched an episode of The Office. I uploaded my videos showing my day to Instagram, started this blog post and worked through the rest of a planning exercise I had started to set goals specifically for SHE engineered.


What I practiced: Flexibility, 

This morning I skipped working out and instead slept till 7. I usually try to work out 5 days a week so I have some flexibility if I’m really sore or just want to get some extra sleep. I got to work around 9 and spent about time going through some old notes and adding meeting notes to my weekly report. I still don’t have a very organized system for notes but I’m working on it. 

During my lunch break, I started this blog post and answered some questions for https://scicommforeveryone.com/ and answered some emails. I spent the rest of the afternoon finishing up the benchmarking spreadsheets and had a brief meeting with the other 2 students who are working on the same project. 

I moved my car closer to campus around 5 and then went to the Grad SWE meeting. We did some icebreakers, talked about committees and upcoming events and then went out for tacos together. SWE was such a big part of my life during undergrad and I’m really excited that UVA Grad SWE is organizing social and outreach events this semester! 

I got home around 8 and unpacked and made lunch for the next day (leftover pasta). I watched some of The Office while I posted my day to Instagram stories and went to bed around 10:30.


What I’m practicing: Taking advantage of motivation

Today I woke up around 6 feeling super motivated to finish this blog and start putting together some posts and materials for SHE engineered. I had originally planned to work out in the morning but, since my afternoon was free, decided to wait until then and work during the morning while I was motivated. I had 2 hours of focused work and it was great! I got to the lab around 9 and started work on a tutorial our group has for digital design. I spent about an hour downloading software and reading through the tutorial then had a meeting about the undergrads we work with. Last semester another grad student I helped 6 freshmen get started in research. They did some things like collecting temperature data to learn about the amount of thermal energy we could potentially harvest from different surfaces, and analyze solar data to see how much energy would be available at different times of the day. 2-3 of these students will be continuing this semester so we just had a planning meeting to figure out what their next steps in the process would be.  

Right after that, I went to a 1.5 hour project planning meeting. This project includes some of the things I am hoping to work on but Is a much larger effort so I was mostly there to listen and learn.

I wrapped this up on my lunch break and I’m planning to post the rest of my week in my Instagram story @sheengineded. I’ll also be blogging the rest of the week and post that on Sunday so stay tuned!

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