Designing my summer

Lifestyle design has been a major interest ever since I realised that I’m probably not thriving in life but merely living. Most aspects of this boil down to self-awareness and knowing what you truly want. This has led me to make a drastic decision like quitting my internship because it didn’t excite me enough.

Am I too young to be picky about the work I’ve been given? Maybe. Have I made the wrong decision? Maybe. Would I have made the same decision again? Yes. So, all that’s left to do now is to think about what I’m going to do with this goldmine of time in an engineering student’s life.

My long term goals that I want to focus on right now:

  • To be good at Engineering Design to enable me to make products that enhance people’s lives.
  • To be as healthy as possible (mind and body).
  • To learn from as many experiences as possible.

These long term goals can be boiled down to simpler medium term goals:

  • Get into a good graduate course involving Engineering Design.
  • Read and learn as much as possible. (do these have a time-frame?)

These can be further boiled down to these short-term goals:

  • Do well on the GRE. (Average GPA. Can’t have average test scores as well.)
  • Learn about UX/UI principles from a technical standpoint. I’ve always wanted to make good websites as I believe that having a great website is more important than having a sweet app as it’s easily accessible and it can used from pretty much any device with a browser. So, I’m thinking
  • Work on some projects that require some thinking about User Interaction with hardware elements. I’ve been fascinated by the ESP chip series which is like an Arduino except so much better. IoT devices? Controlling things without even touching them? That’s magic. Engineers are basically magicians.

Productivity is not my forte. How can I fix that? How can I be more effective? These are questions that hound my mind all the time.

To fix it, I’ve set up an experiment. I’m going to treat all of it like a 9–5 job. That’s about 8 hours of work including the lunch hour. Considering I’m at home and I don’t have a commute, I should be able to squeeze out some more productivity (that’s what I tell myself all the time at least). 3 short term goals, 8 hours. I’m going to leave the time allotment to each goal open as constricting that would be a major break if/when I hit my flow state(how many times have you heard this word?).

That’s the basic template for now. This post was an attempt to illustrate the process of how someone should go about designing their day. We often forget about the big picture and do things that don’t add up. Starting with the long-term goals (Why?) enables us to boil it down to the medium term (How?) and further to short term (What?) goals.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

This is not to say that any of my goals are final. These are just the goals that I have set for myself when I was in an inspired positive-state and I didn’t hate my life. I set goals when I’m in that state and I try to stick to them regardless of motivation. I only make changes to my goals when I’m feeling inspired and positive again.

Don’t set or change goals when you’re feeling low. Just stick to it regardless of the motivation. Your positive side will thank you for it.