I'm using the template I used the last time. 13/08/21 - 11/09/21
"L" will stand for the (last) plan/notes for this term. "T" will stand for done this term.
I added "Future goals/direction" to better reflect on the things I am trying to do and to add specificity. I will copy it and stick it somewhere where I can see it to remind myself whenever I feel aimless. I will also use different colors: blue for newly added goals/habits, green for completed/successful, orange for ongoing/some progress and red for ones I haven't worked on in that period.
L: I read the book about homeless people, their stories and advice for life. I also read the "Animal Farm". It was very catchy and I read it in one sitting, even though I was dead tired by the time I finished it at night. I started on Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment".
T: I finished Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" (in English). It is a well-written book, gripping and divided into chapters that could be read in about 30 minutes. I've been reading a lot of finance/lifestyle blogs to have inspiration for my own blog posts. Zero on the newsletters, but that's OK.
Continue getting through the newsletters.
(Borrow) and read one book until the next monthly report.
L: My brother is nice to hang out with and my father is a reliable and I can count on him with anything, though he is sometimes too hotheaded. I went for sushi with my brother two weeks ago and it was cool.
Things are more difficult with my mom and grandma. I spend several hours a month alone with my grandma. I think she sometimes has the "victim" complex in a way that she did XYZ for other people and they didn't do anything back for her or don't understand her (without her asking).
I can't help but feel that she also distorts my ability to have an opinion on my mom and that I see my mom as a caricature. That's not to say they dislike each other - my mom visits my grandma regularly and that wouldn't happen if they weren't on good terms. Weirdly enough, I think my mom is the family member I know the least.
As I wrote earlier, I went for sushi with my brother and his girlfriend. We had a family meeting yesterday and it was actually quite engaging compared to how it is normally.
T: Nothing special this month.
NOT: I don't want to get alienated from my family.
Continue working on bettering the relationships with my family.
L: I'm roughly halfway through the internship (60/120 hours). I'll list the pros and the cons of it as I see it:
+ The people there are chill, helpful and the atmosphere overall is relaxed. That's a big positive. I remember this was not the case during my final months in the army, though I understand I was quite an idiot four years ago and the degree to which it was self-imposed could be debated.
- I'm not sure of the importance of the assignment I am working on now. We finished the greenery mapping and digitization of it last week. This week, I worked on correcting some data formally in GIS (editing polygons, dealing with overlaps). Although the guys around me agree that the data source is dubious and sometimes outright wrong, they say we need to work with the data we've been given. It's just hard for me to seriously work on something I don't find the purpose/reason in.
- The office environment overall is distracting (not for me now, because I do mundane tasks and sometimes I have to ask others for some help), as people go around the rooms and talk. Sometimes it's work-related, sometimes it isn't, yet my workplace there is hardly ever quiet. Compared to the high-focus classes of English that I usually have (45-60-90 minute classes; except when the students are working on some grammar exercise, I need to go to the toilet etc.), the office environment seems like an unfocused dungeon to me.
T: 100/120 hours now, so 20 hours remaining of the internship. Granted I'll be away the whole next week and the week after the uni (and more courses) start, I'm happy I managed to do most of it by now. I have the schedule for the uni already. No searching of sources for the masters' because internship takes precedence.
NOT: I don't want to drop out of the university.
Find an internship for summer.
Find more sources for my upcoming masters' thesis during the summer.
Work on the assignments in a timely manner.
L: The work has been slower as expected, though I still do maintain about 10 lessons a week. I picked up a few new courses too. I'm currently working through a lot of ideas/concepts I accumulated during my holiday last week. I got a new font for my website too, so that's something! Not as many classes, but I worked on the website and other various small improvements. Gonna have to take some pictures with students.
T: I finished some small improvements on the website. I also got checked out some materials from the uni business courses I got in June. However it seems I won't be able to attend these continuation bi-weekly seminars due to a collision in my own uni schedule.
In other news, the work will be plentiful. Some students are coming back after the summer break and my schedule is quite packed, especially together with the university. It should work out though, I don't think I need to drop any courses.
NOT: I don't want to have a job that I don't enjoy. I don't want to have a job that is not well paid.
Take pictures with my F2F students for the website.
Keep asking for reviews or recommendations from students.
Create a client persona for both B2B and B2C.
Update my website to reflect the new ideas and inspiration from the web.
Look into strategies in becoming truly self-employed by skipping the agencies in between.
Check out a few more seminars on how to run online courses. / English research
L: A lot of walking as a part of the internship and regular short-distance cycling as a part of getting to the internship and classes. Cycled 80 kilometers total to the cottage at the weekend trip.
T: Some walking and cycling, although I am not sure if that's enough. Some days I don't do either. Gotta think about this more.
NOT: I don't want to become fat.
Keep in shape.
T: IMPORTANT - I thrive when I have an equal partner in a relationship. I also have experience to see obvious red flags contrary to that a mile away. In a relationship, I can be sometimes condescending or arrogant. I know what I want in a relationship. I won't sell myself short in a relationship.
Look around and relax. I have done well.
Set up at least two dates a month.
Digital maintenance, new info after a month written in blue, two months after in green:
The plan is to get rid of or reduce the usage following apps and websites. I will include cases why they might be useful and why I have had them so far:
Instagram app - deleted. I have a few acquaintances there, but they're mostly foreigners and hardly anyone writes me there. If my friends have it, I have other means of contacting them too. Deleted the account a week ago completely, there's just no point in having it. Deleted.
News webpages - blocked. I use them merely as a source of fun, due to their comment sections. I hardly ever come across an article that I would be genuinely interested in (maybe one in a hundred or a thousand). The same will go for "Wiki/Current events" - even though it's a healthier alternative to consume news, it might sway me, so I'll get rid of it too for now. No point in having these around either, the blocks stay. Blocked still.
Facebook - limited. I used to justify keeping FB around for scoping events in the area, but I can't remember when was the last time I actually used it that way before coming to Prague (I was looking for events there, as I am not local). Computer blocked and I have never had the app on the phone. I use the website for Marketplace (for room/flat rent) and sometimes events. I catch myself fairly quickly if I notice myself scrolling. Checking more than I'd like on my phone, but not spending much time on it, as I always catch myself.
YT - limited. I listen to music on YT, so I won't block it completely, however I am going to block/reduce the main page to prevent me from scrolling it. YT works well with my interests overall, but I noticed I just rely on it to entertain me more than I'd like. I'll peek on the main page, go through my followed channels and pick out videos I want to watch that they made the last month. No stream watching. I actually watched a guy stream before this month, though he usually streamed only for an hour or two. It was because he switched from making videos to streaming; I don't think I would start watching him if he only streamed in the first place. Going to YT every few weeks and opening up select videos works for me. I generally have many other things to do than to spend time watching YT videos, so the videos sit open in tabs for days or weeks.
The blocks will apply on my desktop computer and notebook. I'm gonna have only one browser on them with a blocking add-on installed.
My phone will be "unlimited", mostly as I am not really used to using it that much (not having mobile data helps a lot) and in case I actually DO need to use the blocked services above. I also have a "Digital Wellbeing" widget on the home-screen of my phone, showing me how much time I spent on each app.
This is definitely not the first plan I devised for this area of my life. I actually have it partially in effect on my desktop computer at home already. This is just a thought out update of the plan put into words.
What to do if I am bored?
Replacement activities for 1 hour: reading, cleaning, washing the dishes, learning languages, learning programming
Replacement activities for 2 hours: going to the gym, going for a walk
My hobbies are: personal finance, gunnery, GIS/statistics, reading/videos about (modern) history, English, blogging and geography.
I do not want to be lonely.
I'm intentionally putting a very broad classification here, because I don't know how my friends or romances are going to look like a year from now. All I know is that long-term isolation is deadly and that I want to have meaningful relationships.
I do not want to become addicted again.
All of the things above got a lot better once I stopped gaming several hours a day and dozens of hours a week. Time to time, I encounter a game with a strong pull on my psyche. I don't know if there's anything else that could have such a pull on me that would also be good for me. Who knows.
This month, I did these cool activities: spending time on trips with my girlfriend, reading about personal finance, taking part in social events, meeting friends, working on my business, going to the shooting range, blogging.
Things that are probably somewhat unusual about me work-wise (possibly a concept for a blog article could come out of this):
I actually do enjoy doing some routine and mundane tasks in general. People often ask me if I want to teach English forever, if it's not stifling or boring. I honestly tell them I don't know if I want to teach English forever and that it's the best job I've had so far. I could always up my English more by taking only more advanced students to teach to force me to study and prepare more.
I get why people ask this, especially if they are more of the creative sort. I understand they want a job they can learn a lot from. I'm going to be a bit counter-cultural here; learning is not without forgetting. Learning for the sake of learning is not a must for everyone, but for a few people who take it up as a hobby. There's just no way to do everything at the same time.
My great curse of the past became a great gift of the present. I spend thousands of hours at the computer, yet I learnt English well enough to build up on that and turn it into my job.
Good learning doesn't exist without rote. Good language learning is very much something for people who love rote; it changes slowly and there's an "infinite" number of words, combinations etc.
Learning how to work in a GIS software after a year? You'll be lucky a) to remember the basics after not working with it for a year, but also b) to find the same/similar layout/version of the program as you left.
That's why I have hobbies, I try out things in my off-time and if I enjoy them very much, I might do them more often and monetize them. That's my creative time, free of charge. I revel in calculating and optimizing my taxes over and over again, trying to find out if I can save more in a legal way. I also enjoy working in the GIS, just drawing polygons on hours on end. Maybe even to be a shooting instructor?
To sum it up, I've worked a job I didn't enjoy in the past. But nobody knows better than I do what jobs are those.
New! Addon 2:
I enjoy writing articles, however I am not enjoying the process of how to actually set up the blog, whether I should try and make some money off of it. I think I will, but I won't go on writing e-books, providing courses and whatnot. Just a few affiliate links for the services I like. This allows me to focus on writing and not fret over something I don't even know I want to do. This reminded me of what @BooksandTrees once wrote - hobbies are not work.
Moving got canceled, we'll see how it goes. I want my own room though. I'm willing to change my location for that and to pay a bit extra. I did some room reorganization in case I do have a roommate for a while.
There are tentative plans to meet the Georgian girl again in a few months. I'd like to combine it together with some Erasmus+ project as well.
Got appetite for writing, either here on GQ or on my blog.
Weekends have been slower, no trips the last few weeks. Going to Hungary for a week for the EGEA meeting though, so that should make up for it 🙂