Optimizing Time in the Workspace

So this week’s prompt is all about time management… and so shall this blogpost. And although the prompt specifically asks for time management at the internship, but I’m actually going to start with the time outside of it. The number one trick to managing time for me is accounting for the time that it takes to get to the office. Our lodging is in Kurfürstendamm which is on the Western side of Berlin and my host company’s office is in Kreuzberg, the up-and-coming district in Eastern Berlin, and although there isn’t a pesky wall splitting the two sides of the city nowadays it still takes some time to travel. So far, I’ve found a couple of ways to get there. The train system can get me there with only one transfer. Alternatively, I could take the bus without any transfers and even be dropped off within fifty feet of an entrance to my destination. Despite the bus requiring less walking, both to the departure stop and from the destination stop, I’ve found that the bus system is significantly slower. My fastest time to get to work with the train has been thirty-six minutes and the slowest at forty-five (with an average of forty-two minutes within the last week), but the one time that I took the bus took me an unfortunate fifty-two minutes. Having an extended commute time like this requires a waking time that compensates. I wake up at seven every morning so that I have more than enough time to leisurely make breakfast, make tea, and don the day’s accoutrement in order to get to the office by nine O’clock. But waking up that early requires a similarly early bedtime.

I like to go to bed no later than twenty-three (11 PM) every night in order to preserve a good sleep schedule that allows me to maximize my effectiveness even without the use of caffeine. Now for the heart of my time management. Since my eight hours of sleep happens from twenty-three to seven, everything that I want to do in my free time is limited to eighteen to twenty-three (6PM-11PM). In order to optimize those five hours I strategically plan out where I want to go long before (frequently in the morning or the night before). That way, I can make detours on my way back from work since I’ll already be taking the trains around the city. And although it usually delays my dinner to twenty or twenty-one, I find that it usually works out quite well. I find that I’ve also become much more comfortable with the train system’s stops and routes because I end up leaving from a lot more stations than the other students might (it also helps that I’m using actual maps instead of google maps). So for tomorrow I’ll be taking about six different trains just to get to and from work and go do some extra things afterwards.

Now for the juicy part, managing time at work is super easy. So far, I’ve only had one assignment at a time and haven’t had any time without one, meaning that I don’t have to worry about balancing multiple tasks, but in the event that I run out of assignments, I’m prepared. Due to the fact that the internship is dealing with two and a half programming languages that I’d never worked with before the end of finals week I get to work on developing those skills in any amount of free time that I may find.

Oh and I almost forgot that we were supposed to write about our experiences here. Berlin is cool, although I wish that they’d smoke here less, and the thing that I miss most is water fountains.