Skip to content ↓

Working With WashLava by Ella T. '25

Time Management in Low Places

It’s Sunday.

I’ve had a particularly draining week. For the sake of journaling, here are some of the lowlights.

  1. I dropped 6.0002. Actually, dropped isn’t the correct word. I neglected to enroll01 I am so, so dumb in 6.0002.02 Intro to Computational Thinking and Data Science By the time I realized it, it was well past the Add Date. However, after frantically filing a Late Add Form, I thought about 6.0002 as a whole. Do I really need this class? Not technically. It isn’t a Course 6 requirement. Alright, do I at least love the class? Somewhat. The material is interesting, but I’m not sure I enjoy it’s technicalities. Okay, can I perform in the class? Honestly, I’m grossly unprepared for it, so it is going to take me more time than most. Hmm. Do I have that time? Not really (See #2). So, with a hefty bit of insecurity and uncertainty, I cancelled the Late Add Form.
  2. I overcommitted a bit. This semester, I am taking 8.01L, 18.01, 3.091, and 6.A01, which is a first-year seminar. I finished 6.0001 last quarter. This quarter, I’m taking Beginner’s Ice Skating, which I love, but does take time. The MIT Infinite Fashion Magazine Issue 9 will be released soon, and it takes time. There’s a secret project I’m working on at iHQ, and it takes time. There’s also blogging, which takes time. Then there’s Knit and Stitch sessions to TA. And seminars to attend. It all takes time. That’s part of the reason I dropped 6.0002.
  3. I am ill? I never get sick. I eluded the depths of COVID-19, Baker Flu,03 Which may have the qualifications to be a pandemic of its own and whatever other mysterious illnesses are festering at MIT. But I think I’ve finally done it. My immune system has succumbed, and I just don’t feel good.
  4. I am rethinking. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do at MIT. Originally, I wanted to have a fairly technical experience. Lots of code. Math. Stuff like that. Now that I’ve gotten a small taste of what that is like, I’m wondering if I actually enjoy it. Do I really want to code every day? Or do I want to design. Do I really want to major in 6-9 or 11-6, or am I actually just interested in 9 or 11? Do I feel called to Course 6, or do I feel required to do it because I am at MIT? This has made me feel very anxious.

Normally, I use my weekend as a joyous respite from the demands of the weekdays. This Sunday, I’m scrambling to catch up. I spent yesterday working on a 6.0002 problem set04 So long, Dijkstra that no longer matters, and now I’m behind on other classes. I also have basic human tasks to accomplish. Cleaning. Eating. Laundry.

This requires decent time management, which I don’t necessarily have on my own. Especially not when I’m sick and anxious.

Luckily, I’ve found that pairing together a human task and an MIT task has helped me be more productive.

Enter WashLava.

WashLava is the app we use to pay for loads of laundry. I could get into the hellish world of using WashLava, but I will save it for another post. Once you’ve started a cycle, WashLava shows you how long until that cycle completes (It also charges you a heinous amount of money). This acts as a sort of timer.

And what does good time management usually entail? A timer. For example, a wash cycle generally takes 36 minutes to complete. If we count the time it takes to commute to and from the laundry room, that’s 30 minutes. What are some MIT things I can do in 30 minutes?

  1. Watch a 3.091 lecture on 2x speed. Or, if I’m feeling it, watch two 3.091 lectures on 4x speed. I’m not encouraging this, but I am on PNR, and it’s Sadoway.
  2. Stare down my physics problem set. Just stare at it. It’ll take more than 30 minutes to comprehend what is happening.
  3. Drop a class. Ouch. It hurts.
  4. Do my 18.01 finger exercises.05 What many classes use to refer to quick questions that reinforce certain skills There’s always some to be done.

Nice! The timer went off. For my reward, I get to haul a soggy pile of clothes from the washer to a dryer on another floor.06 Because there will <em>never</em> be an available dryer in the same room as an available washer This time, the cycle is 60 minutes. I repeat the process. The timer goes off, and I get to haul my laundry back to my room.

Sometimes, you can create more intricate laundry sessions. For example, when I’m washing my bedding, I shove the entire duvet in the dryer.07 Because I'm scared that if I take the duvet cover off I will never get it back on This means I have to pause the dryer and tousle with the duvet a few times throughout the cycle so it evenly dries. That makes three 20 minute sessions. Sometimes, I’ll even start a new wash cycle at the same time I start a dry cycle, which creates two sessions.

At the end of it all, you’ll be caught up on some work and two week’s worth of laundry.

It’s not fun, but neither are difficult Sundays, but it gets the job done.

Here’s to another week and doing what I can!

  1. I am so, so dumb back to text
  2. Intro to Computational Thinking and Data Science back to text
  3. Which may have the qualifications to be a pandemic of its own back to text
  4. So long, Dijkstra back to text
  5. What many classes use to refer to quick questions that reinforce certain skills back to text
  6. Because there will never be an available dryer in the same room as an available washer back to text
  7. Because I'm scared that if I take the duvet cover off I will never get it back on back to text