Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Time

A week has passed since starting this blog; and yet it remains a proverbial ghost town - hardly the sign of a thriving/attention worthy online soapbox, I am sure. It makes me wonder: maybe I'm just not cut out for this blogging thing. Maybe I'm really not all that interested in performing something that seems topologically analogous to tape-recording D&M conversations I've had with a tree. Or maybe it's that I don't have anything to write about - no thoughts, no crazy ramblings, nada, zilch, zip. Maybe I was kidnapped by fluffy pink cats from outer space and deprived of internet access. Or maybe...

The answer, is that although I do like transcribing my conversations with inanimate objects; I have ideas/musings/etc. that I'd like to write about; and I rarely get abducted by extraterrestrial felines (sad face); I simply don't have time to blog - not when there are a hundred-and-one other things demanding my attention. I can't do everything I need to do and still have time for blogging. I simply don't have enough hours in my day - I need more time.

At least, that's what I tell myself.

I'm sure there are people out there who honestly don't have enough hours in their day - doctors working with Médecins Sans Frontières for example. I'm also pretty sure that I'm not one of them. Sure, my days are filled with a lot of stuff, but how much of it is necessary stuff, and how well do I handle my stuff?
When I get down to it, there's a lot of stuff in my life that is neither necessary, nor beneficial - it just eats time. Procrastination (the bug-bear of many, but particularly the student) is often a feature during study time and although I manage to produce worthwhile material in the end; I have to ask myself how much more work could I churn through if I ceased fooling around and instead devoted that time to my readings?

If that's the only change I make, the answer is simple. "Not a lot".

It is one thing to be working on something worthwhile, but how well am I working? I need to be doing the right thing, in the right way. I can quickly read through the set texts for my course, but if I'm not making sure I'm retaining the information contained therein - what profit is there? If I'm not careful I'll need to re-read that passage again later; not because I need to brush up on a few of the finer points; but because I wasn't taking notes the first time and now cannot remember any of it! The old saying "If something's worth doing, it's worth doing properly" come to mind - if it's worth learning, it's worth learning first time round. If I'm not certain I will be able to remember what's happening in a chapter I can take notes to aid comprehension and transferal of information from 'working' or short-term memory' to 'permanent' or long-term memory. I can also use study techniques like PQ4R (Preview, Question, Read, Reflect, Recite, Review) to structure my information processing and metacognition. In whatever I do, efficiency needs-must become my watchword.

That's a long ramble. I could have said "Do what you do well" and been done with it. I also could have missed the point of the post in the process. If I need to learn the lesson "Do what you do well", then what better way to internalise it than writing 591 words on the topic?

Who knows, maybe if I learn it well enough I'll find time to blog?

sdg

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