All entries for March 2011
March 31, 2011
Overcoming the Transient Obstacles
As I was applying my action plan in time-management, I had faced some challenges along the way that enriched my experience and led me to improve myself on the personal and professional level, too. Some of these stumble blocks were mainly:
1- Keeping a balance between my academic and extra-curricular activities and I employed an amazing strategy that is doing the most difficult or challenging thing first thing in the morning. By doing this, I was able to thwart my Avoidance Strategies and procrastination in the sense that I expended my most efficient energy in doing the most difficlt part of the day and then divided what is left on the not-so-challenging part. In addition, it gave me self-confidence and a sense of achievement at the end of the day. I felt good about myself.
2- Another major obstacle and time-consuming obstacle that I had not realised before was the extensive use of 'Facebook'. It may cause you to wonder, but it is true because just checking my friends' statuses would waste a considerable amount of time and energy while studying. Therefore, I applied the reward system technique in the sense that I broke down my tasks into phases and after finishing a phase, I allowed my self to check 'facebook'. I have to say that doing this saved me a whale of time ,plus I was able to enjoy surfing ''Facebook'' instead of having guilt while commenting on my friends' status.
3- After handing in seven assignments already, and have to do wo in time limitations, I devised an achievement plan. In the sense, I made a broad realistic plan of what I wanted to accomplish before my deadlines and then use a miniature day-to-day plan as a Checkpoint System to bolster my sense of achievement at the end of the day.
4- The last point I overcame was fear. I would always divert from the main task if it is difficult and do everything that is unrelated to it. Therefore, I came up with a plan that breaks the daunting tasks into smaller manageable chunks that would remove anxiety and adjusted my attitude from saying ''I have to do this task because I have no choice'' to '' I am doing this task that I will enjoy and learn from.
Learning how to deploy various strategies to overcome the challenges I have faced helped my develop multiple skills, save more time, and boosted my self-confidence ,too.
Operationalising Note-Taking Techniques
I have just handed in two assignments this morning and I have a great self of achievement and confidence because I could put the techniques I had learnt in practice.
1- Instead of wasting a whole day doing my references after finishing doing my assignment, I gained an extra day that I used efficiently in editing my assignment as well as my referenicing. This gave me great confidence not to mention that it served ti improve the quality of my essay.
2-Having had a focus on making notes while writing, I did the literature reading bearing in mind only the necessary points I wanted to include in my notes in response to the assginment question. Therefore, I had succinct and well-focused notes.
3- I have to say that writing my notes using Mind-mapping had a washback, or a revision impact after finishing reading for each chapter because tyoing on the computer increases the awareness of accuracy and flow of coherent ideas. In additionm I improved the way I organised the notes in different levels and categories in the process.
I would recommend talking the Note-taking workshop for its huge cumulative benefits that resulted in revamping my writing skills, as you can see form my first and last entries, and subsequently producing a better coherent and well-organised essay...........
March 17, 2011
Managing my time might have been the most important skill I developed this year. Ironically enogh I was not even aware of it as a quintessential skill. As a follow up action plan of the points I learnt in the workshop, I contrived the following steps:
1- I set myself Distant goals and Proximal goals in the process of achieveing my objectives because I realised that the short-term ones will lead to the long-term goals.
2-In the process of achieving my goals, I faced many obstacles and stumbling blocks that obliged me to employ different strategies and techniques at different levels of the process.
3- As regards reflection, I could compare my current level with the one when I first started learning and could notice the progress I am making. This progress gave me confidence and motivation to proceed.
4-I kept on a system of self-rewarding at the end of each day to give me the impetus to work hard while realising that I will be enjoying myself at the end of the day.
5-Alternating between different asks helped me set the pace of my own learning and refresh my personality every once and a while.
6-All of this inspired me to take an optional module in my degree in Managament and Leadership that broadened my horizons and understanding of a new untapped area for me.
March 16, 2011
The Art of Note-Taking
The problem with taking notes is that it takes a while for the learner to perfect its use. My major problem with taking notes was re-writing the whole course book instead of just putting the most important features on paper. Therefore, I devised some highly benificial points for my note-taking . Some of these are:
1- Instead of repeating what is said in the whole page, I would go for the most important key words and put them on sticky-notes to the side of the book.
2-Not to organise and re-write the notes I had taken because it would be time-consuming.
3-Keep in mind a certain focus on reading and only make notes that are relevant to the wuestion I have on paper or in mind.
4-After finishing a whole article or a book chapter, I would start organising my notes on a word file in an orderly fashion to leep a fixed safety net for me in case I forget or lose track of the previous notes of points of focus I made.
These steps helped me to save time, achieve more in less time, and write my essays easily by going back to the notes I had made earlier. not to mention the ability to exclude all the ones that are irrelevant to me.
Honing Skills on Note-Taking
I would like to thank you for the great advice about organising the notes for my dissertation. As a matter of fact, I just had a research methodology class now and realised the amount of research I have to do. Therefore, It would seem to me that an action-plan could help me to overcome this problem:
1- Following your advice, I will now arrange my referencing while writing because it's an arduous, even daunting task to do for an assignment, not to say a disseratation.
2-I will definitely start to organise my notes in a thematic way so that I wouldn't be lost going through all of them to find the one I need in particular.
3- Another step related to note-making is polishing my skills using the mind-mapping using the computer programs.
March 15, 2011
When I first started to read, I would spend hours focusing on every single word and look up all the words that I did not understand in the dictionary. After I had taken the workshop on speed reading, I realised that there are certain points or strategies to bear in mind while reading. Therefore, I put into action the following points:
1- Reading using my finger as a pointer to follow all the new words with great attention without getting hung up on studying the single word-meanings. By doing so, I can now skim through the articles very quickly in almost half the time I'm used to. this also helped my eyes focus on a focal point in the page rather than going astray from one corner of the page to the other.
2-Trying to read and understand as much as possible while going on to try to achieve as much as possible in the shortest amount of time. This technique empowered me with the self-confidence and a sense of achievement every time I would read five or ten pages. Then, I could go back to double check or focus on one point.
3-I also learnt to underline the most important words as I go by especially the ones that I feel more salient to me.
4-The last step that proved most beneficial to me was not repeating the words in my head after reading them. This proved to be both time-efficient and more effective in comprehension, too. It is amazing how much the brain can process if we trust ourself and continue reading without repeating ourself and trusting our abilities to understand from the first time.
Following all the steps mentioned earlier helped me to improve my reading skills in terms of speed and understanding. They also raised my confidence and I was able to take interval breaks every once and a while which helped me to stay focused and refreash my appetite for reading again!