All 13 entries tagged Wspa
February 02, 2013
Follow-up to 3rd FOLLOW UP BLOG FOR EFFECTIVE LEARNING STRATEGIES from Yentl's WSPA blog
In previous blogs, I mentioned different strategies to improve my learning and working. For the current entry, I will be focusing on how these strategies have been useful to my study at Warwick. The strategies are to set realistic goals, set deadlines to start a task and to reward myself when goal is achieved.
I am currently collecting data for my dissertation, and recruiting participants is one of the tasks. As undergraduates are not allowed to pay for participants, recruiting participants is very difficult. I need to recruit a certain number of participants in two weeks, to cope with this; I planned a deadline to start recruiting participants. At the moment, I am 2 participants away from the goal and it has only been a week. I feel very satisfied with it and with the fact that I did not wait till the last minute to recruit participants like I used to do.
Apart from my dissertation, my workload is very high, and as mentioned before, I found it very difficult to focus on one task. One of the reasons why I could not focus was because I always watch TV series online and check facebook constantly, therefore, I have limited myself to one episode per day and that if I do not achieve the goal that I set every day, I will not allow myself to check facebook. However, when I do achieve target set, I will award myself, such as letting myself play “candy crush saga” on facebook. Also, I mentioned that in Hong Kong, I would go library to work and I could focus better. At Warwick, I am doing the same; I usually work in the library in the evening when it is not crowded. Moreover, afternoon and the evening are the times that I work and learn best, therefore I normally work during these times.
My action points from now on are to set myself deadlines to start doing certain tasks, such as an assignment, and work in the afternoon and the evening.
In previous blog entries, I mentioned that I have improved on my spontaneity, commercial awareness, reflective thinking and time management. In the current blog, I am going to address my improvement on time management, in which, I will focus on how my improvement on time management has helped me.
Currently, I am collecting data for my dissertation, it includes recruiting participants, room booking, and running the experiment. Beforehand, I felt that it was going to be a daunting task as undergraduates are not allowed to pay for participants, making recruiting very difficult. On top of that, participants were to be assigned into time slots that suit them and me. When they were carrying out the experiment, I would wait outside the room. I expected the process to be time-consuming task and labour intensive. As a finalist, there is a very high workload; I found it hard to catch up with the endless readings alone, with the experimenting, it seemed almost impossible. To help with this problem, I adapted several time management skills. Whenever I waited outside the room, I would read. Also, I would limit the times I watch TV series which used to be the biggest reason that hinder my study, by limiting myself to one episode per day during dinner time, my readings and work got done faster.
Although I did keep myself to one episode per day, I did not do as much readings as I expected myself to do. I feel that I need to keep improving on my ability to focus, to be more specific, whenever I set myself a goal; I need to stick to it and not get distracted by other distractions. By far distractions are my worst enemy, and my future action point is set to help overcome my problems with distractions. I will keep on limiting myself to one TV episode, when I have not achieved my goal for the day, I will not allow myself to go on facebook or check the news. By achieve this action point; I hope to become more organized and confident knowing that I am keeping up with my study.
January 01, 2013
I mentioned last week that there is still rooms to improve for the tapping technique, I worked for a judge two weeks ago, I come across large amount of cases every day, and this allowed me to practice the technique. The past week, I worked at a law firm instead, and this gave me more opportunities to practice speed reading. To evaluate, one of my responsibilities was to close files, which was to go through the cases and check of the information were correct. There was no need to go through them in details, I only needed to look for relevant words, which is similar to speed reading. Through this, I practiced looking for important words. On top of this, I went through the materials with a guide, i.e., a pen which helped me to focus and read faster.
In the last entry, I mentioned to time myself while reading articles for the assignments. I have spent around 10-20 minutes per day in the last week to do this, my speed has increased slightly, and I hope that my speed will increase gradually in the future.
Follow-up to 2nd FOLLOW UP BLOG FOR EFFECTIVE LEARNING STRATEGIES from Yentl's WSPA blog
I had had problems with working at home since coming back to Hong Kong as mentioned in the past entries, recently, however a wireless is set up at home and have sped up my working progress. It has saved travel time to the library, and more time is spent on work, both that requires internet and don't.
As mentioned last time, I became more realistic with plans and to set up deadlines for starting tasks. Having said that, I still had trouble following plans, the reason being that I was pre-occupied with working experiences this holiday and so I simply cannot carry out my plans. Now that I am finished with the work experiences, I am most certain that I will be able to do tasks as planned. I have set up goals to finish one assignment this week and another one next week, after handing them in, I will work on my law firm applications.
Since deciding to reward myself when appropriate as oppose to whenever, my work process has sped up significantly. I normally reward myself with time to check facebook, treat myself with a nice chocolate bar or watch a TV episode. I have also continued to blog before I work, other than blogging, I figure that working in the library or working at an area where other people are present helps boost my work efficiency; this could be to work at a cafe or the kitchen.
I have gradually improved my being spontaneous from the work experiences I had during this holiday. After workingat a law firm, I have greatly improved my ability to be spontaneous. There were needs to contact external organisations, and times when I need to go to a venue to collect evidences and documents without an early notice. I feel that I am used to being impromptu now and I am pleased to say that being spontaneious is not a problem anymore.
Last week, I mentioned watching Channel 4 news to improve my commercial awareness. Since coming back to Hong Kong, I have been watching local news instead which is equally helpful. Also my commercial awareness is improved by discussing daily news with my parents during dinner. Relating to this is to apply new information to situations. To be more specific, when I read a piece of news, I thought about how it would affect a lawyer. For instance, the dispute against Apple from Samsung; Apple was accused of infringe of patent, I thought about the reason behind Samsung??s action and what that meant to other businesses from that area and how customers were affected.
In the first entry, I considered practicing reflective thinking as an action point, and I have been doing it as frequently as I can. Reflective thinking definitely helped to improve my performances on goals I want to achieve, it helped me consider what I have done right and wrong.
The last action point I mentioned was to Improve self-management, since working at a law firm, my time is more organised, although, working also means that I have less time to work on my academic work. However, I have managed to fly back to the UK on the 3rd of January so that I have two weeks to work on my assignments. The working experiences I had in this holiday definitely improved my self-management and I am confident to say that I will be able to manage my time effectively when I get back to the UK.
December 27, 2012
Last week I specifically reviewed on the problem that I had in the workshop and what ¡¥went wrong¡¦ regarding comprehension. Since then, I have been trying out the strategies that I suggested last week.
For the tapping technique, since I am working for a judge at the moment, I come across large amount of cases every day. I would skip out the conjunction words, although it is quite difficult to carry out at first since I had no background of that particular case. I will gradually skip out more words other than just the conjunction words, it is better to first get used to not reading them. As for the guide technique, I still find it very useful and am constantly adapting to it.
Recently I have realized that I did not time myself whenever I read because obviously it would be quite awkward to time myself when I am working with a judge. Also I am occupied with a lot of work at the moment, I hardly find time to sit down and read. One possible way to resolve this would be to time myself while reading articles for the assignments.
This week, I will continue working in the library for as long as I can. I found that sometimes I made an effort to go library but I could not stay for long as I would get tired, also, the library provides wireless which comes with distractions such as Facebook and email.
As suggested by the tutor, I should plan what my work is, what needs internet and what doesn¡¦t. During daytime, I aim to finish work that require internet in the library, and at night, I aim to finish those that don¡¦t require internet as the library is closed at 8pm. Having said this, it is not easy to carry out as I am shadowing a barrister and a judge at the moment, most of my daytime is used to work with them, and I only get around two hours max a day for the work that requires internet.
However, two hours a day is definitely not enough, as the work that require internet include online applications to law firms and researches for my assignments. One method that might mitigate this problem is to download the articles that are useful for my assignments in the library, and read them at home at night, by doing this, my time at the library can be utilised to work on online applications.
Another problem mentioned at the start was my tiredness while working in the library; I find that going for a walk, breathing in fresh air helps to wake me up. However, as mentioned by the tutor, I should reward myself when appropriate as oppose to whenever, I would reward myself with a walk or go on Facebook or to check emails after finishing an online application or anything similar to that.
December 14, 2012
Last week I mentioned that I should try reading with a guide and practise speed reading every day for 10 minutes, after a week, I definitely see improvements in speed and comprehension. This is the opposite of what happened during the workshop in which I found decreased comprehension with increased speed.
I once tried speed reading a magazine while having my hair cut in a salon, in spite of all the noises, I still read well in terms of speed and comprehension! This was the most impressive speed reading experiences I have had, and also made me realise that noises are not a detrimental distraction when a right method is used.
Through practices, I recognised what I have done wrong during the workshop. When I speed read in the workshop, I used the tapping method but I tapped on the wrong words (words that were not key words), and so although I did remember the words, I did not catch the meaning of the whole sentence! Obviously enough then, I ended up answering the questions wrongly!
My aim for this week is to continue to practice with the right method and see if it works, and also to see if there are any other ways that can be used to further improve my speed read.
Last week, I mentioned that my main problem was that I plan absolutely everything but I often find it difficult to start or to stick to the plan. Throughout the past week, I still found this a problem some times; however, it did improve in terms of frequency.
I was more realistic about my plans, for instance, finish one application for one law firm and read one chapter for a module in a day. Being more realistic definitely helped to finish tasks more effectively; however, I was often distracted by things around me. For example, while working on an application, I would browse around other websites, slowing down the whole process, at the end of the day I would find myself not finishing an application or the work that I intended to finish.
I realised that distractions in the environment hinder me from sticking to the plan. Since realising this, I have started to work in a library. Also, I worked much more efficient when I have no access to the internet (at home in Hong Kong, there is no wireless). However, this is not a feasible solution as a lot of the academic work require internet access; therefore, a better way to minimise distractions is to change the environment that I work in.
I also found that setting up deadlines to start a task very useful as I react best to deadlines, on top of that, setting myself into the 'focus mood' definitely put me into a zone where I find it much easier to focus on my work. I have mentioned in the last entry that blogging puts me into the 'focus zone'; in fact, having a schedule to blog motivates me to be more organised with my other work!
I wish that my skills would improve more and more over the next term as the next two terms will be the busiest terms during my undergraduate life!
December 08, 2012
Last week, I have learnt about my learning style and found myself slightly weaker as an activist and pragmatist. I then suggested that I needed to be more spontaneous and less dependent on plans, surprisingly, just by setting this as an action point, I found it easier to be spontaneous! I went to an impromptu social in Leamington yesterday with my flatmates. One thing that I realised from this is that there is something that always hold me back from being impromptu in the past, and it was my own thoughts in my head! Everytime when something unplanned came up, I would try hard to come up with excuses to avoid myself from being impromptu, for example, I would tell myself that I feel sick so I should not go out but in fact I was just too lazy to get dressed.
Although commenting that I was weaker as a pragmatist, I did not set up an action point last week. Therefore, this week I set myself a goal to work out the way to apply new information to situations. I plan to go into the legal profession in the future, therefore, I set myself a target that whenever I read a news article, I will think about how that particular news could affect me if I were a lawyer.
Another action point from last week was to improve my commercial awareness by going to a workshop and reading news daily, I have done both during the past week. However, I found another way that helps me improve my commercial awareness in the most efficient and effective way- watching Channel 4 news daily. It was particularly helpful because it was visual and audio which is the best way to learn new information.
The last action point was to work more and less procrastinating, to be more specific, I will reduce the amount of time I spend to watch TV series and going on youtube.
As Christmas is approaching, there will be more distractions around me, however, I will try my best to stick to the action points!