2013 Easter Holiday, turned to a “marathon-study-recovery-session” by a University Student
Easter holiday is a most common Christian holiday celebrated across the world. According to Wikipedia, it estimates a total of around 2.5 billion of people who celebrated the holiday: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations_by_number_of_members].
The holiday is aligned with university holidays such as here in South Africa hence the students would be on a mini vacation [10 days Easter inclusive]. Most of the students take it as the time to take a real break on their studies as student life is not the best with some courses. On the other hand some students remain preparing themselves in terms of assignments and further understanding on the material they would have covered. It is rare to note how other students remain cluttered to their books when everyone is taking a break to refresh. Globally, most companies have a break and students have locked their books in their trunks only to wait for the opening of university over the Easter holiday. This is typical to students, however, a historical scientific theorist Douglas McGregor refer to such students falling under the Theory X category. Is n’t it difficult to understand where some students get the zeal to maximise output when almost everyone is relaxed? Or perhaps it can be said that the student would have been playing throughout the term and only . . . .
Anyway, that is my case as I write this article. My first term was characterised by a couple of challenges which drew my attention away from schoolwork. I barely got the motivation to concentrate on my studies and as a result, I only saw the accumulation of chapters which need my precious time. This is one of the moments when I easily related my scenario to another theorist Clayton Alderfer on his ERG Theory of motivation. Just because other needs required immediate attention, my focus easily got distracted from my studies. I later found that my Easter Holiday would be turned into a “Marathon Study Recovery” and it turned to be a reality.
On a Good Friday, I quickly woke up at 3am and managed to draft a 10-day recovery plan. It took me 2 and 1/2 hours to complete a plan which required me to generate 80 hours to complete 30 chapters for my 5 subjects. Surprisingly, refreshment breaks were not included on this plan. To cover up for this, I made a target of creating “12 productive hours” per day which saw me generating between 96 to a maximum of 120 productive hours over my 10-day vacation to cater for some variations due to uncertainties. This translated to about a minimum of 90 minutes of accumulated breaks per day. Now, this seems not to be enough for a 12 hour productive day hence I ensured that I complete some chapters in less that the allocated 2-hour sessions. I made sure that I write down every hour spent and on where it has been spent. The plan seemed to be perfect and I quickly took a 2-hour nap which saw me embarking on my new project at 5:30am. For my Easter days, my plan worked perfectly as I worked in line with my schedule. During the period, I learnt that the most important aspect in life is implementation of plans as that’s where the line between the rich and the poor lies according to my opinion. Unfortunately, I got distracted by some other interesting learning experiences as I ended up taking some “coding” lessons online which completely affected my plan as I remember I once spent a continuous 15 hours in front of my laptop. Therefore, implementation is very important.
My door remained locked mostly throughout the marathon session, with my phone on an “offline-vacation” mode. My friends were not happy about it but I was content with it as I clearly knew what I wanted to achieve. Life without friends is unpleasant but life taught me that I meet friends in various stages of it and have to be careful not to regret due to their influences. With that in mind, I always put my studies first before friends. This is simply that the investment I am making towards my education will help not myself alone but my family too, and even my friends. I always see it as an opportunity cost to spend time meant for studies with friends. This becomes a burning issue when I think of millions of people who never get the chance to achieve basic education not mentioning tertiary level.
In short, while people may be busy relaxing globally, one can get self motivation to work beyond a normal schedule and I admit that it pays in the long run. You are the best person to motivate yourself – by knowing your weaknesses and strength gives room to maximise performance in your strong areas.