Something about being on "holiday" has made me somehow forget about the fact that my next TMA is due in (now) less than 4 weeks. Hmm. Are you allowed holidays when you're studying? Surely the whole "self-study" thing means you can do it whenever you want? Well I've given this careful consideration and I don't somehow think it really works like that. I think in order to maintain a good study pattern and give myself a chance to fully understand the material I need to approach my studies as if I were at a redbrick involving regular lectures and seminars. If I leave studies too late and bunch it all up then it doesn't give me a chance to contact the tutor should I need anything clarified. Given that I've not studied for the last 10 days that equates to the equivalent of about 20 hours of study which I have to catch up on over the next 20 days (4 weeks really but 1 of those has to be allowed for writing the TMA). An extra hour per day? Doesn't sound like much but if I'd left it any longer it would've mounted up. I've studied plenty of courses and (due to unavoidable circumstances) had to drop out of a couple due to falling too far behind to know that keeping up to pace with work is pretty darned important. The OU give you a study calendar with each course which is a guide to what volume of study you shoud be doing each week; how many chapters, which cd's etc so it lets me know how far through the book I need to be by the end of this coming week. So my week off hasn't really affected my study by that much, and back to work means back to usual routine involving work, study and play.
Our week off hasn't been a complete waste as far as my journey goes though, during the week I've put into action a couple of my previous ideas. We've been walking a couple of times (much to the delight of our dog), I've started a strength training programme, I've... wait for it... been out on my BIKE today riding across the Northumberland Moors (I'm very sore all over but by god it was good fun!), I've started taking a few supplements to aid concentration and I've started a bumper book of crosswords to help the ol' grey matter. It was only £1.99 from the local supermarche so I figured if it doesn't help then it's no great loss.
Plans for this coming week:
- Spend whatever time I realistically can getting up to date with the course material
- Despite being in sooo much pain, continue on with strength training programme (my muscles cry no, but that's the point)
- Get out for another couple of bike rides.
If there's one thing I've learned from my week off work it's that I study better when I have a busy routine in which to have to slot it in. I can so easily see how the hoardes of unemployed in this country can slip into unhealthy unintentionally lazy ways; if you have nothing/not much to do during the day it's unfortunately easier to sit around the house and do nothing than get off your backside and do something productive. The catch-22 is that if you can manage to drag yourself to do something productive, it's far easier to keep going.
Inactivity breeds laziness.
Activity breeds momentum.