My 2016 target: one word every two minutes

It’s been a busy month – probably the busiest of the course so far. The deadline for the penultimate module, on Training and Development, came and went on 12th November, with the deadline for the dissertation proposal following just 4 weeks later on 10th December. I’m glad to report that I made both deadlines, but I do feel like I’ve barely moved outside of my study at weekends for the last 3 months. Looking at the weather outside this afternoon and listening to reports about the centre of Derby being overrun with festive shoppers, I guess that may not be a bad thing. A bah humbug to you all.

The final module (excluding the dissertation) – The Individual at Work – is now underway. It has an assignment focussed on psychological stress and I suspect that most of us on the course feel that we’re fairly well acquainted with the concept after the last few weeks. Stress is one of those areas of psychology where there seems to be lots of research and also widely varying opinions – even about something as fundamental as its definition. I think I’m going to need a lot of A3 paper to help me map out the debates and approaches to the subject if I’m going to successfully figure out how best to tackle the assignment, which consists of a 1,600 word consultancy report and a related 1,600 word academic essay.

Perhaps bizarrely, knowing how long it takes me to write assignments and how many drafts I usually create before I’m happy with them (8 seems to be my average), it’s the word count figures that are keeping me motivated at the moment. I only have to find another 12,200 perfectly crafted words to finish the course now. My course calendar suggests that I have 510 hours of study left to complete, so that’s only 24 words an hour – less than one every 2 minutes. How hard can that be?!

So for the next few months, that’s what I’ll be thinking about. I’ll be quietly telling myself that I can definitely come up with one good word every two minutes, even if most of them really get written in the last few hours …

This article was originally written for the University of Leicester Student Blogs, 13th December 2015.

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