The three laws of study

I’m pleased to report that I’ve just submitted my training and development assignment. It’s a relief, as today was the last day that I had available for study before Thursday’s deadline. It’s also somewhat frustrating, as my plan called for it to have been completed three weeks ago, to leave me ample time to comfortably finish off my dissertation proposal which is due in early December.

Hofstadter’s Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.

I’ve particularly enjoyed hitting the ‘submit’ button on this assignment, as it’s the first I’ve completed since my unexpected year out due to ill-health. But it’s taken so long to get it finished!

Parkinson’s Law: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

While I’ve enjoyed the process of researching the content that’s gone into it, my academic writing skills feel decidedly rusty. This assignment has taken me 11 complete revisions (plus drafts of the various parts of it) before I felt that I could do no more. When I was properly into the swing of the course, I reckoned on around 5 or so as being sufficient.

Newell & Rosenblom’s Power Law of Practice: The logarithm of the reaction time for a particular task decreases linearly with the logarithm of the number of practice trials taken.

But with these three laws of study lined up against me, I guess I should be grateful that I managed to get it done at all!

This article was originally written for the University of Leicester Student Blogs, 8th November 2015.

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