Uni assignments and my What I Call Mental block :)

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Uni assignments and my What I Call Mental block :)

Post by tara »

Hi every one.

I am so so happy to be posting here. All my life I have felt so different from other people and like so many others here I have hidden and some how over come obstacles passing myself off as the yes I am the silly person prone to forgetting and making silly stupid mistakes. Recently I was diagnosed by my uni educational psychologist as Dyspraxic. Looking up all the information I could hardly believe it.

Every day there were so many things happening that made me realise that OMG this is a big massive part of my life and I never knew it. Yes there was something odd about me but as I said always just put it down to me being weird and my weird ways which is in a way true :)

So after a period of freaking out I came to terms and well there its ok :) So I am a mother of two beauties, in my third yeard of a degree in Maths and well trying to get these assignments done. Which really my brain is telling me I dont want to do!

The aim is to carry on and do a PGCE next year! God help me eh! I must be mad!!!!!!!

So my point in posting here really is can anyone give me some way of getting through to my brain that now is the time to be working and not 7 days down the line when the course work dead line date has passed?

I have done half of it allready but just need to do the other half!!! really just in a lockdown right now... Its like the brain wants to do something completey different to what I want to!!!

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Re: Uni assignments and my What I Call Mental block :)

Post by calumfsinclair »

My way is regular breaks and lots of tea! If all else fails going out on my bike or going climbing help, or whatever your get away from life hobby is!! Also I have a close friend with DCD and when I'm down or stuck, I chat with her and I get a renewed sense of vigour! As she told me once all you need is twenty seconds of courage and you can do anything!! :)
Sticks and stones will break your bones, but more often if your dyspraxic!!!
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Re: Uni assignments and my What I Call Mental block :)

Post by Engel »

Hello Tara!

I myself found that the Pomodoro technique works really well for me. It involves cutting your time into chunks with a kitchen timer.

First of all you need to identify what it is that needs to be done. You then set a kitchen timer to 25 minutes. After you have worked on the task (distraction free I may add!) you are allowed 3-5 minutes of break time, which you then use for whatever you fancy. Then the process starts again.

I found this particularly effective in the evenings and mornings when I found it hard to motivate myself to work.

I should also stress that this isn't for everyone, since time constraints can put some under stress, however I it works for me so wondered if you or anyone else would be interested :).

Also I find writing the tasks to complete for today first thing after I wake up helps kick-start me into doing them in the day.

I hope this helps Tara!

The Pomodoro Technique: http://lifehacker.com/5554725/the-pomod ... stractions
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Re: Uni assignments and my What I Call Mental block :)

Post by tara »

Hi Engel

I use the same techniques but sometimes I think my mind just doesnt want to do it. I am so fed up right now. Its like the kids want my attention. The husband is slowly getting annoyed and pd as the house is not in so much of the order it should be... I am never fully i.e mind and body is never here at home. I am always worrying about the studies. Its the final year and I just want to finish it..

Just want it all to end. Its hell!!!! I hate being at home.. Hate seeing anyone! Just want to get the work done but I need to study for it and it wants time.

This is not the time to give up other wise I would!!! I have literally just had enough!!!

Hate everything!!!!!!!!!!!! right now... Got off at the wrong station today!! Lost my gloves too. Lets see what is next tomorrow.

I find that my vision gets blurred at night as well. Anyway thanx for your post I will definitely try increasing my time. I do the 10 minute one. I work on one thing for 10 minutes and then another for 10 minutes.. then do what ever I need to get done like the washing or feeding kids etc

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Re: Uni assignments and my What I Call Mental block :)

Post by nameforforum »

Hi tara

first up want to say you sound like you doing amazingly well, under difficult circumstances.

I studied applied biology and medical technology to Msc level. the math elements I struggled and awful lot with, so studying math I can imagine is very brain taxing even for some one with a talent and passion for which Im sure you have.

My aproach to assighnment writting seems very diffrent to some other posters. I started my work with mind maps as soon as I got given the work, This way I have the duration of time avaible, including into the early hours the night before submission.

I would start with just writiing thoughts like crazy, then narrow it down to relevent thoughts then make a frame work of the assighnment. The hard part was fleshing it out and editing I would over explain a lot.

I got the metal break to get this type of work going by settimg myself up, with everything I needed. Books food and computer, I also can't write at a desk I have sit on a cussion on the floor and put my laptop on a coffie table. I can do anything at desk!!
I would give myself a day with a target of how much i wanted done. I would start the day of by dancing free style (like an idiot) to my favorite music untill I was exahuasted. Then I would rest for half an hour and get started. Time would fly past then I would stop and break and eat and maybe do some streching or some drawing. Most of the time it worked well

I think it worked because it focused me, I burnt off all other energy. I have no talent for drawing or dancing but buring off creative energy seemed to focus my mind on more logical required for a scientifi assighnment.

It kind of filtred my thoughts making them easier to put onto paper
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Re: Uni assignments and my What I Call Mental block :)

Post by JohanMidas »

I scraped by in my undergrad. My diagnosis only came when I referred myself due to poor sleep in the first year of the PhD. After trying to use the diagnosis (the dyslexia part) to get prescribed ritalin or similar on the NHS for a couple of months, I realised (1) that's not the approach we use in the UK; (2) I was at a stage where I could work in whatever way worked best for me.

I also discovered the GTD system for self-organisation, which I think was a life/career saver. The book by David Allen is only a few pounds from Amazon, and very clear, practical and informative. Combine that with something like the Pomodoro Technique, and find somewhere sufficiently quiet and distraction free, and a lot of academic work becomes much easier.

For something like mathematics, I would found the 25 minute default of the Pomodoro Technique far too long to concentrate for. Whenever I've had to learn something very technical, I've sliced down the work:break intervals down to about 10min work: 2 minute break, as any longer I wouldn't be able to concentrate. For something requiring less mental effort 20:4 or 25:5 (the Pomodoro default, I think) works, but an awareness of energy and concentration levels required is very important.

Good luck.
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