There are, in fact, obvious reasons for this. Those who have worked without an organised timetable will know these all too well. As you sit down to work, time stretches ahead of you unstructured and without end. You don’t know how long the task will take or what you will do afterwards. All you know is that the job’s got to be done and you’re there to do it until it’s completed. This can depress even the most motivated student. Faced with this daunting prospect we struggle to get down to work.
We search for things to do, to lighten the burden and take our minds off our work. We suddenly find pencils that urgently need to be sharpened, or books which have been in the same position for years that urgently need to be rearranged. It can be anything just as long as it gives us some respite from our work. Even when we’ve got down to work, we still see time stretch out ahead without structure. So we search relentlessly for any distraction just to give us a break.
We 128 Research HTW17 7/27/01 8:16 AM Page 128 Organizing your Time 129 have a certain amount of time in which to complete the work, after which we give ourselves a reward for hard work. We might arrange to have a coffee break with friends, or a session down at the gym or in the swimming pool.