About a month late but we finally got our assignment markings back last week. Having bonded with a fair few of the students in my class during last term I was surprised to learn the group has apparently underperformed as a whole in this particular module. Personally, I have seemingly improved my ability to successfully summarize without struggling so much with a word limit, although it has now been remarked upon that my assignment was rather too descriptive and somewhat lacked in analysis. I still managed a good marking - better than the average it would seem - and considering I resorted to writing it in just about a day and a half I would consider the grade indeed very satisfactory. But then it really only amounts to 25% of the final grade, which is essentially what stopped me from putting too much effort into it.
That may sound hypocritical of me when I claim to be taking the degree to expand or deepen my knowledge (or rather a posh way of saying 'to learn'), but if I've failed to incorporate other aspects into my studies, prioritising is a skill I seem to be making good use of. That isn't to say I considered the assignment unimportant - it was after all intended to incentivize research, theory testing and analysis - but just that in the grander scheme of examinations and work commitments I didn't consider the assignment worth losing too many nights of sleep. If that makes me a hypocrite then so be it - I won’t be losing many nights of sleep over that either!
Yet rather ironically the assignment turned out to be extremely relevant to the exam as, by an odd twist of fate, a teaching from the beyond or just a plain coincidence, the two topics I had prepared for the exam involved citing industry examples and basing theory on 'an organisation known to you'. Effectively this meant regurgitating portions of my assignment, and while I hadn't (still haven't) reread the assignment since submitting it a few weeks prior, as I've received a merit-worth grade for it, I'm now honestly also expecting a merit grade in my exam (although I may live to regret this statement). But of course if I'd put more effort into the assignment on the first place I was bound to get a better grade in the exam - whatever my final grade turns out to be.
Something of a set-back into prioritising tasks and not giving a 100%? Perhaps, although I remain unconvinced. It’s not about being sloppy, lazy, uncommitted or let alone failing - I certainly wouldn’t be in employment in such a competitive industry if I were any of the above - it’s really about focus. You are seldom - if ever - going to be able to give 100% in everything you do, so knowing and being comfortable with your limitations and which tasks you want to concentrate on is perhaps not ideal but actually quite prudent.
As Graham Allcott, author of ‘How to be a Productivity Ninja’ (catchy title), would say people often look at tasks the wrong way by focusing on the detail rather than on the impact of any given task - ‘It is actually far more practical to focus ruthlessly on doing things that have the greatest impact.’