Berenice Abbott. El at Columbus Avenue and Broadway. 1929 | MoMA
Learning Log,  Reflection

A lesson in planning

I have recently fallen behind my planned timeline for my studies due to a number of factors.

  • Global pandemic playing havoc with life as we know it.
  • Having three children during said pandemic, and now ‘on summer holidays’.
  • My own health suffering, causing exhaustion amongst other limiting factors.
  • Most notably, my failure to look ahead and plan and pace my studies.

Assignment one took me far longer than planned as the pandemic took grip, turning my family life on its’ head while we readjusted to our new normal. This also sent me into a spin of self reflection, doubts and re-evaluating priorities from daily tasks to life ambitions.

I vowed to make Assignment 2 a more successful process that would be quick and rewarding.

However, I failed to look ahead through the course and quickly realised that the next stage was very different in it’s structure than that of assignment 1. I became confused by the split of exercises and the assignment itself. I thought I could work chronologically through my folder just one step at a time giving little regard to what was to come, feeling like I had all the time in the world.

I quickly realised that there was a whole second part with yet more exercises after part 1 – before commencing the assignment itself – which I hadn’t accounted for as I hadn’t read ahead in the course and planned for this to structure my time efficiently.

Timescales and forward planning

I’ve been set a deadline for 5th October for Assignment 2 by my tutor, and I plan to still adhere to that. This gives me just 6 weeks and I still have part 2 exercises to finish and upload. However I don’t want to fall further behind.

When I set out on this degree my plan was to be finished for when my daughter starts school in Sep 2024. Last night I sat down and roughly calculated my hours, weeks and hand in dates through to the end of the course to see if this is viable within achievable timescales and workloads.
By my calculations, working within my current availability, I will likely finish this course somewhere between October 2024 and July 2025.
This is rather frustrating as looking ahead I’d like to either start a Masters Degree or look for work when my daughter starts school, and I will likely miss a September 2024 MA intake by just a few months. This is particularly painful given I have just lost over 6 months on this course already from my own delays and slow progress.

This has been a harsh lesson to learn, however I am glad to have discovered this so early in the course. The good thing to come from this is I now have a rough plan for how long I have for each part of the course through all three levels, meaning I can arrange my time accordingly to achieve these set goals. I know that any additional time I cause from missing these deadlines will push my completion date further and further back.


Start – Breaking assignments down to smaller tasks, each with their own deadline to keep on track.

Stop – Thinking I have all the time in the world and also over thinking / procrastinating causing more delays.

Continue – Adjusting my mindset and finding ways to fit studying into every day to keep momentum going.


  • Lee Abbey

    I’ve spent three months on assignment 3 – far too long. Robert mentioned on another zoom session that the EYV shouldn’t really be dwelled on – it’s the start of the journey, otherwise you will be taking 6 years – (I’m paraphrasing a little but the message hit home a bit). Its sometimes quite tricky to just turn it on and off because you have an hour – at least I find that to be the case. Keep shooting!!

    • jennifersarah

      Thanks Lee, yes I’m finding over thinking and under shooting a big issue at the moment. I definitely find I need to really set some time aside to get stuck in and also be clear in my head what I’m shooting to a certain extent. As you say the odd hour here and there isn’t easy. I had a friend give similar advise who just told me to enjoy the early stuff, so I’m trying to switch off worrying too much and focus on the exercise takeaways and the experimenting, over the final results too much. I too heard Rob mention that and it was a bit of a wake up call!

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