Organizing Your Findings
Now that you have all your resources together, you may have noticed that you ended up gathering far more than you could possibly finish in the timeline or budget that you set for yourself. So, the next step is to weed out any resources that don’t meet your needs.
What to Cut
There are several reasons you may decide to remove a resource from your list. First, there are many courses that are incredibly expensive (or may seem incredibly expensive to the patron with a small budget). It’s okay if you can’t afford these resources right now; if you finish your current curriculum and you still want to take them, you can start saving up.
Second, consider the number of resources you can reasonably cover in the time limit you have set out for yourself. If you have more than that on your list, begin to pare it down with a few considerations. Are there any resources on your list that are significantly more advanced than the rest? You may want to put those aside and write a new curriculum when you finish the current one. Also, are there any resources on your list that will bore you to tears? Not everything on your list needs to be absolutely riveting, but if you try to read the dictionary, chances are that you will give up around the letter E—not because you don’t want to learn, but because you’re just so darn bored! Nip that kind of thing in the bud before you bring your whole curriculum off track because you’ve burned yourself out.
Third, and only to be considered as a last resort, is to cut resources that cover the “peripheral” subjects I talked about in Lesson 2. You want your curriculum to be well rounded, but it’s more important that you gain a complete understanding of the principal subject first.
Putting Things in Order
Once you have your list down to a reasonable number, it’s time to put it in a logical order. This is far more simple than you may think. First, put any introductory courses at the top of the list and then add in the intermediate and advanced materials toward the bottom. You may use the order suggested in the university’s degree plan. Give yourself some variety in the order, if possible, and sprinkle in different types of resources. Some of these you may even decide to cover simultaneously, but we’ll talk more about that in the next lesson.
With that said, in the next lesson, we’ll talk about how to take your list of resources and spread it out over your goal period in order to effectively cover the subject while avoiding burnout.
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