GUEST BLOG Katie R. Day,
Quinnipiac University School of Law Graduate
I’ve always been a big fan of making schedules and blocking out time to do each task I need to accomplish.
What’s your schedule look like?
One of the key aspects of bar prep is making time to attend the lectures, do the homework, and work on memorizing the law. There’s a lot to do and we only have so much time. This week it seems my friends and I are really feeling the time crunch and that can be a little anxiety-provoking. This is why a schedule is so important.
I’ve always been a big fan of making a schedule and blocking out time to do each task I need to accomplish. I find it’s easier to wake up every day and have the day planned out, rather than wasting time trying to decide what to do or forgetting something. So I decided to make an Excel spreadsheet bar prep schedule to ensure that I was dedicating enough time per day to studying and that I was maximizing my use of my time. I encourage you all to do the same, in some form or another to help hold yourself accountable for studying and stay organized.
As you go about putting your bar prep schedule together, here are some important things to consider:
When do you study best? A few of my friends love to wake up early and do practice questions or essays in the morning, whereas I tend to need a cup of coffee or two before I can really get going. Make note of when you find you’re most productive and then make sure you schedule studying for those hours. There’s no point in trying to wake up super early or stay up super late to study if you won’t really be focusing or absorbing material.
How do you relax? Studying for the bar exam is time-consuming and stressful, but you need to make sure you’re not getting over-burdened. Make sure to schedule in time to do things you enjoy and that will help you relax and refresh. I crafted my schedule so I could attend a couple of spin classes at the gym every week and have a date-night with my boyfriend. After those brief breaks, I always feel calmer and ready to dive back into studying.
How long can you focus for? There’s only so long you can focus on studying before your mind starts to wander. Every few hours, schedule yourself a quick mental break. Set the timer on your phone for 10-15 minutes and walk away from your study space. Go for a walk, make a cup of coffee, play with your pet, go get the mail, or vacuum your house. Do anything that will take your mind off bar prep. Part of effectively studying is making good use of your time and without short breaks like this, you’ll probably find yourself zoning out, which isn’t a very effective way to learn.