Keeping Focus During Bar Prep

GUEST BLOG Katie R. Day,
Quinnipiac University School of Law Graduate

                Find a space in your home, or in your law school, and confine your bar prep studying to that space.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m easily distracted during bar prep.

I have a hard time sitting through a 3-4 hour lecture without fidgeting, picking up my phone, or scrolling through Twitter or Facebook. But I know I need to be focused on my bar prep, 100%, for the entire lecture. I want to make sure I’m getting the most out of each class and learning everything I need to. With that goal in mind, I’ve been thinking about ways I can eliminate distractions as I study and keep my focus. Here are a few things I’ve found helpful so far!

  1. Put your phone away. And when I say “away” I don’t mean on the other side of your desk or flipped upside down next to you. Keep it in the other room or buried in your bag. Making it inconvenient to get to will make you less likely to reach over and grab it if you’re getting restless. It’s also a good idea to keep it on silent, since you’ll be tempted to check it if you hear a text or email come in.
  2. Go to a live lecture if possible. I get it, it’s annoying to get up and get going in the morning. It’s tempting to stay in your pajamas, snuggle with a blanket, and watch the lectures from home, but I encourage you to force yourself to go to a live lecture. It will help you get motivated and being around other people in the same boat as you will likely make you feel less stressed. 
  3. Set up a study space. It may seem like a good idea to do your review and additional studying fro your bed or curled up on the couch, but it can be harder to stay focused (and not doze off) when you’re not in a “study” environment. Find a space in your home, or in your law school, and confine your bar prep studying to that space. Not only will you be more focused when you go to that space, but you can step away from that space at the end of the day and leave the bar prep stress behind you.
  4. Take paper notes. Most lectures will have a handout you can fill in as you listen, but if your lecture doesn’t, take paper notes instead of computer notes. Taking notes on your computer may seem easier, but your computer comes with a lot of distractions (ie. Facebook, Twitter, online shopping). While paper and pen may be less convenient, it has fewer distractions, and some say it even helps you learn better!

How are you staying focused during bar prep? Let me know on Twitter @barpreplife.