Law school is an exciting and important time. It can also be completely overwhelming. You’ve worked so hard to get here. You want to do everything within your capacity to maximize your chances for success.
Time management is a skill to master in law school and take with you into your law practice and for the rest of your life.
Follow these time management tips for law students for optimal use of your time. It will lay the foundation upon which the rest of your education and career will rest.
1. Treat law school like law practice.
Treat each study period as a billable hour to make sure study hours are scheduled in and used efficiently. You would not cheat a client by billing them for hours that are not used for tasks related to their accounts, so don’t do it to yourself. Do not count coffee break during your “billable study hours.” Or Facebook. Or social time. Use the clock to keep you focused.
The practice as well as the app for Mac OSx that blocks social media sites from your phone or computer for a set amount of time. This will go a long way toward distraction-free studying. Download the app atselfcontrolapp.com.
3. Set realistic goals.
4. Prioritize the most important work that needs to get done. Do this first.
5. Make a study plan.
As acclaimed business coach and motivational speaker and author Brian Tracy says, “Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent Return on Energy!”
6. Don’t procrastinate.
7. Begin course outline from Day 1 of classes.
Organize it according to cases, important laws or regulations, and class notes. Halfway through the semester, go through it thoroughly, to condense and reorganize it. By exam time, you will have a complete outline to study from.
8. Read the material.
Read it during lunch. Read it during breakfast. Read between classes. Read first thing in the morning when your brain is sharpest and you’re most likely to absorb the material. Then read it again. Don’t let yourself fall behind in the reading or it will overwhelm you as more piles on each day.
9. Do not multitask.
Dividing your attention between various tasks means that you aren’t giving your completely focused mind to anything you are trying to accomplish. By doing one thing at a time and giving it your singular, focused attention, you will get more out of it (which ultimately saves time in the long run.) This includes during lectures, when students should focus on taking copious notes (and turn off social media, messaging apps, and YouTube.)
10. Break big projects into smaller, more easily digestible pieces.
These simple rules go a long way toward reaching important milestones in your law school experience and beyond.