Create a Study Schedule and Stick to It
We’ve all heard this familiar refrain from students – "I don’t have enough time to get everything done!" While law school is quite demanding, most students don’t have enough time for their studies because they aren’t managing it properly. If you are having difficulty keeping up with your class work, consider the following time management tips. Lastly, notice that many of these tips focus on taking care of yourself. That is because 8 hours of study by a healthy, well-rested student are easily worth 12 hours of study by tired, frustrated student. Remember, you can’t afford not to take care of yourself during the school year.
Remember the "Hour Rule" When Studying
Studies have shown that your first hour of studying is the best hour, and your ability to retain material drops precipitously after that hour. Similarly, don’t study for any one subject for more than an hour at a time. In fact, it is better to read or review a subject in four 30-minute sessions than one two sessions where fatigue and boredom a sure to set in.
Reward Yourself with Breaks
Fatigue and frustration are your greatest enemies when studying. To avoid them, reward yourself with short breaks. A good rule of thumb is to take a 10 – 15 minute break for every 60 – 90 minutes of studying. You’ll be amazed at how much fresher you feel when you start studying again.
When Possible, Study During Daylight Hours
Although many students prefer to study during the evenings, research has shown that one day time hour of studying is equal to one and one half hour of evening studying.
Read As Close to Class Time As Possible
This will help ensure that the material is fresh in your mind, and will make you better able to take part in classroom discussions, follow the professor’s lecture, and link the text to the classroom work.
Review Your Notes Within 24 Hours of Class
Most of us use some form of shorthand when taking notes so that we can keep up with the professor’s lecture. Be sure to review your notes within 24 hours of class so that you can clean up your short hand while the lecture is still relatively fresh in your mind. Better still, type the notes into your computer after class. Typing the notes: (1) Can help you retain the material; and (2) Will be useful when you later start outlining the material for exams.
Allow Enough Time for Sleep
Make no mistake about it, the quality of mental work depends on sufficient sleep. Without enough sleep, memory is one of the first things to go.
Eat a Well-Balanced Meal
Dietary deficiencies can lead to lack of pep, irritability, distractibility, and mental slow down.
Make a Plan for Living
Time management must include physical exercise, social activities, and psychological rest and relaxation. Leave out recreation and exercise and you'll sacrifice concentration, memory and productivity.
Set a Cease Study Time
Don't be a workaholic. Do the best work you can until 10:00 or 11:00 p.m., then relax. This will give you an incentive to work on a regular basis rather than the cram and cease method that generally leads to pre-finals burnout.
Don’t Spin Your Wheels
When your mind is wandering or daydreaming, get up and do something else-start or another assignment. Daydreaming is a clear sign from your brain that it is ready to move onto something new.
Make a "Do Not Disturb" Sign
Use it! Don't let others schedule your time to suit their needs.
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