Winning the Time Management Game in Law School
Law school can be a stressful time for many students. It’s three years of long hours at the library, months participating in clinics, and countless hours of networking. Yet, there are ways to maximize your time spent in law school.
Kerriann Stout, a millennial law school professor and founder of Vinco (a bar exam coaching company), offers three tips for increasing productivity and maximizing time.
1.) Minimize distractions
Social media has found its way into everybody’s lives. Stout calls technology a “double edged sword,” as there are apps that can actually decrease your distractions and increase productivity. Look for apps that block the Internet on your device or ones that block you from using social media. Some even allow you to set time limits for how long you can use apps on your phone.
2.) The 5-minute rule
In law school, the to-do list can seem endless. Maybe you have a number of papers to complete or readings to finish. The hardest part is starting. Stout says her tactic to this problem is implementing a 5-minute rule in which she commits to doing the work for 5 minutes. “If after 5 minutes, I still truly do not want to do it, I stop,” she says. “However, 90% of the time after 5 minutes, I realize the task is not so bad, and I am happy to be working through it now instead of procrastinating until later.”
3.) Set up an accountability system
Often times, we can be our own worst critics. But we don’t have to be. Stout advises law students to share their goals and plans with an “accountability partner.” “Ideally, the person you choose will be someone whose opinions and advice you respect as well as someone who will give you open and honest feedback,” she says. With an accountability partner, you’re more likely to set realistic goals and actually reach them.
Many think going into law school will take three years of their lives. But instead, law students should think of it as three years gained. With some time management, those three years will fly by.