Friday, November 7, 2008

Finding Time

One thing about being a law school is the allocation of time is a lot different than undergrad or a full-time job. For one thing, at the beginning of the semester you're a lot busier than you are in undergrad. Maybe it was just a 1L fall quarter thing, but I'm currently looking back at my notes from the first week of Contracts and I clearly had no idea what was going on. Because of that it takes a ton of time to read and understand the cases. And between learning in class, carrying your books around, getting to know your peers, and unpacking, it takes a lot out of you.

Then after the first month, the reading suddenly gets easier. It's still voluminous, but it goes a lot faster and it's easier to glean the important facts, rules, and rationales from each case. Plus, you don't need to get everything, because the prof. usually goes over it in class - you just have to have a good faith familiarity with the case.

But then it becomes November and the task you've been dreading - outlining, suddenly takes over your sub-conscious. In between doing the reading and going to class, you also have to make these outlines to make sure you understand and memorize everything you've learned. These outlines can take days or they can take weeks, and they have to be done well in order for them to be truly effective. And once Thanksgiving hits, you're in full practice-exam mode, taking as many practices exams as possible to get the endurance aspect down.

So how do you fit them into the schedule? I'm currently struggling with that question as I continue working on my contracts outline (the first of 4). I think I'm going to have to give something up so that I'm forced to make the time and still get sleep/exercise. Here are the candidates that I'm willing to consider:

1. Facebook - probably a half hour to an hour per day.

2. TV - this is a big one - 2-3 hours per day. I'm thinking about doing it by show: I can watch Stanford Football and Dancing w/ the Stars but everything else sits in the DVR until Dec. 19.

3. Eating out - Curtis and I probably go out to eat 1-2 times per week, and that takes up double the time that eating at home or getting take out would take. Plus it's expensive.

4. Sleep - I'm seriously considering training my body to operate on less sleep. I currently need between 8 and 8.5 hours of sleep per night to function. If I could somehow drop to 7, or even drop to 6 plus an afternoon nap, that might increase my overall productivity. As I've told many people, my best quarter at Stanford was the one in which I took a nap everyday.

Anyway, those are the options. Chances are TV is definitely getting cut, and I might try the sleep thing, we'll see how it goes. And don't be surprised if I'm not on Facebook from Thanksgiving until Dec. 19. And I will probably do 1 short Monday Updates a week, just as a little respite from studying. I can't believe how fast this has gone!

Have a good weekend :-)

1 comment:

sam c.hart jr said...

Naps are great. I highly recommend them