GUEST BLOG Katie R. Day,
Quinnipiac University School of Law, J.D. Candidate 2018
Full Disclosure: I barely had time to write this post.
Between classes, clubs, homework, and things ramping up at my part-time job, I’ve been feeling stretched a bit thin. Why am I writing about this? Because I have a feeling I’m not alone.
As law students, we’re usually insanely busy, it’s part of the job description. When you attend orientation on your first day of law school they warn you about the time commitment you’re about to make. But just because you know it’s coming, that doesn’t make it any easier to handle.
I’d like to think that over the past couple of years I’ve become pretty adept at juggling all my activities. I’ll be the first to admit it isn’t always easy, but I have discovered a few tips and tricks to avoid losing your mind.
Organization is key
We all think we have great memories, but the truth is, if you don’t write it down you probably won’t remember it. Whether it’s a to-do list on a Post-It Note, a daily planner, or an app on your phone, you need to find some way to keep track of your commitments. My friends and family tease me for writing EVERYTHING I need to do in my planner. From basics like “do laundry” to more important tasks, like conference calls, meetings with professors, and dinner plans, it all goes in my planner. I know that if I don’t write it down, I might not do it.
It’s not just okay to say “no”… it’s necessary
I’m the type of person who wants to take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way. I’m a “yes” person. While that’s a quality I love about myself, I also need to keep it in check. The truth is, when I take on too much I’m not able to do a good job and I’m not enjoying what I’m doing. It’s essential to evaluate the opportunities and activities in front of you and be really thoughtful about the different options and how they benefit you.
It’s also okay to bribe yourself
There, I admit it. I bribe myself. When I feel my motivation waning I try to come up with little incentives to keep me going. If I’m struggling getting through my reading, I’ll treat myself to some Netflix time when I finish. If my to-do list seems monstrous, I divide it into sections and give myself a little treat or a short break when I finish each section.
Take a break
Taking a break might seem counterintuitive to getting everything done, but sometimes it’s exactly what you need. Taking some time to get dinner with a friend or go for a run will help you relax and refresh your mind. You’ll likely find that when you come back to do your work you’ll be more focused and motivated.
What are your tips and tricks for handling stress? Share them with me on Twitter @the3llife!