As most of you (might) know, I am a law student. Going straight from undergrad to law school was a BIG adjustment. I can honestly say that I have already done more studying/reading in law school than I did in all four years of undergrad.
So, while I have never been particularly good at managing my time—I’m the queen of procrastination—it didn’t effect me until I entered law school and realized that if I was going to get all of my work done and done right, I would need to manage my time efficiently.
I’m a big fan and avid reader of Alison Monahan’s law school blog, The Girl’s Guide to Law School. Alison is a 2006 graduate of Columbia Law and generally gives out solid advice for all of us struggling law students out there. I recently came across a blog post of hers on effective time-management, which focuses on spending less time working, while getting more done.
While you can read more about The Circles and The Units methods on her blog, I want to discuss The Buzzer for a minute—I personally find it to be the best method of the bunch.
It’s simple. Figure out what task(s) you need to get accomplish and set a timer for 45 minutes to an hour (if the task will take longer than that, it might be a good idea to split it into two). Until the time is up, you’re stuck there working on whatever you need to do—no Internet browsing, no email checking, no texting, no coffee breaks, no nothing.
Another technique that I’ve found works well in conjunction with The Buzzer is finding an uncomfortable space to work in [you don’t have to make yourself miserable, but something as simple as a non-comfy chair or chilly room will suffice] and telling myself that I can’t leave until I’m finished with my assignment. This way, I’m not tempted to just lounge around but instead, I am motivated to get stuff done so I can leave.
How do you manage your time effectively and ward off the temptation to procrastinate?