Being a top law student isn’t just about doing the assignments. Building healthy habits can help you manage your workload and keep you focused on your goals. It’s easy to get lost in the commotion of assigned reading, work/life balance and FOMO. Simple things like creating a solid routine, adopting a healthy lifestyle, learning to prioritize and staying focused can get you one step closer to the top of your class. Stay ahead of your 1L classmates by adopting these healthy habits in your day-to-day life.
Establish a Routine Early On
Creating and sticking to a routine is vital to law school success. By establishing a routine early on, you gain control of your stress level and get a leg up on your classmates. Start thinking of your law school routine before your first day of class. When creating this routine, make sure to make time for fun and social events. Overloading yourself with too much work will eventually decrease your level of productivity. The hardest part about having a routine is sticking to it. Involving other people in your routine, like study groups or a reading partner, will help keep you accountable.
Here are 5 things you can do to create a solid routine:
- Find a quiet, distraction-free place to study
- Join a study group with similar goals as you
- Study at the same time, in the same location, everyday
- Use a planner to schedule your time throughout the day
- Download an app that will help keep you on track (we recommend #4 on this list)
Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
As a law student, you may find yourself buried so deep in work that you can’t find the time to exercise or eat correctly. Making an active effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle helps increase your energy level and decrease stress. The best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle is to find like-minded individuals who are looking to do the same thing. Find a running group, a group of students who want to do yoga or a gym buddy to help keep you on track. Getting the proper amount of sleep and exercise helps enhance your focus and keeps you clear-headed for the law school challenges ahead.
Learn How to Prioritize
Most law students feel like they are constantly behind in their work, which is what makes prioritization so important. Get into the habit of prioritizing your reading and notetaking every week, as your assignments will change often. Not sure where to start? Join a study group or make friends in class. As competitive as law school is, it’s nice to have a person to share notes with and brainstorm ways to prioritize your work together. If you’re the kind of person who puts their social life in front of their classwork, spend the summer before law school getting it all out of your system. In law school, classwork comes first. The prioritization of your social life, love life and family life will impact your grades immensely.
Always Stay Focused
It’s easy to lose focus in law school. The workload is heavy, the strain on your social life is hard and navigating your first year is stressful. Don’t forget that law school is a three-year marathon, it’s important not to lose sight of your end goal. The habits mentioned above can help keep you focused: prioritizing, getting healthy and creating a routine. Other ways to stay focused include learning how to meditate (check out app #5 on this list), making friends with similar goals (not friends who are just looking to party) and maintaining a work/life balance. Often when people try to focus too hard on a goal, they become overwhelmed and lose track of what’s important. Being able to keep a work/life balance is a healthy way to stay focused and allow yourself to have some fun in the process.