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A Law Student’s Guide to Finally Stop Procrastinating

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, happy hour, reality television, Vine—and repeat.

Does this sound like you? Or are you more of a snack-nap-iTunes-Vine kind of procrastinator?

Either way, you know you’re doing it: You’re procrastinating.

Procrastination is the thief of time. One minute you’re settling in to do the hard, sometimes mundane, work of briefing cases, reviewing notes, outlining material and studying, the next you’re poring over Facebook statuses and wind up wondering where the last four-and-a-half hours went.

For law school students, procrastination can be much worse than a thief—it can be a cold-blooded murderer, killing your chances of finishing in the top 10 percent.

So when you sit down to study, stay focused on not losing focus. Here’s how:

Do nothing at all
Don’t want to study? No problem, as long as you don’t do anything else, either—no internet, no video games, no television, no snacking, no music and no napping. You just sit there—and sit there—until the boredom becomes too much to take and briefing cases actually seems exciting.

You’ll be surprised how much fun studying can be when compared to … nothing.

Turn it into a game show
How would you like to win fabulous cash and prizes for doing nothing more than exactly what it is you’re supposed to be doing in the first place? Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Here’s how you can compete for cash and prizes: Turn studying into a game show. Give a friend some money or a nice bottle of wine. Tell your friend to hold onto it and only return it as a “prize” once you’ve finished your studying in a specific period of time.

It might be fun. It’s sure to light a fire under you. And the thought of your friend walking away with a cool $20 bucks turns it into a competition—just you against yourself.

Quarantine yourself
Henry David Thoreau did his best writing along, in the woods. More recently, Vince Flynn, author of the acclaimed books featuring Mitch Rapp, did his writing alone in a solitary cabin near a lake. Neither had distractions, each accomplished great things.

If you’re constantly distracted by … everything, get rid of all the distractions. No TV, no internet, no music no windows to the world—just you and your casebooks. Depriving yourself of stimulation might just be enough motivation to get you to get the job done.

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One thought on “A Law Student’s Guide to Finally Stop Procrastinating
  • Joanne B says:

    I actually think that prize is a really good idea. I think I will try that more often (and give myself some wine)…..especially when I do my bar exam studying….

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