9 Tips to Keep You Motivated For Bar Prep
For some students, staying motivated for bar prep is half the battle. In this post, we cover nine tips to help you stay on track!
9 Tips to Keep You Motivated For Bar Prep
1. Giving yourself enough time
One thing that will certainly help you stay motivated during bar prep, is by creating clear and realistic expectations for yourself. It’s a long haul, so take the time to create a schedule for yourself before you even begin bar prep, acknowledging when you would like to have completed certain milestones. Then, follow it and adjust it as necessary. It is important to remain flexible so if you see you are ‘falling behind’, take the time to notice it. Perhaps this is simply the rate at which you learn best. Each night and/or morning it can be good to write down what your top 3 priorities are for the day ahead. All in all, be realistic about your schedule and adjust it as much as necessary.
Click here for more info about creating a study schedule that works for you.
2. Set up Your Space
You want the place you study to be a place where you actually enjoy being and can comfortably learn. Did you always want to study at this one café or library? Give them a call and see if they are taking reservations for individual spaces. Perhaps the weather is nice where you are, and you can actually study outside. Even spending some time in another spot in your house or visiting a friend’s house can be helpful.
It can be reinvigorating to change up your space since you can easily fall into the habit of not going anywhere, then feeling trapped and grossly unmotivated not to study. Don’t fall into the trap of getting tired of your study place: make your personal home study space into a sanctuary with salt lamps and good stationery and switch up your location.
For ideas on how to switch up your scenery for added motivation, check out our list of the best places to study for the bar exam!
3. Eat the Frog
Once you have set up your schedule, prioritized for the day, and organized your space, you are now prepared to pull up a chair and begin your studies. It is at this point that it is highly recommended for you to focus on dedicating time to the task you are least looking forward to e.g., eat the frog. Once you gather the courage to approach doing the thing you didn’t want to do the most, and you actually finish or make some headway, you will feel so much more fulfilled! This sense of fulfillment will flow and help you stay motivated during bar prep.
4. Eat Snacks
In order to stay alert and focused, our brains need food (and possibly caffeine). Don’t skimp and invite your snacks to the party. Bring your apples, granola bars, and a thermos of hot cocoa to your desk. You can eat while studying, but it is also encouraged that you take a moment to have a bite to eat without hearing about the elements of Negligence. You can also step out with a friend for a quick bite.
Here are our tips on the best bar exam foods!
5. Take Short Breaks
Step outside with a friend to visit your local Starbucks, go for a lap around the block, or to pick up a cheesecake from your favorite bakery (sure, cheesecake might be brain food. Why not?). Pick up the phone and call your family or a trusted friend. This type of positive reinforcement will help you stay motivated during bar prep. The Pomodoro method is recommended for making the best use of time while studying for the bar exam.
6. Reflect on Your Day
When you are constantly learning, it can begin to feel less than thrilling that you finished a video lecture. But Rome was not built in a day, and neither will your success on the bar exam be. You went through many years of schooling to get to this moment! In order to feel like you are actually getting somewhere, consider investing in something like a Panda Planner and make the most of its end-of-day review. This way, you can fall asleep with real, tangible evidence of all you did that day and get excited about what is next.
7. Talk to Someone Whose Been Through It
It is important to be able to burn off steam, preferably with people who simply get it. Maybe you have a friend who recently took the exam. Ask them if they may be up for a call. The goal is not so much to talk about the substance of the bar but to remember that you are not alone. There also many Reddit groups and Facebook groups dedicated to the bar exam that provides tremendous support for students studying for the bar – the sky is the limit!
8. Take Time Off
We are only human and studying for the bar takes the bar out of everyone. Remember that in addition to your daily breaks for food, exercise, and general mental clarity, it is okay and even preferable for you to take entire days off. If that sounds totally crazy to you, we’ll let you off the hook and give you space for 5 index cards max.
9. Think About Why You Want to be a Lawyer & Visualize It Coming True
Follow the lawyers that inspire you on Linkedin or Instagram. Schedule time to talk to them. Make a vision board, incorporating references to the lawyers that inspired you (can anyone say Elle Woods?). Studying for the bar exam is tedious, there is no denying it. If you can remember why you wanted to become a lawyer in the first place, you can tap into an endless flow of motivation.
We wish you the best of luck in preparing for the bar exam. Believe in yourself and do your best to keep it light and fun.
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