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LIV President's Blog 2012

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Time Management: Not Quite Your Forte?

Time Management:  Not Quite Your Forte?

As any law student knows time management is a supreme skill. I have to admit, it probably wasn’t my forte either, that’s until I commenced my law degree.

Right about this time of year, I’m scheduling every aspect of my life, especially my study routine.

Before you burst out laughing or snort in derision, hear me out.  I’ve learnt the hard way not to spend hours procrastinating by trawling Facebook or watching YouTube cat videos.  That old saying “time is of the essence” must have been coined by a law student for sure.

Time is not a luxury many of us possess.  Planning and prioritising study makes the law degree more manageable and dare I say it, enjoyable!  If only my Constitutional law lecturer could hear me now!

Time management requires discipline, as does being an effective lawyer. So I figure no better time to learn about applying time management than now when I’m a student!

Time Management Tips

My time management regime consists of a timetable that I have created for home and I also have a timetable application which enables me to schedule study, work, rest and play.  Because of these steps I am now more flexible and relaxed about unplanned events, like the inevitable train cancellation or man flu. Old fashioned calendars and diaries are just as effective – if you know how to use them effectively.  

I always try to get a head start on assignments. During semester breaks I start mine on the days I would normally study.  This is a great way to get ahead rather than playing catch up.

Time management is a skill all good lawyers practice; in fact it’s practiced by every successful person I know, including every parent I know!

There’s 168 hours in a week, if you’re not using them effectively I don’t believe you’re being as effective as you could be.  I bet you don’t even realise how many things you squeeze into each week until you write them all down.   

So here are a few quick tips to get you started;

  • Deactivate your Facebook account during the semester – this might prove harder than giving up chocolate or beer
  • Create a timetable
  • Schedule your employment commitments
  • Now add your study commitments
  • Then add your exercise commitments – healthy body, healthy mind
  • Don’t forget to add housekeeping, dog walking and cooking

Now in your schedule (whichever format you decide to use) add your regular social commitments like little Johnny’s swimming lessons or footy training.  Here are some more things to consider scheduling:

  • Family commitments like Sunday lunch at Mums
  • Family birthdays, they shouldn’t be a surprise
  • Social events such as that trivia night you really want to attend
  • Time for your personal relationships with family and friends

Now some tips to make time management even easier:

  • Complete small tasks straight away
  • Break down difficult or 'boring' work into sections
  • Don't try to write a whole assignment in one sitting, start them early
  • If you have 'writer's block', try writing anything-down, even if not study related
  • Remember that it’s your study and the time you spend on it is up to you!

If you find yourself losing direction, sit back and think about why you are doing your degree; remembering your goals can put everything into perspective.[1]

Written by Lucy-Anne, a full-time 3rd year law student at Charles Darwin University.  She lives in Melbourne with her husband and 6 year old son. Since commencing her degree Lucy-Anne has become an expert in juggling!

Some further information and guidance on time management can be found via the following links:

[1] Courtesy of ‘The Learning Centre’, University of New South Wales.


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Kerry Curtin
Some great tips Lucy-Anne. Your readers might also be interested in an LIV workshop "Time Mastery for Lawyers - Over 100 Ways to Maximize Your Productivity and Satisfaction" running on 27 March. See for more details and the special price for Young Lawyers
1/03/2013 2:31:57 PM

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