Identify Your Time Thieves
While time efficiency is a daunting subject to any person, it is especially intimidating to law students. At the undergraduate level, time efficiency was less important as it related to making it to class and completing each assignment. Students improvised, adapted, and muddled through.
For law students, it is important to identify those habits, tendencies, inclinations, and – whatever else you want to call them – that expend, exhaust, waste, and – whatever else you want to call it – our precious time. The idea is to identify those things that take, like thieves, our valuable time that may never be returned to us. The immediate result is the inefficient use of time and, over a semester, potential damage to overall performance and preparation for final exams.
Balance again is a keyword. A “time thief” and legitimate leisure time are two different subjects. The latter is necessary while a time thief is self-explanatory. They differ in their productivity, necessity, and efficiency.
Identifying the times of day when these bad habits are more likely to occur is a good start to increasing time efficiency. Some of us tend to do nothing when we get home from school or work. Others may start the day at their desk surfing the net or playing solitaire.
Of course, most, if not all, of these activities, while not necessarily pernicious in their own right, have the potential to suck up hours to the extent that when you determine the lost time over a month, it may amount to close to a hundred hours!
How can you tell if an activity is productive?
These habits that manifest as thieves of time may serve the purpose of avoiding the work that needs to be completed. There is nothing wrong with consciously feeling entitled to engage in these habits to relieve stress or simply have some fun after a long day of work – as long as we are not truly using this behavior as an excuse to escape work.
One useful perspective is this: any activity that thwarts the intention to work for the minute, hour, or day is probably a “time thief.” Any time lost to these activities has to be added onto the day. The process of simply finding this time may create additional, unnecessary stress. The more “time thieves” that are minimized or eliminated, the more time left to devote to work and important non-work activities.
The California Desert Trial Academy focuses on providing an academic experience that emphasizes a practical approach to becoming a lawyer. We believe this is the most efficient and expedient pathway to a successful and rewarding legal career. At CDTA, we train, educate, and develop students to be exceptional attorneys and trial advocates. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.