How to Focus on Bar Studies While Stuck at Home in Quarantine

It’s hard enough to focus when there isn’t a cloud of coronavirus covering the planet.

The stress of adjusting to “the new reality.” Dealing with uncertainty about the bar exam. Running out of yeast for your new bread machine.

You’re at the brink of feeling burned out before the exam is even happening.

First of all, if we’re quarantining, we should be thankful to have a place to stay and a refuge from everything going on outside.

But it may be frustrating to not have a quiet place to focus if your go-to study place is suddenly gone. We’re stuck at home. Libraries are closed. Daycares are closed. Coffee shops don’t let you linger around.

Being productive in your bar preparation has become more challenging than it’s ever been.

How do you get into that flow if where you live is the only place left to study?

The two biggest killers of focus and concentration are external distractions and your energy.

Address each by designing your environment and optimizing your sleep as follows:

Continue reading “How to Focus on Bar Studies While Stuck at Home in Quarantine”

How to Maintain Motivation and Momentum While Studying for the Bar Exam: Enjoy the Process

You’ve seen all the euphoria from people who passed the bar exam.

You’re probably “inspired” and “motivated” when you look at success stories, case studies, and accounts of people who excitedly announce they passed the bar exam.

When that happens, we say things like “if they can do it, so can I” (true). Or “I needed this today.”

Today? I’m not letting you off the hook just consuming intellectual candy. That’s some “new year, new me” type energy.

Anyone can desire to pass the bar. Anyone can fixate on the goal and tell everyone they want it. It’s not gonna happen just because you said it.

“I want to pass the bar exam” will require thousands of actions.

Being calm, collected, and confident on the bar exam is based on decisions and actions you make well ahead of time. You could try to conjure up “confidence” at the last moment, but all bets are off when it’s game time and the cards are on the table.

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

Look, you probably won’t feel confident. That’s normal. Expect that. Don’t get misled by the allure of being confident on the bar exam. That’s not the point.

If you want someone to coddle you and give you cookies, visit your grandma. You want to be barred like those people? You want to know how exquisite that feeling is?

Don’t waste your time chasing after confidence. Chase after competence.

Then perhaps you will find yourself feeling reasonably assured of your answers on the exam (and they’ll actually be right). The point here isn’t to feel nice. The point is to pass the fucking bar.

That’s why I’m going to ask you now, while hopefully still early in the preparation process.

Whether you’re just getting started on preparing for the 2020 July/September bar exam for the first time, or whether you’re retaking it once again, I want you to keep it up and not run out of steam over the next few months. But motivation is not sustainable by itself. There’s a long way to go.

So instead, use your fleeting motivation to create that determination, that momentum. Otherwise, you’ll email me in three weeks asking, “Are we there yet?”

Here’s a real-life example from someone who invented the future (and the best way to do it):

Continue reading “How to Maintain Motivation and Momentum While Studying for the Bar Exam: Enjoy the Process”

How to Get 20/20 FORESIGHT for the 2020 Bar Exam

Welcome to 2020, where “social distancing,” “the new normal,” and “stay home” are the new meme phrases to replace “in this economy.”

But life and the bar go on relentlessly no matter the state of the planet.

It’s that time yet again. Results for the 2020 February bar exam are in for every state (pass rate in California 26.8% WTF?).

Anxiety squirting into your heart every time you thought of the moment of truth. Heart ricocheting around your ribcage as you check for your name on the pass list.

Waiting is the hard part. It’s even harder to get non-lawyers to shut up about obligatory “aww… you got this” and “I’m sure you passed” comments for weeks and months.

Well, I’m just gonna ask you. Did you pass?

Continue reading “How to Get 20/20 FORESIGHT for the 2020 Bar Exam”