6 Ways to Reclaim Your Time & Energy While Studying for the Bar Exam (Even If You’re Working Full Time)

My mom called me while I was working on this. Breaking focus is one of my pet peeves. I regret thinking this way because I feel like I was taking her for granted.

She said she’s been worried about all the work I’m doing. There’s my “real” job and also the “website” as she calls it. She said I looked tired when I was home over the holidays. She said maybe I should put a hold on the website.

After 10 seconds of silence, I asked her… “Why?”

I’d be lying if I told you that I wasn’t offended at all by her suggestion. In my head, I was thinking I can handle it. I will handle it.

Her reason: So that my “real” job isn’t as hard on me. So that I have more TIME.

She has a point. It is a lot of work for a bunch of strangers. She wants to protect me. She doesn’t want to protect you. But they’re strangers who want my help. I feel like I’m making more of an impact at home than in the office.

I told her not to worry, that I’ll feel burdened by her worries. My girlfriend said that that’s the worst thing I could have told my mom because it will make her feel guilty. Oops! She supports me and my mission even though I spend way more time on MTYLT than her. Now she’s even coaching me on how moms think.

Protection vs. support. Pull away vs. push toward. Can you guess which one I prefer?

Call your mom if you want cookies and rainbows. But I will give you support because I want results for you, as long as you’re serious about it. If you’re not, I still will, because I like to give the benefit of the doubt. I can’t tell until later in hindsight anyway. They say INFJs are martyrs. Sounds pretty cool.

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The Value of Redoing Problems (You’ll See Them on the Bar Exam)

So there was this girl in college. Let’s call her “Sarah” since that was her name.

Sarah had dark brown hair and smelled like fresh green apples. I could tell because my pillow smelled like a spring orchard after she took a nap on it.

… What? This was all before my life went downhill, so let me indulge in this memory for a bit.

One day, she asked me what my hobby was… the most dreaded question a guy can get because what the hell is a hobby and where can I find one.

Btw “eating” or “being a foodie” or “finding restaurants to eat at” don’t count as hobbies. Go back to posting boomerangs of your food and drinks on Instagram and nothing else (#blessed).

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Memorizing for the Bar Exam: How to Remember and Recite the Rules

There’s this weird phenomenon where you meet someone new and then 1 second later it’s impossible to remember each other’s names.

To be honest, if I didn’t care about them 10 seconds ago, I’m not gonna care about them all of a sudden as if they were my newborn (whom I’d name Genghis (Hahn) so I don’t forget).

But what can I say? It’s impressive, for that exact reason, when someone actually uses your name in conversation without having to say, “Sorry what was your name again? I’m so terrible with names hahahahaha.” 

Actually, I think I creeped my neighbor the hell out when I greeted her by her name after having met once. Well hey, some people just won’t appreciate you, and that’s how life is.

I was able to remember because of the same thing I did as a 1L: I used a notepad (now my phone) to write down new people’s names so I could keep referring back to them later. Kristina has no clue who I am now, but I remember meeting her on the metro bus on the way to the bonfire in 2010 thanks to that notepad.

Useless information I wish I could forget—I tend to remember the very things I want to forget about the most. But if it’s possible to remember names of people we don’t give a damn about, then it’s possible to remember the foundations for our profession.

One of the themes I advocate here regarding improving is to focus more on “big wins” and needle movers. Not spending an ungodly number of hours exhausting yourself with lectures, flashcard arts and crafts, or memorization.

However, memorizing (or more directly, remembering) is still an unavoidable base requirement for succeeding on your essays and the MBE.

And the fact is, your bar exam requires you to remember a LOT of shit. The typical brain is made for processing data but not so much for forcing discrete information to be inscribed into your memory forever.

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