With a busy law practice, a marriage, two small children, and a home to run, I am always looking for ways to multitask. Mealtime is a great excuse to talk to my preschooler about measurements and numbers, colors of fruits, and shapes of vegetables. Laundry is a great opportunity to review textures and sizes. Even sweeping the floor can be educational if we talk about what happens to crumbs when they get left on the floor.
Admittedly, preschool learning is certainly not the same thing as studying for law school, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of household chores as a time to also gain a little legal practice. The truth is that there’s no limit to what you can accomplish with your time if you’re willing to commit even small increments of your day to studying.
Five minutes of review is better than nothing, after all. Here are a few ways you can not only ensure you live in a clean and organized environment but also are making the most of your time for your studies.
Utilize Audio Outlines
Just as audio books have become increasingly popular these days, audio outlines are a great way to listen to course material while going about your daily chores. Have a sink full of dishes but also need to go over the rule against perpetuities? No problem! Plug in an audio outline and listen while you scrub.
Have a bathroom sink that needs to be wiped down but you’re cramming for your Contracts final? Tackle both! This multitasking strategy works well for when you’re not necessarily doing chores, too. You can wipe down the sink and scrub the shower then enjoy a nice soak in the tub, all while continuing to study.
Audio outlines have been a fantastic way for me to continue to study while I do all sorts of other activities such as going for a run or going for a walk. For kinesthetic learners, this type of learning while “doing” is also helpful for retaining material.
I’ll admit, it can be far too easy to get distracted on YouTube when you ought to be studying. You expect to watch one short video and ten minutes later you’re engrossed in some strange conspiracy theory show espousing any manner of strange ideology. The internet is a fascinating place!
But, used well, YouTube can be a great way to maximize your study time. There are many great lecturers on YouTube these days covering all kinds of legal topics. Personally, when my son was a year old, I found YouTube lectures to be invaluable.
I could put on a YouTube video on tort liability while playing cars with my toddler son. With quality legal programs on YouTube, you can take the time to prepare a meal while watching a lecture or finally organize that junk drawer you’ve been putting off.
For visual learners, YouTube videos offer quality visual cues to go along with the lectures. Audio outlines can be incredibly useful, but for those who need to see what they’re learning, a good YouTube lecture can be a great alternative to an audio outline.
Make A Game Out Of It
My husband and I are teaching our preschooler French. I’m not fluent in the language, so I’m learning right along with our son. One of the ways I’ve found useful to learn French is to label items around our home with the French words. I also like to put lists of terms above the sink so that when I’m washing dishes, I can review the list.
The same concept can be applied to studying for the bar or even your law school exams. Make a list of key terms like caveat emptor, UCC, or perhaps a list of the articles of the Constitution. Then, as you’re scrubbing your dishes and loading or unloading your dishwasher, go through the list of key legal terms.
I like to make my lists on flash cards and put a one-line definition on the back of the card so if I get stumped, I can quickly reference the answer.
I have been known to put these types of lists all over the house. I put them on the wall near the bathroom sink so I can review while I’m brushing my teeth. I put them on the wall in the living room so I can brush up on the terms while I work out. I put them on my bedroom door or the back of my front door so now matter whether I’m coming or going, I can review one last legal term.
Making The Most Of Your Time
It’s rare for someone to be able to devote their entire life to studying for law school or the bar exam. Most of us are sons or daughters, mothers or fathers, brothers or sisters, employees, coworkers, colleagues, friends, significant others, etc. We have hobbies and interests outside of law school and the bar exam.
With other responsibilities it can sometimes be difficult to make the necessary amount of time to study to be successful on legal exams. Gone are the days when studying meant sitting in a musty room surrounded by smelly old law books in a dark corner of a foreboding law library. With a good strategy to multitask while doing everyday household chores, you can continue to manage your home and affairs without sacrificing study time.
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