Studying for the bar exam requires a lot of time. Some people recommend that you treat it like a job and that’s fine as long as that job is not 9-5, Monday-Friday. You need to treat bar prep like a 60+ hour a week job where you sometimes have to work early mornings, evenings, and weekends. Even though you you’ve got to put in a lot of study time, it’s so important to take study breaks. No one can study 12-14 hours a day, every day, for weeks and weeks on end. Your brain needs a break. It needs a chance to process information. By taking periodic breaks you’ll stay energized, have better focus, and manage stress and anxiety.
- Take short breaks every few hours. Some days you’ll be able to study 3-4 hours without a break and some days you’ll need one every hour. When you feel yourself losing focus, stop studying for a few minutes. Get up and walk around, eat lunch, meditate. Don’t blow off the entire day, but do take a break and get back to it.
- Take a break at the end of the day and do something you like. Have a little fun and watch tv, play a video game, go for a run, have dinner with friends. Give yourself something to look forward to.
- Take at least 1 day off each week. If you’re not comfortable taking a whole day off, try the “split” day break. For example, study Saturday morning until about noon (or lunch-time) and then take the rest of the day off. Don’t start studying again until Sunday afternoon.
There is no way you can be productive for 60 hours a week if you don’t take breaks. You have to give your brain some time off if you want it to work efficiently and effectively.