Finals are only about a month away, which means most students are starting to kick their study efforts into high gear. It’s important to enter the reading week prior to finals as prepared as possible, so start incorporating some self-testing into your study routine and aim to have outlines for each course completed by the last day of class. Of course, with all that extra review, practice, and preparation, you will likely see an increase in the hours you spend studying. Thorough preparation for finals exams requires a lot of hard work, but to maintain your focus throughout this busy study period, it’s also important to schedule time to decompress, relax, and take a break.

Taking a break during finals prep may seem impossible after you look at your ever growing to-do list, but if you plan your days carefully and work diligently you should have the opportunity for a little down time. Stepping away from law school – even briefly – will give you a chance to recharge and will ultimately make you more productive during your study sessions. No one can effectively study for hours and hours on end, so don’t let yourself feel guilty about taking a break, so long as you are also working hard in between those breaks.

To ensure that you have the opportunity for down time over the next week, create a detailed weekly scheduled that shows what you will study, when you still study, and where you will study. Then, isolate your areas of free time and keep them blocked off. Just as you should plan ahead for your study sessions, you should plan ahead for your breaks. To get the maximum benefits from your scheduled breaks, make an effort to do something that will really get your mind off of law school. Watch a movie, go out to dinner with a friend, or get some exercise! If you’re struggling to relax, explore one of the numerous mindfulness apps, like headspace. Enjoy your time away from studying so that when it’s time to hit the books again, you’re doing so with a renewed energy and motivation.

So yes, you can afford to take a break in law school, as long as you plan ahead and work diligently during your study sessions! For more helpful tips on how to stay calm and take care of yourself during the stressful finals period, check out our previous post!