Volume 19, Issue 4
I have good news for you, motivation is high-key a scam. To expect that you’ll enthusiastically skip into the law library at 9am each morning, complete all your required readings with a grin, and then decide to treat yourself with the extension articles is not only unrealistic, but suspicious. Uni is rough, law school is worse and online law school is simply the worst. Add into that the mental fatigue of being in zoom calls all the time, probably having no friends (unless you’re extroverted and did a BA at UniMelb, in which case you know half the cohort), and doing at least one compulsory unit each semester that you barely tolerate, and it’s a wonder you have the energy to write in. Give up on motivation. Instead, aim for discipline.
STEP ONE: Be your own secretary
Embrace the deadly combo of a calendar and a to-do list. I’m not saying go out and buy either of these things, you can use the back of a pizza box if you want. The focus is functionality, not aesthetics. Personally, I love a google calendar with some cheeky colour-coding. You may prefer something else – it doesn’t really matter. The main purpose is to break your day down into hour segments so you know what’s on your plate for the day and can plan accordingly. Also, it will highlight where you have capacity for a quick coffee or a cry in the bathroom -maybe both if you’re feeling adventurous!
STEP TWO: Chew so you don’t choke
Regarding a to-do list, there are a million articles online about “the ultimate” list format. Again, the aesthetics don’t matter, the point is to make a list of big goals, break each down into smaller objectives and then actionable tasks. For instance, ‘Get H1 H2A in Torts’ becomes ‘Do Torts Readings for Week 1’ which becomes ‘Read Donoghue today’. If you feel like things have ramped up to 100, take it back to basics. But do the basics properly. If you’ve promised you’re getting that reading done on Tuesday, don’t cheat future you and flake – that poor sod has enough on their plate already. Treat future you with at least as much respect as you’d treat a group assignment member you don’t even like – do your part and do it on time. Even be a little selfish if you have to, turn down an invite to drinks with the aforementioned group member you’re not a fan of so you can finish your tasks and get to bed at a reasonable hour.
STEP THREE: PUT ON YOUR OWN DAMN OXYGEN MASK FIRST
Following on from that, don’t sabotage yourself. Eat some greens, wind down before bed, and get enough sleep. Schedule down time as well as social events. Be nice to the people around you, but not at the expense of being nice to yourself. If you aren’t coping, drop something. If that’s not an option or doesn’t help, talk to someone. May as well get some use out of your SSAF, seeing as printed materials and BBQs are off the menu for the time being. You’ll be fine and if you’re not, census isn’t until the end of the month - just saying.
Your Learned Friend
The views in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of De Minimis or its Editors.