Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tips for overcoming procrastination

Following up on Scott's post below, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog has a nice summary of the article by David Rasch and Meehan Rasch on combating procrastination for law students and lawyers (profs too).  Their tips include:

Face your fears: “Lawyers stereotypically turn to logic for comfort, but if you increase your capacity to accept, feel, tolerate, and understand the emotional side of your nature, you will increase your capacity to write productively.” That means articulating your dread or denial into sentences like, “If I don’t write this memo, I’ll fail the class and flunk out of law school.”

You’re not so bad: While confronting those feelings, don’t be so down on yourself, the authors advise. “Debilitating thoughts that plague legal writers….are generally exaggerations and distortions of the truth that have gained too much power from their endless internal repetition.”

Change of scenery: “Negative feelings about a work space may also trigger avoidance,” say the authors, who share the tale of a “big-firm lawyer” gripped by anxiety after she was tasked with “several massive drafting projects by a difficult supervisor.” Her writing picked up after she left town and worked remotely from ”a pleasant cafe near the beach where she had done much of her writing during law school.”

Alcohol isn’t the answer: “Though some very well-known and prominent lawyers and writers have had serious addictions and mental health disorders, legal writers should not view a manic episode, excessive drug use, or alcohol as the path to improved productivity.”

Click here to read the WSJ post and here to read the Rasch's article itself.


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