Spring Break and Lists

Last year I spent my spring break in the Dominican Republic with my boyfriend. It was a relaxing, fun, warm five days.

This year, I spent my spring break sitting at my desk. As the new Senior Articles Editor for the BU Law Review, I orchestrated my first article selection process. I also worked on my Law Review note, outlined for classes, and thought about all the other things I wasn’t going to have time to do.

Throughout February, Spring Break was a mystical time-when-everything-would-get-done. Didn’t have time to do my taxes? I’d do it over spring break. Needed to get organized for the Health Law Association board transition? I’d take care of it over spring break. Write some posts for the BU Blog? Spring break. Organize my closet? Spring break.

The short version is that none of these things got done. I got through the extremely time-consuming Law Review work and managed to do a little bit of outlining.

And now that the cure-all Spring Break is over, the law school world is spinning faster than ever as we careen towards final exams.

So I come to the point of this post, which is the incredible power of the list. As I’ve taken on different roles and responsibilities throughout 2L year, adding different spheres of duties on top of classes and an externship, I’ve come to depend even more on my organizational skills. Whether it’s a list of people to email, a list of errands to run on the way home from my externship, or a list of the reading I need to do, the list is crucial.

While managing the article selection process over spring break, I learned that it’s really not productive to think about all the other things I need to do when trying to complete the task at hand. Nor is it productive to switch from task to task as I think of other things I need to do. The list allows me to just jot down a thought and stay focused on the task I’m doing, instead of flitting from thing to thing as I think of it.

When overwhelmed with a list a mile long, it’s simply a waste of time to think about the list. Maintain sanity by just doing one thing at a time, and eventually everything will  be crossed off.


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